What to See and Do with Kids in Turku, Finland

09.06.2015 13693

Pay a visit to the Moomins, have a swim in a water park, visit a kids rock festival or a medieval tournament, be dubbed in a knighting ceremony, become a pirate on an adventure island, bask in the beauty of an organ concert in a cathedral, and sit back and enjoy a musical in the oldest theater of Finland – all fun kids-friendly activities in our review of the most amazing ways to enjoy time with children in Turku.







Entertainment for kids in Turku as well as beyond the city limits: The Moomin World in Naantali, Vaski Island, and Zoolandia


To make it to Moomin World (Muumimaailma), you'll have to head to Naantali first (13 km from Turku). There you'll be able to visit the Moomins and check out every corner of their home from the attic to the jam cellar, take a ride down a mountain on Moominpappa’s sail boat, have lunch at Moominmamma's kitchen, walk inside a cave with flashing Hattifatteners, go barefoot down the Barefoot Trail, sing a song at Snusmumrik Camp's campfire, listen to campfire stories, and rock idly in the hammock at Lazy Guy Park. In 2015, the park plans to celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the magical story of Tove Jansson and while the celebration's going down, Tofsla and Vifsla will settle in and the Moomintroll will gets its very own home. The world of Moomins is open to visitors all summer and during Christmas holidays too. You can check out some photos in a review made by one of our readers. 







To get to Naantali from Turku take the Ukkopekka Steamboat from the game room. Pirate Adventures await you on board during the daytime in search of the Treasures of the Hold Rat and all passengers will have the privilege of meeting the captain of the ship. After finding the treasure, all of the children will each get their “share” – a gift full of sweet goodness. In the evening, cruises are organized on the same steamboat to Loistokari Island with dinner, live music, and peer dancing. Ukkopekka Steamboat travels twice a day between the wharf at Aura River and the harbor in Naantali center. The trip lasts 2 hours and the Pirate Adventures are about an hour long.   


There are also ferries that depart Naantali to Vaski Island – the place where children can look forward to treasure seeking and agility tests: washing gold and fortress siege, making their way through mazes and obstacle courses, rock climbing, zip line courses, archery, and walking on stilts. The island also features a beach with a low slope to the water, a shipwreck remains playground, a workshop where kids get to assemble towers out of logs, and a hunting camp on top of tall polls. Guests are invited to sit down for some lunch at the Captain's or Fisherman's cafe, meanwhile the “real pirates” get the chance to roast hot dogs and make coffee right on top of a campfire.    


Open year round as well is Zoolandia Entertainment Park located just a 20 minute ride from Turku. Inhabiting the zoo are alpacas, reindeer, swans, ostriches, peacocks, sheep, rabbits, and chickens. Every day of the year, Zoolandia invites visitors to its indoor entertainment park with a maze, slides, cannons, a climbing wall, a dry pool, and bounce houses. In the summer kids can go for a ride at an outdoor playground on carousels, go carts, water rides, and 4-wheelers.







HopLop indoor theme park is located in a city near Turku, called Kaarina. During any time of the year, visitors can find video game machines, a large trampoline, a bounce castle, a construction play zone,  a motordrome, a maze, and a playground there.  



Outdoor family recreation and Turku water parks


It is possible to go for a swim and ride down water slides in Turku center in the Sokos Karibia Hotel and Spa Water Park. There are 8 pools in the spa center: one with a hydromassage, another with underwater grottos, another heated outdoors pool, and a separate kids pool with kids slides. There are three water slides in operation for children 9 years and older: The Black Hole, The Wild River, and the Ring Slide. In the meantime, all are invited to stop on by to eat and drink at the snack bar on the “shipwrecked” pirate ship in the spa zone.


Working all summer is the largest outdoor water park in Finland – Juku Park. Of the 17 water slides, there are such extreme ones as Free Fall and the Black Hole, twisty-turny ones like Typhoon and Twister as well as tunnels, a multislide, and the Boomerang ramp slide. Kids can also go jump on trampolines in a bounce station and play around on a Pirate Island with a shallow pool and mini slides. Furthermore, there is a cafe and a lounge chill-out area.  .







Another thing families might be interested in doing while in Turku, is taking to one of the pools. Impivaara Swimming Center is open year round with 8 pools, a few of which include a 50-meter and a 25-meter pool, a kids pool, and a family pool with a water slide and an octopus fountain. In the summer all can go for a dip at the 50-meter outdoor pool at Kupitaa park. Also open from May to October is the 50-meter outdoor pool at Samppalinna swimming stadium and for children there is a separate pool with a slide.



There are six outdoor sea beaches in Turku:

- Brinkhallin ranta at Brinkhallin tie,

- Ekvallan esteeton at Kakskerrantie 618,

- Ispoinen at Rykmentintie 45-55 valilla,

- Saaronniemi, Ruissalon leirintaalue,

- Sorttamaki, Seiskarintien paassa.




Outdoor leisure enthusiasts would find themselves quite pleased spending free time at Flowpark rope course hanging 3 to 20 meters above ground. Visitors taller than 120 cm are allowed to go on all eight courses, including a tunnel and a 60-meter rope. For those taller than 150 cm there are five difficult courses, including a course with eight zip lines and the toughest track of all – the Pepsi Max 11 with obstacles. For children under 7 years old there is also a kids course set in place at a height of half a meter.   







The course that takes visitors down to the race cars is planned to open in the summer at MCC Action Park Center at Hirvensalo mountain slope. Cars are lifted to the very top of the slope and from there it is possible to blaze down the asphalt track. Racers taller than 150 cm can really punch the gas, while kids above 3 years old have a race track and bike-mobiles. MCC Action Park is open from May to October and in the Winter season Hirvensalo opens up a mountain skiing resort with slopes for beginners and children.   



