As the largest and most populated city in Finland, Helsinki has a lot to offer families of all types. Whether you are a young family with toddlers or a large group of adult siblings, this place has something that everyone can enjoy. From amusement parks and zoos to museums and galleries, you will find it all.
And being on a large peninsula surrounded by the Gulf, you can also find a lot of beaches if you come during the summertime. The temps rarely get above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so even in the warmest months, you may find it too cold to swim. Whatever you do, drop off your bags at a luggage storage spot in Helsinki first.
Also known as Helsinki Zoo, the Korkeasaari Zoo opened in 1889 and is the largest in the country, with 54 acres. It has thousands of animals in 150 species. There are 50 areas to explore including Cat Valley, the Amazonia House, and Mustikkamaa Island. Stop at one of the eateries for a bite if you get hungry.
In the gorgeous green Finnish countryside, Haltiala Farm is a fun place to meet and greet farm animals on a real working farm. They have almost 500 acres of fields and forests with sheep, lambs, turkeys, chickens, cows, and pigs. Many of them are friendly and there is a café as well as a playground for the kids.
Tropicario Indoor Zoo
If you like snakes, do not miss the Tropicario Indoor Zoo. They have more snakes than any other zoo in Northern Europe. You can also see a wide variety of lizards, including the large monitor lizards. See turtles and tortoises, frogs, birds, water dragons, and even some Caiman crocodiles.
Allas Sea Pools
Tucked into a garden just off the coast, Allas Sea Pool is a refreshing way to spend the day. They have heated or unheated pools, hot tubs, saunas, and even a pool filled with seawater. The children’s pool is just under two feet so your little ones can enjoy the fun too. Food and adult beverages are available as well.
SkyWheel is better than a regular Ferris wheel because it is enclosed and climate-controlled, lasts 30 minutes, and has a glass floor. The view of the sea and city is amazing from 131 feet in the air and you have plenty of time to get selfies. They even offer SkySauna in a sauna cabin with drinks and robes.
Helsinki Linnanmaki Amusement Park
You only pay for the attractions you want at Linnanmaki. They even have eight rides that are completely free including a carousel, pirate swing, train, and Ferris wheel. For the thrill-seekers, try the eight roller coasters or one of the other thrill rides. Be sure to stop and get some souvenirs at one of the three shops.
Seurasaari Open-Air Museum
See rural Finland in miniature on Seurasaari Island with a guided tour or on your own. Open since 1909, this place is fun and you can spend an entire day there. See the 31 sites including the Windmill from Oripää, Antti farm from Säkylä, tar pits from Sulkava, and more. Buy some old-fashion souvenirs at the gift shop.
Finnish Museum of Natural History
Have fun and learn about the flora and fauna of Finland. The botany collection herbarium has over 3 million specimens and a large garden to enjoy. The natural sciences unit has fossils, meteorites, and activities for the kids. And the zoology section has 8 million specimens from insects to mammals.
Kids and adults love seeing all the old toys at the Toy Museum. The oldest dates back to the early 1800s with the newest from the 1960s. The collection includes about 100 vintage teddy bears as well as dolls, cars, games, and wartime toys. Be sure to visit the outside terrace and get some amazing food from the café.
Want to go on a safari without having to actually go? Want to get close up with lions, tigers, and bears? You can do all that at Wild Immersion. Put on virtual reality headsets and go on the trip of a lifetime. Choose from Mignon Baby Animals, Borealis Northern Wildlife, and Aqua Magical Oceans to name a few.
Sea Life Helsinki
Visit Sea Life Helsinki if you want to see some water creatures for real. It features seven different tanks including the rainforest, ray tank, seahorses, sharks, ocean tank, tropics, and the rock pool. The kids will really enjoy the Sea Lab ocean laboratory where they have microscopes and other instruments to use.
Lapland Helsinki Winter World
If you do not mind the cold, step into the magical world of winter in Lapland. Slide down the hill on a sled of your choice, push each other on kick sleds, and get lost in the ice labyrinth. You can even try to ski on some fun skis. If you are not dressed for the weather (25 degrees Farenheit), they will loan you some thermals.
With four locations to choose from, the kids will love eating with these fun Moomin characters. If they don’t know them yet, let them watch a video or two online. Eat pizza with Snorkmaiden or a sandwich with Snufkin. They also have delicious cakes, ice cream, pastries, and drinks.
Mall of Tripla
You and the kids can choose from 65 eateries at the Mall of Tripla from Arnolds to Urban Rabbit. Friends & Burgers has nine different types of burgers, including kids and vegan. Try the Tortilla House for tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. For dessert, try a bubble waffle at Kupla Vohveli Baari or ice cream at Dolce Italia.
Cat Café Helkatti
If you like cats, you can dine with them at this unique cat café. Enjoy the cozy and comfy seating and fun décor. Sandwiches, coffee, and sweets are what most of the guests have but there are other choices. You may have to share your chair with a cat or two but if you love cats, that is not a problem.
The food in Helsinki is delightful whether you want local cuisine or international fare. The main meals are typically made with meat like beef, pork, and venison but they are also fond of their fruits and veggies. Desserts are typically cinnamon rolls, tortes, licorice, ice cream, and pastries.