Increasingly, Tallinn has become a destination for families and while there are plenty of things to do and see that will intrigue both young and old alike - for the tourist it can be a bit of a chore to figure out just where best to take the kids and what activities will keep them occupied.
MuseumsIf you’re looking to stay indoors, visiting one of Tallinn’s many museums is a great option. Some of our favourite kid-friendly museums are Children's Museum Miiamilla, a playful museum with workshops and exhibitions for kids aged 3-11. The Seaplane Harbour offers plenty of interactive exhibitions for both young and old, and NUKU Puppetry Museum in the Old Town.
Shopping centresSome shopping centres offer entertainment beyond shopping, like the T1 Mall of Tallinn. The Butterfly Room, a specially climatised space for dozens of varieties of tropical butterflies, let’s you spend time among exotic plants and these beautiful, colourful insects. Those looking for a bit more action will certainly want to take the kids the Super Skypark, which is actually rather super. The largest entertainment facility of its kind in the region, it's a paradise for the young, and the young at heart. And if that’s not enough action, visit Seiklusmaa at Rocca al Mare, and Lennumaa at Ülemiste, which both have plenty of things to slide down and climb up.
WaterparksFor entertainment of the swimming and spa kind, spend an afternoon at one of Tallinn’s many family-friendly spas like Kalev Spa Water Park, Viimsi Spa with Atlantis H2O aquapark, and Mustamäe Elamus Spa.
EducationalPROTO invention factory, located in a Tsarist-era submarine factory, is the perfect backdrop for this science museum/virtual reality/invention theme park. With numerous, hands-on, VR goggles-on, mind-blowing main exhibits, numerous smaller attractions and more information than an average brain can handle - PROTO is both educational, yet loads of fun. There's truly something for every age group to enjoy.
Also educational and fun, the Energy Discovery Centre is the place to discover science with a hands-on approach. The building houses unique historic devices and more than 130 hands-on exhibits dealing with themes such as electricity, magnetics nuclear energy, sound and optics.
Just for funAt Futuruum, put on a VR headset, grab the controllers and that room becomes huge - a whole, brave new virtual world, featuring flying drones to destroy, zombies to shoot, and monsters to slay. Of course, they also offer some great adventure games and ones that allow you to build and create your own worlds, or just have a little fun with art.
A popular choice for special events, parties or for those who just enjoy the thrill, Lasergame offers 10 exciting games both indoors and outdoors. There are two locations, each with different gaming options. Check their Facebook or website for full details and prices. All games include free instruction.
As the biggest minigolf centre in the Nordics, Park Minigolf offers indoor minigolf all year round. With two courses, one for beginner and one for more advanced players, there’s sure to be plenty of fun for all ages.
Outdoor funFor good, old fashioned outdoor fun, head to Schnelli or Kadriorg Park for hours of climbing and sliding and hanging on a jungle gym. Or, hit the adventurous trails at Pirita Adventure Park. In summer, why not visit one of Tallinn’s many beaches, or hire a boat from Pirita Boat Rental.
In winter, the Harju Street Ice Rink is a must. Don’t worry if you don’t have your skates, they offer rentals. Visit the Tallinn’s Zoo or the Estonian Open Air Museum any time of year in Rocca al Mare.
Tallinn Zoo boasts one of the most impressive collections of exotic species in Northern Europe. In addition to extensive outside exhibits including birds of prey, lynxes and grey seals, you can check out the Pachyderm house, which also features loads of snakes and a couple of pygmy hippos, or duck into the steamy, crocodile and chimp-filled Tropical House.
The Estonian Open Air Museum includes a whopping 70 buildings, mostly farm-related, sprawled out across 70ha of forest and land on the shore of the Kopli Gulf. You can also take a ride on the horse-drawn waggon or sleigh - depending on the weather. And sample pea soup and other traditional foods at the Kolu Inn (Kolu Kőrts).
Kid-Friendly EateriesKids are welcome in most restaurants in Tallinn, many of which have special kid-friendly menus, and even a separate play area. Here’s a list of our favourite kid-friendly restaurants.
At Leib, not only is the food terrific, but the staff are happy to hand out colouring books and crayons, and during the warmer months, kids can play in the courtyard. At Rataskaevu 16, you’ll find a small children’s play area. There’s also a children’s play area at Gelato Ladies, not to mention some fine homemade gelato. Peppersack is fun for its medieval theme and children can enjoy colouring books and even medieval high chairs. Allee also features a playroom and special children’s menu.
Outside of the Old Town
Vapiano has a few central locations in Tallinn and features a special children’s menu. Lido offers a huge buffet menu with plenty of child-friendly options. There’s a children’s play area at Reval Café on Rävala puiestee. NOP features a play area and a sandbox in the garden in summer. The street food areas of the Baltic Station Market and Depoo offer plenty of kid-friendly food options. Komeet not only boasts a great view of the city, but their kid’s menu also has infant-friendly food. Mack Bar-B-Que has a kid’s corner and American-style comfort food. Gourmet Coffee in Kadriorg has a play area and located close to children’s playground. F-Hoone in Kalamaja has a separate playroom for kids and the Latin American La Tabla has a kids corner and kid’s food is served in a pirate ship.
A little further out
Rucola offers tasty Italian food and has a fun kid’s corner, and at Lucca, also known for its Italian menu, kids can enjoy a separate playroom and outdoor play area.