Today I wanted to do something different from all the dive-in-snow-piles-rolly-polly-down-the-hills- kind of fun. As I realised that the last time I took my kids to a museum was in the summer, I decided it was time to visit the toy and play museum in the Weegee exhibition centre in Espoo. After all, the tram museum last summer was a fun experience for all of us. So we hopped in the car and drove the 20 minutes to the museum – for the not so familiar with our geography: Espoo is the 2nd biggest city in Finland but virtually a part of the capital area, and if you don’t drive then there are good bus connections from the city centre.
There’s an entrance fee of 12e for adults that apply to all five museums in Weegee. If you are under 18 (or over 70), you get free entry to all of them. Also, free admission to all Wednesdays 6-8pm.
I thought the toy and play museum Lelumuseo Hevosenkenkä was well done. I had a nice overview of the development of toys through the decades in the 20th century.
I also recognised a few toys from my childhood home. Here is the decade I was born in (and I had one of those green weird piggy on the wheels thingies as well as the rocking horse!):
To start off with they had a fantasy section including Peter Pan and captain Hook in his ship, a slide built in a dragon mountain, scenes built from the Lord of the rings and Harry Potter, and a house from Alice wonderland with child size furniture and books. My daughter loved the little play house and was happy for quite a while reading in it but the miniature railway with old phones telling stories about the first exciting train trips where the highlight for my son. I also liked the stables with horses made of old socks.
The toy and play museum also offers art and recycling workshops and hosts kids birthday parties, which you can find more information about here.
The building itself was in my opinion ugly, a block of concrete, but the facilities are great. And they have tried to make it look nice (or arty?) eg by adding colourful armchairs in the lobby. Weegee had descent sized toilets, potties, changing tables, free lockers for storage and free strollers. There is a cafe with a car and a train for kids to play in.
The same exhibition centre hosts altogether five museums, eg the modern museum Emma, which I’m told is great, and the city museum Kamu, which we didn’t explore either – one museum a day is enough. Please find more information about them here.