22 Fun Summer Activities in Turku for Kids

WHAT TO DO IN THE TURKU REGION WITH KIDS? GOOD THING YOU ASKED! KEEP READING AND FIND THE BEST IDEAS FOR A FUN FAMILY SUMMER.

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If the kids keep telling you about how their summer is boring, we have an idea: take the whole family to Turku! The marvellous summer city is full of fun and offers families with children plenty to do for both short visits and longer holidays. We listed the best summer activities for your family. It’s time to make some lovely memories in Turku!

Four theme parks

Moominworld—Moominworld in Naantali brings Tove Jansson’s beloved stories to life and is one of the all time favourite summer destinations. This year it’s Moominworld’s anniversary summer—the celebration of 30 summers of Moominworld! Enjoy performances and exercise sessions, hug moomin characters and experience magic on fairytale trails. You’ll always find something new to experience. The Moominhouse and Snork’s Park of Inventions are must visits, and the bravest ones will peek inside the Hattifatteners’ cave.

Psst! If you’re interested in magic, download the Moominworld app and register a Magic Bracelet. Go find a Magic Seashell in the park and see what happens! The app is free to download in the app stores.

Remember these special events:

27 July National Sleepyhead Day

7 August Moomintroll’s birthday

13–14 August DIAK Sign language weekend

21 August Autumn comes to Moominvalley


JukuPark – Water paradise with the perfect combination of summer and water. Or what would the kids say, if they were asked for their dream destination? We bet it includes exciting water slides, warm pools and a pirate themed water park.

At JukuPark, you’ll have a full day of guaranteed fun (that probably goes by too fast). You’ll find delicious treats for the whole family from grills, cafés, kiosks and terrace restaurants. Enjoy some sauna heat and head back to the slides!

Flowpark – Tree climbing has always been fun and always will be. And it’s especially nice on a course designed for it. You’ll get to experience 19 adventure courses built on trees and over 140 tasks in Finland’s biggest ecological adventure park. Just put on the harness and climb to the sky!

The Kupittaa Adventure Park – Ah, the joy of adventure. Located on the edge of Kupittaa Park, the Kupittaa Adventure Park has been an activity centre for children and families alike for 40 years. Here toddlers get to enjoy theatre performances, participative events and workshop activities and have fun at the mushroom fountain and wading pool. The Traffic Town is also close by, if you can’t find enough action from the adventure park (which we highly doubt). Let the adventures continue, right after a cone of ice-cream...

Splashing around

Kupittaa Outdoor Swimming Arena – After romping around at the adventure park, it’s time to cool down at the nearby swimming pool. There’s a selection of pools for all kinds of play and splashing, and the large slide will most likely make the little swimmers squeal with joy.

Samppalinna Outdoor Swimming Stadium – The outdoor swimming pool number 2 is located on top of a steep hill, giving the swimmers a spectacular view of the city. In addition to the large pool, there is a separate pool for the little ones, and the diving tower provides a nice challenge for the daredevils.

Public beaches – If you want to bask in the sun at the beach and swim in the sea or lake instead of chlorine water, we have some options for you. The Saaronniemi and Ekvalla beaches are perfectly suitable for smaller children. Or maybe a dip into the lake Littoistenjärvi?

More fun at sea

Although there’s plenty of stuff to do in Turku, there’s even more fun activities to be found on the horizon. Onboard Viking Line, the whole crew can switch into holiday mode. So, what do you say, time for a summer cruise?

Peaceful family time, archipelago scenery, tasty food and shopping. And hey: adults can have a break and enjoy some quality time, as there are plenty of activities organized for the kids.

There is now even more room for fun as conference and meeting room facilities have been turned into the Ville Viking Adventure Island. Yeah, we guess it might be more fun to jump in a bouncy castle, play minigolf, and see a colourful puppet show.

Explore the Viking Line summer programme

Museums for the kiddos

Turku Castle – The impressive castle is full of exciting history and wild stories. What does a real dungeon look like? Does an elf really live here? And...how did people go to the toilet in the castle? It’s time to find out.

A small hint: Pikkuritarikierros (4 July–28 August) will lead kids to an exciting search for a treasure in the medieval part of the castle. The kids will become real knights of the Turku Castle with many exciting stories to tell. 

Pharmacy Museum and the Qwensel House – How were illnesses treated before? What does an 18th century home look like? Find the answers to these questions and much more from the splendid museum duo by the River Aura. Don’t forget the refreshments at the courtyard's secret cafe, Cafe Qwensel. Cakes, homemade juices and lemonades will surely impress the kids.

Luostarinmäki Handicrafts Museum  – Visiting the quarter of wooden buildings saved from the Great Fire of Turku in 1827 is like travelling back in time. Explore and get to know the lives, homes and professions of the craftspeople of the past!

A small hint: This summer, museum visitors will be able to observe archaeologists’ work, when the excavation of a street from the early 19th century continues from 6 July to 29 July, and from 8 August to 31 August.

The Biological Museum – The museum that opened back in 1907, takes you on a journey through Finland’s flora and fauna from the Turku archipelago all the way up to the fells of Lapland. Each handmade diorama of the museum is a world of its own. How many animals and plants can you recognize? Also, there’s an exhibition for the giggles: Ooh, poo! – The exhibition leads visitors on the tracks of poo and provides information on excrement for people of all ages.

Kylämäki Village – Just outside the centre of Turku is located an idyllic country village from the 1950s that functions as a museum of living history. In the summer, you can find the mistress of Iso-Kohmo busy with farm chores. Would you like to help?

