Ice skating with babies and bunnies in Sweden

22 January 2012


My first year visiting Sweden in the winter, I was astonished and intrigued to see Swedish parents skating on frozen lakes while pushing baby buggies. Expectant mothers were on their ice with toddlers and baby buggies in tow! At the time, it seemed like such a dedicated choice  — were these professionals who couldn’t afford to get rusty?

I’ve come to realize in my time living here that embracing the nordic climate; going out into it;  is the way one lives harmoniously at 59 degrees north (or above!) As soon as the winter weather comes, signs of outdoor frolicking become very apparent and there’s such a robust creativity in this. Those ice skating parents weren’t figure skaters keeping in shape but, regular people out exploring the world around them — passing this on to their kids.


This weekend, like the parade of neighbors, we threw our skates over our shoulder, too, and headed to our local lake. I love to count how close our access is to winter skating (and, then, summer beach time) — 6 houses from this nice little lake or a 5 minutes walk to the sea. Although, we live just outside of the city of Stockholm, we live in the beginning of the archipelago, a place where city and country overlap.

Today, arriving at our lake, I counted 5 baby buggies, various sleds, multitudes of skates; winter picnics with multi-generations including family dogs …. and a bunny! Yes, a bunny. We’re not alone in having our neighborhood lake tended to nightly by a kind anonymous neighbor who’s a part of our local neighborhood care group. These everyday sights serve as reminders that this is not the land of my birth, even though I know now to expect such scenes (and join — although, we’re not sure Coco, our bunny is a northern bunny and one who would appreciate the ice!) Mother Nature stops no one in Sweden. It’s not a wonder that outdoor kids become outdoor adults, raised from birth to weather all elements, 365 days of the year (more here). It’s one element of Sweden that I do embrace. If you visit to Sweden in the Winter, pack your layers and your boots! I promise it will intrigue you in ways you never imagined.


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