One of our favourite places in Espoo to run to when the sun shines is Oittaa. Last weekend for the first time we tried walking the nature trail (luontopolku) and it was one of the best we ever explored. We found out about nature trails last winter and since then we regularly visit them. Most of them are totally suitable for R. – who recently turned four – especially if we plan the lunch break in the middle. E. usually walks part of it, then we carry him in a baby carrier. The nature trails are very well marked and most of them have info signs here and there, explaining about local plants and animals. I also bought two notepads for the kids and each time they complete a trail, they win a badge to paste in their notepad. Something like this:
We also put notes about the day, if we saw something funny or if one was particularly good at something, like spotting the signs. It’s nice to go back and read it together sometime.
The Oittaa trail starts behind the kartano and was quite easy. R. walked through it without breaks, while E. got to half by himself. There was a lot of elevation and different terrains. After the nice walk, it was time for a picnic. We brought our lunch, but if you feel lazy there’s a cafeteria which serves lunch, as well as coffee, buns, and ice-cream. The day was sunny, but there were dark clouds coming, so we ran towards the beach as soon as we were done with the food. The kids jumped into the lake, the water is shallow for several meters and there’s even a closed area marked by buoys for small kids. Remember to bring some beach toys!
The beach has some other free-of-charge services: cabins to get changed, (cold) showers, toilets, and a beach volley field. Right beside it stands one Angry Birds themed playground, which the kids never grow tired of. After getting dry, they let the final steam out by playing up and down slides, jumping on the trampoline, and climbing on everything they could.
It was a great day. Finally, a summer day. And we didn’t spend a cent, which is always a nice perk.