Estonia’s own fairytale land where the dreams of little children come true, older children have an exciting day of adventure and parents revel in their children’s happiness and moments spent with them. Plus the funny performances will make parents smile as well, but then who has the courage to admit that? Lotte Village or Gadgetville, where Lotte and other characters familiar from the cartoon of the same name live, is a large theme park filled with buildings, inventions, tricks and great ideas. When you pass through the gate it’s almost like entering another world, where everyone is friendly and kind-hearted. When leaving you will think that Lotte’s motto, “Goodness makes life interesting”, is undoubtedly true.
Butterfly House – year-round tropics!
It’s unbelievable all the different species of butterfly that can be found in the world! There are two ways of viewing exciting butterflies – either visiting faraway countries and hoping that you’ll be able to spot them in the wild, or by visiting Butterfly House on the Romantic Coastline. Butterfly House has a tropical environment, meaning it’s warm and humid, and because of this butterflies from all over the world love living here. You will see them closer-up than ever before. The experience of a truly exotic butterfly as much as 20 cm wide enjoying a moment of rest on your shoulder will definitely be etched brightly in your memory. For fans of nature big and small alike.
Guided pick-up truck tour of Kihnu
Learning about different cultures can sometimes be a little boring for children. Visiting the island of Kihnu is definitely not that, however! Especially if you familiarise yourself with the island from the back of a pick-up truck. Goodbye safety belts and other refinery! Let’s all sit in the back of a truck. May the guided tour begin! Those who don’t wish to take the tour of the island for sightseeing purposes can use the truck simply for a joyride or as a means of transport from one point to another.
Photo: Sigrid Absalon
Estonian Museum Railway at Lavassaare
Big machines have always been loved by boys of all ages. There are quite a few machines at the Estonian Museum Railway. The type that are still moving today, as well as those that have been ravaged by the sands of time and ridden all their rides but are still nice to look at regardless, can be seen here. Therefore it is an ideal spot for the male members of the family. On the other hand, little girls and their mums rarely say no to a fun train ride either, especially if the carriages are pulled by historic steam locomotives.
Bog hike along a boardwalk
Getting out and about in nature is fun and refreshing. Today it is also quite convenient, since you can reach marshes and bogs thanks to the boardwalks that criss-cross them. There are three different hiking trails on the Romantic Coastline that come with boardwalks: Tuhu Bog Hiking Trail (950 m), Rannametsa-Tolkuse Nature and Study Trail (2.2 km) and Nigula Bog Study Trail (6 km). There’s no reason to worry that the hiking will get boring, since the landscape alternates. Next to the trails there also are viewing towers and information boards, and in some locations you can even go swimming in the bog lakes. As such, there are plenty of attractions in addition to the walks themselves. Take a thermos of tea and some nice grub with you and you’ll spend a nice day in nature. Your visit will be so enjoyable that once you leave the forest you’ll realise you’ve spent significantly more time there than you planned!
Photo: Tuisuliiva Holiday House
Valgerand Beach and Valgeranna Adventure Park
In summer, a good alternative to the central beach in Pärnu is Valgerand, because compared to the city beach it’s surrounded by nature, which makes it more interesting. At the same time, all the services you need for an enjoyable time on the beach can still be found here – a children’s playground, two cafés and a viewing tower. Those who want to try other activities between the ordinary pleasures of the beach can head to the nearby disc golf course or Valgeranna Adventure Park, where tree-climbing will offer unforgettable experiences. It should be noted, however, that Valgerand is popular among holiday-goers, so you won’t find a private beach here unless you specifically visit in autumn or spring – then you’ll definitely enjoy the natural environment and beautiful views in greater privacy.
Kabli Beach and Kabli Visitor Centre
If you’re planning to visit Kabli, be sure to give yourself an entire day. Kabli Beach is popular among holiday-goers, and if you come in midsummer, bear in mind that you’ll need to bring everything you need for the beach with you. In addition to the beach there’s other exciting stuff to do in Kabli as well. The Kabli Visitor Centre, operated by the State Forest Management Centre, takes care to ensure that familiarising yourself with nature is fun for the whole family. Once its exhibition and films have been seen and information about the area has been obtained, it’s worth undertaking the 1.8-kilometre walk along the nature study trail. The trail is wheelchair- and baby carriage-accessible and gives the opportunity to, for example, familiarise yourself with the nesting boxes of different birds. The trail leads to Kabli Bird Station, where birds have been researched for 50 years. You can also bird-watch yourself while there, as there are two viewing towers near the bird station. If you then catch the scent of white bread from the tower, you’ll find it’s coming from Kabli Bakery, which you’ll find by driving from the bird station towards the Latvia border, passing a boat-shaped bus stop on your way. After hiking and birdwatching, the oven-warm pastries on offer, sweet and savoury alike, will definitely be a welcome treat.
Photo: Märt Kose / Kabli Sunset Festival
Santa’s Korstna Farm
Santa Claus lives on the Romantic Coastline! He has lots of important things to do all year around on Korstna Farm. Naturally, the farm is also home to Mrs Claus and the elves, as well as lots of cute birds and animals. Usually Santa Claus has a great deal of work to do, but he always finds time to receive guests. As such, you can even visit him in midsummer! However, before you do, be sure to find out whether Santa is at home by checking the day before.
Jõulumäe Sports and Recreation Centre
Although the name of this place, which means ‘Christmas Hill’, suggests wintertime activities, the location is a paradise for people practising different types of sports and exercise. Ski trails, running tracks, skating paths, mountain bike trails, permanent orientation trails, three disc golf courses, athletics fields and ball game sites can all be found here, at Jõulumäe Sports and Recreation Centre. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can hire it at the centre. If, however, active sport isn’t one of your family’s favourite pastimes, there are also hiking trails in the centre’s sandy pine forests. The shortest trail stretches 5 kilometres, which is best suited to families with slightly older children. A source of unbridled joy for children of all ages are the sledding slopes at Jõulumäe. One features artificial snow and is lit, so a lack of snow and the short winter days are not obstacles to fun sledding. If the cold bites, you can get hot tea and biscuits in the main building.
Teispere Farm Bird and Animal Park
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and breathe some fresh country air, Jõõpre village is home to a family who have opened the doors of their Teispere farm, where they raise all manner of birds. Some animals have even found homes with them, and since they love being petted, they look forward to little hands caressing them. As a love of animals is well known among children, then becoming friends with long-eared rabbits, raccoons, sheep or pygmy goats is definitely an experience in its own right. Among the birds on the farm are chickens, doves, pheasants, ducks and geese, which offer a spectacle of their own.
Küti-Uuetoa Bird Farm
For serious bird-lovers and those looking for a touch of something exotic, it is worth visiting Küti-Uuetoa Bird Farm, where you’ll see more than 25 breeds of chicken. Naturally, they’re all named differently and come in different colours – of which there are over 60 on the farm. There are also other birds on the farm, including ducks, geese, quails, turkeys, peacocks and pheasants. After visiting the bird farm every child will know where eggs arrive in supermarkets from and that chicks are just as cute as, for example, kittens or puppies. Perhaps you’ll even get an answer to the question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”