I can’t believe this is my first blog post on Tivoli. I love the place! I have been many times before – not just since we moved here (we have a season pass-recommend btw) but throughout my childhood and adult summer holidays. So it holds many fond memories, as well as some more traumatic, ‘I shouldn’t have gone on that ride’ ones.
On my birthday this year, I had planned a trip to take my friend Ali, who was visiting Lydia and I, as Rich worked away. Yes – his first work trip away was on my birthday, and part of Lydia’s birthday, and for the whole of the following week but yes, how lucky am I to have Ali in my life for coming out to stay with me. So all was dandy. Until I discovered, Tivoli had shut down for the summer on 24th September – the day before my birthday and planned trip! And it was a wonderfully warm and sunny day, what were they thinking! So as soon as I saw Tivoli reopened for Halloween, and the added bonus that it coincided with my sister, her boyfriend and our Danish aunt and uncle visiting, it was in the diary. It didn’t disappoint. (Ali, we’ll go next time I promise!)
Tivoli opened in 1842, making it the second oldest operating theme park in the world. The oldest happens to be just a short journey north, in Klampenborg, Copenhagen called Bakken. We’ve also been here and I will blog about it…one day.
Tivoli is not like your typical theme park. It’s like an enchanted garden. Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen was even inspired to write his fairytale The Nightingale, after his first visit. It’s set within beautiful gardens, with winding lanes like a Diagon Alley, leading to restaurants, stalls, candy floss and shops full of wonder. The rides are all around you – they’re incorporated into the gardens. You’ll be walking along, see a peacock and then hear screams from the rollercoaster above you. You can easily visit Tivoli and not be a fan of rides and candy floss. There are a LOT of restaurants to eat at, serving high quality food and drink. There are stages where shows, dances and music are performed, as well as theatres for pre-booked concerts and pantomimes. There’s an aquarium, a big playground for the children and even a puppet theatre, where children can meet the much-loved Danish character Rasmus Klump. It’s also open into the night – until 11pm or midnight. During the summer, there is something called Friday Rocks (Fredagsrock). I stumbled upon this with Rich nearly eight years ago on his first visit, having exhausted every ride because I was too scared to go on them. (I’d just persuaded Rich to buy the all-access ride wristband too, thinking I was still 12). But we ended up seeing Pharrell Williams performing with N.E.R.D. So a night at a theme park ended in a pretty amazing gig.
Now back to Tivoli at Halloween.
This seasonal opening was only introduced in 2006. And they really go all out. I’m not usually into Halloween and have never marked it (apart from stocking the cupboards with sweets ‘ just incase’ those trick or treaters, we have never had before turn up. Although I can’t even justify that this year, as we now live on a 4th floor apartment). But Tivoli do Halloween in style. It’s about large pumpkins, autumnal produce, lanterns, toffee apples, mulled wine. Every part of Tivoli has undergone a Halloween-inspired transformation and it’s really quite magical.
Lydia went on her very first ride – the carousel. She hated it first but then didn’t want to get off. It was a little rainy so we took refuge in the aquarium, before braving the rain again to watch Rasmus perform and then retreating for tea and cake. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
Tivoli at Halloween runs until 5th November and then reopens for Christmas on 18th November until 31st December. So if you happen to be in Copenhagen during these times, definitely go and visit. You’ll probably see me there.
P.S. I’m not a walking ad, I promise, I’m just a fan.