I've been trying to keep the kids busy over the past few weeks, but also not tire us out with constant activities. So we're going properly out every other day and then having a quieter run errands, go to the park rest day the next.
Saturday was the big Helsinki Pride Parade. They had events all week, but this is the only thing we attended. They said later there were over 100,000 here, but it didn't feel like too many people to me, but it was a bit overwhelming for my sensory sensitive kids (the loudspeakers blaring music, lots of people, colour and excitement) so we didn't stay long. We started on the Senattintori stairs and then went down closer to the parade. We were given some free balloons, lollipops, buckets and flags, so the kids enjoyed that. The atmosphere was really friendly and party-like without being crazy. I'd recommend it next year for families as long as your kids are ok with crowds. We ended with ice cream on Esplanad, as you do.
Today we went the Kansallismuseo/ The National Museum of Finland. We don't go often as it's usually too boring for the kids, but they had a Barbie exhibition on so I thought we'd risk it. The Barbie exhibit was a bit boring. The dolls were mostly behind glass, except for a small play area, so they ran through, barely stopping to look at things. There were a few small screens but they were all just pictures, not enough kid-friendly activities. There are dolls from the very beginning in 1959 and tons of clothes designed by fashion designers like Bob Mackie so it is really an interesting browse if you have the time and aren't trying to wrangle four monsters. The Barbie exhibit is at the museum until August so still time to go, if you're a fan of Barbie history.
If you get a chance to look up there's some beautiful artwork around the museum.
The children's area Workshop Vintti was a hit and our old favourites are still there.
The new star of the museum is Suomen Tarina which is a permanent exhibition added since we've last visited. So much for the kids to do and not just boring old things to look at. They got to be the Finnish president.
Listen to Finnish rock which we mostly recognised.
Scroll through portraits of the past 100 years.
They've really done a nice job with this exhibit and brought the museum into the technological era while still celebrating its past. It feels similar to the newer exhibit at the Children's Town Museum which is also a hit. The museum is free for kids and the regular adult ticket is 12 euros while the Barbie exhibit makes it 15 for adults. The cafe is currently being refurbished so is in a temporary location and ran out of korvapusti before lunch time and had no warm food, so I'd take a snack with you. Wish I had.
We also returned last month to our old favourite Lomamäen Lemmikkipuisto petting zoo. We go every year and they've also made a few changes that have improved our visit. We got to go into more of the enclosures so watched the ferrets, raccoons being fed and hand-fed the foxes. The ferrets are new so you can't go in with them yet, but they were so sweet to watch. Love this place. It was quite busy the day after Midsummer, so I'd maybe wait until after, but still a great place to spend the day.
So hot even the ferrets need ice lollies.
We also braved minigolf after the kids enjoyed it so much in Ireland last summer. Correction, the boys enjoyed it and it was the same this time. Good to burn an hour or so but not much more. We visited the one in Käpylä as it has a burger joint near by for lunch afterwards, but they're pretty much the same across the city.
Enjoy your summer, whatever the weather.