20 MAY 2016: We usually visit the amusement park Gröna Lund once a year, when we travel to Stockholm in August. It didn’t occur to us that it would be open during this trip, although we should’ve remembered from having lived here in the spring of 2009 that it does start to operate with limited days and times in the late spring. This week, Gröna Lund is open only from Thursday through Sunday in the late afternoons. Today we rode the subway two stops to Slussen, from where we walked to the ferry. Slussen is currently undergoing an enormous transformation, so many things had changed even since we were here in March. For one thing, the ferry dock has moved a short hike from where it used to be, meaning that the walk from the Slussen subway station is a tad bit longer.

Looking across from our ferry to the other one running the same route

Looking across from our ferry to the other one running the same route in the opposite direction

We arrived at the park by 16:30 (2:30pm), so waited for about 30 minutes before the rides and kiosks opened. Happily they let folks into the kiddie section of the park early, so we got to walk around and talk about what we wanted to do first (adults wanted to eat a late lunch and kids wanted to go on rides immediately).

Putting David's cell phone number on Isaac (he tends to get lost)

Putting David’s cell phone number on Isaac’s wrist (he tends to get lost)

Red squirrel watching while waiting for the rides to open

Red squirrel watching while waiting for the rides to open

The penalty for being extra early is having to interact with the park characters as they enter for the day

The penalty for being extra early is having to interact with the park characters as they enter for the day

For the first time, David and I didn’t purchase the wrist bands that grant us unlimited rides. The kids are now tall enough and brave enough to ride on their own. We adults simply purchased some ride coupons (much less expensive than a wrist band, if you don’t ride much). The kids, however, certainly got their money’s worth out of those wrist bands. The waiting time in line was no longer than 10 minutes at the most for any ride, so they rode over and over and over again all over the park. They also handled their own lunch money and ordering (in Swedish!) from the kiosks for while David and I had a lovely sit-down meal at a nice cafe.

The fun house never disappoints!

The fun house never disappoints!

The kids rode the swing ride at least five times--they love it

The kids rode the swing ride at least five times–they love it

The afternoon flew by for all of us. When the wind started to pick up a bit, we pulled jackets out of our backpack and continued on. The kids rode nearly all of their favorite rides with the exception of Bläckfisken, which seemed to be under renovation. Lucy and Isaac were even brave enough to try an extremely tall drop tower. They looked so shocked when the ride was over that the rest of us thought they’d never ever try it again, but they surprised us and got right back in line! A huge achievement! The ride is so tall that David can’t even watch it without feeling ill.

Lyktan, the drop tower that Lucy and Isaac conquered

Lyktan, the drop tower that Lucy and Isaac conquered

At the end of their first ride--they tried it a couple more times after that (amazing!)

At the end of their first ride–they tried it a couple more times after that (amazing!)

We tried to get a table for five at the new restaurant, Fiesta, for dinner, but we were told there was an hour wait. Instead, we got a table for two and the kids simply rode more rides in the kiddie section and came by the table every once in awhile to grab a tortilla chip. We did have a slight scare when David gave Thomas one of his tacos and it contained chili covered almonds (odd, nuts in a taco!). Thomas realized pretty quickly that something wasn’t right, so he tossed it out and we watched him carefully for until quite late into the night. We were very lucky that he’s not as allergic to almonds as some other tree nuts and that he wasn’t exposed to much. We always carry the epi-pen on such excursions and we were really glad we had it along this time even though we didn’t have to use it (thank goodness!!).

An interesting Swedish amusement park take on Mexican food (beware of nuts in some of the tacos!)

An unusual Swedish amusement park take on Mexican food (but beware of nuts in some of the tacos!)