When the Cold Sets in
Swimming – almost every neighbourhood in Finland has an indoor pool open to the public. Many of these have gyms and offer exercise classes. For a real authentic experience in Helsinki, the historic Yrjönkatu swimming hall allows you to strip down and glide along in the altogether while competent washing ladies get ready to wash you down with a massage-like touch, an old Finnish tradition. The saunas warm you from the inside out and brace you for whatever the weather throws at you. There are separate days and times for men and women (swimsuit optional!).
1st floor: Mon 12–20, Tue–Fri 6.30–20, Sat 8-20, Sun 12–20
2nd floor: Tue–Sun 14–20
Women (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun)
Men (Tue, Thu, Sat)
Skating – ice hockey being the national sport, it’s no wonder that skating rinks abound, some indoors, many outdoors on football fields that have been flooded and iced over. Right in the heart of Helsinki at the railway square there’s a small rink covered in artificial ice where you can rent skates and listen to music while you do your rounds. If you’d like to push the envelope and speed up a little, Brahe Rink is the place for you. It’s big and allows for all levels of expertise. Skate rental available. Outdoor rinks open when the weather permits!
Railway Station: www.jaapuisto.fi
Brahe Rink: Helsinginkatu 23
Rock climbing, beach volley and other stuff – Salmisaari sports hall has it all. Hang like a bat or try it for the first time, scaling the heights has never been made easier at the Toyota Abseiling Areena in this vast facility, a stone’s throw from Helsinki centre. For action-packed laser tagging there’s Megazone or for something a little more relaxed, mini-golf. All indoors, easily accessible and a restaurant and bar to boot.
Salmisaari: Energiakatu 3, www.salmisaarenliikuntakeskus.fi
Keep the kids happy – nothing worse than cabin-fevered, over-energised young ‘uns. Never fear, help is near at places like Helsinki Playground. Whatever the weather, here they can romp, jump, swing, climb and run to their hearts’ content. Open all year round from 10 am to 6 pm. Let the kids climb the walls (not you) at Hoplop, an adventure park for the whole family. There’s pedal-karting, foosball, sliding, trampolining amongst other activities to keep all ages occupied. At Jumbo Shopping Centre and Flamingo Spa and Entertainment Centre, there’s plenty of shopping to be done but also a waterpark, a glow-in-the-dark minigolf course and bowling to reward them for their good behaviour.
Helsinki Playground: Sörnäisten rantatie 6, www.en.leikkiluola.fi
Hoplop: Savikiekontie 4, www.hoplop.fi
Flamingo Spa & Entertainment: Tasetie 8, www.flamingo-spa.com
Bowling – it’s a strike and it’s happening at Kamppi Shopping Centre where the bowls keeps on rolling on 12 bowling alleys at Kamppi Keilahalli and Bar. BowlCircus in Töölö steps up the fun with lights to steer the way for a cosmic bowling experience.
Kamppi Bowling: Urho Kekkosen katu 1 (Kamppi Shopping Centre, 4th floor), www.varaarata.com
BowlCircus: Ruusulankatu 3-5 , www.bowlcircus.com
Billiards and snooker – not only for men! Corona Bar on Eerikinkatu has pool, beer and ‘hot chicks’ as one write-up has it and even a snooker table. Bar Chaplin on Mannerheimintie 6 has good music and a special offer of €3,50 per game before 5 pm.