Though exciting, flying with kids requires a lot of planning ahead. As such, the services at Helsinki Airport are being constantly developed to serve families with as smooth a start as possible to their holidays. We gathered some useful tips for families on how to minimise stress and have a successful trip abroad.
1. Use the family gate at security control
When travelling through Helsinki Airport with kids, it’s worth using the family-security-control-line after checking in. The line is for families and those who require special assistance, and eases the process with peer-support and people on hand to help when arms are full, or a feeding bottle lost among carry-on baggage.
The security control’s family gate is the right-most line located in Terminal 2, and is marked with a colourful gate.
2. Release extra energy in renewed playing and exercise areas
Before sitting still on flight, it is a good idea to expend as much energy as possible by moving around – especially for children. There are three recently renewed spaces at Helsinki Airport designed specifically for this, one of which is now an activation space called Maja Living Room suitable for adults.
“We listened to our customers and built Maja Living Room – an activation space open to anyone. It is located in the non-Schengen or long-distance flight area. Here, the whole family can test the equipment and stretch before the flight”, says Helsinki Airport’s customer experience manager Johanna Laakso.
There are tatamis (floor mats), wall bars, balance beams and other equipment available in the activation space to get yourself moving.
In addition, the play areas in the Schengen area have been renewed under the theme of “Finnish summer.” There’s an uneven floor (mimicking the floor of a forest) and a little cottage to crawl and hide in. While playing, kids can spot departing and arriving planes.
The play areas are located near Gates 16 and 20, and Maja Living Room at Gate 52.
3. Get something to eat at a family-friendly restaurant
All restaurants at Helsinki Airport are family-friendly, and most of them offer highchairs and food suitable for children.
“Many restaurants serve a kids’ menu, and a plentiful buffet breakfast and lunch. There are options for both a full meal and a light snack,” says Satu Orismaa, who is responsible for Helsinki Airport’s food and beverage offering development.
Having recently opened in May, Moomin Coffee is a delightful stop for families with kids and other Moomin enthusiasts, and is located at Gate 40. The interior and offering bring a piece of the Moomin World to the airport. One of the new childcare rooms is located right next to the café
For baguette or sandwich enthusiasts, there is Upper Crust, located at Gate 20, and high-quality burgers and hotdogs can be found at Sausage Co. at Gate 52, right next to the play areas.
Helsinki Market offers kids their own play corner at Gate 14. And in case children – or adults of course – get “hangry” – you can fix that at Richie’s Hot Dog, where you could be served in as little as 30 seconds from the time of ordering. Espresso House’s outdoor terrace (on the second floor of the Schengen area in Terminal 2) may help to calm the excitement of an upcoming flight.
Find the family-only security control, play areas, Maja Living Room and watertaps’ locations on the map above. There also are baby changing stations located in the washrooms.