Are you planning a trip to the city for the whole family? Tallinn has plenty of spots for you to explore, and what’s more, everything is just around the corner. Most museums in Tallinn are large and spacious, you do not have to stand in line or pre-book your visit. You can take your time to look at thrilling exhibits while also abiding by the social distancing rules.
Three tips for visiting Tallinn with children:
Tip 1: Did you know that the Tallinn Card provides free access to all the best museums? You can also use public transport for free with the Tallinn Card and get discounts in various shops, restaurants and attractions. One adult card will allow you to take two children under the age of seven with you for free.
Tip 2: You can find three incredible ice cream shops in Tallinn Old Town – Gelato Ladies, Cortile and Baskin Robbins – where they offer homemade and wonderfully delicious ice cream. Definitely worth a try!
Tip 3: When the littlest adventurer needs a short break, you can find everything you need in the mother and child’s room in Tallinna Kaubamaja, located in the heart of the city.
Ahoy, knights and princesses, Tallinn Old Town awaits you!
You won’t find such a gorgeous and well-maintained Old Town like Tallinn anywhere else in the world.
If the entire family is interested in learning more about Medieval times, climbing the towers and city walls and walking through fascinating tunnels, then a visit to Kiek in de Kök with its fortification museum, underground bastion passages and fortification towers is a must. In the Hellemann Tower, you can get from one tower of the city wall to the other via the 200-metre-long walkway.
You can see the 700-year-old trading shipwreck, the oldest found in Estonia, in the well-known fortification tower Fat Margaret’s Museum and Visitor Centre. Visitors can learn how the ship was built, what goods it transported and what the old ports looked like. You will be directed from the sailing ships to the steamships and from there to the modern motor vessels, where you can discover Estonia’s largest cargo, fishing and passenger ships.
You can learn about the history of Tallinn from Ancient Estonia up until the 20th century in Tallinn City Museum, located in the former merchants’ house. This museum also has exhibits suitable for younger history buffs.
The little ones of the family can find many age-appropriate activities in the Museum of Puppetry Arts and the Children’s Museum Miiamilla. The Museum of Puppetry Arts takes you on a journey through the history of Estonian puppetry. Children can play with various puppets, learn about the jobs at the theatre and participate in museum games and excursions. Children’s Museum Miiamilla in Kadriorg Park offers creative activities and games as well as an awesome playground in front of the building.
The Estonian Health Museum’s permanent exhibition 'About your body, openly and honestly', situated in two medieval buildings in Tallinn Old Town, reveals the mysteries of the human body. The exhibition consists of themed rooms which thoroughly unravel the human body by examining all the organs closely. They also touch upon topics such as evolution, a healthy diet and the modern options for diagnosing illnesses.
History buffs will enjoy Maarjamäe History Centre, which is composed of Maarjamäe Palace and Maarjamäe Palace Park, along with the Film Museum and the stables, and represents Estonian history during the last century. Exhibits are open in all buildings of the history centre, and what’s more, there is an Estonia-shaped playground for children and a picnic area. The Children’s Republic is an imaginative, educational and fun environment where children can learn the important symbols and activities of a democratic state through play.
If you are interested in local village life, head to the Estonian Open Air Museum. On this gorgeous territory, more than 70 authentic buildings have opened their doors, from farm houses and dwellings to old schools, a chapel, windmills and a fire house. Depending on the season of your visit, you can either get a ride on a horse sleigh or carriage and meet sheep and goats near the farms.
The small but content-rich Estonian Museum of Natural History invites you to discover Estonian nature and its diversity. In the virtual museum, you can broaden your mind by diving headfirst into the bottom of the ancient sea to visit the prehistoric people who lived here a hundred million years ago, shrinking to the size of a cell or flying with a bat over autumn scenery to catch some prey.
If you want to see real animals, Tallinn Zoo is the place for you. One of the most fascinating sights in the zoo is the polar bears’ home Polaarium. Of course, there is also a playground and picnic areas on the zoo’s territory. Tallinn Botanic Garden at the foot of Tallinn TV Tower is a treat for all nature lovers; discover more than 8000 species from common garden flowers to carnivorous plants in the open area and the greenhouses.
