Signs of summer: Amusement parks and zoos set to re-open

Many of the country's top attractions are opening their doors again in June, but still waiting on official guidance from the government about any mandatory precautions they have to take.

File picture of Linnanmäki Amusement Park Helsinki / Credit: FB

Summer might be getting off to an enforced slow start for Finland’s seasonal tourist attractions, but with lockdown restrictions easing at the beginning of June, some of the country’s most popular destinations are getting back in business.

Helsinki’s Linnanmäki amusement park will be open from Friday 12th June at 11:00. It’s one of the capital city’s most popular tourist attractions but this year will have to adapt some of its operations to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be extra hand sanitizer stations available around the park, with signs reminding visitors and staff about good hand hygiene. Visitors who come to the park together will be allowed to sit next to each other on rides, and food services should operate as normal since most of the kiosks and restaurants serve customers who sit outside.

However there might be some restrictions on the number of people who can gather together in certain areas of the park.

Powerpark in Alahärmä says they’ll re-open on 6th June, but are also waiting on more detailed information from the government about any restrictions that need to be put in place before customers can be admitted to the 160-acre amusement park.

Tampere’s Särkänniemi amusement park – including the aquarium, observation tower and restaurants – has been closed during the pandemic but there has been no announcement so far about when they plan to open up. The park says it is waiting for more guidance from authorities before making any decisions. Tykkimäki in amusement park in Kouvola has also not announced when it might open again for business.

File picture of brown bear at Korkeasaari Zoo as it emerged from hibernation, 18th February 2020 / Credit: Korkeasaari

Zoos opening again in June

Ranua Wildlife Park in Lapland will be open again from 1st June, as will Ähtäri Zoo, home to Finland’s two giant pandas.

Ähtäri is keeping their smallest indoor enclosures closed for the time being, and will be doing enhanced cleaning in the public areas. The zoo also urges anyone with cold or flu symptoms to stay at home, to keep with your own group while walking around the zoo, and to stay at least a meter from other visitors when queuing or on a tour.

Helsinki’s Korkeasaari Zoo is also opening its doors to the public from 1st June but visitors will see some changes.

There won’t be any animal feeding sessions this summer because they tend to attract crowds in one spot, and walk-through paths in goat and kangaroo enclosures will also be kept closed. All the tropical houses and indoor animal areas are closed this summer, but many of those animals also have outdoor enclosures so there’s still a chance to see them.

Restaurants and kiosks will be open for take-away services and there are picnic areas throughout the island.

Korkeasaari wants to encourage visitors to buy tickets online to ease the congestion at the main entrance – and they’re working on a new audio tour for zoo visitors to listen from their phones.

During the coronavirus closures the zoo has streamed live videos of some of the animals, and also provided distance learning lessons for young students.