Nature House Villa Elfvik

imageI found a new favourite spot in the capital area, when a friend suggested we’d spend the Sunday morning in Villa Elfvik and the Laajalahti nature reserve in Espoo. Villa Elfvik is a lovely old building with an environmental education centre, a nature school and a cafe (cash only!). The nature display was small enough for even me to look at it, and children had been considered: you are allowed to touch and you could interact with parts of it. Our kids loved pushing buttons and listening to the sounds of birds trying to guess which one said what.

Upstairs in the villa is the “Badger Forest”, a room for kids to play and explore the nature in. Therr our children liked a little tent, did some drawing but they loved trying various animal outfits. Every first Sunday of the month there is a story session with some environmental theme for kids at 11 am (in Finnish). We wanted to participate but our children were more interested in telling stories than listening, so I am not quite sure what the story was like.




There is a short walk from the parking area to the villa. The villa is a starting point to several nature trails in the Laajalahti nature reserve. We spent a good couple of hours roaming the shortest one “Nature Sanctuary”, only about 700 metres, but there were fallen trees to climb, a tiny but cute oldΒ pavilion, jetties, an old rowing boat in a boat shed, ice to break and a bird-watching tower and board walks to run on. Apparently this area is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in southern Finland (however, the likelihood of spotting birds with our lot was minimal). Both the trail and the bird-watching tower were accessible by wheelchair and pram but I doubt all the other walking routes are.

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Please find directions and maps for how to find Villa Elfvik


  1. The surrounding looks incredible!

    1. Thanks. It was a great place.

  2. Beautiful snow pictures! I am missing Sweden, our one and only time when we saw and felt snow πŸ™‚ This place looks so fun and I am amazed in the snowy winter time, your family still continues to enjoy trail and nature walks!

    1. I’d say especially in snow, makes it fun πŸ™‚ yesterday there was about 30cms snow, about 0 degrees, and kids spent about 3 hours outdoors at daycare and wanted to play in snow for another hour at home!
      It is less intriguing to play outside today: with plus degrees the snow melts and now there is 5cms of sleet on the streets :/ wet and slippery, bla. But at least we have variation! πŸ™‚

      When do you next come up north? πŸ˜‰

      1. Your description is making me all itching to go up north πŸ™‚ The kids sure love snow. With the expensive air tickets during school vacation here, we don’t foresee visiting the North anytime soon 😦 Usually people here visit Korea or Japan for snow experience because it’s much nearer to us. Visiting Finland, Sweden, Norway would be a special holiday for us πŸ™‚

        1. It would be very special because you might even see me! πŸ˜€
          More seriously, I understand, we have been thinking about it and are trying to now always take time off rather outside the school holidays as it really does have a huge effect on the prices.

          1. If I do go to Finland, you bet I’ll meet you up! πŸ™‚

            1. Big LIKE πŸ™‚

  3. Looks like a winter wonderland over there πŸ™‚

    1. It is (was. Plus degrees again…)

      1. Well I’m sure there’s benefits in the warmer temperatures, too πŸ™‚

  4. My first thought was I don’t have near enough clothes to go out in the snow! My next thought was that it looked like fun,and you guys are probably more used to it than I am! πŸ™‚

    1. I suppose proper winter clothes are rarely needed in Texas…! But it was fun. Good company, plenty of time and a beautiful location is always a great combination.

  5. So pretty and snowy! But still glad there’s no snow here πŸ™‚

    1. So you’ve chosen the right location for you to live in πŸ™‚

      1. I’m not convinced we’ve seen the end of winter, but fingers crossed!

  6. Beautiful pictures πŸ™‚ We tried bird watching last week in a wetland reserve here… not much success either, but at least we had fun….

    1. Having fun together is what counts πŸ™‚ Good to hear we are not the only ones who are not too keen on sitting still and quiet…

  7. We never have too much success with bird spotting either – sitting still and quietly, not too easy for our family!! Looks like a great place though with something for everyone.

    1. Yeah, sitting still or just being quiet are not our strengths either. However, at the time of the day in the winter there wouldn’t be too many birds out anyway. The tower was great though!

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