10 things to do when the weather fails

Photo: Anete Palmik

10 things to do when the weather fails

Being at a northern latitude means that Estonia experiences some wonderful phenomena: aurora borealis, white winters and ice roads. This also means that from October to March, the weather can be, well, rather uncomfortable. So don’t be afraid to brave the elements to experience the outdoors. But for those days when you’d rather do something cosy indoors, here are ten activity ideas from around Estonia.

AQVA Hotel & Spa

Lääne-Viru maakond, Rakvere

AQVA Hotel & Spa is located in the centre of Rakvere, at the foot of the historical castle. There are 120 rooms, a water and sauna centre, a gym, a conference centre, two restaurants (Fiore and Fresco), and a wellness centre. In the spring of 2013, the extension with larger and more spacious rooms with balconies was opened. Luxurious suites are located on the third floor of the extension, the largest of which, Caesar's suite, is 137 m2. We also welcome families with children who can play in the water centre and the children's room. Good to know: hotel visitors can visit the water and sauna centre as much as they want.

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Estonian Police Museum

Lääne-Viru maakond, Rakvere

The interactive Estonian Police Museum gives visitors the chance to experience the work of police in a fun way for themselves. You can test your reaction skills at the wheel of a car, try on a police uniform, learn what to do to cope with civil unrest, take someone's fingerprints, solve criminal cases and more! The Children's Police Museum is designed for the littlest visitors, where they can learn safety rules for being out and about on the streets, play detective games, make things and have a whole heap of fun in the playroom. The exhibitions at the museum were put together with the help of police and border guard officials. There's plenty to see and do for everyone!

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Lammasmäe Holiday Centre, peat sauna

Lääne-Viru maakond, Linnuse küla

Lammasmäe Holiday Centre now has a new sauna, which we believe is the only one in the world – a peat sauna. The sauna is located on the Kunda River and it can be moved around on the territory of the Lammasmäe Holiday Centre. To get to the sauna, you will have to walk along pontoons covered with peat tiles – the pontoons are floating and are therefore not the most stable. You can carry out various procedures in the sauna and sit on turf piles. The shower of the peat sauna is also unique – there is a bucket with holes in it that is hanging from an eave. Water is pumped to the bucket manually. There are boxes on the walls of the sauna where bog plants grow, setting an unforgettable mood.

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Estonian Mining Museum

Ida-Viru maakond, Kohtla-Nõmme alev

Would you like to get a taste of what the life of a real coal miner was like? All you need to do is put on your wellies, grab a warm jacket and take a lamp; because, where else but underground would you hear, see and feel the same things as the men who toiled away underground every day? The mining museum Enrichment Factory is also now open. An educational experience, it demonstrates the journey of oil shale, shows how energy is created and showcases information on the subject of future trends in the energy sector. Please note! Ticket sales for the underground museum end two hours before the museum is closed, and ticket sales for the Enrichment Factory end an hour before closing time.

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Orhidee Wellness Centre

Ida-Viru maakond, Toila alevik

Orhidee Wellness Centre is a place for quiet repose, musing and solitude. It contains a swimming pool with underwater music and colour games, as well as Japanese, honey, Finnish and steam saunas. You can enjoy drinks and fruit lying in a comfortable recliner chair in the winter garden. Since only a couple of dozens of guests can visit the centre at one time, your privacy and peace are guaranteed.

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Atlantis H2O Aquapark

Harju maakond, Haabneeme alevik

Atlantis H2O Aquapark is the most unique water and nature discovery centre in Estonia; here, science is made in swimwear! All this is made exciting by various pools, slides and many other attractions. The water centre has several fun water attractions: a pool with waves, a flowing river, eight different slides, the longest of which are over 120 m. Our youngest guests have a separate fun play area with two smaller slides, a climbing area and a 20 cm pool. The water centre is connected to Tallinn Viimsi SPA spa and sauna centre by a gallery; there, you can enjoy various spa and sauna services for an additional fee.

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Seaplane Harbour (Estonian Maritime Museum)

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

The most exciting maritime museum in Europe is located in the Seaplane Harbour! About 200 authentic items are on display at the historical seaplane hangar: a submarine called Lembit, a century-old icebreaker Suur Tõll, a seaplane called Short 184, remains of the oldest ship found in Estonia, and much more. There is also cafe MARU and a museum shop. Globe-trotting in a submarine, having your picture taken in a navy uniform, an aquarium, simulators, throwing paper airplanes, a children's corner with drawing tools, building blocks, an authentic sailboat, and an outdoor playground – programmes and materials meant for independent visits are playful and broaden the horizon of children and adults alike.  

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Kiek in de Kök Fortification Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Strong medieval fortification tower Kiek in de Kök (German for ‘peek in the kitchen’) got its name from a legend about some soldiers in the tower who liked to peek from the top of the tower into the kitchens in the town below. The museum, located in the cannon tower and bastion passages, introduces the genesis of Tallinn, its development, as well as the most important war events from the 13th to the 18th century. In the arms room, you can explore historical weapons and try out a shooting simulator. The tower offers unique views of the city and port. From there, you can visit the passages in the city wall, Neitsitorn Tower, Tallitorn Tower, the gate tower of Lühike Jalg, and the bastion passages.

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Estonian Film Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

As you walk on the red carpet leading you to the Film Museum in the Maarjamäe Castle Park, you will feel like a movie star. The film alley takes you to an exhibition that provides an overview of the history of Estonian films and the behind the scenes of the world's film industry. The permanent exhibition 'Take ONE' shares the secrets of film making and gives the visitors an idea of what happens behind the camera. In the magical illusion room, machines from the early years of film are available for exploring and testing how people used to make films. You can also try being a filmmaker at the exhibition. The building has a 210-seat cinema and conference room, perfect for premieres and other events.

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Go shopping at Telliskivi Creative City

Harju maakond, Põhja-Tallinna linnaosa

Telliskivi Creative City, located in a former industrial complex on the borders of the Old Town and Pelgulinna and Kalamaja districts, is the creative centre of Tallinn. This is the largest creative centre in Estonia, it consisting of design stores and numerous cafes and bars. Nearly 600 cultural events take place annually and a flea market is organised on every Saturday. Here, you can also find the Club of Different Rooms, Theatre Vaba Lava, and the theatre Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava.

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