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Finland: Helsinki, Winter Family Vacation Ideas - Reindeer, Folk Tales, and Free Museums. Easy-paced and friendly, Finland offers plenty of options for families that wish to enjoy  an adventure way up North from spas and snow-shoeing to Santa’s Workshop and reindeer encounters in the land of the Moomintrolls.Husky Dog Sled Family Adventure in Finland
 
Here's the scoop. One of the most family-friendly countries in the world - home of Santa Claus and of so cute Moomins - presents families with awesome winter family adventure options. From husky safaris and reindeer encounters to visiting Mr. Claus himself or spending the night in a glass igloo, winter in Finland is pure fun. We have created a short list of the fun stuff for your review.

Plan for ahead. Each December, the beautiful Lucia Maiden is crowned in Helsinki, with elves on hand to keep an eye on children to see if they are being good. Special markets sell lanterns, candles, hand-made mittens and many other seasonal articles and fare. Magic graces the city’s department stores, with Christmas windows tantalizing children of all ages. (Helsinki Tourist Office. (9) 169-3757 or www.hel.fi/tourism)

Make the storybook connection. Still not sure that Finland is for families? Finland is the land of magical little people called “moomins” by locals. Just discovering them will be a delight but add to those stories from an indispensable resource; The Red Fairy Book contains wonderful stories Finland as well as Iceland, and Russia. Favorites like "The Cottager and His Cat," "The Crab and the Monkey," "Little Wildrose," and “The Gold-bearded Man." (www.moomintrove.com)Visit Santa Claus in Finland All Year Long.

See Santa’s place all year long. 
Up north, Yuletide wonders abound in Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland. Santa Claus Village and Santa Park (the official residence of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and reindeer) offers a dizzying array of rides, gifts, toys and attractions. (Santa Claus Tourist Centre - Rovaniemi Tourist Information Rovakatu 21, FIN-96200 Rovaniemi, Finland. +358- (0)16- 346 270) or www.santaclaus.fi)

Get a Helsinki Card. The public transportation system is very efficient allowing access to dozens of parks and museums. Using the Helsinki Card there it is easy to reach more than 50 museums with free entrance. All public transportation in Helsinki city area is free of charge and visitors can get discounts on shopping and tours. (Helsinki Expert Oy, Head Office, Lönnrotinkatu 7 B, FIN-00120 Helsinki. +358-(0)9-2288 1200 or www.helsinkiexpert.com)

Enjoy a museum. In Helsinki’s Kiasma, Finland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, children can explore and enjoy exhibitions of Finnish visual arts and high technology. Other children-friendly museums include the Children’s Museum, Post Museum and different branches of the Helsinki Science Museum, as well as Suomenlinna Fortress Island. (Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio 2, FIN-00100, Helsinki. +358 (0)9 1733 6501 or www.kiasma.fi)

Visit the Heureka Science Center. Just a 15-minute train-ride from Helsinki (via trains K, P, R, H, I or N), the Heureka Science Center offers kids a range of 100 exciting hands-on science exhibitsm, a planetaraium and a wide range of hands-on science activities. (Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre, 01301 Vantaa. +358 9 85 799 or www.heureka.fi/portal/englanti)

Take the ferry ride. The island fortress of Suomenlinna is accessible by ferry boat. The site is included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Treasures. This mighty fortress was founded in 1748 by the Swedish King and built as a bastion on six rocky islands in the harbor of Helsinki. Three flags (Swedish, Russian, and Finnish) have at various times flown over the fortifications. Need to know: Ferry-boats leave from the Market Square between 6am and 2:20am. On weekdays there is an additional ferry service from Katajonokka between 7:25am and 3:25pm. (+358-0100 111 or www.suomenlinna.fi)Finland Family Fun Reindeer Safari

Sing in the Rock. Another remarkable spot in Helsinki is Temppeliaukio, the “Rock Church” one of Europe’s most unusual modern churches. Carved out of solid rock, and topped with a copper dome, the edifice has magnificent acoustical qualities, and is often used as concert hall. (Lutherinkatu 3, Helsinki. +358 (0)9 494 698)

Go to the zoo. The world’s northernmost zoo, Korkeasaari Zoo is open year-round and accessible by bus, and children under seven years of age are admitted free. The Korkeasaari Zoo features animals from all over the world but of particular interest is the Northern Coniferous Forest exhibit, and the Artic zone complete with Polar foxes, European forest reindeer, Snowy owl and musk ox. (Korkeasaari is situated in a cove near the city centre by Kruunuvuori Bay, Helsinki.  +358 (9) 169-5969 or www.korkeasaari.fi)
 
Finnish Tourist Board: 655 Third Avenue New York, N.Y. 10017 1-800- FIN-INFO (346-4636), 1(212) 885-9700 or www.gofinland.org
 
Finnair: 228 East 45th Street, 8th Floor New York, New York 10017, 1-800-950-5000 or www.Finnair.com

Helsinki Tourist Office: +358 (9) 169-3757 or www.hel.fi/tourism

Content researched and poste dby Nancy Nelson-Duac, Edito and Curator of the Good Stuff for theFamilyTravelFiles.com. Images courtesy of the Finnish Tourist Board. Updated Copyright 2017.
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