Magical Christmas markets and inspiring winter arts
The Danes are crazy about Christmas – and in Copenhagen the yuletide spirit starts early when in mid-November Tivoli Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland, the world’s most magical Christmas experience. Winter is also the cool season within the arts in Copenhagen. In early February, the city warms to the beat of the annual Winter Jazz festival, which is part of the Wondercool Copenhagen arts festival that features events citywide within rock music, Nordic cuisine and much, much more.
Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is one of the world’s oldest amusement parks – and its also one of the most magical. In mid-November, the gardens open for the yuletide season with a winter wonderland of market stalls, funfair rides and illuminations (15 November – 31 December 2013 (closed 24-25 Dec.)). The festive season in Copenhagen features family entertainment at many of the city’s attractions. You can meet Santa and his real live reindeer in Copenhagen Zoo during all weekends in December 2013. And age-old Christmas traditions are brought to life at the Open-Air Museum, which is one of the world’s largest of its kind with more than a hundred historic farms relocated from across the nation (7-8 December 2013). And what could be more festive than The Nutcracker performed by the Royal Danish Ballet. Watch dancing snowflakes and icy Snow Queens in the glorious classical setting of the Royal Danish Theatre’s Old Stage (5-22 December 2013). There is more wonderment at the city’s new beachside aquarium, the Blue Planet – a swirling new design with sea creatures from around the world. The new aquarium was recently honoured with the Best Display award at the World Architecture Festival 2013.
Winter is the cool season within the arts in Copenhagen. More than 100 events are held throughout the month of February as part of the city’s Wondercool Copenhagen festival. The nationwide Winter Jazz festival is part of the program (7-23 February 2014) and so is the semi-annual Copenhagen Fashion Festival (29 January – 2 February 2014). The city’s culinary festival, Copenhagen Cooking, hosts its winter edition as part of the Wondercool festival – and the Frost Festival rocks the city with events and concerts at museums and offbeat venues across the city.
Some of Copenhagen’s most splendid art museums are located in scenic nature just outside town. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art features an exhibition of postwar Expressionist art by Danish CoBrA-artist Asger Jorn and legendary Jackson Pollock (5 November 2013 – 23 February 2014). And you can experience the mystical art of Mexican artist Frida Kalho in a major retrospective at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art (7 September 2013 – 12 January 2014).
Copenhagen also offers the chance to experience some of the world’s leading ballet and opera companies. Performances are featured at the Royal Danish Theatre’s Old Stage and the new waterside Opera House. And some of the city’s most magnificent contemporary architectural wonders are venues for chamber music and symphonic concerts, including the Black Diamond, the Opera House and the award-winning DR Concert Hall.