The archipelago is more than just sea views, rocky islets, and winding roads that will take you from one island to the next. It’s also full of amazing places to visit, which the whole family will love. From toddlers to teens, there’s plenty to see and experience for children of all ages, so get set and get going on an adventure!
Turku – parks and museums
You can easily spend the whole day at Seikkailupuisto in Kupittaa, a popular part of Turku. Known as Seikkis, this outdoor playground has plenty of climbing gyms, swings, flying foxes, and even art workshops. There’s also an area that looks just like a mini-Turku, where kids can steer their pedal cars through the streets, while learning some traffic rules. The adventure park is free and designed for children aged three to 10 years old, but even the older ones will find something to enjoy here.
Turku also has a fascinating past and there’s no better place to soak up some medieval history than Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. The whole family will love exploring the archaeological remains here, which were uncovered in the 1990s. And there are activities designed especially for kids dotted throughout the museum: you can play board games, create a wax picture, and even examine real fossils.
Older kids won’t want to miss the grand Turku Castle. Behind these walls, you’ll hear wild stories and see exciting objects. Peek into a real dungeon and find out how people went to the toilet in the Middle Ages! If your family is ready for a sea adventure, you’ll want to make your way to Forum Marinum. Here, the kids can clamber about on the museum ships, play on the mini-Föri, and visit Tyrkynmyrskyn, an exhibition just for little ones.
Naantali – Moomins and ghosts
Make your way to Naantali aboard s/s Ukkopekka, an old-fashioned steamship that’s ideal for a family outing. Keep an eye out for white-tailed eagles soaring high in the sky, or seals relaxing on warm rocks as you sail across the sea. Once you’re in Naantali, how can anyone resist visiting the magical Moominworld? It’s an adventure park for everyone, whether you’re one or 101.
If you’ve got some water babies in your group, take them paddling in the relaxing Naantali Spa Hotel & Resort. You’ll also find a mini-golf course in the park as well as a miniature train, which will take you from the spa to Kaivohuone in the summertime: hop aboard! Once in the Old Town, make sure you stop by The Peculiar Café and Teahouse, which is filled with quirky details about the Moomins. Can you see who is lounging in the hammock over there? And if you’re in need of a sugary pick-me-up, you’ll find plenty of sweet treats to indulge in.
If you’re after an excursion with a more historic flavour, head to Louhisaari Manor. Best suited to school-age children, this was once the home of the Mannerheim family. In fact, the most famous military leader in Finland, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, was born here in 1867. But the manor has an even longer history and here, you can explore what life was like for a noble family, who lived between the 17th and 19th centuries. Of course, that’s if you’re brave enough to visit! The manor is apparently haunted and on autumn nights, you can join a ghost tour to learn about the darker side of its history. But heads up: this tour is only for visitors over 15 years of age.
Kaarina – swimming and stargazing
There’s something fun for everyone at Hovirinta Beach Park in Kaarina. At this free playground, kids can frolic, climb, and spin on all kinds of equipment, and in the summer months, they can even ‘drive’ a pedal car in the traffic park. And while the kids buzz around, grown-ups can get in their exercise at the fitness park. Even better, the lovely Hovirinta Beach, which is supervised by lifeguards, is just a stone’s throw away.
Just a little further from the centre of Kaarina, along the historic Kuninkaantie Road, is Hostel Tuorla and its charming gardens. During the summer, you can check out the cows grazing in the pastures and pet the sheep and chickens in the courtyard. On top of the hill is the famous Tuorla Observatory, where you can marvel at the mysteries of the universe. Don’t forget to make a booking!
Pargas and Korpo – sheep and sea secrets
If there are any animal lovers in your family, the fluffy balls of wool at Stentorp Sheep Farm are eagerly awaiting some extra pats. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the springtime, you’ll be able to coo over the newborn lambs. Experience the magical spirit and peace of Stentorp in its enchanting seaside surroundings.
For kids who are a little older, visit the Korpoström Archipelago Centre in Junnulabra to uncover the secrets of the sea. Here, you can learn about water quality or explore the underwater world. If you pass all the activities in the lab, you’ll get an Archipelago Explorer’s diploma!
Kimitoön – Vikings and water games
The family-friendly Kasnäs Resort is open all year round. While you swim in the outdoor pools, you can watch the autumn leaves change colour or all the activities at the lively harbour in the summer. You’ll also find a children’s pool here as well as a lap pool for die-hard swimmers. Kasnäs also has a swimming beach, playground, and mini-golf course.
Are your tiny tots interested in Vikings? Hop aboard the ferry from Kasnäs and experience a day as a Viking at the Rosala Viking Centre. Did you know that Finland has a strong connection to the Vikings? Here in Rosala, you can try on some warrior equipment, practice sword fighting or throw a horseshoe. During summer, why not take the Archipelago Sights Route cruise and combine your trip with a visit to Bengtskär Lighthouse?
Kustavi – trampolines and circus tricks
Cap off your summer holiday with the Archipelago Circus Festival, an event organised by ArtTeatro in Kustavi. If you get super excited by what you see, you can even take part in their circus camp or circus school, which operates all year round.
Then, finally, head to Peterzéns Boathouse: it’s inviting you to come and play! Jump on the giant trampolines, have fun in the playground, go wild on the flying fox, swing your golf club on the course, and give the swing a whirl. And after all the fun, head to the beachside restaurant to fill those hungry bellies.