This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Saying that Finland is a child-friendly country might be a understatement. Finland offers one of the best child and maternity support systems in the world, starting with the maternity leave. This trend also applies to travelling: family friendly hotels, restaurants, and attractions are common place throughout the country. In this article we recommend you the top 5 places to visit with kids in Finland.
Whether your prefer the thrill of a rollercoaster, the peaceful observation of animal life or the chance to meet some beloved characters, there is plenty to choose from when your are travelling to Finland with kids.
The country offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for all ages all year around, and even restaurants, museums and hotels are adapted to cater for the tastes and needs of the younger members of the family.
Here we have compiled our top 5 favourite places to visit in your next family vacation to Finland.
Linnanmäki and Sea Life, Helsinki
Overlooking the tranquil neighbourhood of Alppila in Helsinki, Linnanmäki, called “Lintsi” by the locals, offers fun for all ages from April to October. Access to the park is free of charge, and visitors can choose to buy individual tickets for the rides, a package of combined rides and games, or a bracelet that provides access to all rides for a day.
The park, which opened up in 1950, features 43 rides, including the popular wooden rollercoaster built in 1951. Linnanmäki is a superb summer experience for the whole family and, besides the rides, it offers arcade games, free concerts, and other performances on the outdoor stage during the whole season. In autumn, the last two weeks before closing it down, the park hosts the Light Carnival, a free spectacle of light art and sound that ends up with a fireworks show on the last night of the season.
On the same site as the theme park you can find the Peacock Theatre, a historical building dating from 1957 which offers outstanding musical productions.
On top of that, visitors can also find the Sea Life Centre Aquarium in the same premises. The aquarium is open all year round, and offers visitors the possibility to learn more about the life and conservation of underwater worlds.
Probably one of the most internationally known Finnish characters are the lovable family of hippo-looking creatures created by Tove Jansson: the Moomins.
The artist’s characters are also beloved in Finland and proof of that is that they can be found in almost anything: from coffee mugs to blankets, pieces of clothing for all ages and even tattooed! Of course, such rock-stars of the Finnish literature also have their own theme park and museum.
In the island of Kailo, part of charming maritime villa of Naantali you can find Moominworld, the one and only theme park completely revolving around the Moomins. The park tries to recreate the magical land of the Moomins, including the iconic five-story blue tower-house where the Moomin family lives.
Särkänniemi in Tampere is more than a regular amusement park: it is a peninsula dedicated to family fun for all ages. The complex features more than 30 rides for all tastes (including 5 rollercoasters), an Angry Birds Land area, an aquarium, a planetarium, its very own DogHill FairyTale Farm area that includes a zoo, and the Näsinneula Observation Tower (Näsi Needle), a symbol of the city from which visitors can get stunning views over both lakes that enclose Tampere.
At Särkänniemi’s Doghill Fairytale Farm you can step into the authentic atmosphere of the fairytale world created by famous Finnish author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas with handcrafted wooden buildings, various playgrounds and a zoo of real farm animals.
At the Angry Birds Land, you can enjoy the unique architecture and famous characters of the most famous Finnish computer game ever made, and even take a picture of yourself in one of the giant slingshots!
The Näsinneula Observation Tower is the second tallest tower of the Nordic countries. From here you can admire the scenery while getting acquainted with the most iconic symbol of Tampere. At the tower you can find Neula Sky Cafe, an elegant lounge at a height of 120 meters, and Restaurant Näsinneula, the highest fine dining restaurant in the Nordics at a height of 124 meters.
Santa Village, Rovaniemi
Just 8km away from Rovaniemi you can make one of your childhood dreams come true: meet the real Santa. The authentic Father Christmas lives in Finland, of course, right above the Artic Circle line in Finnish Lapland.
He works all year round in Santa Claus Village, where he has his workshop, and work alongside with the elves to enhance the well-being of children and the kindness of grown-ups, as well as spread the message of love and goodwill and the Christmas Spirit across the globe.
In Santa Village, you can find many programme service companies, souvenir shops, Santa’s Main Post Office, as well as cafes and restaurants. During the winter months, you can also enjoy reindeer and husky sledge rides, visit an ice castle, or even eat at an ice restaurant and sleep in an ice hotel.
Korkeasaari Zoo, Helsinki
Located on Korkeasaari island nearby Helsinki city center, Korkeasaari Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world, founded in 1889. It can be easily accessible by public transport or by a short and scenic Zoo boat ride departing from Kauppatori in Helsinki downtown.
The Zoo hosts over 150 animal species and almost 1,000 plant species, ranging from Amur tigers and snow leopards to unique Finnish species, such as bears and forest reindeers.
Korkeasaari, open year round, offers special events along the different seasons. During Easter the island transforms into Easter island and offers fun activities for the whole family such as Easter egg painting and hunting. In the summer, a sand sculpture competition takes places at the Zoo. On the Autumn weekends, the soo is open until dusk, when the big cats are most active and becomes a magical place light with candles. During the winter there is also an ice sculpture competition and Lux Korkeasaari, a satellite event for the famous Lux Helsinki light art festival, brightens up the zoo.