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Helsinki Holidays for Families
Helsinki is a city which treasures the past – with its churches, squares, and museums – yet looks forward to the future – with its technology, education, and regard for the environment.
The easygoing atmosphere warmly welcomes families to a Helsinki holiday. Linnanmäki Amusement Park has been making kids smile since 1950. The Wooden Roller Coaster is its most popular ride, while the Children's Carousel, which is over 100 years old, is its oldest. A haunted crypt, a ghost train, and a Ferris wheel are among other thrills.
Next door is Sealife Centre Helsinki, home to over a thousand marine animals from the tropics to the Baltic seas. Educating visitors for years on the value of protecting the oceans, it is home to the nocturnal bamboo shark, rare butterfish, and vicious red-bellied piranha.
Open since 1889 is Korkeasaari Zoo, where one can view “the whole world on one island.” Animals from Asian forests to Himalayan mountains are raised here, like the red panda, snow leopard, and blue poison arrow frog. Among the newborns in 2008 are the hyacinthine macaw, dwarf mongoose, and Przewalski's horse.
Kids can play at the seaside Kaivopuisto Park, the oldest in Helsinki. The Ursa Observatory is here, with its three telescopes and planetarium. The telescope by Töölönlahti Bay is perfect for bird-watching, and is near the Winter Gardens. At the heart of the city is Esplanade Park, host to the Marimekko Fashion Show and the Jazz-Espa concert series during the summer.
A stop at Senate Square is a must, with its neoclassical buildings like the Government Palace, Helsinki Cathedral, National Library of Finland, and University of Helsinki. An interactive experience waits at Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, particularly in the Children´s Laboratory. Get the skates out and head to Ice Park. It’s fun to visit the Sport Museum of Finland, Fire Museum, and Children's Museum.