Activities of the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Division will resume in early June, ending a government-mandated shutdown that began in mid-March. Libraries, cultural centres, and outdoor and indoor sports facilities will open in stages, along with museums and different venues hosting youth services. Summer camps and courses will also begin. Some libraries will offer extended hours and activities for young people have been expanded.
Reopening of service premises will follow safety recommendations from Finland’s health authority and other officials for keeping customers and employees safe. The municipal division has spent the month of May preparing necessary signage and installing plexiglass at customer service points to comply with the new regulations.
Services of the City of Helsinki’s Culture and Leisure Division will reopen in May and June as follows:
• Return of library books 4 May 2020
• Loan of books in some libraries 8 May 2020, in all libraries in stages starting 11 May 2020
• Limited return and loan of books in library buses 13 May 2020
• Outdoor sports facilities, including supervised sports club activities 14 May 2020
• Home services provided by the Helsinki City Library network 20 May 2020
• Full library services 1 June 2020 (Note that the return and loan of library books has been possible since early May. On the first of June, libraries will resume all normal services)
• ‘Summer reading to your door’ campaign at libraries 1 June 2020 (targets risk groups)
• Swimming beaches 1 June 2020
• Rastila Camping Park 1 June 2020
• Sauna and cottage rental at the islands of Kaunissaari and Pihlajasaari 1 June 2020
• Helsinki City Museum 1 June 2020
• Tram Museum 1 June 2020
• Venues hosting youth services and guided outdoor camps for young people 1 June 2020
• Fallkulla Domestic Animal Farm 1 June 2020 (Note that only summer camp participants have access to indoor areas and only limited kiosk services will be available.)
• Children’s Traffic Park 1 June 2020
• Vartiosaari Summer Activity Centre 1 June 2020
• Youth Services summer camps (at e.g., Bengtsår Island and Granö) 1 June 2020
• Annantalo cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Caisa cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Kanneltalo cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Malmitalo cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Maunulatalo community centre 1 June 2020
• Stoa cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Vuotalo cultural centre 1 June 2020
• Sports halls in Töölö, Latokartano, Maunula, and the Liikuntamylly fitness centre 1 June 2020
• Outdoor and indoor sports facilities in Pirkkola, Oulunkylä and Ruskeasuo 1 June 2020
• Myllypuro and Tali football halls 1 June 2020
• Olympic Stadium outdoor swimming pool 1 June 2020 (Children’s pool under renovation)
• Kumpula outdoor swimming pool 1 June 2020
• Pirkkola indoor swimming pool 1 June 2020
• Itäkeskus indoor swimming pool 8 June 2020
• HAM Helsinki Art Museum 2 June 2020
• Villa Hakasalmi 2 June 2020
• Savoy Theatre 3 June 2020
• Small boat marina operations 10 June 2020
Service premises in City of Helsinki subsidiaries and foundations will reopen as follows:
• Salmisaari hockey arena 1 June 2020 (Jääkenttäsäätiö =Ice Hockey Foundation)
• Paloheinä hockey arena 1 June 2020 (Jääkenttäsäätiö)
• Kaarela hockey arena 1 June 2020 (Jääkenttäsäätiö)
• Vuosaari hockey arena 1 June 2020 (Jääkenttäsäätiö)
• Töölö sports hall swimming pool and fitness room 1 June 2020, guided exercise groups 8 June 2020 (Urheiluhallit Oy = Sports Halls Ltd)
Malmi swimming pool, fitness rooms and outdoor areas 3 June 2020, guided exercise groups 8 June 2020 (Urheiluhallit Oy)
• Kontula swimming pool and fitness room 3 June 2020, guided exercise groups 8 June 2020 (Urheiluhallit Oy)
• Vuosaari sports hall 1 June 2020, guided exercise groups 8 June 2020 (Vuosaaren Urheilutalo Oy = Vuosaari Sports Hall Ltd)
• Korkeasaari Zoo 1 June 2020 (Korkeasaari Zoo Foundation)
Service premises and services that will stay closed through the summer season (June and July):
• Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (operates at the Helsinki Music Centre)
• Worker Housing Museum
• Burgher’s House Museum
• Indoor swimming pools: Pools that would have normally closed for the summer season will stay closed. Preparations are being made to reopen pools at Pirkkola and Itäkeskus, because they would have normally been open until Midsummer. The possibility of keeping one location open all summer is being explored, as this would ease crowding at outdoor pools and other indoor facilities.
