10 things to do when the weather fails

Source: Anete Palmik, Visit Estonia

10 things to do when the weather fails

Being at a northern latitude means that Estonia experiences some wonderful phenomena: aurora borealis, white winters and ice roads. This also means that from October to March, the weather can be, well, rather uncomfortable. So don’t be afraid to brave the elements to experience the outdoors. But for those days when you’d rather do something cosy indoors, here are ten activity ideas from around Estonia.

Experience Centre Tuuletorn

Hiiu maakond, Käina alevik

The experience centre Tuuletorn offers many exciting activities for the whole family. Throughout the year, you can discover Hiiumaa and, of course, the beautiful idyll of the island through various animations, games, and exhibitions. The centre has a special floor dedicated to kids who can play on the playground and test their skills. For adrenaline-seekers, the centre has the tallest indoor climbing wall in the Baltics, 20 m high, with 11 different routes.

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Estonian National Museum (ERM)

Tartu maakond, Tartu linn

The Estonian National Museum as a museum of Estonian people helps to interpret what it means to be an Estonian and preserves the fundamental values of the nation and its continuity. It opens both a material and virtual world that invites visitors to discover and become part of it. The museum has two permanent exhibitions. The Encounters exhibition is a journey that brings together people who have lived here at different times and allows the visitors to take part in their daily activities. In addition, the permanent exhibition includes 11 thematic exhibitions, including The Language Brew and Man and the Environment. The Echoes of Ural presents the traditional everyday culture of Finno-Ugric people.

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Seaplane Harbour (Estonian Maritime Museum)

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

The most exciting maritime museum in Europe is located in the Seaplane Harbour! About 200 authentic items are on display at the historical seaplane hangar: a submarine called Lembit, a century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, a seaplane called Short 184, remains of the oldest ship found in Estonia, and much more. There is also cafe MARU and a museum shop. Globe-trotting in a submarine, having your picture taken in a navy uniform, an aquarium, simulators, throwing paper airplanes, a children's corner with drawing tools, building blocks, an authentic sailboat, and an outdoor playground – programmes and materials meant for independent visits are playful and broaden the horizon of children and adults alike.  

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PROTO Invention Factory

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

Imagine driving the world’s first, car, locomotive, or hot air balloon, or walking on the seabed. Now, you can do it because PROTO Invention Factory, which is unique in Europe, is open! Only here, in the former secret submarine factory, you will see prototypes of incredible inventions come to life thanks to the latest technology. You will feel like you are in the laboratory of Jules Verne – this place is wilder than dreams! Want to create, invent, or fly? Come to PROTO – we have something for both younger and older visitors.

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Estonian Police Museum

Lääne-Viru maakond, Rakvere

The interactive Estonian Police Museum gives visitors the chance to experience the work of police in a fun way for themselves. You can test your reaction skills at the wheel of a car, try on a police uniform, learn what to do to cope with civil unrest, take someone's fingerprints, solve criminal cases and more! The Children's Police Museum is designed for the littlest visitors, where they can learn safety rules for being out and about on the streets, play detective games, make things and have a whole heap of fun in the playroom. The exhibitions at the museum were put together with the help of police and border guard officials. There's plenty to see and do for everyone!

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Estonian Film Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

As you walk on the red carpet leading you to the Film Museum in the Maarjamäe Castle Park, you will feel like a movie star. The film alley takes you to an exhibition that provides an overview of the history of Estonian films and the behind the scenes of the world's film industry. The permanent exhibition 'Take ONE' shares the secrets of film making and gives the visitors an idea of what happens behind the camera. In the magical illusion room, machines from the early years of film are available for exploring and testing how people used to make films. You can also try being a filmmaker at the exhibition. The building has a 210-seat cinema and conference room, perfect for premieres and other events.

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Fat Margaret Museum and Visitor Centre

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Welcome to the Fat Margaret Museum and Visitor Centre! Listed in UNESCO heritage, the complex provides an overview of maritime trade, agencies, and navigation in the Middle Ages, as well as in the era of sailing, steam, and motor ships. There is a total of 1,000 m² of exhibition space. The star exhibit is the 700-year-old Koge wreck found in Kadriorg in 2015. There are about 70 ship models out of which 17 have been created specifically for the exhibition, nearly 700 items, and 50 digital and hands-on solutions.

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Kai Art Center

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

The Kai Art Center is Tallinn’s new seaside cultural centre that intertwines the history and architecture of the Noblessner area with contemporary art and culture. In the 100-year-old industrial building of the former secret submarine factory, visitors will find international exhibitions, a cinema, a joint office of cultural leaders, and various venues for events. Different eateries are located on the lower floor of the Kai Art Centre: Lore Bistro, offering contemporary Estonian cuisine, the Japanese restaurant Kampai, the Kaif cocktail bar and the Suhkruingel confectionery.

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Family-friendly Activity Centre Thule Koda in Kuressaare

Saare maakond, Kuressaare linn

Thule offers protection from the winds! The expositions of the Alternative History Musesum of Thule Koda introduce the world-historical role of Saaremaa as the Ultima Thule. The mythical journey of the ancient Greek explorer Pytheas can be enjoyed through various expositions and games. The exhibits are humorous and somewhat self-ironic and their motto is ‘Don't believe everything that you see!’ The stylish and comfortable Thule Hall and private and cosy Kaali Hall in the THULE CINEMA offer a versatile programme for both young and old guests. The café serves light meals and drinks.

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Atlantis H2O Aquapark

Harju maakond, Haabneeme alevik

Atlantis H2O Aquapark is the most unique water and nature discovery centre in Estonia; here, science is made in swimwear! All this is made exciting by various pools, slides and many other attractions. The water centre has several fun water attractions: a pool with waves, a flowing river, eight different slides, the longest of which are over 120 m. Our youngest guests have a separate fun play area with two smaller slides, a climbing area and a 20 cm pool. The water centre is connected to Tallinn Viimsi SPA spa and sauna centre by a gallery; there, you can enjoy various spa and sauna services for an additional fee.

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