Things to See and Do in Tallinn with Kids: Activity Ideas for a Family Vacation in Estonia, Review

07.07.2015 20365


Attractions and kids entertainment in Tallinn: the following is a review of various places of interest that you might well consider visiting in Tallinn with your children. All of the attractions listed in this review are open to visitors year round and the prices are valid as of February 2013. 

For tourists that like to “go wherever the wind takes them”, city discount tickets called Tallinn Cards are sold right inside hotels, train stations, ports, and airports. Included in the cost of such a ticket are all rides on public transportation within the city; entrances to museums; and discounts in restaurants, in stores, for car rental, and for concert hall tickets. The Tallinn Card costs 24 euros for adults active for a period of 24 hours, 12 euros for children under 14 years old, and for children under 6 years old it won’t be needed. There are cards for 48 and 72 hours as well. For more information and a list of places where the card is sold, you can check on their site at tourism.tallinn.ee/est/fpage/tallinncard.

The off-days for the majority of museums in Tallinn when they are closed to visitors are Monday and Tuesday as well as during national holidays. Many museums sell family tickets for two adults and 1-2 kids. Children under 3 years old do not require a separate ticket. 

 

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Tallinn History Museums with Your Kids 

You can drive around old city Tallinn on a tour train in the course of 20 minutes. At the end of 2012 an old red train by the name Toomas was swapped out for a new one. Now coursing around the most famous attractions of the old part of the city is a blue train with two cars: one indoor and one open-air. Unlike Old Tomas, you can ride the new train year round. Tours begin at the town hall. A ticket for an adult costs 5 euros and tickets for children is 3 euros (as of January 2013). 

The multimedia exhibition at Kiek in de Kok Tower will tell you about the city of how the city was founded as well as the defense of Tallinn in middle-age wars. You get a great view of Old City looking out the windows of the round tower. The most interesting part, however, is the underground tour. You don’t need to sign up for it ahead of time at the museum or online. During the tour they will show you a cartoon about the history of the bastions and take you along the mysterious paths between the defense structures. The underground paths are cold even during the summer, so you are well advised to take warm clothing with your for your trip underground. 

A family ticket to the tower costs 9 euros, the underground paths are 11.50 euros, and on the last Friday of the month entrance to the tower is free.

 

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The Marzipan Gallery in Old City isn’t big at all: it only takes up one hall in a confectionary café. Presented there, however, is a history of the Tallinn Marzipan in various pictures, photographs, and, of course, in an assortment of sweets. There you get to watch an expert draw a marchplane prepared in-house in edible paint, buy different foods they’ve prepared, and even prepare your own dish to eat. It’s free to visit the museum room and workshops on baking marchplane pastries costs 3.60 euros. 

 

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Located outside Old City is Hydroharbor Sea Center dedicated to the history of the two world wars. The multimedia exposition is spread out in huge air sheds where they used to keep military hydroplanes. On the territory of the museum is a collection of military vessels where you can climb onto an icebreaker named Suur Toll and a submarine called Lembit; check out a copy of Short, a British military plane; and feel like a pilot manning one of the flight simulators. Also in the museum is a kids play station.

 

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A family ticket to the icebreaker costs 7 euros, 15 euros into the air shed, and the rest of the facilities, including the Hydroharbor ship are priced at 19 euros. You can also get a general ticket, including a pass to the Old Sea Museum for 22 euros. 

Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland is Rocca al Mare Open-Air Museum. This is a real Estonian village where 72 edifices are built from different time periods: peasants’ farmsteads, a rural school, a shop, a chapel, and a windmill. You can walk in and check out everything, including how the craftsmen work, and in a school in Kuie they teach children different trades and take them on different programs. On holidays, Rocca al Mare holds festive celebrations for the whole family.

In the winter many buildings are closed, so in the winter season a family ticket will cost 6 euros and in the summer it will cost 12 euros. Children under 7 years old are admitted free of charge. 

 

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Tallinn Observation Decks

During any time of the year you can climb up onto the observation deck of the Tallinn TV Tower. From the in-door venue you can check out the city from a height of 160 meters and the multimedia panels with help enlarge the images of the buildings and figure out what’s inside them. If you’re a courageous person, you can walk along the study glass panels on the floor of the observation deck. The open-air terrace is open to visitors from May until the end of September.

