The public attractions of Luomus introduce the natural sciences to the general public. The attractions are the Natural History Museum in Töölö as well as the Botanic Gardens in Kaisaniemi and Kumpula. The geological collections in Kumpula Manor are only accessible to visitors in conjunction with special events.
The Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden and its Tree of Life, a section which presents the evolutionary history of plants, were reopened after renovation in 2017. The following year brought a visitor record for the gardens – in total, more than 100,000 people visited the gardens in Kaisaniemi and Kumpula. The Museum of Natural History reached a new record in 2017 with more than 174,000 visitors. (Table 15)
Many of the guided tours in Luomus are classics that have remained popular year after year, but occasionally a new concept is introduced. The 2017 guided tour called Muutoksen aika ja mustan hiilen kirous (“The time of change and the curse of black carbon”), intended for adolescents, focused on the role of carbon and humanity in understanding the current state of our planet. Meanwhile, the Operaatio Jääkauden jättiläinen (“Operation Ice Age giant”) tour in 2018 used drama as a presentation technique. Groups were introduced to Ice Age environments, humans and animals, they were able to influence the course of the story, and ultimately, they were encouraged to examine the consequences of their actions.
In 2017–2018 a total of 1,676 guided tours, each with an average of 20 visitors, were led through the public attractions of Luomus. Most of the tours (79%) began at the Natural History Museum, which is open all year round, with the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden being the second most popular tour site (including tours of the glasshouses and the outdoor garden), while the only attraction open exclusively during the summer, the Kumpula Botanic Garden, hosted 2% of the tours. In addition to this, the Kumpula Botanic Garden organised 10 guided tours included in the entrance fee in the summer of 2018.
In 2017–2018 the most common group participating in the public guided tours was elementary school pupils (ages 7–12), representing 38% of tour visitors. The next biggest groups were kindergarten and adult groups (both 20%). Lower-secondary school pupils (ages 13–15) represented 11%, upper-secondary school pupils and other youth groups 8%, and mixed groups including visitors of different ages 2% of all tour groups. Most of the guided tours in 2018 were conducted in Finnish (89%). If requested, guided tours in Swedish and English were provided whenever possible.
The most popular public events of Luomus, such as the mushroom exhibition and the activities offered during school breaks in autumn and winter, garner a total number of more than 10,000 visitors each year, but Luomus also arranges smaller events throughout the year.
In 2017 the Kumpula gardeners helped visitors jump into winter and organised yoga-ball golf, as the snow shoe walk had to be cancelled due to the lack of snow. At the Museum of Natural History, school pupils programmed dinosaur robots in the robotics workshop while the Museum Safari made visitors dance like party animals. The popular children’s drawing workshops continued with enticing themes: butterflies flying to Finland in the spring, fishing with playful otters, and monkeys. The drawing evenings for adults featured themes such as “My animal totem” and “The animal in me”.
The Museum of Natural History had several open weekend workshops in 2018, focusing on themes such as bird houses, insects and fossils. In the spring, Luomus participated in the Lovely Helsinki festival, with several pieces of flower art on display in Kaisaniemi and free flower walks in the outdoor garden.