I think the most exciting destination for our daughter this summer was the Moominworld in Naantali, Finland. We have been talking about going there for few years now, but we have never had enough time while we have been in Finland. I think last year would have already been a good time to go, since our daughter was big enough to remember something from this visit, but I was too pregnant to fly at the summer time. But this year we finally got to meet the Moomins in person. And the Moominworld was a true hit!
Here are some tips for visiting the Moominworld:
1. GET THE TICKETS BEFOREHAND WITH A REDUCED PRICE
If you get your tickets from online beforehand, you get them on discounted price. In different years there has also been different campaigns where being a member to some company, you might get a discount on tickets. So before buying them you should ask around. Last year for example, a membership to a super market chain gave you a discount while purchasing the tickets. This year I didn’t see anything like that going on, except in August the grand parents would get in with a half price if they have a Plussa card membership. I usually always search from online wether there are any special prices before purchasing any tickets.
2. BE THERE ALREADY IN THE MORNING
We had planned to be at the Mooninworld when it opens at 10 am. But like very often with families with small children, we couldn’t quite get ready early enough, and arrived about an hour later. It seemed to be a good choice though since there were hardly any lines to anywhere. We were able to finding a parking spot easily and get into a shuttle bus without waiting. It looked liked the buses truly were non stop since the new bus arrived right when the one had left. Everything was organised very well.
The morning and the noon were pretty nice time to be at the Moominworld. There were no crowds and hardly any lines either. We visited the Moomin house almost right away to avoid the afternoon crowds, and our daughter got the face painting she wanted without much of waiting. The shows in the theaters run through out the day, so I would leave those for little later when you already need to rest your legs. In the afternoon, perhabs after the nap time, the place started to get more busy and getting around started to be a little more difficult.
3. BRING STROLLERS
If you have small children then you should absolutely bring a stroller with you. You can take them to everywhere in the Moominworld, and you are also saved from carrying bags that way. Since our road trip was rather long and we needed to save space in the car, we only brought an umbrella stroller, but I would have preferred an actual stroller with me. In that way I would have not had to carry the diaper bag myself and I could have brought some snacks with us.
4. SAVE YOUR DAY WITH A PICNIC
I f you did bring stroller with you, you can probably also fit a small food cooler with you. I would have definitely brought more snacks with us if we had a proper stroller with us. There are several restaurants in the Moominworld but unfortunately most of them sell things like burgers & fries or pizza. I would say that the best food is in the Moominmammas Kitchen, where they have a buffet. They do advertise that they sell home style food but it looked more like processed foods to me. Kids menu was meat balls and sausages with fries which I doubt were made there from a scratch. I often wonder why every kids menu is the same no matter where you go; chicken nuggets, sausages or processed meat balls. Don’t our kids deserve something little better than that? Of course it’s cheap for a restaurant to serve this, but it’s just so boring and unhealthy. For adults they had pork file with smashed potatoes and a salad buffet.
Anyway, we ended up getting pizza slices with some salad from a pizza and pasta place. We were happy to see that the pizza were made there and it was not one of those greasy frozen pizzas. If you don’t want to pay for some unhealthy processed foods or don’t want to stand in a line to get it, you can always bring a picnic with you. There are plenty of great places at the Moominworld where you can sit down and relax.
5. WEANING OFF FROM THE PACIFIER IN MOOMINMAMMA’S WAY
If you have toddlers and you are about to wean them off from a pacifier, you should know, that you have a possibility to leave all pacifiers to the Moominworld. Inside the Moomin house in the kitchen, they have a “Moominmamma’s pacifier pot” where you can have your toddler drop all of her or his pacifiers.
6. CHANGING AREAS
There are pretty good changing areas and a family room in the Moominworld. We used the one in the building of the Moominmamma’s Kitchen, and they also had the bigger restrooms there. The changing area was great but it was designed a little bit funny. There were three changing tables but since it also served as a restroom, people locked the door so only one baby could be at the diaper change at the time. Maybe some kind of separate restroom area would be a better choice so that more people with babies could use the changing tables. The room also could use a little facelift and cleaning. But a big plus; Free Moomin diabers!
Another set of restrooms can be found from the path leading to the forest behind the Moomin house.
7. BRING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
The Moominworld is a fun place and everyone should be happy when leaving home from there. For kids, this is the highlight of their summer. Mostly people seemed to be in a cheerful mood but I did ran into couple of moms who were yelling at their kids. First time I saw it, I thought I just happened to be there at their weak moment. But when I saw them later again, I honestly felt terrible for these little boys. I’m sure he wasn’t able to enjoy his day and neither the mom. Not sure what was going on there. I do understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned and we are not a perfect family in any way, but seeing things like this do affect on other people too. I had to explain my daughter what was going on there, and it made me sad.
8. DON’T FORGET THE SWIMWEAR
Moominworld is actually located in a little island, and at the furthest corner of the Moominworld, you can find a little beach. You can go there for a picnic, to have somerest or just for swimming. So if you are visiting on a hot summer day, a dip in the ocean after sweating in the park can be nice. So don’t forget to bring swimsuits and a towel.
We really had a fun day at the Moominworld and I was pleasantly surprised that the park was so well organised and clean. It is so much smaller than Disneyland for example, so a day, or even less is enough to see everything there is going on. It was nice because we didn’t feel like we left without having chance to see everything. Moomin characters were by the Moomin house meeting and hugging the kids, and posing for pictures. And it was easy to see the shows too. Couple of forest trails also took you out of the crowds in the woods where they had more characters, and we love being in the nature.
In overall we left the Moominworld very happy! Not only our daughter had so much fun there, but also we adults thought that it was a pretty fun place to visit. You should definitely put it on your list if you visit Finland during summer time!