A family ticket to the observation deck costs 15 euros. They sell family tickets to the TV tower and a botanical garden, which cost 18 euros.

 

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The observation deck on Oleviste Church is open from April until October. It is located at a height of 60 meters and it has to be climbed on a not-so-narrow and sharp screwed staircase –d for small children the way up will be troublesome. As far as there are a lot of tourists in Oleviste, especially in the daytime, you are best off coming by there early in the morning. 

 

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Interactive Museums in Tallinn 

While taking a walk around Kadriorg Park, you can also stop by Miia Milla Manda Museum. It is located in a small, yellow house and consists of several different halls. Presented in the first hall are various professions: they have a counter at the store with a cash register machine and venues with the working belongings of a watchmaker and a seamstress, a postman and a photographer – everything can be opened up, looked at, and played around with. 

Located in the “nature room” is a forest meadow where you can find the traces of animals as well as a play room where you can build a house out of huge blocks along with a kids play station in front of the entrance. Family tickets for 2 adults and 1-4 kids cost 5.20 euros.  

 

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You won’t be able to get inside the Tallinn science museums in 2013. Energia Interactive Center is closed for reconstruction until the summer of 2014 and the Tallinn branch of the museum AHHAA will close for good as of April 2013. You can, however, go visit this museum in Tartu if you so desire. 

 

Kids Theaters in Tallinn, Performances in Russian in Tallinn 

You can go check out kids performances in the Russian Puppet Theater open in the Russian Culture Center. There you can go watch performances based on the stories of Pushkin, Chukovsky, and Marshak as well as other pieces based on the motifs of Latvian and Russian folk tales in addition to tours by Russian and other foreign theaters too. 

If you like, you can take your whole family to the Russian Theater of Estonia (Vene Theater). Included in its repertoire are kids tales like King Drozdoborod and A Fox’s Tale as well as comedies and dramas for adult viewers. They also set up meetings there with writers and performances by foreign theaters. Furthermore, they also do sneak-peek tours behind the scenes where you get to check out the make-up and scenery room.

 

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Tallinn Zoo 

During good weather you can go for a walk at the Tallinn Zoo where they have an insect house, a reptile house, a tropical hall, and even a venue especially for elephants. At the cages outside you can check out a snow leopard, a tiger, a polar bear, a camel, monkeys, and other animals. The zoo is quite large and if your child does grow a little bit tired, you can rent a trolley to stroll it around in. 

 

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In the summer time the zoo holds night-time tours where they tell people about different birds and animals that you can see only in the night time, since daytime is their bed time. There is also a mini zoo that opens up for kids with domesticated pets where you can pet and feed a sheep, a rabbit, or a guinea pig. You can also set up a picnic in the zoo on the meadow or at one of their venues, but you need to schedule it ahead of time. A family ticket for winter 2013 costs 6 euros, but in the summer season the ticket prices go up. 

 

Nuku Theater and Puppet Museum in Tallinn 

You can make it to a performance and an exhibition of puppets in one day at Nuku. Gathered at the museum are puppets from all over the world as well as decoration models. You can even play with a puppet sitting behind glass: to control the puppets, press on the touch screens next to the windows. 

In one of the halls you can walk by a show case window of fairy tales and in another you can press 160 different buttons randomly and watch videos of old puppet shows. There is also a dark “underground” there with scary puppets. Every day at 1 pm the museum does a free puppet show. The cost of a family ticket to the museum is 14 euros and is free for children under 3 years old. The puppet theater is located on the second floor and you can find out their schedule and ticket prices on Nuku’s website.

 

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Indoor Activities for Kids in Tallinn 

If you like, you can go ahead and ride water slides in the Kalev Spa Hotel water park. There is a separate kids pool for small children and a play station too. For a little bit older kids and adults there are three water slides and a big 50-meter pool. A family ticket for 2 and a half hours costs 36 euros and a ticket for the whole day is 45 euros. 

You should really consider taking your whole family to visit Skypark Trampoline Center while you are in Tallin. Skypark features a hall with 23 trampolines on the floor and in the walls. You can learn how to do a flip or just bounce of the trampolines in a dry pool made out of foam, but children under 5 years old are only allowed in with their parents. For smaller children they have a separate play center with a large labyrinth, nets, toy cannons, and an inflated trampoline. 

 

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A family ticket for the whole day costs 18.70 euros and a ticket for the kids play center costs 4 euros. 


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