Where a dragon guards a ship near the sea

According to Helsinki’s official tourism website, “Kaivopuisto is one of the oldest, most beautiful and popular parks in Helsinki.” So far it’s definitely been one of our faves and like most things in Helsinki, very easy to get to.

Kaivopuisto playground is guarded by a large dragon

Kaivopuisto playground is guarded by a large dragon

Miko and I were in the city and caught the number 3 tram from Aleksanterinkatu to the park. A short walk later and we spotted the dragon we had been told would identify the playground. Wooden seats and tables were spread out under the trees and not far away was another play area for younger children.

Miko atop the mighty dragon

Miko atop the mighty dragon

The dragon is great fun for climbing on and there are crocodiles  set in the ground too which are great accessories for pirate adventures on the large ship-like fortress.

Looking for pirates

Looking for pirates

The ship-fort has lots of fun accessories like binoculars and a steering wheel as well as slides and ladders. Nearby is a crows nest which Miko used as a look-out spot for sharks.

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Kaivopuisto (Kaivo park) itself is very large and a very popular place in summer. It is the favourite spot for May Day picnics and where we spent Vappu. It’s a short walk to the sea as the park borders the Gulf of Finland and the surrounding streets are home to many of the international ambassadors to Finland. Apparently the largest hill in the park is a very popular place for tobogganing in winter which will make this a park we can use all year round.

Tiring work this captaining

Tiring work this captaining

Kaivopuisto Playground

Puistokatu 4

www.visithelsinki.fi

Playing in the puisto (park)

Living in an apartment is a good incentive to get out and try the many playgrounds that Helsinki has to offer.

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The first thing that stands out is how big they are – Topeliuksenpuisto is about the size of half a rugby field – and dusty. Of course this will change with the weather but it makes kicking a ball around very easy.

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And the great thing is you don’t have to take a ball. At first I thought someone had left their scooter behind when we went to Lastenlehtopuisto and kept half an eye on it to see who would claim it. And then it dawned on me that these toys are for everyone.

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There a toys at every park that get packed up at night, either by the adjoining kindergarten or by the public at the end of the day. They go into large plastic tubs that are sometimes locked and include a huge range of trucks, spades, buckets and ride on toys likes scooters and bikes. Today Miko got kitted up and shot goals with the hockey gear we found at Tehtaanpuisto.

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Each park has slightly different features and although familiar (a slide is a slide after all) each is slightly different to what we have at home in New Zealand. The swing seats are different; the slides may have a big hill to climb to get to the top, instead of a ladder; and today we saw some awesome tandem trikes.

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I have a feeling we are going to become very familiar with these features of Helsinki and this won’t be my last post on puistot.