Service premises of the following subsidiary and foundations will be closed to the public in June and July:
• Siltamäki indoor swimming pool (Urheiluhallit Oy)
• Pasila sports complex (Urheiluhallit Oy) will be leased to Finland’s national basketball team and the Basketball Finland association.
• Helsinki sports complex (Urheiluhallit Oy) reserves the right to offer its premises to swimming clubs, swimming schools for children and ball sport clubs.
• Mäkelänrinne sports centre (Mäkelänrinteen Uintikeskus Oy), pool section will be reserved exclusively for swimming, diving and synchronised swimming clubs. Courts and fitness rooms will be reserved exclusively for the national basketball team, the Helsinki Basketball Academy and rhythmic gymnastics.
• Helsinki City Theatre is preparing to restart its performances in August, depending on official restrictions.
Summer camps and courses for children and teens
Many camps and courses focusing on sports and exercise will be arranged this summer to keep children active. EasySport (www.easysport.fi) arranges these kinds of activities for children between the ages of 6 and 12, for example. The first tennis camps and exercise courses for children begin as early as 1 June 2020. Some of these activities are being organised in concert with sports clubs from different parts of the city. This summer, there will be limits on the number of participants in the camps and due regard for coronavirus safety guidelines. Learn more about the summer camps and courses and register to participate via the City of Helsinki’s e-services portal at www.asiointi.hel.fi.
For teens aged 13 to 17, FunAction exercise activities are available free of charge in June, and the NYT-liikunta programme offers the same service for 18 to 29 year olds. Check out the daily summer schedules for the respective programmes at www.funactionnuorille.fi and www.nytliikunta.fi.
Exercise groups that meet in Helsinki’s larger parks will be arranged once again this summer, with safe intervals maintained between participants. Limitations on the number of people in the groups might be necessary in smaller park areas. In addition to exercise in parks, there are also groups that meet to exercise on balconies and in pools. Water exercise groups are now limited to a maximum of 30 participants. For more information on the large variety of exercise options in Helsinki, please consult www.hel.fi/helsinki/en/culture/sports/supervised/class-descriptions.
Culture, art and nature activities for young people
For tweens and teens, summer camps and programmes begin on 1 June 2020 at youth services camp centres, campgrounds and youth centres. Find more information on municipal and other youth association activities at www.harrastushaku.fi. Day camps will themes such as theatre, visual arts, street art, circus performance, media skills and skateboarding are also available.
The Fallkulla Domestic Animal Farm starts its guided summer day camps for young people on 1 June 2020. This means that the barn, indoor facilities and restrooms will not be available to the public. The outdoor areas of the farm are regardless open to everyone and a kiosk will serve customers on weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm. For more information on the Fallkulla camps and courses, see www.harrastushaku.fi.
Starting on 1 June 2020, Helsinki’s Vartiosaari Island will arrange a wide range of activities for young people as well. Opportunities to pitch in with fieldwork and take care of farm animals are supplemented by a gallery for doing art projects and handiwork. From 1-11 June, young people can make independent hikes on the island and participate in guided activities. Two separate day camps, one focusing on art and the other on nature, will also be arranged on the island in June, and minors are encouraged to sign up at www.harrastushaku.fi. In July, workshops will be open to anyone who wishes to join, and the summer will finish with an open exhibition at the island’s gallery from 20 July to 7 August 2020. See www.vartiosaari.munstadi.fi for more information.
