Remember to play tourist in your own country? The autumn holidays are the perfect time to experience the best Denmark has to offer. Monday. 14 October is the official start of the Autumn holidays, but you can already start cultivating autumn and all the autumnal things you can do the weekend before.
Picking mushrooms with a basket under the arm
Danish forest floors are full of delicious edible mushrooms, just waiting for the autumn holidays so they can be picked by mushroom hunters.
If you’re not sure which ones are edible and which you’d be wise to leave, download the ‘Mushroom Guide’ app, which contains over 100 species of mushrooms.
You can also go on a guided mushroom tour with an expert. Keep an eye on the Danish Society for Nature Conservation website, where tours are regularly posted.
Remember: Only pick mushrooms you know you can eat yourself, and always leave some behind. That way you’ll have mushrooms to pick next year.
Borrow a dog
No one understands how to appreciate a huge pile of withered leaves quite like a dog. Ask a neighbor or friend if you can take their dog to the woods for the autumn holidays, because there’s nothing quite as magical as seeing an autumn forest through a dog’s eyes.
Sleep in a shelter
Experience the arrival of autumn first hand when you stay in the heart of nature.
All around Danish forests, you can sleep for free in shelters at the more than 1000 nature campsites in Denmark, but be aware that some need to be booked in advance.
Bring sleeping bags, hot cocoa and an acoustic guitar – and you’ve got the ingredients for an unforgettable autumn holiday experience.
You can find a map of shelters in Denmark on the Nature Agency’s website.
Collect amber in West Jutland
Do you wake up early in the morning after a storm? Then you’re also the type who can find a lot of amber, and the autumn holidays are a great time to start.
Autumn is the best time of year for amber hunting on the Danish coast, as autumn storms loosen the seabed and wash the golden lumps ashore, where they are ready to be picked up.
Go out early in the morning, after a strong wind the night before, and search through the piles of seaweed and other debris that have drifted in overnight. It’s important to get there early, as there are some raven collectors who can end up on a beach before the rest of us have had our morning coffee.
The west coast is where most amber washes ashore, so your chances are best here. Learn more about becoming a master amber collector on Visit Nordjylland’s website.
Enjoy the last dip of the year
The advantage of jumping into the sea at this time of year is that the water hasn’t turned completely icy yet, but at the same time there’s less crowding on the jetty. Practice your headstand during the autumn holidays!
Visit the latest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark
The list has been extended with two new sites worthy of preservation, and the autumn holidays are the perfect time to discover them. As of 2019, Denmark has ten sites inscribed on the list and a further four on the tentative list. Three sites, Kujataa, Aasivissuit – Nipisat, and Ilulissat Icefjord, are located in Greenland, which is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. Seven sites in Denmark are cultural and three are natural.
Stargazing during the autumn holidays
Especially during the cold months in Scandinavia, when it gets dark early, and the night sky is clear, on a winter night you can see over 3,000 stars in the sky over Denmark. Take a cup of tea and a blanket outside on a late evening during the autumn holidays and see how many star formations you can recognize. Also keep an eye out for shooting stars, which average between 5 and 10 an hour.
Take part in a Quidditch tournament
Odense is hosting the Harry Potter Festival during the autumn holidays from 17 to 19 October, so if you’ve always wanted to watch a quidditch match or ride the Hogwarts Express, this is the festival for you. Like the books, the festival is for both children and adults.
Visit the Botanical garden
Which one? You may ask, but we think it’s too hard to choose. Autumn is turning out beautifully in both Aarhus and Copenhagen, and in both cities’ Botanical Gardens you can stroll along while the leaves change colors from beautiful to more beautiful. If you want to see more beauty of the city check this 2 day Copenhagen itinerary so you don’t miss anything from Denmark’s capital.
Each year from 9th October till 1st November, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen organizes a Halloween. That means lots of pumpkins and ‘cozy spookiness’ for both children and adults.
Magical Halloween in Djurs Sommerland
In Jutland, you can also experience Halloween decorations at Djurs Sommerland, which for the 6th time has decorated the park for one of Denmark’s biggest Halloween experiences for the whole family.
