Did you know that the moose crossing traffic sign is the most collected item by tourists visiting Sweden?
Each year so many go missing. (* Guess how many further down.) Judging from this may be fair to assume that getting up close to moose is high on many people’s wishlist during a visit to Sweden? It was for us! We discovered Gårdsjö Moose park in Heby was a mere hour drive from Stockholm airport (which is right between Stockholm and Uppsala), making it a fab family day out, whether you’re flying in or driving up from Stockholm or Uppsala!
Driving to Heby is lovely through the Swedish countryside. Gårdsjö moose farm is well signposted from the main road.
The tours run at specific times (so check the timings before you leave and possibly buy your tickets in advance too). Guests are ushered onto trailers pulled by a tractor. Once everyone is ready, we get to meet Leffe, the moose man. He tells us about the farm and his moose, in Swedish and perfect English too. I have to say, he is highly entertaining. We’ve been twice, in the midst of winter and on a very rainy late summer day. Both times Leffe and his moose were able to distract us from the conditions and make it a fun expereince.
The tractor takes visitors into the enclosure where the moose are introduced and we get to hear little stories about them individually. While listening to the stories Leffe feeds them and guides them alongside the trailer. You get really close up to these spectacular animals with a chance to stroke them and feel their antlers (if they haven’t dropped them for the season)!
Visitors aren’t allowed to get off the trailer, but with the moose right there near us or in front of us, none of us felt the need.
From the stories we learn about the moose, their habitat and behaviours too. We get anecdotes from farm life with moose… I challenge anyone not to fall in love with Olivia, once hearing about her calfhood antics! … especially when you see her with her own calves.
The tractor ride is not far- a mere couple of 100 meters- nor long- 30-45 minutes-, but feels long enough to keep kids and adults entertained.
Here’s a quick video to give you an impression of the moose park:
(I was actually testing an automated video editting tool to edit this.)
On return to the farmhouse and coffee shop, Leffe is at hand to answer any questions.
Visitors can wander up into the woods (for an additional small fee) to see the extraordinary Santa grottos housing Leffe’s Santa collection from the past 25 years. From beautiful to tacky, you can find all sorts of Santas from around the world. A slight assault to the senses and a bit of a contrast to the beautiful, more natural experience with the moose. Nonetheless, worthwhile!
On both occasions we’ve been to Gårdsjö moose park the weather hadn’t been the kindest. We visited the cafe to warm up and enjoyed some cake, hot dogs, hot chocolate and coffee on both occassions. Really nice! Warm, clean and reasonably priced too.
When the weather is kind to visitors, there are old farm equipment to look at and tables outside to have a picnic next to the farm too.
A visit to Gårdsjö moose park is a half day excursion, so may want to plan on some more exploring in the area to make a day out of it.
Would you love to see moose at a moose farm close up?
The website to book tickets- click here
Directions- click here
* How many signs disappear each year in Sweden from the roadside?
(Scroll down to find the answer)
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Fun fact: 10 years ago approximately 1000-1200 road signs disappeared each year. Most coveted were the ”Watch out for wild animals ” sign which was show a Moose, these accounted for more than half.
Nowadays, thankfully, this has decreased to “only” 500 – 700 road sign thefts /year. According to Trafikverket, the Swedish transport authority, this is possibly thanks to the signs now being widely available to buy at ports of entry and exit and on the internet.