Museum #4 – Parola Tank Museum

Fourth and last museum for the day of August 4th. I’ve visited the tank museum when I was a little boy, togheter with my grand dad on my mothers side. The visit then left warm memories and was pretty eager to see it once again, after some 30 years.

After the three museum streak and a hamburger lunch, everybody was re-energized, and the short drive to the tank museum went smoothly. When driving into the parking lot, it was clear that it is not only me who changed the last 30 years, the museum itself has changed quite a lot. Nowadays there’s two indoor halls, and the legendary two outdoors long rows of tanks to view.

To enter the museum the prices are adults 9€, children (aged 6-15) 5€. But there’s also a family package, that consists of 2 adults + children, that equal to 18€. So for the price of 18€ all five of us got in and got to go thru everything. Very affordable.

The first hall did not contain places where one could climb up on or into the tanks, so not surprisingly our kids wanted to move along pretty quickly. In the second hall there then was the possibility to climb into some vehicles, and that opportunity was not wasted. In the first vehicle my eldest kid asked some questions, and when mom arrived a little after us in there, this same kid proudly announces: “did you know mom, dad has been a real soldier, and ridden in one of these vehicles in a real war, that’s so cool!” … well not quite! 😂

At this point I seriously pondered if the information about Finnish wars from the Museo Militaria and here had been absorbed correctly by this kid, I think not. We corrected her and the journey continued.

The two halls were great, and there was a lot information as well as vehicles to look at. Specially impressive were the tanks that were cut open, so that one could see how they truly look like.

To my big surprise and annoyance was that I did not remember to take pictures of the things that were of interest. This might have been due to this being the fourth museum for the day, and partly due to the time already being closer to 6AM. This resulted that I have borrowed some pictures from Google and the Tank museums webpage.

The two rows of tanks outside were nice too, but the exhaustion of museums had started to pile up on the kids, and the pace past the tanks picked up speed. The armor train was a surprise to a couple of the girls, and this was somehow a good reminder to me, that although I see it natural, to have armor this and that, it was not for the girls.

At the end of the outside part, there was this upper part of a tank, that showed different caliber cannon damage, and it was really interesting to see. Specially useful was it to combine with the information from the Museo Militaria, where I showed and told the girls of different shells and how far they flew. This really made a lightbulb to go off, specially in our first born.

Different shell damage shown on this tank turret. The turret is from a T-54 tank. (Photo: Parola Tank Museum webpage)

There was also a small exhibition on anti-tank and anti-aircraft in a smaller hall, and there we found a anti-tank artillery piece, that was armed with a laser and screen with two tanks. On this simulator kids were allowed to aim, load and fire the gun, and to see when they hit the tanks. This was a very good surprise, and really got the kids to get engaged. Thumbs up for the museum.

The museum closes at 18, and just a minute before this, we were ready, so perfect timing.

This concluded our intense museum day on August 4th. All the museums were very interesting, and definitely worth visiting.

As a reward for the long day, and cooperation the kids got lollipops.

Some things that could be changed or improved. Start the day earlier, that way you could hold more breaks, and the energy levels wouldn’t plummet so badly. We started the first museum at 11:35, so there had been the possibility to start some 1½ hours earlier. OR, split the day up into two days. This of course means, that the trio ticket should be split into two days, this I have no knowledge of so check this up first.
IF it’s possible to split the trio package onto to two days, one could for instance take the prison museum and castle the first day. Take in to a local hotel, and on the second day visit Militaria and tank museum.

I found out afterwards, that the tank museum and militaria has a own collaboration, and you can buy their tickets together. This other package costs 15€ for adults and 7€ for kids.

To my calculation for our family (2 adults + 1 eight years old + 2 six years old), it’s more affordable, to take the trio package (prison museum, Häme castle and Museo Militaria), and then add the tank museum by itself. This way all the entrance fees add up to 65€.
If we would to take the duo package with Militaria and tank museum, and then separately pay for the prison and castle, that would add up to 89€, so much depends on if the trio package can be split onto to two days.

This time, as my wife had purchased a museum card earlier, she could enter the three first ones on this card, and therefore our true cost was for the day 46€. (19€ + 9€ + 18€ = 46€)

This of course changes already next year, as our twins become 7 years, because the age limit for the kids trio package is 7-17 years old. Next year the cost would end up to be 83€. for the whole family, with the same set up, meaning trip package + family package for the tank museum. (19€ + 19€ + 9€ + 9€ + 9€ + 18€ = 83€)

Prices and opening hours:
Prison museum
Häme castle
Museo Militaria
Parola Tank museum

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