The City of Helsinki is Finland’s biggest organizer of activities for children and young people.
The City of Helsinki Cultural Office’s Annantalo is an arts centre for children and young people. Annantalo organizes art education, exhibitions, dance performances and theatre productions. In addition, Annantalo works closely with schools. At daytime, the centre is filled with school children who attend art classes. Several times a year Annantalo hosts family event days.
The City of Helsinki Youth Department’s mission is to support young people’s life choices and their sense of responsibility as well as to increase their participation. The department organizes a great deal of activities, focusing on music, cinema, dance, acting and sports. Youth services are offered in many parts of Helsinki, and young people can turn to trained youth workers on any matter. There are youth centres equipped with a range of facilities, including rehearsal rooms for bands, rooms for fitness training, cafés and Internet access points.
The Youth Department operates the Happi activity centre in Sörnäinen. On four floors, the centre offers a wide variety of activities: acting, scripting, photography, film and music-video making, media production and games, among other things.
Helsinki Festival, Finland’s largest annual arts festival, runs a separate category of programmes for children.
Many of the cultural institutions in Helsinki have special offerings for children and young people. For example, the Finnish National Opera has a Kids and Teens category of performances and runs children’s art workshops.
Some of the most popular attractions in Helsinki are specially geared toward families. These include the Linnanmäki Amusement Park and Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari, among the many attractions for families.