Helsinki’s network of cultural centres also offer art, environment, and nature-themed summer courses for children in June and August. Please consult the websites of the individual centres for more information and to register:
www.annantalo.fi , www.caisa.fi , www.kanneltalo.fi , www.malmitalo.fi , www.stoa.fi , www.vuotalo.fi
Customer premises adapted to ensure public safety
The coronavirus pandemic has made it necessary to step up customer notifications at all City of Helsinki service locations. For example, every cultural centre, museum, sports venue and youth service facility has posted signage that reminds visitors how to use the shared spaces responsibly.
Signs have been posted in Helsinki’s libraries since early May and plexiglass has been installed at each of the division’s customer service points to protect customers and employees. Several bottles of hand disinfectant will be set out in visible locations for customers to use. Restrooms will make paper towels and hand towels available. In some premises, announcements will be made in several languages to remind customers of the importance of good hand hygiene, safe distances and coughing into elbows.
Extended opening hours at libraries
Helsinki’s extensive network of libraries will all be returning to full operations on 1 June 2020, according to the latest information. Opening hours at Helsinki libraries will be extended this summer, with at least one library in each area open on Saturdays and Sundays as well. Libraries in the districts of Pitäjänmäki, Töölö and Valilla will join the Oodi Central Library, for example, in keeping their doors open on Sundays. Libraries will also move some of their chairs and tables outdoors in the summer of 2020 to ensure proper social distancing.
Online content from Helsinki’s libraries will also continue to be available on the City of Helsinki’s video service Helsinki-kanava in June. Check www.helmet.fi/kirjastohelsinkilive for a list of upcoming streams.
Cultural centres resume operations
Helsinki’s six cultural centres, Annantalo, Caisa, Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Stoa and Vuotalo, will also organise many activities and events this summer that will take the prevailing safety considerations into account. Partner dancing events and summer courses for children and young people will be on the roster at each of the locations, for example, while summer films will be shown free of charge to limited audiences at Malmitalo. Annantalo’s courtyard and A-stage will feature shows and activities for children and teens all summer long. A fragrant garden will be created in the Stoa square in May and June to attract useful insects.
Savoy Theatre presents special concerts for limited audiences
On Wednesday, 3 June 2020, Helsinki’s Savoy Theatre will stage its first public concert since the easing of coronavirus restrictions with the UMO Helsinki Ensemble. Ticket sales have already begun, but a 40-person limit has been imposed in order to seat everyone safely in the 750-seat concert hall. Single and double-seat ticket packages are on sale at www.lippu.fi.
Sports and fitness services open with restrictions
Helsinki’s public beaches will open on 1 June 2020 according to their normal summer schedules, with due consideration for coronavirus restrictions, including regulations from the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation.
Rastila Camping will likewise reopen on 1 June 2020. The reception desk at Rastila will initially be open from 8 am to 10 pm, but starting 15 June 2020, it will serve customers 24 hours a day.
Sauna and cabin rentals on the Helsinki islands of Kaunissaari and Pihlajasaari will begin on 1 June 2020. Interested parties can make bookings online at www.varaamo.hel.fi.
Outdoor swimming pools at Olympic Stadium and Kumpula will open according to their normal summer schedules on 1 June 2020, under new customer limits and other special arrangements. The children’s pool will not reopen on the first, however, as renovations have been stalled by delayed tile shipments.
The indoor swimming pool at Pirkkola will open on 1 June 2020 according to the normal schedule. The underground pool in the eastern Helsinki district of Itäkeskus, however, will not reopen until 8 June, welcoming swimmers every day of the week from 11 am to 7 pm after this date. Both of these public swimming pools will also introduce customer limits and other special arrangements. The Yrjönkatu and Jakomäki swimming pools will stay closed through the summer.
The Töölö sports hall and the Liikuntamylly sports and fitness centre will open again on 1 June 2020 according to normal summer schedules.
The sports hall in the district of Latokartano will be open all summer, but the City of Helsinki will expand its services at the sports hall in Maunula, so that it will stay open through the month of July and one day on the weekends.
The football halls in the districts of Myllypuro and Tali will be open regularly through the summer.
