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An active holiday with children in Tallinn

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By  •  05.03.2018

Tallinn offers plenty of opportunities for an active family holiday – from adventure, water and snow parks to play centres. Keep on reading to find out about different activities for children of all ages.

Tallinn City Card 

Discover museums!

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’s also an exciting outdoor playground for younger children. The Energy Discovery Centre is a real hands-on museum where children can generate electricity, create different sounds, and take part in a space adventure. 

Recently reopened Maarjamäe Palace has a new exhibition “My Free Country [Minu Vaba Riik]”, where children can build their own country in the “Children’s Republic” game. Located in the same complex are exciting outdoor exhibitions, relaxation areas, a children’s playground and the Estonian Film Museum.  

Kids who like climbing up medieval towers or descending into an exciting tunnels will enjoy the two-in-one Kiek in de Kök (a tower whose old German name means “Peek into the Kitchen”) and the Bastion Passages. Exhibits in the medieval Kiek in de Kök show how Tallinn was defended over the centuries. The tower and the passages are recommended for ages 7 and up.

Nerves of steel? Put yourself to the test at Tallinn TV Tower, and walk on the edge of the highest observation deck in Northern Europe. At a height of 175 metres, up to four people at a time can circle the edge, accompanied by an instructor. Participants are strapped into a safety harness the whole way. The walk lasts for about 30 minutes and a photo will be sent to your e-mail to prove you did it. Pre-book online or at the venue. The walk on the edge is suitable for children aged from 13 upwards. Younger and more cautious children can gravitate to the windows built into the floor in the TV Tower’s 21st-floor permanent exhibition hall. Stepping out onto the floor-mounted windows 170 m over the ground is like hovering in mid-air. Even TV Tower’s yard has four attractions for children: a jungle gym, abseiling, a light game on the ground and the Planetarium.

NUKU, the Museum and Centre for Puppet Arts, and the Children’s Museums – Miiamilla in Kadriorg district and the one in Kalamaja district – are sure to appeal to younger children. At the NUKU Museum of Puppet arts, children can play with different puppets, try on costumes, and visit a puppet chamber of horrors. Miiamilla Children’s Museum in Kadriorg offers creative pursuits and games for children aged 3-11. Kalamaja Museum is home to all kinds of dolls, teddy bears andother toys.

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, measure up to the biggest fish caught in Estonia and touch, hear, see and smell the world the way animals do. For real, live, animals, head to Tallinn Zoo. There are over 7,700 animals in an area of close to 89 hectares (of which 26 hectares is taken up by outdoor cages and enclosures). A children’s petting zoo allows smaller domesticated animals to be touched. The Zoo’s aerial adventure park lets kids climb like monkeys. The Zoo also has a large children’s play area and picnic spots.

The Hop-On Hop-Off double decker bus is convenient for travelling between points of interest. The upper deck is convertible, as long as the weather is fine. The ride is free for children under 7. Those who prefer a somewhat shorter ride in the Old Town should look for City Train stop near Town Hall Square. The close to 20-minute train ride is a fun adventure tour through the Old Town and is especially popular among younger visitors.

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 snowtubers and snowboarders. Skiing and skating is available at nearby Nõmme Sport 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 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.

Jump and splash!

Indoor entertainment is available during the colder seasons. Megazone indoor adventure park welcomes children from the height of 120 cm; shorter guests must be accompanied. The centre also has a Segway obstacle course (ages 10 and up), laser playground (ages 6 and up) and a rally simulator. Children six and up can also battle in rounds of laser tag at LaserGame recreation centre.

Young motorists are welcome to the Laste Liikluspark and Laste Liiklusmängukeskus indoor traffic parks. As the parks are popular for private parties, it is recommended to call in advance to check availability. Those with independent transport can head out of the city to LaitseRallyPark, which has challenging indoor and outdoor courses for racing fans young and old. Racing can also be enjoyed on Tallinn’s karting tracks.

Skypark and Zelluloos trampoline centres offer plenty of jumping and climbing fun. Several other play centres are located at malls, including Juku playlands in Rocca al Mare Centre and Kristiine Centre, and Tallinn's biggest play area - Lennumaa at Ülemiste Centre.

In the waterparks of Tallinn, it’s always summer. One of the biggest venues, Atlantis H2O Aquapark, is located 10 km from the centre in Viimsi. It is a combination of a water park and discovery centre. Here kids can be scientists in swimsuits! They can study the laws of physics, water tornadoes and geysers, the development of life in water and water creatures. The park has six water slides, of which two can be ridden in tubes. There’s also a wave pool and circular pool. A spa and sauna centre is located in the same complex.

Play in public!

Tallinn’s public playgrounds and beaches offer great free entertainment and are definately worth visiting. One of the largest children’s area is in the picturesque Kadriorg Park, complete with a Children's Museum Miiamilla and a year-round kids' amusement park. Other large playgrounds for all ages are in the centrally-located Police Park, on the Square of Towers at the edge of the Old Town, in Kalamaja Park in Põhja-Tallinn and at Stroomi Beach.

Toes can be dipped in the water at Pirita Beach, 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.

Be adventurous!

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.

The newest aerial adventure park, with five trails, is at Tallinn Zoo. The Zoo Adventure Park has a separate Discoveries Trail, where kids learn about the zoo inhabitants, then go on a “hunt” to find them. This trail is suitable for children at least 115 cm in height. In addition, there are three adventure trails that are suitable for kids 130 cm and above and a large, playful children’s park for younger kids, ages 2 to 7. The children’s park’s “play world” is 70 off the ground, allowing grown-ups to shepherd their children along the trails. There is more of a basic play area and a picnic area in the immediate vicinity.

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