Helsinki offers lots to see and do for families and kids. Dive into a world of fish, enjoy a tropical adventure, observe the stars, have a picnic inside a Lapp hut, or read books above the rooftops of the city. Helsinki invites you to explore and experience the Finnish capital from a fresh perspective!
Helsinki Central Library Oodi
A brand-new public living room opened in Helsinki in December 2018 in the form of the stunning Helsinki Central Library Oodi. On the third floor you will find a special section of children and young people where they can read, play games, visit the story room, observe the city through the massive glass windows and simply hang out. Oodi also houses a cinema, a café-restaurant, versatile work facilities and playground Loru. The modern architecture of the new library is itself a major attraction!
Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden
Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden is attractive all year round. The glasshouses are also full of activity during the winter months, while the spring sun awakes the dormant plants. The hundreds of plants from around the world, fountains, fish ponds in the Waterlily Room, animal statues in the Rainforest Room and warm atmosphere of the old glasshouse will impress even the youngest visitors!
Sea Life Helsinki
A dive into a world of fish and sea creatures is the perfect way to spend the day with your kids if the weather is too cold or messy outdoors. Sea Life Helsinki is situated right next door to Linnanmäki Amusement Park and is open all year round. Marvel at all the sea creatures from around the world, take a peek behind the scenes, watch as the fish are fed, and learn more from the knowledgeable staff about life beneath the waves!
Annantalo Arts Centre
Annantalo is an arts centre for children, young people and families in the centre of Helsinki, right next to the Kamppi Shopping Centre. Annantalo offers free-of-charge events and workshops for children and young people, and each Friday there is a special Skidikino cinema for kids.
Helsinki Observatory functions as the astronomy visitor centre of the Helsinki University Museum. Designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, the architect who designed much of Helsinki in the early 19th century, the neoclassical yellow building atop Observatory Hill now offers fascinating exhibitions for everyone who is interested in the stars and space. Guided tours of the observation towers and planetarium can also be booked. From the top of the hill you can also enjoy a fine view of the city and over the sea!
The recreational island of Seurasaari next to the old wooden villa district of Meilahti is such an obvious family destination that it is far too often overlooked. The pretty island is not only perfect for exploring with the kids, it also has a charming open-air museum. In fact, Seurasaari is perfect for family picnics, as you can grill your own sausages on the public grill and the kids can spend an entire day climbing over the rocks and boulders that surround the island. The historic wooden buildings in the open-air museum are locked in wintertime and open in the summer, but you can still admire them from the outside all year round. Seurasaari also offers pristine Finnish nature at its best, and the squirrels that inhabit the island are among the tamest you will find anywhere in Finland.
Uutela nature trail and Lapp hut
Uutela is a unique nature destination at the southern tip of Vuosaari in East Helsinki, where the archipelago nature offers some of the most stunning scenery in the capital. A summer outing to Uutela will no doubt make an impression on you and your kids. There is even an authentic Lapp hut there that is maintained by volunteers and where you can grill your own snacks. The Lapp hut's opening hours are updated regularly on the Uutela Facebook page.
“Rock Carrot Bridge” and the “Park of Good Hope”
You and your family can explore the newest parts of Helsinki in the Jätkäsaari district, which offers a fresh perspective of the Finnish capital. The unique and very orange Rokkiporkkana (“Rock Carrot”) pedestrian bridge crosses the busy Välimerenkatu street and provides the perfect viewpoint for watching the trams and heavy machinery. At the other end of the bridge you will also find the newest public park in Helsinki: Hyväntoivonpuisto, literally “Park of Good Hope”, features a modern playground and lots of places for climbing and exploring!