Visit the wooden ships in Aarhus wooden ship harbor
Relatively recently built wooden ship harbor in Aarhus is located behind the fishing and yacht harbor on Nordre Mole. Here you can see old wooden ships with and without masts, which are being carefully restored by dedicated owners. Currently, you can also find the Skoleskibet Danmark here while it is being renovated.
Mini cruise with the Oslo boat in the autumn holidays
Ok, so most of the trip is not in Denmark, but the ship sails from Copenhagen, so it’s on the list of things to do in Denmark during the autumn holidays. Right now, DFDS Seaways has a deal for the fall holidays where you can get on a mini cruise from Copenhagen to Oslo roundtrip with an inside 4 berth cabin from 276 DKK per person.
See Aarhus horse races
Jysk Væddeløbsbaan in Marselisborgskoven in Aarhus regularly holds horse races, and the autumn holidays are no exception. Walk, cycle or drive through the beautiful autumn forest to the racecourse on Thursday 17 October. Entrance to the racecourse is free, but you will have to pay for car parking.
Go on an Oyster Safari during the Autumn Holidays
It’s an oyster season, and nowhere in Denmark will you find more oysters than in the Wadden Sea. From islands like Fanø, you can go on an oyster safari.
Speaking of the Wadden Sea…
…Wadden Sea Festival takes place on Fanoe island in the autumn holidays, which you should not miss at any cost. There are experiences for all the senses, a market with stalls and tents, and evenings with parties and music.
Try the cultural tour in Copenhagen
Kick-start your autumn holiday with an evening in Copenhagen that gives you access to places that are otherwise hard to get to. On Friday 11 October, there’s a Culture Night in Copenhagen, where you can try chocolate meditation and much more. The only time of year you can also visit the Botanical Gardens and Rosenborg Palace after dark. See the full Culture Days program here.
Hear the roar of the brown crowned deer
Don’t worry, it’s not as gusty as it sounds. From September to October, Denmark’s deer and fallow deer population come into heat, and it’s a spectacular sight to witness. In Thy National Park, you can go on a wilderness safari with a nature guide, and there are also many krondyrs (red deer) in the krondyr reserve at Oksbøl. In the rest of the country, it is also possible to hear the big animals roar to each other. In Marselisborg Deer Park in Aarhus and Dyrehaven in Jægersborg, the deer are used to people, so here you have the best chance of experiencing their behavior up close.
The Golden Age girl at the National Museum of Art
The state museum is open during the autumn holidays. Their autumn exhibition focuses on the Danish Golden Age – World art between two catastrophes. You and your family can come in and experience a storytelling tour and workshops about the Golden Age Girl. Read more about the autumn exhibition here.
Run or go for a walk in the woods during Autumn
And enjoy the beautiful array of autumn leaves all around you, ahh… We’re looking forward to the autumn holidays!
Scout the woods for Christmas decor material
Now is the time to go out and harvest the fruits of the forest, because acorns, berries, and chestnuts are all ready to be collected and used in one fantastic Christmas decoration after another. Even if you’re not the ‘clay and calendar candles’ type, you can still use the goodies you collect as simple, natural decorations in a bowl or as part of a table setting.
Make a beautiful garland
Soon the trees will be changing into autumn clothes, and the stunning red and golden hues spreading across the landscape can be used for more than just looking. You can find online inspiration on how to tie a beautiful wreath with the materials you can find in nature. Hang the wreath on your door, an easel or use it as a cute table decoration.
Don’t miss the black sun, last chance during the Autumn holidays
The migrants that is, not the group. Because October is the last chance to see the starlings’ communal dance in the skies of southern Jutland, hop on the bus or train and head to Tøndermarsken in the autumn holidays, where you can experience the spectacular sight – at least for a little while longer.
Take your chance in flying kites
As a funny and different tradition, kite lovers meet every year during the autumn holidays at the Hermitage Plain in Jægersborg Deer Park north of Copenhagen. Here the sky is filled with hundreds of kites, so get yours under your arm and come along. The dragon day, which has no official organizer, usually takes place on the second Saturday of the school autumn holidays.
