Our university friend Andy and his family are on sabbatical in Helsinki for the 2013/14 school year. Since meeting up in Finland is a tad more realistic than Texas, it was really important to us to meet up with them while they’re around. But, the prospect of a city break with two kids in tow was my idea of a nightmare—wasn’t quite sure how it would go. BUT, all things considered it was a fun time. We just had to break from our usual cafe/bar rotation scheme and work in a few playgrounds, picnics and lots of running.
Helsinki seemed to be a very lovely and liveable European city. It’s incredibly kid friendly and the locals are very kind. And we would definitely recommend St Petersburg for a holidayâ€¦it’s GORGEOUS–every corner is stunning. And there are loads of restaurants with cool kiddie play areas incorporated inside and out. And both cities do alfresco well. I’d go back with gustoâ€¦LOVED IT.
So, I’ve been proven wrong. It’s possible to do a city break with kids. Yet again, G was right
So, what did we get up to?
-Lovely cafe day spent along the bay watching the boats come and go while W played in the sandpit.
-Walking about market square–W spied some lovelies in a toy shop window along the way. Got to love Scandi design?!
-Running along the paths and playing in the sandbox alongside the Church of our Saviour on Spilled Blood (ie the famous onion dome church in St. Petersburg.
-Lattes and croissants in a posh French cafe. [Overheard a tourist asking for a Russian treat--to which the server replied 'everything here is French?' ]
-A canal boat tour which W LOVED thanks to kiddie Dramamine [adding Dramamine to the must-have kiddie travel list ]
-A picnic, lattes and a run about in the summer gardens
-Running out the kids energy before entering the Hermitage to see a few (thousand?!) paintings by the masters
-Lots of dining in kid-friend restaurants complete with indoor and outdoor playspaces. We in the UK could learn much from the Russians and Scandinavians on being family-friendly. And YAY for traveling with friends. Old friends are the best friends, as the cliche goes