I’ve walked past Annantalo so many times and never stopped to wonder what it is. Turns out – it’s great is what it is!
Annantalo is an arts centre for children and young people, housed in a beautiful old school that was built in 1886. Miko and I recently visited with friends on a rainy afternoon after daycare.
On the ground floor is the large Kirja Kahvila (book cafe) with loads of space for families and smaller tables set up with paper and colouring pencils. There’s also shelves full of childrens’ books, printed in Finnish and Swedish.
The cafe is also home to Tutti-tukaani (Pacifier Toucan) who sits atop a large bottle where children put their pacifiers when the time comes to give them up. The idea is based loosely on similar traditions in Finland and was dreamed up by the Office Manager.
The cafe is run by a lovely woman called Krista, who told me she loves all the handmade touches around Annantalo.
This includes the warm korvapuustit (cinammon buns) and the woollen covers on the tea glasses.
Upstairs in the building, there are art classes, as well as dance and theatre for young people. Miko’s daycare has visited in the past to watch a puppet show, which he still talks about.
There are also exhibitions for children, which are really creative and interactive. Miko loved going inside a big teepee and looking at tiny worlds inside boxes with a torch during the last one.
Although the cafe is family focussed it can be very quiet at times and there’s lots of space to spread out if you need to work. With wheelchair access it’s a great place for anyone to visit, young and old alike.
Annantalo – events and courses
Annankatu 30, Helsinki
Due to a bad dose of the flu there were no Vappu celebrations for me this year. The spring carnival on May Day is one of the biggest events on the Finnish calendar. You can read my post from last year here.