The Proto Invention Factory, where virtual reality, science and imagination meet, is the perfect place for inventors, explorers and those who would love to rally from the past directly to the future – you just have to see and experience it for yourself! You can take extraordinary pictures with lighting effects, compete in a scream-off and challenge yourself in many other ways at the Hands-on Science Centre SkyLab.
If you want to learn about the rules of physics through games, head to the Energy Discovery Centre, situated in a 100-year-old power station. Exciting lightning shows, static electricity demonstrations and more than one hundred hands-on exhibits and planetarium films await visitors.
The Estonian Museum of Architecture aims to inspire future architects. The permanent exhibition ‘Explore Space’ teaches us how to experience space and grasp the essence of architecture. You can explore the room with your hands, ears, nose, skin and entire body. At the end, every participant creates one small model that they can take home with them.
The Seaplane Harbour is located in one of the most exciting industrial, architectural buildings, a former hangar of seaplanes, today a sea-themed experience centre that lets you experience life on a ship, from submarine to icebreaker.
The 314-metre-tall Tallinn TV Tower is the highest building in Estonia as well as an experience centre. In addition to the breath-taking views, you can explore many interactive exhibitions and put your courage to the test by walking on the edge, either in real life or through virtual reality glasses. If you are brave enough, you can get a glimpse of 170 metres of emptiness through special floor windows.
All parents know that there is no such thing as bad weather, only incorrect clothing. Regardless of the season, Tallinn’s adventure parks and playgrounds have plenty of activities for you to participate in.
Nõmme Adventure Park in the midst of greenery is open all year round, offering trails of varying difficulty and heights suitable for almost everyone. By contrast, Pirita Adventure Park with its tall pine trees, sandy beach and six high adventure trails is open only from April to September. Vimka-Viimsi Hall Park, only a 20-minute car ride away from the city centre, offers year-round activities for the biggest and smallest of the family. In winter, you can ski, snowboard or tube down the 250-metre-long snowy slope; in summer, they offer other popular attractions for mountain centres.
You can find awesome playgrounds everywhere in the city. In addition to admiring the city of Tallinn from the roof promenade of the new cruise terminal and near Reidi road along the seafront, you can spend time on games and sports courts. Kadriorg Park, with its Swan Pond and a cool children’s playground, and Kalamaja Park, suited for a cosy picnic and walk, have become the favourites of many families. Besides the largest sports court and playground in the Baltic counries, you can find a skatepark and pumptrack in Tondiraba Park in Lasnamäe. You can find other smaller and larger playgrounds all over the city.
When it’s cold outside, you can have fun indoors. SkyPark in the T1 Mall of Tallinn, Trampoline Centre in Ülemiste Centre and X-Park in Mustamäe offer numerous jumping and climbing joys. There are more play centres near other shopping centres. Besides visiting the SkyPark, you can hop on Estonia’s largest Ferris wheel, the SkyWheel, also in the T1 Mall of Tallinn shopping centre.
Both Elamusgolf in the Freedom Square tunnel, and Park Minigolf at Nautica Centre offer entertainment to big and little golf fans alike. Adventurous young people from the age of six can challenge themselves in the two laser games halls of Megazone.
Children’s Traffic City on Kadaka Road welcomes all motorcycle lovers. Since the centres’ rooms are sometimes rented out for private parties, please call in advance and ask if the park is welcoming individual visitors at the moment.
Peetri village, only a 20-minute ride from the city centre, is home to the biggest action sports centre in the Baltics, Spot of Tallinn, where you can engage in many new and traditional sports such as cycling BMX cross and BMX freestyle, roller skating, scooter riding, longboarding, acrobatics, gymnastics, tricking, parkour, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, trampolining and training for many other sports.
Summer never ends in Tallinn’s water parks. The largest park Atlantis H20 Aquapark is in Viimsi, 10 kilometres from the city centre. The water park has six slides, on two of which you can slide down with a tube. They also have a wave pool and a lazy river.
Kalev Spa Waterpark in the lush park near Tallinn Old Town is a cosy place for adults and children of all ages. You can swim in Estonia’s largest 50-metre pool there and enjoy many water attractions, slides, hot tubs, kids’ pools and saunas.
Various saunas and hot tubs, a large indoor pool, a children’s pool and a year-round outdoor pool will delight all water fans at Aqua Spa Waterpark. What’s more, at Elamus Spa in Mustamäe, you can jump into the cold water pool after a swimming and sauna rally.