Boat trip and picnic in the canals of Copenhagen
At Goboat.dk you can rent your own boat from Islands Brygge. You can sit up to 8 people in the boats, which is the perfect way to get out and experience the autumn holidays together. The silent and solar-powered boats are fitted with a table in the middle, so you can bring a home-packed picnic basket or one of the delicious, organic ones that Goboat sells. Hire for as long as you like – prices start from DKK 449 for an hour. NOTE: Book 48 hours in advance.
Visit the old town of Aarhus
Take a stroll through the 19th century in the old town of Aarhus during the Autumn holidays. Learn how to boil sweets or visit the latest addition to the Old Town – the ‘new’ quarter of homes and shops built-in 1974. Find out more about what to do in the Old Town during the autumn holidays here.
Try ice skating in Aarhus
On 1 October, Aarhus Skøjtehal opens again for a new season, so if you can’t wait for winter to come, you’ll have to come for winter. Admission is DKK 50 for adults and DKK 30 for pensioners and children. Skate rental for 50 kr.
Do you miss the warmth of the summer?
Then take a tour of the Growth Houses, the latest addition to the Botanical Gardens in Aarhus. Here you can stroll through four climate zones – or stick to the hottest ones. Access to the Botanical Garden and the Greenhouses is free.
See a kangaroo in Ribe
If you’re near Ribe during the autumn holidays, take a trip to the Ribelund mini zoo, where you can see crowned deer and fallow deer, pet a goat, greet a donkey and see a kangaroo.
Meet an Archeologist
Archaeology and World War II – are they related? Yes, sometimes “new” finds appear! See exciting finds and what secrets they hold from the excavations at the shelters on City Hall Square.
Children can get an insight into the work of archaeologists. They can roll up their sleeves and try their hand at their job by helping to wash and sort very old pottery shards, animal bones and chalk pipes found under Copenhagen.
Read more about World War II finds on the Museum of Copenhagen website.
Make a leaf print
Make a leaf print by putting a little paint on one side of the leaf and pressing it flat against a piece of paper or card, and press – you’ve got a permanent imprint of autumn that’s ready to frame.
You can also put the prettiest leaf you found during the autumn holidays between two newspapers to dry, and put some heavy books on top. After a few days, the newspapers will have absorbed the moisture from the leaves, which can now be used as the finest decoration for a seasonal table setting
Check the Autumn holiday programme in your local shopping centre
Going to the mall for something other than shopping? Several of the country’s biggest shopping centres have special entertainment shows that Autumn themed.
Out on two wheels
There’s nothing quite like a bike ride through a beautiful Danish autumn forest, when the sun turns the rusty leaves into pure gold. Make a thermos of tea or hot chocolate and put it in your bike basket. This can be an exciting activity for the entire family.
Swing Slide and climb
For adults with children, perhaps one of the most overlooked free entertainment options is the many high-quality public playgrounds that exist throughout the country. The autumn holidays can be spent exploring what’s on offer in your local authority. Check your municipality’s website – most have a list of playgrounds that are free to use, and several have educators on staff.
For example, children can learn to drive safely at the traffic playground in Fælledparken in Copenhagen. At the playground, which is staffed, you can bring your bike or walk around the small roads in the mini traffic city.
Have you ever sat on the dome of Marble Church or swung from the spire of Our Saviour’s Church? In Fælledparken you can also play on the interactive playground, the tower playground. Here you can learn about the buildings beneath Copenhagen’s spires and towers while climbing them.
Aarhus also has exciting and modern playgrounds for the public. At Børnenes Jord playground, children can help look after rabbits, goats, and chickens, and educators are on hand during opening hours.
Buy beautiful second-hand gold
Use the last bit of your autumn holidays to try your hand at flea markets – there are several in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
But now that the autumn weather is a sneaky tease, it’s a good thing there’s Den Blå Hal in Copenhagen. Here you’ll find over 2000 square meters of second-hand goods, furniture, and antiques. Note: It costs 10 DKK to get in.
Maybe there’s a flea market even closer to where you live? Check Best Markets in Denmark to find out which flea markets are being held where and when.