Our second day in Naantali was spent at Moominworld, recommended by our friends and somewhere they said we had to visit. Son was not too familiar with the Moomin books and stories but we quickly rectified that before our trip to Finland. Then we set out on a sunny Saturday morning to meet these creatures first hand.
Moominworld is on a little island and is just a hop, skip and a jump from Naantali marina. The whole place is based on books by Tove Jansson where the Moomins live on their own island and look like big white hippos without noses.
First tip is not to go on the weekend. The whole place was absolutely packed and crammed with families and excited children. It is apparently fairly quiet during the week – I had not done enough pre-trip homework on this one or used any common sense. We ended up queuing in a very slow moving line for in excess of forty five minutes just to buy the tickets. Not the best start with an over-excited and very impatient three year old in tow.
Any grumpiness we had though swiftly evaporated as soon as we walked through the gates. This is the most gorgeous natural location for the attraction. There are pine forest trails leading to picturesque little beaches and inlets. Here and there along the way are the Moomin attractions.
“Newspapers” were being handed out at the entrance which were actually guides to the park with maps and details of shows going on throughout the day. They were in Finnish and Swedish but when we specifically asked they did manage to locate some English copies for us.
The blueberry coloured Moomin house is the main attraction. You can explore inside and climb up and visit all five levels.
We also found a ship, fire-station, camp and a yellow house. This is not a theme park, there are no rides but that suited us just fine. What you get here and what we loved so much was the lovely scenery and some quirky places for children to play and explore.
There were plenty of opportunities to meet the Moomins but the creatures were mobbed by young children as soon as they appeared. That was fine by us too, on catching a glimpse of his first Moomin, Son was completely and utterly freaked out and would go nowhere near them. So while everyone else was in a crush to get close, we had the attractions nearby virtually to ourselves – win win.
We brought a picnic and ate on one of the little beaches while Son paddled in the sea. There are no restrictions on food and drink being brought into the park.
The park is only open June to August, we spent five hours there in total – a perfect amount of time for us to do everything. We explored the forest trails, saw the Moomin attractions, spent leisurely time on the beach and watched a Moomin show at the theatre. The plays were in Finnish or Swedish – Son understood not a word but enjoyed every second. The Moomins were far enough away too….
I remember reading before this trip in one of our newspapers that this was one of the world’s best theme parks. Misleading I think and people should not go to Moominworld expecting a theme park. What we got was the most wonderful relaxed and pleasant day out in a beautiful nature lovers’ paradise with some attractions thrown in specifically for younger children. It is just perfect.