A great source of information for me when planning our move (and since arriving) has been message boards. The most useful has been 'Mums in Sweden', a mothering and family oriented board. When considering our move, it was great to see there was an active group of English speaking families in the area we planned to move to. It was reassuring to know there would be fellow English speakers to reach out to if I started feeling isolated. The group is international- there are some Americans, but it seems there are more folks from UK, Ireland, and Aussies and a few Canadians, and then some Swedes married to English speakers of various nationalities. I have had a few 'meet ups' with various members of the group, and we were excited to combine an Mums in Sweden outing with a trip to Skånes Djurpark in Höör. (Djur means animal for any non-swedes reading this).
It is akin to a place I knew well in Florida called 'Jungle Gardens' that was a similar mix of animals, outdoor space, playgrounds, and a little cafe, though there we fed flamingos and turtles, while at Skåne Djurpark we watched boar and moose. Like our old familiar stomping rounds, Jungle Gardens, Djurpark park offers a very reasonably priced annual ticket- for just 160kr adults have admittance for the whole year, and kids under 16 are free. Quite the deal. When we were in Florida, Jungle Gardens was the place you took your toddler to let him roam and give you a little break. The local mom that organized this outing says this exactly how they use the park- they are just ten minutes away and she said she spent at least one day a week there when she was pregnant with her second. Sadly, the park was quite drive for us and will not make it on the roster of easy to get to regular destinations. Though even with gas at European prices, it still may work out to cost less than other attraction like outings like playhouses. We will have to do the math. If you live near Höör, though, this would be a perfect regular stop over.
It was the coldest day yet this winter (about -12 C'), but very nice with sunny blue skies, and a blanket of white snow and ice on the ground. The ice made the paved path a bit treacherous, but we all managed just fine.
The park has a paved 3 km walking path through forest, where over 75 species of Nordic animals are kept. A few highlights were the wild boar, moose, wolves, deer, sheep, bison, and the ancient ox like Swedish cattle.
Wild Boar like this live in the forest near me and it was interesting to see them up close, I saw one cross the road in front of me in the dark a few weeks ago, and they pretty massive- NOT something you'd want to crash into!
SheepThe Native DeerNot sure what they were doing there, but there were Bison! And of course, MooseA few shots of the kids at play, and the Mums in Sweden crew. Six families came, which was a good showing considering we were all a bit wary of the cold! The playground areas are really nice and forested. The obstacle course in the forest was a great area!
There was also a great little play area next to a fully enclosed heated eating area with toilets. It has a microwave and tables, and is a great stop off for a picnic in winter when the cafe is closed.