We know you loved Frozen. We did, too. And when you head to Norway to see the sites (and sights) that inspired the hit film (landing in Oslo, of course), here are some things to see and do while in town:
First off, here's how to get there: Norwegian is the preferred airline sponsor of VisitNorway and is offering some sweet deals to make it easier for families to get to the country. The airline flies nonstop to Oslo from New York, Orlando, Los Angeles (Launching June 1), Oakland-San Francisco (Launching May 28) and Fort Lauderdale-Florida starting at $299 one-way. Starting in May, Norwegian will offer nonstop service from JFK to Bergen, Norway.
There is plenty for arts fans to see and do in Oslo. For example, the Munch Trail celebrates the life and career of painter Edvard Munch, who was born in Løten in 1863. The exhibitions at the Munch Center at Klevfos focus on the young Munch and the visits he made to the Hedmark area after his family moved to Oslo. It also focuses on his childhood work. Beyond seeing artifacts from the painter's life, visitors can try painting skin tones, like Munch did.
Visitors can learn about the painter at various sites in the region, including Engelaug østre (Munch's birthplace), By farm (Sophie Munch's birthplace), Tofsrud (Christian Munch's workplace), Worker's home at Klevfos Museum.
Another good starting point for a bicycle tour of Munch sites is Løten Nærstasjon. Løten's old station building is home to a café, bakery, an outlet for local food and arts & craft, tourist information center and train ticket office. Tip: When booking in advance, groups can enjoy a guided trip on a quiet country road to Klevfos and the Munch-Center.
Another option for art fans is Ekebergparken, a brand-new (as in, it opened in September) sculpture and national heritage park. Visitors can explore sculptures up close and enjoy the quiet of the forested parkland. And these aren't just any sculptures: Keep an eye out for works by Dali, Rodin and Renoir. American installation artist Tony Oursler created three site-specific works for the Ekeberg Park, and British sculptor Sean Henry's larger-tha-life ceramic figures can be seen on the pathways, and make for fascinating pictures.
Tip: The Ekeberg restaurant is also a must-visit while at the park.
Speaking of top restaurants, the Michelin Guide 2014 includes a total of six stars divided among five Norwegian restaurants, all in Oslo. Maaemo, for starters, is the first ever restaurant in Scandinavia to receive two stars in the Michelin Guide on its first rating, only 14 months after opening in its sparkling glass locale near Oslo central station. The seasonal menu is based on 100 percent organic local ingredients, including rare Norwegian herbs and berries. (And, of course, there's a wine list to go with each meal.)
Chef Even Ramsvik's restaurant Ylajali received its Michelin star earlier this year. And this sounds like a spot for serious foodies: Ylajali has no menu for the guests to choose from, but creates a meal as a complete and comprehensive experience, dividing it up as if a book into a prologe, four chapters, and an epiloge.
For a less-formal option, check out Fauna, which earned its star last year (just after opening). The chefs here also take a relaxed approach toward the menu: To ensure their complete freedom in developing the food and the menu, no particular style or direction has been chosen for Fauna's cuisine, though the team does try to use local ingredients where possible.