The best laid plans sometimes get distracted by something better: we had decided to go to the Päivälehdenmuseo, the Daily Newspaper Museum, this last weekend just for something different. As the totally random museums of Helsinki go, it looked big and interactive enough to entertain the 4 Weans for a bit between city centre Pokehunting in the cold. The museum is free, so another big draw for us.
But the Chief got us a bit lost walking about, so as we back-tracked along a different route we came upon this building and a sign for the Palomuseo, the Fire Museum. That sounded more up the Weans' street so we stepped in. The Museum is in a working fire house so it's tucked in the back, but it's pretty easy to find and get to.
Checking out the website (only in Finnish) I realise now we were lucky to bumble across it as it's only open to the public Wednesdays and Sundays. Adult tickets are 2 euros and children under 15 go free. They also get a free plastic fire helmet, a reflector and a fold-your-own paper fire engine. Good start.
The museum covers three small floors and has lots of various displays with mannequins, a few actual fire engines and ambulances from different eras, lots of pictures and explanations for almost everying in Finnish, Swedish and English. When we could get the kids to slow down they were interested in a lot of the things on display. They also liked the short movie about firemen from the 1930s, but it was only in Finnish. They did rush through a bit, but we managed to take them back around a few times as it's has a circular set-up so we did spend a decent amount of time there. My only complaint is that there aren't many interactive things for the kids to try, but . . .
|Fire officers on the march.|
this turned out to not be a problem. As we were leaving we looked into the doors of the fire startion in the main part of the building to see the real rigs and gear. I don't know if it was by accident or design but the Station Chief happened to be inside. He opened the doors and invited us in for an extensive tour. The kids got to sit in 2 fire trucks and 1 ambulance, check out the heat vision viewer, see what was in the various shelves, boxes and drawers. They loved it, Foo kept exclaiming how unexpected this was and how lucky we were.
The website says you can organise group visits to the museum, so I'm guessing that would include the station. Worth checking out.
Some times you get lucky.