Helsinki is a perfect city for the whole family: it’s safe, not too big, has a good public transportation system and loads to do to entertain the smallest of the family as well!
Take a trip around the world from the bare Himalayan mountain tops to the steamy tropics. The 150 animal species and almost 1000 plant species truly show the diversity of nature. This 120 year-old zoo greets its visitors with beautiful nature, old villas and stony castles. You might even spot peacocks on the winding paths of this beautiful zoo island!
Take the Zoo Bus number 16 from the Central Railway Station. During the summer season there is also a ferry from the Market Square (May-Sept) and from Hakaniemi (May-Aug).
Mustikkamaanpolku 12, www.korkeasaari.fi
Linnanmäki Amusement Park
Roam around the most fun neighborhood in Helsinki! This popular amusement park lets you frolic amongst the widest selection of rides in the Nordic countries. Entry to the amusement park is free and there are also eleven rides free of charge! The great-quality restaurants take care of you throughout the day. Tivolikuja 1. www.linnanmaki.fi
Black tip reef shark, red piranha, soft shell turtle and the poison dart frog… Sea Life transports you into the amazing underwater world and brings you closer to the mysterious and exotic creatures of the oceans. Take the popular “sightseeing tram” 2/3 and see the interesting and beautiful neighborhoods of Kallio, Punavuori and Töölö as you make your way to Sea Life.
Take the bus number 23 from the Central Railway Station (get off at Alppila) or trams 3 (Alppila) and 9 (Kotkankatu).
Tivolitie 10, www.visitsealife.com/Helsinki
At science center Heureka you will be awed and amazed by the interactive and educative exhibitions. The planetarium takes you on expeditions to the universe and stars through beautiful films. There are high-quality international exhibitions always on at Heureka.
Take the train K, I, R, H, Z or N or bus 611 to Tikkurila.
Kuninkaalantie 7, 01300 Vantaa, www.heureka.fi
Come say hello or konichiwa to the reptilian inhabitants of the Tropicario. At the modern premises of this tropical animal house you can look into the eye of a multi-metered snake or monitor lizard.
Take the tram 1, 1A, 7A or 7B
Sturenkatu 27, www.tropicario.com
Finnish Museum of Natural History
The permanent exhibitions the History of Life, Finnish Nature, World Nature and the Story of Bones all take you closer to understanding where we come from and what our world is made up of. This museum will impress the children with its dinosaur skeleton and life-sized, stuffed Finnish moose amongst other creatures.
Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 13, www.luomus.fi
See what a theatre backstage looks like and experience what performance and theatre are all about. Try on costumes and take the stage with your own performance! The theatres temporary exhibitions complement the permanent exhibition.
The Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1 G. www.teatterimuseo.fi
Haltia – the Finnish Nature Centre
Definitely for an active group looking to get out of the city and explore some Finnish nature. Finland’s nature has been brought under one roof in this new type of visitor centre. You are surrounded by the spectacular views of Nuuksio and Lake Pitkäjärvi as well as excellent hiking grounds. The Haltia exhibitions offer you an authentic experience of nature from all of Finland – from the miracles of Lapland to the dense forests and lakeside vistas so typical for Finland.
Take the bus number 85(K) from the Espoo Centre (reach Espoo Centre by train from the Central Railway Centre) to Solvalla sports institute stop.
Nuuksiontie 84, www.haltia.com
Suomenlinna Toy Museum
This museum is for both children and adults presenting toys from the 19th century up to the 1960’s. The collection features hundreds of dolls, around a hundred historic teddy bears and other older toys. The toys in the collection are from Finland and reflect Finnish games and social history. Of great interest are for example the toys and games of wartime. Try their Tahmatassu Chocolate Cake or their famous Commander Kovanko’s Apple Pie at the little Café Samovarbar in the Toy Museum, which has an outdoor terrace where you can watch ships that glide by. A perfect destination for a slow day outside of the center! And no better milieu for a historic toy museum than the island of Suomenlinna where you can feel the history of the ancient cobblestone streets and winding grassy paths in the ruins.
Suomenlinna C 66,www.lelumuseo.