Municipal sports centres and fitness rooms in Pirkkola, Oulunkylä and Ruskeasuo will open on 1 June 2020 according to the normal summer schedule. The Ruskeasuo facility will stay open through the month of July as well.
All of the swimming pools and other indoor sports and fitness facilities that are resuming operations in Helsinki will introduce customer limits and other special arrangements upon reopening.
Subsidiary sport and fitness facilities also reopen
Indoor swimming pools and fitness rooms managed by the Urheiluhalit Oy chain will also reopen soon. The Töölö and Vuosaari sports halls will resume operations on 1 June, while in the districts of Kontula and Malmi, activities at sports halls will restart on 3 June 2020.
The following Urheiluhalit Oy locations will be closed for the summer, for the period 1 June to 2 August 2020: the Siltamäki indoor swimming pool, the Pasila sports complex, the Helsinki sports complex (in the district of Kallio), and the Mäkelänrinne swimming centre. The pool section at Mäkelänrinne will be reserved exclusively for swimming, diving and synchronised swimming clubs for the months of June and July. Courts and fitness rooms there will likewise be reserved for the national basketball team, the Helsinki Basketball Academy and rhythmic gymnastics.
Ice hockey centres administered by the Ice Hockey Foundation in the districts of Salmisaari, Paloheinä, Kaarela and Vuosaari will reopen on 1 June 2020.
Youth work will return with activities to last all summer
Youth services and guided outdoor summer activities will resume on 1 June 2020, but in a controlled manner with consideration for the prevailing safety constraints. The selection of supervised summer activities has been expanded, and efforts to add to these services further and stagger activities so they are evenly spaced throughout the summer are ongoing. In the past, municipal youth service activities tended to be concentrated in the early weeks of summer.
Summer activities will mainly be arranged outdoors, as is normally the case during the summertime holiday. All youth service summer activities will be arranged to conform with limits on gathering sizes. Familiar tournaments from previous summers, for example, will be replaced with other activities.
Football matches and other sport opportunities will be arranged throughout the summer in different parts of the city. Summer cafes that are planned and run by young people will also start operations. Activities will be organised in music and media studios, as well as at moped tracks and skateboard parks.
Open activities such as lawn games, barbeques, urban farming, and outdoor meetups will also be arranged in different districts on youth centre grounds and nearby areas. Day trips to nature destinations, amusement parks and other summer venues will also be on offer, with consideration for proper group sizes.
Municipal youth counsellors will also continue their youth outreach work with patrols to different neighbourhoods throughout the summer. Digital youth work that was strengthened during stay-at-home measures will continue through the summer, to make sure that young people get the individual help they need and keep those that hesitate to participate in live activities for whatever reason engaged.
Museums bring delightful summer attractions
The City of Helsinki’s museums will also resume their operations: the Helsinki City Museum and the Tram Museum will open to the public on Monday, 1 June, and the Helsinki Art Museum HAM and Villa Hakasalmi will follow the suit the next day, on Tuesday, 2 June.
Helsinki Art Museum HAM
The Helsinki Art Museum HAM will open its doors facing Eteläinen Rautatiekatu on 2 June 2020. Other entrances to the Tennispalatsi building that houses the museum will remain closed for the time being.
HAM will kick off the summer season by featuring the ‘Museum of Becoming’ exhibition in its showy arched halls. A three-part project from the visual artist Terike Haapoja and the writer and playwright Laura Gustafsson, Museum of Becoming calls for new ways of thinking about humanity and its relationship with the environment, other species, community and future. Contrary to earlier information, the Museum of Becoming exhibition will continue at HAM until January 2021. An exhibition of Katharina Grosse’s work will be moved to March 2021.
Enni Suominen’s Mortarium exhibition will present contemporary art, while a long-awaited exhibition of Vilho Lampi’s work and the Genderfuck 1900 exhibition that featured solidly in recent discussions of gender roles and assumptions about masculinity and femininity will also be featured. An exhibition on the beloved Finnish artist Tove Jansson is also open to the public.
