Small wobbly feet run as fast as they can towards the big window. Wow, a huge airplane rolling over the highway, ready to take-off! “Mommy is that our plane?” he asks eyes dazzling with excitement.
On our travels across the globe we have noticed how the attitude especially towards smaller children is very different in every countries we have visited. Some might think that here in Finland the atmosphere towards kids is as cold as our winters, but nope – they’re wrong! At least when it comes to Helsinki Airport, it’s really one of the most child- and family friendly airports in the world. By launching its Little Airport concept, it’s truly leading the way towards smoother air traveling for little customers and their families.
The Little Airport concept is not a project that has a beginning and an end, but a continuous thrive to assuring an easy holiday experience already at the airport. Finavia also aims to developing the concept and listening to the customer’s needs and feedback. After all – today’s kids who learn to love a traveling lifestyle with their parents are future’s globetrotters.
Handy basic info
At the Helsinki Airport, there’s a Little Airport Family Gate at the terminal 2. It makes it a bit easier for families to get through the security control. There personnel are accustomed to dealing with child families and can help you with your questions. Remember to let your child know already in advance that their stuffed toys will also get to go through the security check. Its also good to bare in mind that small children’s food, that you want to take with you to the plane, don’t need to fit the 100 ml packages. You just need to separate them from the rest of your stuff before putting it to the conveyor belt.
In most cases, you will have to pack your own pushchairs and prams as luggage when checking into your flight, but you can always use one of the pushchairs provided by Helsinki Airport after the security check. For babies who cannot yet sit on their own, we warmly recommend an ergonomic baby carrier.
Baby care facilities can be found all over the Helsinki Airport. Every toilet has either a separate baby changing room or at least a baby changing station. Most accessible toilets have a baby changing area and these rest rooms can also be calm private places for breastfeeding, if you are not comfortable doing it in public. Not to worry though – breastfeeding in public is nothing to be ashamed of at the Helsinki Airport. Also some gates, that are not in use, and the Kainuu lounge are perfect for feeding your tiny one.
Tackle hunger tantrum
Family trips can be easy, rewarding and so much fun when you take some time to prepare and tackle all the worst case scenarios in advance. For instance, a hungry little monster is not an easy buddy to travel with (and neither is a mum with an empty stomach). The Helsinki Airport offers a wide range of kid friendly restaurants, where you can buy smaller portions and finger food for kids, or warm up their own meals. Among others, our favorites are Nordic Kitchen (gate 36), Urban Food Market (terminal 1) and Helsinki Market (gates 14-15), where they even have a play corner for you bundles of joy!
Extra tip: the Helsinki Airport mobile app is super handy for traveling families. You can pre-order food from the restaurants and pick up you order without queueing. You might want to pre-order also your souvenirs via the app and use the extra time for fun stuff – like plane spotting! There’s also free a Wi-Fi connection for all the passengers.
Get rid of your toddler’s extra energy before boarding
Talking about fun stuff at the airport – there are altogether four play rooms and one free lounge area at the Helsinki Airport. The Kid’s lounge by Reima -play rooms can be found at gates 16, 20, 30-31 at the Schengen area and 38 at the Non-Schengen area. The Kainuu lounge at the Non-Schengen area is a perfect lounge for absorbing some Finland vibes: wooden interiors with Finnish design chairs and cabin-like carpets make you feel like you’re spending a weekend in the deep woods of Finland. Close your eyes for a while, and you can even hear the birds sing like on a bright summer day!
You might want to grab yourself a kid’s map of the airport from the terminal area (or download and print it beforehand), and let the little ones lead you towards an airport adventure!
You can reach the airport easily by public transport and taxis. There’s a train connection and a couple of bus connections from the city centre. In case your flight leaves really early, there are multiple different hotels nearby, suitable for many budgets.
So there you go. Isn’t it easy to travel with kids via Helsinki Airport?
The mother looks at her child thinking to herself, how amazing it feels like to experience this together, and see the thrill in her little one’s eyes. “Yes darling, it is our plane indeed” she replies, “and soon you’ll get to walk to the aircraft and fly towards our next great adventure!”