Aboa Vetus Ars Nova – Archaeology downstairs and contemporary art upstairs. It’s easy to visit the museum located in the old Rettig Palace, on the banks of the River Aura. Here, the kiddies will be delighted by the exciting Bony Tales exhibition, the ruins of Turku discovered underground, and a fun miniature model of The Old Great Square in 1499.

Don’t forget to check upstairs, because art exhibitions are not only for adults. Who knows, you might even find inspiration for your own art projects!

Oh, and you must pop by the Museum Shop downstairs. The shop is known for its abundant collection of postcards, toys, notebooks and other interesting products.

 If your kid is a budding archaeologist, here is the hottest tip of the summer: The registration for the extremely popular children’s archaeological courses begins soon. Who knows what archaeological treasures they might end up finding!

Shopping and food in Shopping Centre Hansa

Did you only pack trousers but the temperature outside is begging you to change into a pair of shorts. Also, everyone is getting hungry, and the holiday mood is going down. No worries, off to Shopping Centre Hansa we go!

Nobody wants to go shopping on an empty stomach, so let’s begin with the eating places. Tough decisions: maybe burgers and shakes at Burger King or Hesburger? Or what about Naughty BRGR and MorriSon’s? A great option for all the tastes is the Food Court upstairs - sushi for the adults and subs for the kids. Dessert delicacies from Cafe Brahe or Naantalin Aurinkoinen, and Italian gelato from Gelateria Nuvole on a hot summer day.

Tips for shopping: If you didn’t get to go to Moominworld, pick up a Moomintroll plush from Hansa’s Moominshop. Take a look at all the fun things XS Lelut toy store has to offer at the Stockmann department store. Maybe some more craft supplies from the bookstores? Hansa is home to more than 130 shops, so it’s time for a full day of shopping!

Three accommodations

Travelling with kids can sometimes be, well, hard. Would you like an overnight stay in a pampering hotel?

A convenient home base for your holiday can be found at the Kupittaa train station. Original Sokos Hotel Kupittaa is a comfortable and stylish hotel for the whole family. The joys of the Kupittaa Adventure Park are just around the corner and the amusements of the city centre just a stone's throw away.

Additional fun: Bistro Elli prepares tasty dishes that both the adults and kids will love, and there’s an amazing view of the city from the Kuppis Rooftop Bar.

Our second recommendation is located in the neighbouring town of Naantali. Naantali Spa combines the best parts of a summer trip: sweet dreams (unless the children happen to be early birds), beautiful landscapes, splashing around in pools and eating. Everything is also under one roof, so it’s okay if the famous Naantali sun didn’t remember to take your holiday into account. A dip in the heated outdoor pool, a stroll along the seashore and the alleys of the old town, and dinner in one of the spa’s three restaurants—what more can we say? Maybe a massage or a facial while the other is looking after the little ones. 

A small hint: A small party or a bigger group, Naantali Spa has a suitable option for everyone. Check out the Moomin-themed room, a stylish loft room or an entire holiday home.

 

There’s no two without three, so here’s one more recommendation for you. Let’s stay in Naantali but move across the bridge to Luonnonmaa island’s Kultaranta Resort. The presidential couple of Finland spends their summer on the other side of the island.

The scandi-styled hotel rooms and holiday apartments provide visitors with privacy and luxurious comfort while the services of the Club House are just around the corner. If your family happens to be a group of pro golfers, then this one is for you: an18-hole golf course is just a short distance away from the accommodation.  A couple of restaurants, the nearby beaches and the archipelago nature are enchanting for all ages.

The best parts of Turku for a day trip

Are you on a short visit and looking for stuff to do? You got lucky, because just in half a day you can get a taste of what Turku is really known for: the archipelago, history and delicious food. Here’s an action plan that the little ones will also be excited about.

Water bus to Ruissalo – With just the price of a bus ticket you can get a taste of the Turku archipelago. Jump aboard Föli water bus next to the Martinsilta bridge in the centre of Turku, and the vessel will take you to the Kansanpuisto stop in Ruissalo. The Kansanpuisto beach is a perfect playground for the kids, and you might just see a Viking Line ship sail by. Fun fact: the oldest rock festival in Finland, Ruisrock, has taken place in Kansanpuisto since 1972. Don’t forget to say hi to the cute sheep grazing in the nearby fields.

In case you want to come back by road, the bus number 8 is the correct one. However, if you want travel back by the Föli water bus, we recommend stopping at the Ruissalo Boatyard, which seems to be on everyone's lips at the moment. The area of the old boatyard is full of things to explore, and we have some good news for the foodies: The popular Zaké pizzas and Tenlén’s delicious BBQ food are sure to take away even a bigger hunger.

Finally, a guided tour about the history of the boatyard, with plenty of information on classic boats and the blacksmith’s workshop - remember to book your tour in advance.

Forum Marinum – The maritime museum located by the River Aura, right next to the Turku Castle and the city’s harbour. There are many wonders for landlubbers of all ages, from the greatness of seafaring to majestic museum ships and the pearls of the archipelago. For children, there is a special exhibition called Tyrskynmyrskyn, and in the summer the museum yard is full of all kinds of fun.


Text Heidi Lajunen and Jemina Sormunen. Video Kim Allen-Mersh. Photos Terri Vahtera, Jenni Virta, Naantali Spa, Aboa Vetus Ars Nova and Visit Turku.

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