Amusement Parks, Aquariums, Kids Jazz Festival, Sea Excursions for Kids of All Ages
Finland thrives in the summer as the days get light and long. Several theme parks and zoos open their gates, and there are hundreds of festivals of song, dance and theater to keep the whole family entertained. And in a land of thousands of lakes and a beautiful seacoast with many islands, a summer cruise is a must.
Moominworld – Say hello to Moomintroll and Little My!
The Southwest coast of Finland is home to a family that awakens from hibernation every spring. The Moomins are fairytale characters originally created by writer Tove Jansson in the 1950s. Today their blue house stands on an island of magical beauty in front of the old town in Naantali, surrounded by the archipelago. Moominworld is located in Naantali, at a distance of about 16 km from Turku and about 180 km from Helsinki. It is open from June to August.For more information www.muumimaailma.fi
Linnanmäki – Theme park and aquarium in one location!
The 60-year old Linnanmäki amusement park is a classic Helsinki destination, providing free admission to over 40 rides of different sizes and speeds, thrilling games, and surprising novelties. The summer season in Linnanmäki is April 24 - September 13, 2009.
Adjacent to the amusement park, Sea Life Aquarium is an exciting place to dive into the magical world of underwater life. There are more than 50 tanks in which you can see sharks, piranhas, seahorses and hundreds of other fascinating sea creatures up close. Admission is separate. For more information www.linnanmaki.fi and www.sealife.fi
Särkänniemi – Spin, speed or splash?
If amusement is measured by the number and variety of attractions in one place, the Särkänniemi Adventure Park is the most fun place in Finland. The big smiles of over 700,000 guests each year prove it. In addition to its 35 rides, the park features an aquarium, a dolphinarium, a planetarium, a children’s zoo, an art museum and an observation tower. Särkänniemi is located less than two kilometers from the center of Tampere, by the beautiful lake Näsijärvi.For more information www.sarkanniemi.fi
Helsinki Zoo – The whole world on one island
At the Helsinki Zoo in Korkeasaari, you’ll travel from tundra to rainforest and from foreign mountain peaks to domestic wetlands. The 150 animal species and almost 1,000 plant species showcase the diversity of nature. The excitement begins with a boat ride to the island where the Helsinki Zoo is open year round. For more information www.korkeassaari.fi
Ranua Wildlife Park – The northern nature experience
Ranua Wildlife Park is one of Finland’s northernmost family attractions situated just south of the Arctic Circle. It offers visitors the chance to see Nordic and Arctic animals in their most natural environment throughout the year. You’ll see Palle-Jooseppi and Doris, two of the park’s brown bears, as well as snowy owls, wolves, arctic foxes and polar bears. The park offers an excellent line-up of summer activities for children, including horse-riding and animal feedings. For more information www.ranuawildlife.fi
FESTIVALS FOR KIDS
Seurasaari Midsummer Bonfires – June 19 & 20, 2009
A traditional Finnish Midsummer celebration for the whole family, with all the familiar elements, including handcraft demonstrations, folk dance and music. The evening concludes with bonfires and Midsummer dances. For more information www.seurasaarisaatio.fi
Pori Jazz Kids Festival – Back to the roots, July 11-15, 2009
The 5th Annual Pori Jazz Kids Festival kicks off the main Pori International Jazz Festival in the picturesque Finnish west coast city of Pori. The 5-day kids’ festival offers over 90 different types of musical workshops, concerts and performances on three different stages. Access to all concerts and workshops is free. This year’s theme is “Back to the Roots” with blues, jazz, gospel and harmonica. For more information: www.porijazz.fi
Helsinki Festival for Children – August 13-30, 2009
The Helsinki Festival’s aim has been to make art accessible to all, and this year children are on the top of the list. Kids’ programs features four Finnish theatre premieres and several international theatre group visits. The junior audiences will love Semianyki, Teatr Licedei, the outrageously funny theatrical spectacle that pays a tribute to the art of clowning. At the Suvilahti big top, kids and adults alike will be whisked away on a whirlwind tour of Vietnam in the company of a water puppetry troupe.For more information www.helsinkifestival.fi/en/lapset
CRUISES AND SEA EXCURSIONS
Turku Archipelago by s/s Ukkopekka
On the historical Ukkopekka day cruise you will be treated to magnificent scenery of the Turku archipelago and to a tasty lunch buffet of maritime treats. There is also an evening supper cruise that culminates in dancing on the quays on the bare island of Loistokari. For more information www.herrankukkaro.fi
Helsinki by Sea
Explore the shores of Helsinki and its archipelago of over 300 islands on a day cruise with an optional lunch. The route offers you sights of the Suomenlinna sea fortress, Finnish summer villas, the fantastic Degerö Canal, Korkeasaari Zoo, and assorted ice breakers and harbors.For more information www.sunlines.fi, www.royallines.fi, www.ihalines.fi
Cruise on Saimaa Canal and Archipelago on m/s El Faro
Experience the Finnish Lakeland Saimaa Canal or breathtaking scenery of Saimaa archipelago on the beautiful boat m/s El Faro. On board you can find a sundeck, a panorama bar, fully-licensed restaurant, guided route and music. For more information www.gosaimaa.fi
Source: Finnish Tourist Board; www.visitfinland.com