This coming Friday, October 15, sees one of Copenhagen’s most unusual cultural traditions come to life – the annual Kulturnatten, or Night of Culture, when more than 250 of the city’s museums, theaters, parks and other cultural institutions remain open until midnight for special events for the whole family. Last year, more than 60,000 people bought a Culture Pass for the night, making it Denmark’s largest one-off event.
Culture Night, which is always held on the Friday before the schools’ autumn vacations, is open to everyone, regardless of age – one night a year where the kids are encouraged to stay up late in the name of cultural enrichment. This year, masses of green and purple balloons will guide the public through the city to show where arrangements are taking place – and those who wish to film their own personal experiences of the night using a video camera, digital camera or simply their mobile telephone have the chance to win a gift voucher worth DKK 5,000 for city department store Magasin.
Some of the more unusual events being offered at this year’s Culture Night include meeting a historical figure inside the atmospheric Round Tower (including H.C. Andersen and King Christian IV) and a dreamy festival of light and music at Thorvaldsens Museum. And as usual, the city Zoo is offering night-time visits – and the chance to see the larger animals enjoying a midnight snack.
A Culture Pass costs DKK 85 and includes free entry to all events listed in the official program, as well as free bus, train and Metro travel within the city area – so you can get to all of the different locations. It also allows free entry for two accompanying children under 12, and can be bought at most S-train stations, libraries and other cultural institutions.
A full program is available on the Kulturnatten website.
Halloween atmosphere at Tivoli
Culture Night is not the only kid-friendly event planned for the autumn break. Many of the city’s museums and institutions have special events for the kids’ holidays: The National Museum, for example, is inviting kids as young as four to design their own bank note – to coincide with the new DKK 200 bill that is being released this month, as well as the chance for slightly older kids to play archaeologist for the day. Both events are free. The Royal Armouries, meanwhile, is putting on a show of medieval weaponry, complete with jousting and Middle-Age market. Horses and knights will re-enact the Battle of Visby from 1361.
One of the biggest draws in the autumn break is Tivoli Gardens; the funfair began opening its gates for a short Halloween season a number of years ago, proving to be an instant success. Note that Tivoli’s Halloween opening coincides with the children’s holidays, not October 31st itself, opening from this Friday October 15 until Sunday, October 24.
Over 15,000 pumpkins have been brought in from Tivoli’s own supplier on the Danish island of Samsø to fill the Gardens with an especially Halloween atmosphere, along with scarecrows, hay bales and spiders. See if you dare visit the witches in the Halloween Village, and cut your own pumpkin in one of the witches’ booths. In addition to all the Halloween-themed activities, including a daily Halloween parade, all the rides, booths and eateries are open as usual.
Photo of Halloween at Tivoli courtesy of Tivoli Gardens (top); photo of Night of Culture activites outside Thorvaldsens Museum courtesy of Kulturnatten.