Visiting with children
The National Museum of Finland is a museum for everyone – the museum has plenty to experience for visitors of all ages. Admission is always free for those under 18! Here are some tips for visiting the museum with children.
Accessible entrance at street level
Accessible entry to the National Museum of Finland is via door A2, which is located on Mannerheimintie at street level, at the base of the main stairs. The ground floor has a lift to the Central Hall located on the first floor, which is where you will find the ticket counter.
On the ground floor you can also find the cloakroom and storage lockers and an accessible toilet with a nappy change unit. In addition to the ground floor, there are also toilets on the first floor.
You can borrow a pram from the ground floor for the duration of your museum visit, but please note that some of the exhibition spaces are not accessible by pram due to stairs. More information on accessibility is available here.
The museum’s three permanent exhibitions offer plenty to explore, discover and experience for visitors of all ages. Below are some tips that will help you prepare for your journey of discovery through the museum! Please note that the Interactive Attic exhibition has been dismantled.
- Use the binoculars to get a glimpse of a time before humans, the Ice Age, when mammoths roamed Finland.
- Touch the cave painting and see it come to life!
- Try on Iron Age rings virtually and admire the ancient treasures.
- Learn about the prehistoric worldview and animals – what does a dragon’s roar sound like?
- Use x-ray vision to see inside the Medieval sculptures of saints. Can you find the mouse nest inside one of the sculptures?
- Take a look at the miniature model of a Medieval village in different seasons. Touch to change the season.
- Peer through the lens in the science room to see near and far.
- Whose picture is missing? Look in the mirror and take a picture of yourself to add to the collection of portraits.
- Admire children’s toys from the 11th century all the way to the 20th century.
- What did the view from the National Museum’s tower look like in 1000–1916? Find out by watching the animation.
- Try the common folk instruments and create your own music by placing your hand on the copper plate.
- Borrow an audio guide from the museum’s Central Hall and listen to the stories of the exhibition. The children’s tour can be identified by the symbol of a child wearing headphones.
- Are you the future president? Take a picture of yourself to add to the collection of presidential portraits.
- Examine plastic children’s toys from the 1950s to the 1990s. Do you recognise any of them?
The third floor of the National Museum is full of activities. The Playtime area offers a hands-on opportunity to experience things and study history. For those visiting with children, it offers an opportunity to enjoy unhurried time together.
The Playtime area is divided into three spaces full of experiences: the sea, the village and the castle. Children can experience medieval life hands-on by building a castle wall, playing with wooden swords, riding horseback and exploring the sea.
- Look at your feet! Can you find the fossils in the museum floor? They are orthocones that lived millions of years ago in the depths of the sea.
- Look up! The ceiling of the museum’s Central Hall is adorned by paintings depicting scenes from the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland. Can you find the artist’s signature on the paintings? If you want to learn more about and take a closer look at the paintings, check out the display on the second-floor balcony.
- On your way out, grab a children’s architecture bingo card and take a close look at the museum from the outside. Can you find all the bingo card animals on the exterior walls and main stairs of the museum?
Museum cafeteria on the ground floor
The museum’s cafeteria offers a variety of home food lunches on weekdays, soup and salad lunches at weekends and a variety of snacks. Special diets are also accounted for. The cafeteria has high chairs for children and a microwave. On display in the cafeteria is an old three-storey doll house that is part of the National Museum’s collections. This 19th century doll house is displayed at children’s eye level.
Public tours for families with children on Saturdays
Public tours aimed at children take place every Saturday afternoon at the National Museum of Finland. The Detectives of the National Museum tour has children solve mysteries of the past together with the guide and investigate a clue from the future. The tour is suitable for children aged 3–8 with adults. The tour is not accessible. The tour is included in the price of admission to the museum. Learn more about public tours and upcoming events.
Audio tour for children
The National Museum of Finland offers free-of-charge audio tours of all the permanent exhibitions and the history and architecture of the museum building in four languages. The Story of Finland exhibition for children is a children’s audio tour that encourages exploration of the history of independent Finland. The tour is particularly suitable for children aged 4–9.
Children’s birthday parties at the museum
Book a children’s detective tour of the museum for the birthday child and their guests and treat the children to a delicious spread at the museum cafeteria. Having a birthday party at the National Museum is a memorable event for the entire group! Read more.
Services available to order
Would you like to book a private tour for your family or a visit to the National Museum’s tower with school-aged children, for example? Read more about our services available to order here.