Meet Olga, a proud mother of a one-year-old living in Helsinki, Finland. Olga takes us on the perfect family-friendly day in Helsinki, where we discover her favorite parks, outings, and restaurants.
Hello from Helsinki! My name is Olga, I’m Ukrainian but I moved to Finland with my husband Tom about 7 years ago. Our daughter Veera turned one on the 6th of July, so we’ve already enjoyed our parenthood for a year.
I find Helsinki to be an easy and comfortable city to be a Mom in. There are a lot of open playgrounds, indoor playrooms, and green parks to stroll in. Even though it’s a big city, you’re still surrounded by nature in Helsinki. But my favorite part of Helsinki is the free public transport for a parent with children in the pram. This is something that I haven’t seen in any other city or country so far.
Our family loves traveling, and since the beginning of my maternity leave, we’ve been doing it much more. Veera has already visited 10 countries, with many more in planning.
7:30 AM– Good Morning
We are so lucky if Veera let us sleep even till this time. She’s our own little biological alarm. She takes good care of us, makes sure we are not wasting time, and gets us to prepare for adventure as soon as possible.
On the weekend we love to eat breakfast at home. Tom makes “eggcellent” egg-banana pancakes. They are so tasty with yogurt on top! And of course, a cup of freshly brewed coffee completes our morning.
9:30 AM– First Nap
Veera still has naps twice a day and around this time she’s already tired enough for the first one. We have a very green neighborhood so we walk around or start slowly moving to our next destination while she sleeps in the stroller.
11:00 AM– Time to Play
We go to an indoor activity park called HopLop. There are few of them in the Helsinki area. Here, there are a lot of fun activities for kids of all ages, even for babies. Veera loves crawling in tunnels and steps, playing the ball pit, and meeting other children. Babies (under 1-year-old) even get to visit the park for free and parents also have free admission.
1:30 PM– Lunchtime
After a good and active playtime, Veera enjoys her ride in the stroller while we follow directions to the city center.
We usually have a light and simple lunch, like salad or soup. We like to get food fast. Our family likes the Cafe chain called Picnic. Deli Teatteri also has a good salad bar. Vapiano is also a nice choice with a quick service.
Veera is still mostly eating her baby food. Usually, when we are going out, I like to buy for her food in a tube, as it’s so much easier to take it with you than a glass jar. Finnish shops have an excellent selection of baby food.
2:30 PM – Afternoon Sleep
After a good lunch, what can be better than closing your eyes and enjoying strolling in the park?
We like Hesperia park a lot, it’s located in the center and opens up to a wonderful view of the Bay of Finland. And if you like birds, there is always a chance to meet swans, ducks, and geese, for example.
Another nice road to stroll is to take direction to the Market square and then walk along the coastline to park Kaivopuisto.
5:30 PM – Dinner
If we have the ability to eat dinner out, we like to. There’s a nice restaurant, Loiste, located on the 10th floor of Sokos Hotel Vaakuna.
Helsinki center doesn’t have very high buildings so you have a great view of the city from their terrace.
7:30 PM– Sleep Preparation
When we got back home Veera starts her sleep routines. She has her evening porridge, goes to bed and falls asleep by listening to calm instrumental music.
After our girl closes her eyes and starts to have sweet dreams, we have a couple of hours of our own time.