This May, we’re still at home, staying safe, and avoiding crowds. It can feel frustrating, given that this is the time of year when lots of outdoor events start kicking off, but there’s still plenty to keep you occupied until normality returns!
Here’s all the ways to enjoy Helsinki while social distancing this May, including public holidays, virtual events, digital tours, plus ideas for at-home activities:
Grab your white cap! Vappu marks the end of winter, but as a twist on May Day celebrations around the world, the white caps traditionally sported in Finland originate from the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on April 30th, while sporting their white caps. Celebrations will look a little different this year, but there’s nothing to stop you donning a cap, decorating the house with balloons, and raising a glass of sima to loved ones over Zoom as you appreciate the new season.
Ultimate Scandinavian playlist
Want to spice up a Zoom party? Or just want to brush up on Scandinavian music? Our latest Party in a Post is celebrating Scandi classics and new Nordic hits.
Slow down with slow tv
Take a tip from our Nordic neighbors and enjoy the anxiety-reducing qualities of Slow TV – a Norwegian phenomenon that’s resulted in 12-hour marathon showings of train journeys, knitting, and wood burning to name but a few.
Sinerbychoff Art Museum Virtual Tour
Sinebychoff Art Museum showcases the art collection of Paul and Fanny Sinerbychoff, and it includes work by many European old masters. You can take a virtual tour of the house museum, which is a permanent exhibition consisting of art, furniture, and artifacts.
If you have access to a VR device such an Oculus Rift, you can visit Helsinki’s landmarks virtually. Zoan, a virtual reality studio, has created the experience. In their “Sound of Seasons” tour, you can see things like Senate Square and Alvar Aalto’s home at different times of the year. Free to use.
Ateneum Virtual Tour
Ateneum, the largest art museum in Finland and part of the Finnish National Gallery, is one of the museums teamed up with Google Arts & Culture to offer a virtual taste of their items. The Google gallery includes 55 items, among them works by Finnish greats like Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Free.
Worker Housing Museum Virtual Tour
The Worker Housing Museum is a time capsule from Helsinki’s past. At the turn of the 20th century, Helsinki built housing for city employees and their families. Today one of the buildings exists as this museum, which simulates living conditions in different time periods. They offer a virtual tour.
Tiedekulma, where University of Helsinki researchers present their latest findings, has live streams of its program. A myriad of topics are covered, including health, social issues, climate change, and politics. Once it’s safe, check out the live event in the city center too! Free.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s spring season concerts have been canceled, but there are hours upon hours of live-stream footage from past concerts to enjoy! Many full concerts, from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to contemporary composers, are available for free.
Korona-Konsertit Livestreamed Concerts
Korona-Konsertit (Corona Concerts), the newly launched and aptly named website, lists upcoming Finnish concerts that have decided to go to live stream instead of canceling. Concerts of many genres are available, and many of them are by small indie artists. Free.
Lippu.fi, Rockway, and the Musician’s Guild have partnered up to bring you this service, which will host concerts and other performances virtually via live stream. Big Finnish names like Mira Luoti and Anssi Kela are set to perform. Ticket prices will vary.
Finnish National Opera and Ballet Livestreams
The spring season for the Finnish National Opera and Ballet is on hold, but their Stage24 service lets you watch full streams of their past performances! The selection includes operas like Don Giovanni and shows like Pippi Longstocking and La Bohème. Free.
If you’ve never made traditional Finnish Karelian pies, it’s a wonderful activity that can fill an afternoon. Despite the long process, Karelian pies are not difficult to make! SaimaaLife has a recipe, complete with instructional photos, in English.
Watch Classic Finnish Films
At the end of last year, Finland’s National Audiovisual Institute, or KAVI, made hundreds of old Finnish films available for free online. Over 200 are full-length films, and their production dates range from 1913 to 1990.
LIISA LAINE live stream Yoga
Keep focusing on your breath with online yoga classes, taught via Zoom. The classes will be given in English.
LOKAL Online Store
LOKAL is a concept store and gallery that sells high-quality handicrafts from local creators. Their collection includes ceramics, jewelry, textiles, prints, wooden utensils, and more decorative items. You can buy from their online shop, which is in and of itself clean and aesthetic.
Kauniste Online Store
Kauniste is a charming independent lifestyle store that sells fabric, housewares, paper goods, and accessories. Their distinctive style is full of bold colors, shapes, and natural themes. Their online shop is well-stocked with many adorable items.
TRE Online Store
Nordic design items reflecting the values of good design, beauty, sustainability, and transparency are available at TRE. TRE has clothing for women and men, children’s items, housewares, furniture, health and beauty items, and more. Their online shop is open and easy to navigate.
Minna Parikka Online Store
Minna Parikka is a local shoe designer famous for her bunny-eared designs. The storefront in the city centre is famous for colourful and whimsical window displays, but even from home you can see that vibe reflected in the online store’s selection.
If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!
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