The Moomins or Mumins are main characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. First introduced in a series of books, and later in comic strips, the story revolves around white anthropomorphized creatures that closely resemble hippopotami. Considered a Finnish national treasure, the stories are just darling; not to mention the colourful cast of secondary characters. My personal favourite is Little My. She’s feisty, mischievous and undeterred. I think for many locals and tourists alike, the stories are one of the first introductions to Finnish culture. There’s always something Moomin on the bookshelf, and you can glimpse the tip of Snufkin’s hat from a recent ceramic purchase. It’s no wonder then that the Moomins have been drafted to film and television, as well as the basis for a theme park, and museum.
More recently, Moomin themed cafés have opened in Helsinki. First in the family friendly neighbourhoods of Kruununhaka, and Töölö, and later in landmark department store Stockmann. Of the three, my current favourite location lies in Krunnunhaka. Nestled in the corner of Snellmaninkatu and Liisankatu (katu is Finnish for street), this café’s interior is just as cosy as it’s exterior. The large floor to ceiling windows encapsulating the space allow for light and prime people-watching views, while soothing jazz hums throughout. Move further into this child-friendly space, and you’ll find swings, Moomin books, a miniature chair and table set, and a small carpeted area for the little ones to roam freely. The ambience is relaxed, as are the café attendants, who are happy to hold the door for an incoming stroller. The menu is typical Finnish fare, complete with small sandwiches, coffee and pastries, but it’s made fresh and you’ll rest easy with the various seating options. Naturally, there is Moomin paraphernalia for sale, which is just wonderful if you need to replenish your coffee mugs, or refresh your book collection.
Mumin Kaffe; Liisankatu 21, +358 50 328 6272, muminkaffe.comTips & Perks
Price – modest
Atmosphere – kid-friendly, relaxed, casual dining
Changing table available
Age appropriate 0 – 6 years
Stroller access – medium a small step to clear, but once inside you’ll find space to park your stroller. If your little one is awake, you can also leave the empty stroller near the entrance, as the large windows provide close contact.