We will need to go back to Jyväskylä, as we found loads of fun and reasonably priced things to do there:
- The lovely animal yard in Lievestuore about half an hours drive outside of Jyväskylä that I fell in love with.
- The traffic park (liikennepuisto) in Viitaniemi was in my opinion more versatile than the one in Helsinki but not quite as big as the one in Copenhagen. Viitaniemi also had a number of different pedal vehicles to be used, even bigger pedal cars where smaller children could catch a ride with a pedalling parent.
- Not a big surprise that I wanted to visit the handicrafts museum on the pedestrian zone downtown. I was slightly disappointed by the exhibition (small and nothing new) though but positively surprised by how child friendly the museum was: if you pressed a button, a sheep will told you the story of how woollen clothes are made. After the first part of the story we searched for the foot prints of the sheep and those led us to the next thing for children to look at. There was the next button and next part of the story too. A bit of a hunting trail. Also, kids got to open drawers to find things. A good idea to make a museum a bit adventurous for children (even though ours were too tired to really focus on the story, and my boy still loved a pink car most)!
- The best part was the crafts workshop upstairs: a room full of soooooo many different materials that one could use to make crafts. In the midst of camping and an outdoorsy week we spent easily 1,5 hours there. My girl did what was the theme at the time, designed her own room, and my boy made an original card and lollipops. All this for a mere 6 euro entrance fee for me; the adult. All under 18 have a free entrance.
- A visit to the aviation museum in Tikkakoski (Keski-Suomen ilmailumuseo) just north of the city made our son extremely happy. Apparently it’s a good aviation museum but let’s just say I’m not quite as enthusiastic about aircraft as the rest of the family, so it us hard for ne to review it. But it was tidy and our kids found most of Dusty’s real kife friends there. Admission for adults 8 euros.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore more of Jyväskylä but next time we may check out
- the recreational family island Lehtimäki, apparently similar to Mustasaari in Helsinki.
- the Mäki-Matti family park (is it just me who finds it a tad… sad.. that the family park has been named after the ski jumping legend who gets more often married and divorced than Brooke in the Bold and the Beautiful?)
- The library seems to be vibrant and have loads of story telling times, playes etc on. Check it especially if you are in Jyväskylä July 9-12th for Lasten Kesä (“Children’s Summer”)
- The nature museum (Keski-Suomen luontomuseo) is free and has according to my second cousin quite an interactive way to introduce the nature e.g. by letting you combine sounds to animals.
- I have no idea if they are affordable or not but a cruise on Päijänne, the longest lake of Finland, would be fun.
- Our rainy day plan was to visit the planetarium that has been built inside of a rock (Kallioplanetaario).