One of my favourite places to go for a walk with kids in Helsinki is the area around the Töölö bay: It has a great amount of diversions, so even our children walk fairly easily descent distances. Often we’d leave the car by the winter garden, a place that already my grandmother frequented but that is enjoyable even for my children (and btw a free, tidy and warm place to e.g. enjoy your own picnic in the winter time), and then we usually walk from there along the bay towards the opera house and the city centre. It is easy to get back with a tram, if needed.
This time we took first a look at the winter dance by the opera. I didn’t expect to stay there long but thought it could be a way to show the kids that there is other type of dancing and dances than what Angelina Ballerina (yes, we still learn a lot from her) and Cinderella has revealed so far. And a bit of culture… Well, there was a crowd that was even older than I imagined, and my son was immediately, as always initially, afraid of the crowd. My daughter wondered why the singing woman had to be so loud and then she obviously had to show how high and loud she could “sing” too, obviously soon followed by her little brother. So we lasted about 30 seconds there before “let’s go and see the ducks!”.
It was a crisp spring day, sunny before I started taking pictures, so it was nice to be out. The walking and cycling paths have been separated leaving kids a great track to balance on. Then south of the Opera House are two small playgrounds, not very good ones (only a couple of slides and swings), but good enough to encourage kids to “let’s walk to the playground” and bad enough to be able to leave it in a short while. Other type of entertainment offered are spotting trains on the other side of the bay, climbing trees and climbing the giant rock snake.
Alltogether we walked about 3 kms this afternoon before settling hungry and exhausted for one of the Thai restaurants in the Töölö area. There are many restaurants there, which makes the area an easy destination for an afternoon. Happy to say that the dinner was also a success: even the extremely picky eater had a descent meal and even though our kids were tired they behaved ok (only one knife thrown on the ground) and let us parents finish our meals without a rush. Our son even claimed a few new friendships (easy: he just told the other guests and staff members “you are my friend”).