Looking for things to do in Finland with your family?
While in Finland be sure to spend plenty of time in the snow, in the north you can ski, take sleigh rides, feed reindeers, go ice-fishing and go on a snow mobile.
Helsinki and the surrounding area also has plenty of animal attractions, museums and beautiful buildings that even the kids will love as well as a few beaches and markets.
1. Santa's Village, Rovaniemi
The absolute #1 thing to do with kids in Finland is visit Santa!
In the city of Rovaniemi is the official home of Santa who now also has his own village.
The village is open all year round and is even better to visit out of season to avoid the crowds.
Here kids get a personal encounter with Santa, can take part in elf workshops making cookies and other Christmassy things, play in the snow worlds, visit the husky park and see inside Santa's workshop. There are reindeer and sled rides as well as plenty of things to buy.
Also get a certificate saying you have crossed into the Arctic Circle.
Entrance to the village is free but after that you pay for every activity individually. Rovaniemi can be easily reached on a direct flight from Helsinki. See more at http://www.santasvillage.com/
2. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
The ferry trip out to the UNESCO island is fun for the kids as are the cannons and fort found when you reach land. Take the kids to the Vesikko submarine docked by the island, the museum and venture into the old army bunkers. Ferries regularly leave Helsinki from Kauppatori (Market Square) where you can also see the changing of the guard across the street.
3. Linnanmaki Amusement Park, Helsinki
The rides in this rather quaint amusement park include water slides, arcade games, a Ferris wheel (see great views of Helsinki from the top) and an old wooden roller-coaster. There is all the usual fun fair food and attractions.
Entrance is free and then you buy a wrist band which gives you access to specific rides. All the proceeds go to children's charities. The park is on the 3T tram route (which also goes past all of Helsinki's major tourist attractions).
Displays of all manner of toys from the beginning of the 20th century to present day. The main attraction is Loylymaki Station a miniature railway station complete with trains, platforms, passengers and buildings.
The toys come from all over the world as well as Finland. Open all week except Mondays and on Wednesdays admission is free otherwise admission is €10 (adults) and €8 (students and seniors) kids under 18yrs old go free!
The ticket gives you entrance to all the museums within the WeeGee museum complex. Don't miss this as it is one of the great things to do in Finland. The museum is about 10 minutes from Helsinki at 5 Ahertajantie, Tapiola, Espoo. Read more http://www.linnanmaki.fi/en/
5. Moomin Valley
Those funny little creatures created by Tova Jansson come from Finland. At the Moomin Museum you can see some of the original drawings of the creatures and recreated 3D tableaux scenes from the books (and now T.V. series). There are over 2000 items on show the center piece being the 5 storey blue Moomin house.
See the Moomin at Hameenpuisto 20 in Tampere. Entrance is €7 (adults), €2 for kids and family tickets (up to 6 people)) €15. There is also a shop (as described in the books) with everything Moomin and you can get a postcard sent with a special Moomin stamp.
6. Seurassaari Open-Air Museum
Adults may enjoy the variety of 18th and 19th century traditional houses from all around Finland but kids will love the costumed staff, traditional folk dancing displays and seeing the staff practice traditional crafts like spinning and troll-making. Located in Meilahti 4km from Helsinki the museum is closed in winter but opens every May. Entrance is €8 (adults), €6 (students, seniors) and €2.5 (ids) there is a family ticket for €18 (up to 6 people), kids under 7yrs old go free. There are guided tours in English everyday at 3pm.
7. Heureka Finnish Science Centre
Kids will find hands-on exhibits where they can experiment and learn about science through themed exhibits. See the Ships and Sea, Speed and Move and Play exhibits. Also there is an action center and the vattenfall Planetarium. Situated at Kuninkaalantie 7, Tikkurila, Vantaa, entrance price varies depending on if you want to see a single exhibit or the whole museum and the planetarium. Adult tickets range from €11.5-€29 and kids tickets €9.5-€19.5
Here kids will
learn all about the life in northern Finland and Lapland including
animal life and the indigenous Sami culture. See and learn about the
natural beauty of the Arctic and how it is changing. Lie down in the
"cold room" and see the northern lights dance above your heads.
The museum is in Rovaniemi, a few minutes from the city center. Entrance is €12 (adults), €5 (kids), €8 (students and seniors), family tickets are €27 (up to 4 people) and kids under 7yrs old go free.
9. Nuuksio National Park
Close to Espoo and Helsinki you can see the Finnish wilderness with forests, 43 lakes, and walking trails. You may also encounter some of the animals living here like the osprey or elk. Entrance is free and you can explore the park by yourselves along one of the signposted trails, you can even bike in the park or stay overnight in a campground. Berry picking and fishing are also popular in the park.
10. Fallkulla Domestic Animal Farm
In the middle of the city your kids can feel like they're in the countryside. All the traditional farm animals are here, ducks, horses, goats, sheep etc.
Sundays are the special family days on the farm.
Throughout the week there are activities aimed at specific age groups
like taking care of horses and looking after barn animals. There is also
a Farm Museum in the cowshed loft! Find the farm at Helsingin Kaupunki,
Malminkaari 24. It is near Malmi a short walk from the Tapanila train
station. Entrance is free! This is one of the best free things to do in