In Tampere you get to see lots of different animals, for example in Särkänniemi: exotic fish in the Aquarium and at Doghill there are sweet sheep, chickens, ponies, pigs and many other animal friends (Doghill is open from June 13). You can find sheep grazing in Tampere in Tesoma’s Kohmanpuisto and Peltolammi’s Rukkamäenpuisto. But if you want to get to a stroking distance, there are some great places for that as well!
Domestic Animal Farm Ponimaa is situated in Orivesi, about 40 km from Tampere, and in the courtyard you get to see the dwellers – Friesian horses, ponies, miniature ponies, donkeys, goats (e.g. African miniature goats), sheep, miniature pigs, bunnies, chickens, ducks, peacocks, golden pheasants, doves, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and of course dogs and cats. At the bunny fortress you get to pet little bunnies, and on the hour there’s free-of-charge pony rides for children. There’s also an imp’s hut, a frog pond and a stable for hobby horses. If you look very carefully, you might even see some fairies and goblins! Ponimaa is open every day from June 1 until August 9 at 11-17.
In Sastamala, there’s Kiviniitty domestic animal farm (open from June 14) with about 200 animals, over 30 species from sheep to calves and horses to rabbits – nearly all the Finnish farm animals are represented. At the farm there’s also a café and spots for having a barbecue, as well as specialities such as alpacas, ostriches, degus, and highland cattle. You don’t have to travel to Lapland to see something a bit more rare in this latitude – reindeer! In addition to the animals, there’s a lot to do for the kids: horse ride on a lead, trampolines, a big bouncy castle, playground and a witch’s cottage.
At the Reippi farm in Pirkkala, you can find the original Finnish farmyard animals in their real surroundings: Finnish horses, rare western-Finnish cattle and eastern-Finnish cattle, sheep, chickens and cats. The popular and atmospheric farmyard with its summer café is open to the public during the summer time. Reippi farm is open from June 6 Saturdays and Sundays at 11-17 and from June 19 also on Fridays at 16-20.
Have you ever seen a real life ostrich? If not, you should get your bearings set towards Pälkäne and the Syrjynen ostrich farm! At the farm you get to see some ostriches, of course, but also Highland cattle, fallow deer, chickens, bunnies and cats, and in the summertime also sheep. A café serves the visitors. Farm is open from June 1 Mon-Fri at 10-18, Sat at 10-16 and Sun at 11-18.
Also in Pälkäne, you can find the Niitty-Seppälä farm and petting zoo (open from June 12), where both children and adults will enjoy themselves. Piglets, a pony, bunnies, chickens and goatlings, also walked horse riding is available. Do you dare to visit the Ogre’s Cave? If not, there’s also a nature trail with tricky questions to solve along the way, and on the playground there’s a slide, a merry-go-round and swings to make your head spin. At the farm you can also pick your own berries or buy them from the market. The farm café is open for visitors in the summer.
Tampere is also not far away from the home of the only giant pandas in the Nordic countries – Ähtäri! In addition to pandas Lumi and Pyry, there are dozens of Scandinavian animals to be observed in their natural habitat. Pack up a picnic and enjoy a day in Ähtäri with the whole family! Ähtäri is open from June 1.