[This week’s post is written by guest blogger Kristen Musgrove Larsen, who recently visited Randers Regnskov. Thanks, Kristen! It is the first of a series on things to do and places to go in Aalborg and the surrounding area. If you have been somewhere you’d like to write about, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
The rainforest in Randers (Randers Regnskov) is a great place to take the family, whether it be during the frequent cold, rainy days or the not-so-frequent nice, sunny days.
The rainforest consists of 3 domes housing animals and plants from 3 different continents – South America, Asia, and Africa. Unlike a zoo, many of the animals walk or fly freely around the manmade ecosystems rather than sit behind fences and walls. This tends to lend a feeling of adventure and adds a bit of excitement when you see a little monkey swinging above your head or bat whizzing by your ear!
There is a route to follow which leads you up higher up in the domes, across a suspension bridge and around waterfalls and even an ancient temple. The air is warm and humid and you feel swept up in a completely different world with the more than 250 animal species.
On a warm day, you can explore the large outdoor area where two new animals have recently been welcomed – a black panther and a snow leopard. There is also a playground and a petting zoo open during the spring/summer months.
After a visit, the café offers visitors a nice selection of food and beverages, priding themselves on organic or sustainable ingredients as much as possible. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and eat in designated areas inside and outside. The kids won’t let you pass up the gift shop where you can select from an assortment of stuffed animals, handmade jewelry, tribal art and crafts and delicious ice cream.
It takes roughly 40 minutes to get there by car from Aalborg; alternatively you could take the bus or train. The entrance fees are reasonable and if you wish to buy a yearly pass, it’s actually not much more than a day pass. There are free strollers you can borrow and lockers can be rented for 2 DKK. Although it’s easy enough to take a stroller through the domes, it tends to be more problematic on busier days when you have to maneuver around the crowds or up the narrow trails.
Randers Regnskov is an awesome place to take kids of all ages 365 days a year and you can read more about planning a visit here.
This time around – a Friday around 11:00 – I went with my almost 5-year-old daughter and her 5-year-old cousin. Since most people were at work or school at this time, it wasn’t very crowded at all and we stayed about 2 hours including lunch and a trip through the gift shop.
Both kids loved the jungle adventure feel of it and enjoyed running ahead on their own. There are some darker corners where they preferred to stay close to us (the snake area, for example), but overall it’s the sort of place where you can feel pretty safe if your kids are out of site for a moment or two. My daughter even wanted to take another trip through after we were done!
Kristen is an American married to a Dane and has lived in Aalborg with her husband and two young kids for 3 1/2 years. She is originally from Seattle.