Live From Iceland!

Wednesday, June 29 update: Slakki, Friðheimar, and Skálholt

Even though I knew that Slakki (Facebook link if the web site doesn’t work) bills itself as a petting zoo, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s not too far from the Golden Circle attractions (about 25 minutes from Geysir) and yet there isn’t a whole lot of information about it on the Internet. I’ll reveal the punchline now: The kids ranked this as one of the best things we have done in Iceland!

slakki overview

Slakki costs 1000 krona ($8) for anyone over 14; 500 krona for kids 3-14; and free for kids under 3. That includes everything except for pool (billiards, not swimming), some games, and food. The main draw is of course the animals:

slakki bird slakki chickens slakki feeding cows slakki fox

Kids (and adults!) can hold puppies and baby rabbits. There’s a tiny house you can go in to see kittens; the house is so small that only 6 people are allowed in at a time. If you’re there at the right time, you can help them feed the cows. There are chickens and turkeys and baby arctic foxes and some sort of animal that’s like a chipmunk (which you can also hold) and a small aquarium and more birds.

In the back, there is a motorized digger you can use to dig in the dirt. And inside the main building, there is miniature golf:

slakki mini golf

The miniature golf area is inside a greenhouse, which was very hot on a beautiful sunny day in late June. There’s also a putting green area next to it, which was much cooler.

We didn’t eat anything there, besides a nice piece of apple cake, but the menu looked to offer some reasonable-for-Iceland prices for a meal:

slakki food menu

But there are also picnic areas, and I assume you could pack a lunch and eat it there.

It took me a little while to realize what makes Slakki different from other places we’ve been. And then I realized: Other kids were coming up to my kids and asking them questions. In Icelandic. The visitors here were primarily from Iceland! The owners told me that 80% of their visitors come from Iceland; many from Reykjavik who come to visit the rural area. It’s a very different crowd than you will find at Geysir or Gullfoss.

After our much longer than expected visit to Slakki, we rushed to Friðheimar, the tomato greenhouse restaurant.

Friðheimar outside

Note that there is a parking lot right next to the area pictured above; this will save you a few minutes of walking vs. parking in the first lot you come across. There are tables inside, right next to the tomato vines. It’s really beautiful in there:

Friðheimar inside

The menu won’t let you forget that this is a tomato greenhouse. Literally everything on the menu has tomato in it, including the desserts. Even the water pitcher had a cherry tomato in it!

Friðheimar basil and menu

Each table has a basil plant you can use to flavor your meal. Ours looks like it has seen some use over the course of the day!

The unlimited tomato soup and bread buffet costs 2290 krona, but it’s free for kids under 7, and half price for kids 7-12. And there are only two other entrees on the menu: A flatbread, which is pizza-like, though note that it has large slices of tomato on it, and a pesto pasta served with a tomato sauce on the side. So technically, someone who didn’t like tomatoes could order the pasta. Not shown on the menu is that you can also order a small serving of the pasta, which is half price.

The tomato soup is served with sour cream, butter for your bread, and a nice cucumber salad, which was more like fancy fresh pickles.

Friðheimar tomato soup

Desserts include tomato ice cream, and green tomato and apple pie, seen here:

Friðheimar apple pie

All of the desserts are served in flower pots. Some of the kids just ordered dessert, as we arrived around 3:30. (Note that Friðheimar is only open from noon until 4.) But the server told us all of the kids could get bread from the buffet.

After our meal, we walked around the greenhouse for a minute:

Friðheimar tomato plants

Friðheimar box o bees

Yes, those are bees that helped to make your tomatoes! Friðheimar is a unique and memorable experience. And, as is typical in Iceland, the buffet is a good deal for kids. But make sure you know what you are getting into. Kids who don’t love tomatoes will probably still enjoy the desserts, but the entree choices are very limited.

If you are confident in your arrival time, you can make a reservation at Friðheimar and avoid a potential wait. Here is the information they sent me about reserving a table for a party of any size:

How to book?

  • Send us following information to our email
  • Date and time
  • How many
  • What service you wish for (book a table, greenhouse visit with introduction, horse show)
  • Name
  • Nationality

Please note that we keep your table for 15 minutes if you are late, unless you call and notice about delay in advance, thank you.

Finally, we stopped by Skálholt, a historic church in Iceland:

Skálholt church outside

Technically, this church isn’t historic, as it was built about 55 years ago. But the country’s first bishop settled on this site in the 11th century.

You can go inside the church for free, as long as there isn’t a service going on:

Skálholt church inside

But for 500 krona for adults (and free for kids), you can visit 2 small museums. So $8 total for a family with 2 adults and any number of kids. One is in the visitor’s center just down the hill from the church:

Skálholt visitors center

This covers the history of the church and the site, which may or may not be interesting to kids. But you can ring that 17th century bell in the middle of the picture, though it is ear-ringingly loud.

The second museum, covered under the same admission price, is in the basement (crypt?) of the church itself. Here you will find the sarcophagus of a bishop from around the year 1200.

Skálholt sarcophagus

The best part for kids may be the “secret” tunnel that leads back outside:

Skálholt secret tunnel

Ultimately, Skálholt may not be worth the stop for many families, though it is only 4 minutes from Slakki. And we think Slakki is definitely worth the stop!

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Wednesday, June 29 update: Slakki, Friðheimar, and Skálholt was last modified: August 31st, 2017 by Eric