Are you planning to visit Tallinn with children? The city offers plenty of opportunities for a fun and active family holiday – from adventure, water and snow parks to play centres and fascinating museums.
A top tip: if you plan to visit several museums and attractions consider purchasing a Tallinn Card, a sightseeing pass that includes free entry to Tallinn’s top museums, free use of public transport, and many other discounts. With one adult card you can bring along for free two kids under the age of seven.
Most museums in Tallinn are large and spacious. There are rarely any queues and you do not need to book your visit in advance. Take your time to enjoy the exhibition while easily keeping a safe distance from other visitors.
The maritime centre Seaplane Harbour offers activities for those seeking action – try firing a torpedo or hitting flying targets! Tour the original Lembit submarine and see many other life-size exhibits. There is also an exciting outdoor playground for younger children.
The family-friendly PROTO Invention Factory is a one-of-a-kind mix of virtual reality, science, and fantasy. You have to see it, to believe it!
In the Energy Discovery Centre children can generate electricity, create different sounds, and take part in a space adventure.
Kids who like Medieval forts, climbing up towers or descending into underground tunnels will enjoy the Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum. Exhibits in the medieval Kiek in de Kök show how Tallinn was defended over the centuries. The towers and the passages are recommended for ages seven and up (the museum's stairs are steep).
Estonian Maritime Museum's new, family-friendly and interactive display in the Fat Margaret cannon tower takes you on an exciting tour of the world of maritime commerce and shipbuilding. You can explore a wide array of ship models, hands-on exhibits, and much more.
In addition to exploring Tallinn's medieval towers, adventure-loving kids will enjoy going up the TV Tower – the highest building in Estonia. The viewing platform at the level of 170 m (558 ft) offers fantastic, panoramic views. While on the top of the tower, you can also visit an interactive exhibition about genes and gene technology.
The Museum of Puppetry Arts and the Children's Museum Miiamilla are sure to appeal to younger children. At the puppetry centre, children can play with different puppets, try on costumes, and make the steam-powered theatre displays move on the museum windows. Miiamilla Children's Museum in Kadriorg offers creative pursuits and games for children aged 3-11.
The Estonian Museum of Natural History tells visitors all about Estonia's nature. Meet the rare flying squirrel; see the biggest mammal found in forests, the moose, and measure up to the biggest fish caught in Estonia. You can experience touching, hearing, seeing and smelling the world the way animals do. For real, live, animals, head to Tallinn Zoo. A children’s petting zoo allows smaller domesticated animals to be touched. The Zoo also has a large children’s play area and picnic spots.
In the T1 Mall of Tallinn shopping centre in Ülemiste the hands-on science centre SkyLab and the country's biggest Ferris wheel, the Skywheel, offer both excitement and unique city views. If your kids are into gaming, check out LVLup!, the first interactive video game museum in the Baltics in the ARS Art Factory.
Have fun on snow and ice!
Tallinn's snow parks are open as long as there's snow on the ground. In a 20-minute drive from the city centre, you will find Viimsi Mäepark Vimka – where the slopes are open to skiers, snowboarders and tubers. Nõmme Snow Park also caters to snow tubers and snowboarders. Skiing and skating are available at nearby Nõmme Sports Centre, which changes with the seasons. During the summer, it features an outdoor pool and ball parks.
One of the most popular outdoor skating rinks (open from December to March) is in Harju Street in the heart of the Old Town. Skating on this rink is one of the best ways to experience the romantic wintry ambience and spend fun quality time with your family. The Jeti and Škoda ice arenas are open year-round.
Tallinn’s public playgrounds and beaches offer great free entertainment and are definitely worth visiting. One of the largest children’s area is in the picturesque Kadriorg Park, complete with its own children's museum, Miiamilla, and a year-round kids' amusement park. Other large playgrounds for all ages are in the centrally-located Police Garden, on the Towers' Square at the edge of the Old Town, in Kalamaja Park in Põhja-Tallinn and at Stroomi Beach.
During summertime, toes can be dipped in the water at the beaches of Pirita, Kakumäe and Harku Lake. Those up for a trip a short distance out of the city will find ideal beach holiday destinations like Viimsi (Haabneeme beach), Laulasmaa, and the islands in Tallinn’s vicinity.
In the summer season, many exciting open-air adventure parks are available for the young and not-so-young climbers. Nõmme Adventure Park offers six elevated adventure trails, all ending with a fast descent on "monkey cables". Each trail takes about 2.5-3 hours to complete. A separate adventure park is available for kids shorter than 115 cm, with suspended bridges, monkey cables, swings and witch-houses. The attractions here are lower so that parents on the ground can assist if needed.
Pirita Adventure Park also has six elevated trails ending with fast descent, with the added bonus of a panoramic Tallinn view from the seaside Beach Trail. It also has the biggest children’s park in Tallinn, complete with exciting suspended bridges, long chutes, swings and obstacle courses. The children’s area is suitable for children aged 2-6.