Attractions and museums of Turku for children


Stories of a castle elf and medieval knights are told at the Turku Castle tours. Presented for viewing pleasure in the halls there are costumes and decorations from the Middle Ages, fortress models representing different periods of history, and there are also rooms with restored old-world interiors and even prison case-mates. Visitors can sit on a throne or try on a waiting lady dress or a knight's armor in the photo shoot room. At the end of June at the annual Medieval Times City Festival knight tournaments and feasts are organized. For children older than 4 the museum does interactive Knighting tours and organizes medieval style birthday parties.   







At Turku Cathedral, the main Lutheran temple in Finland, it is recommended check out the details of the murals and the stained glass windows and, if lucky - listen to an organ concert. Also, before Christmas the biggest Christmas tree in the city is decorated next to the cathedral.


Located next to the cathedral is the Sibelius Museum. At the exposition, dedicated to the Finnish composer, it is possible to view a large collection of musical instruments from all over the world and an entire hall designated to the organ. Concerts are held here every week.


It is possible to see an opera or a ballet in Turku, and maybe visit the Swiss Theater, the oldest theater in Finland. The theater offers classic musical performances like the Magic Flute, contemporary musicals, and musical children's tales, for example – “Ronny, the Bandit's Daughter”, there are also tours backstage and acting workshops.


The 18-19th Century Trades museum is located outside in Luostarinmaki Village. Craftsmen are laboring away in 30 different wooden houses – a watch repairman, a spinner, a jeweler, or a joiner, each one of them explaining the finer points of their trades. There are tours through Luostarinmaki in English and in August - the annual fair is held there.







Families with kids can get a first-hand taste of Finnish medieval history and contemporary art at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum. Presented in the underground halls are the archeological findings and the ruins of medieval quarters of TurkuThe exhibition offers hands-on activities for children for example drawing on medieval wax tablets, playing with whirly gigs or building bricks. Right above the historic exposition is a gallery of contemporary art with changing exhibitionsThe museum is open every day, also Mondays. Families can find gifts in the museum shop and enjoy the café offering in the museum hall.





The Pharmacy Museum is open in the oldest wooden building in Turku – the Kvenzel House. Visitors get the chance to see how the pharmacist's family lived in the 19th century, how they prepared medicine, what kinds of tools they used to prepare it, and what medicinal herbs they collected. Guests can treat themselves to traditionally fresh baked goods – in the Kvenzel cafe in the museum's courtyard.


It might be fun to check out all the details of the interior of a Finish noble's residence at Ett Hem Museum. In the house, which belonged to the Swedish consul, a collection of pictures, sculptures, and random objects are shown how well-to-do Fins decorated their homes in the 19th century.


Anyone with an avid interest in the Finnish navy and Finnish shipbuilding, would be well advised to stop by the Forum Marinum Museum Center. At the exhibit, visitors will be able to admire the sight of a collection of ship models, boat motors, and sea mines and find out how tourist shipbuilding and navigation developed, how rescuers work, and how the customs officers try to fight bootleggers at sea. Presented in the museum are around 50 boats and ships and in the summer time on the embankment all can climb on top of the sail of the Suomen Joutsen sail boat, the Bore cruise ferry, the Karjala military corvette, and the Keihässalmi mine layer.







It is possible to see what animals and birds inhabit Finland at the Turku Biological Museum. There are about 200 species represented in 13 dioramas of winter and summer meadows, forests, sea shores, and snowy Lapland.   


In order to visit the Tuorlа Planetarium, tourists are required to go out of town. In the theater is is possible to see movies about space for the whole family like “The Seven Wonders of the Universe” and “The Secret of the Christmas Star”. With group tours it is possible to see the biggest telescope in Finland. 







Where to take your kids in Turku: gardens, parks, beaches, and kids playgrounds in Turku


In the city center, the whole family can go for a walk in the Kupittaa Park. There's a big bird pond there, playgrounds, sporting goods rentals, picnic spots, and a restaurant. In the summer they open up Seikkalupuisto Entertainment Park for kids with water slides, a fountain, a pool, a racing center, a little steamboat for children, and a music theater. Each year in the beginning of June the Seikkisrock Kids rock festival is held here. 


The Botanical garden of the University of Turku on Ruissalo Island is open year round. Entrance to the outdoor park is free, but a ticket is needed to go inside the greenhouses with the water lilies and tropical plants. People visit the island both in the winter and the summer to bathe in the sandy beach.







While walking along the Aura River embankment in Turku center, it would be a great idea to get a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on the water. It is possible to sit down for a picnic near the river at Vartiovuori Park, and on top of the hill (bearing the same name), it is possible to get one of the best views of Turku.


It is possible to go for a walk in the small parks not far away from the Turku Train station: for example, Mannerheiminpuisto has a soccer field and a swing set and Puolalanpuisto has a hill with glades where people set up picnics in the summer and go snowboarding in the winter.


Year round, a lot of people go swimming at Ispoisten Beach with a low-sloped, sandy shore. In the summer people dive off of the pier there and play beach soccer, and in the winter - there is a public sauna available.







We've got a layout of the exhibits, concerts, and other events going on in Finland in our events guide.



Photos: kidsreview.ru, facebook.com/JukuPark, facebook.com/Flowpark, facebook.com/turunlinnamuseo, facebook.com/forummarinum, facebook.com/planetaario, facebook.com/pages/Ruissalon-Kasvitieteellisen-Puutarhan-Yst%C3%A4v%C3%A4t-ry/321785187932836, clip.dn.ua



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