The Helsinki Biennial, a contemporary art event curated and executed by HAM, has been postponed to summer 2021. The Museum of Becoming exhibition starting on 2 June touches on future Biennial themes. In addition to the works on display inside the museum, HAM also maintains a diverse art collection that spans the city of Helsinki and is open 24/7 for residents and tourists to enjoy.
In June and July, HAM will also make a wide range of digital content on its exhibitions, artwork and art workshops available on the HAM website and social media channels. Until further notice, it will not be possible to arrange public events at the museum.
HAM Helsinki Art Museum
Address: Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8
Reopens on 2 June 2020
Summer opening hours: Tuesdays-Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm, closed on Mondays
Entrance fee: 12/10 euros, free admission to children under 18 and Museum Card holders
The Helsinki City Museum
The Helsinki City Museum will open its doors again on 1 June with a new exhibition called Urban Food, created in collaboration with the environmental organization Dodo that illustrates new methods of urban farming and examples of the past and future food industry.
The Urban Food exhibition on the museum’s fourth floor changes the space into lush green garden. It also presents the visitor with a question: Could cities be pioneers in the introduction of a new, more sustainable form of food production? The Nursery in the museum’s courtyard acts as an innovative urban farming centre, where museum patrons can follow growing season stages firsthand. The exhibition will also extend out from the museum in the form of satellite projects introducing young people to urban farming in the districts of Malmi and Itäkeskus.
Of the museum’s continuing exhibitions, Helsinki Bites will stay open, but the Children’s Town and Time Machine exhibitions will remain closed for the time being.
The Helsinki City Museum has renewed its customer premises during the time that is was closed, in order to provide visitors with the best possible experience. The museum’s gift shop has transferred to a new compact space near the entrance, and the old shop premises have been converted into a spacious customer sitting area with a sauna theme. Visitors are encouraged to take a break on the public sauna benches and watch old films from Helsinki.
Helsinki City Museum
Address: Aleksanterinkatu 16
Reopens on 1 June 2020
Summer opening hours: Monday-Friday from 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
Free admission at all times
Villa Hakasalmi will show the State of Mind – Helsinki 1939–1945 exhibition about the wartime era when it reopens. During the war years in Finland, the moods of everyday citizens were secretly recorded for the country’s leaders. These succinct and colorful narratives were miraculously preserved after the fighting stopped, and now form the backbone of this exhibition. It was conceived and curated by the writer Anna Kortelainen, who also produced a nine-part podcast series on the same subject. The podcast is available on the Helsinki City Museum website and Spotify and Apple podcast platforms.
During coronavirus closures, the Helsinki City Museum carried out a survey that assessed the mood of contemporary Helsinki residents in the same way. The survey is still available on the websites of the Helsinki City Museum and Villa Hakasalmi. If you want to share your coronavirus lockdown story or photos, you can also access the survey on social media by using #mielialahelsinki2020. The reports will be added to the Helsinki City Museum collections in text form. A small exhibition of the survey results thus far has been assembled and will be on display at Villa Hakasalmi.
Mannerheimintie 13 B
Reopens on 2 June 2020
Summer opening hours: Tuesday from 11 am to 7 pm, Wednesday-Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee 12/10 euros, free admission to everyone under 18 and Museum Card holders
Starting on 1 June 2020, the public can once again be transported back in history at the Tram Museum in the Töölö district of Helsinki. Every day of the week from 11 am to 5 pm, visitors can sit in an old streetcar and imagine what life was like in the city decades ago. Admission to the Tram Museum is always free.
The Helsinki City Museum and its sister museums will make plenty of diverse digital content available to the public in the months of June and July, in addition to their physical attractions. New podcasts and guided walks through exhibitions are in the works, alongside a video visit to the museum’s collection center on Helsinki Day.
The city’s smaller seasonal museums, the Burgher’s House and the Worker Housing Museums, will remain closed for the time being.
Töölönkatu 51 A
Reopens on 1 June 2020
Summer opening hours: Monday-Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
Free admission at all times
Photo: Kimmo Brandt, 2018