Why can you felt sheep wool but not dog wool? How does Core-Tex material work? Why does drying laundry outside gives it a special smell? What kind of clothes are made from wood and which from plastic bottles? What do the labels on our clothes tell us? Who invented velcro and how?

This year’s Tartu Nature House’s summer exhibition tells the stories of our clothing. What is the origin, history, properties, uses and production technology of various materials, as well as their environmental effects? The clothes on our backs are one of the most casual everyday things but it is necessary to know what are they made of, where are they produced, what their impact is on the environment and what our choices really are.

At the exhibition, you can look at various fibers, materials and fabric types under magnification, try diffrent handicraft technologies, explore the journey of clothing around the world, get to know the personal life stories of five T-shirts, look for labels on your own clothes and enjoy playful activities like the button sea. The exhibition is intended for the whole family – there are playful activities for both children and environmental information with moments of nostalgia for adults.

The exhibition was largely put together from recycled materials sourced from both home wardrobes and second-hand shops. Many of these exhibits were provided by the people who work at the Nature House or by their friends and family. Some materials even came from the Tallinn zoo 🙂

The exhibition is in Estonian and English.

The exhibition was made possible with the support of the Estonian Research Council.


Open from 26.05 until 14.09 from Mon-Fri at 10am-6pm.

Entrance with house ticket: discount ticket 3€/full ticket 5€/family ticket 13€

loodusmaja riidenäitus

If you are interested in Japanese culture and language then join the Japanese cultural evening in Tartu Nature House on the 25th of February at 17:00 o’clock.

We will try some origami and calligraphy, learn some simple Japanese phrases, try Japanese snacks and play traditional games.

The cultural evening is hosted by students and their sensei from Sophia University, Tokyo. The activities take place in english.

The participation fee is 2€.

jaapani kultuuriõhtu

Tartu Nature House hosts its traditional early mushroom exhibition where a wide selection of mushrooms from Southern-Estonian forests, meadows, parks and lodges is displayed. If lucky, 100-150 different species can be seen. In the small mushroom laboratory you can also get acquainted with the mycelium, spore leaves and tubes and animals living in fungi. Mushrooms growing in the park of the nature house are also marked during the exhibition.

Mushroom exhibition 13.-16.09
Tartu Nature House, Lille 10
10:00 -18:00

TICKET: Adults 3€ / pupils, students, pensioners 2€ / children under 5 years free of charge


Facebook event (in estonian)


Additional information:

Liina Vakrööm
exhibition manager

Dear parents and students!

We are pleased to announce that the registration for Tartu Nature House 2022/2023 hobby classes is now open!

Tartu Nature School is a child and environmentally friendly hobby school. We offer the joy of discovery and new knowledge to more than five hundred children and young people each year. We often go and spend time in nature, but we are also active indoors and in the laboratory.

Although the classes are in Estonian, we also welcome non-Estonian speaking children and young adults in our activities and it is possible to participate in some classes on the basis of English. It is a great way to practice Estonian, learn about local nature and find new friends!

There are multiple estonian speaking classes that welcome english speaking children in which the teacher will translate the activities and assignments.


Class: Little Naturalists

Language: Estonian, but the class is also open for English speaking pupils, teacher will translate activites and assignments

Age: 1.-3. grade, 4.-6.grade

Subject: We will create fantastical inventions and do experiments out of nature friendly materials; discover and analyze the physical secrets of nature; improve our manual skills and creativity

Class: Woodworking

Language: Estonian, but the class is also open for English speaking pupils, teacher will translate activites and assignments

Age: Pre-school (4-6 y), 1.-3. grade

Subject: We will learn about different types of wood and their properties; how to use woodworking tools and techniques; how to design and make models, toys and machines out of wood

Class: Technology and recycling

Language: Estonian, but the class is also open for English speaking pupils, teacher will translate activites and assignments

Age: 4.-12. grade

Subject: We will deconstruct everyday mechanical and electrical items and machines to discover how they work; learn to repair things and find new ways how to use them; build toys and selfmade mechanisms from recycled materials; visit interesting technical facilities around Tartu

Class: Environmental Studies

Language: Estonian, but the class is also open for English speaking pupils, teacher will translate activites and assignments

Age: 7.-9.grade, 10.-12. grade

Subject: We will discover nature in diverse ways – by our  hands, eyes, noses and mouths; learn how to plan experiments and research; use different methods and equipment to do natural science studies; improve our knowledge about ways to live more environmentally friendly; participate in camps, fieldtrips, fieldwork and science fairs; write natural science student projects and develop them in a national/global scale.

Class: Camping adventures

Language: Estonian, but the class is also open for English speaking pupils, teacher will translate activites and assignments

Age: 10.-12. grade

Subject: We will discover the Estonian nature in all ways and learn teamwork through physical activites; learn in theory and practice how to move and survive in nature and plan a hike; learn how to read animal tracks and navigate with the help of natural signs; prepare food and a campsite; try different styles of hiking like climbing, canoeing, sailing, snowshoeing, etc. Tartu Nature House has hiking supplies for the class that participates can borrow.

General information:

  • IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SIGN UP, please contact the study coordinator and she will send you the sign up sheet in english: Pille-Riin Pärnsalu, pilleriin.parnsalu@tartuloodusmaja.ee, (+372) 5344 2512. 
  • There are a lot of extra activites beside classes the children can participate in – camps, hikes, excursions, exhibitions, quizzes, nature theatre night, etc. Tartu Nature House is also part of Eco-Schools Global and UNESCO Associated Schools Network and takes part in their program activities.


loodusmaja ekskursioon

Tartu Nature House is a small green oasis in the middle of the city. A beautiful park surrounds the centre, where visitors can familiarise themselves with different educational trails, a beaver dam meant for humans, gardens, a viewing platform and children’s play area.

The innovative and sustainably built house works as environmental education centre, hobby school and a visitors centre. At the heart of the building is the winter garden where you’ll find various exotic plant species, as well as tortoises.

Take a virtual tour: https://www.tartuloodusmaja.ee/vtuur/
Or visit us! We also offer guided tours.

Admission tickets:
September – May  3 eur/2 eur/10 eur
June – August = 5 eur/3 eur/13 eur

Opening hours: Mo – Fri 10 – 18


Our summer exhibitions 2022

  • Pollination Investigation

In the park in front of the house visitors can find 14 posters with interesting information about different pollinators for example bees, butterflies, beetles etc. who are vital elements in our ecosystems. Did you know that birds and small mammals also are classified as pollinators? Pollinators are a huge part of our everyday life.  It is important to pay attention to our surroundings and understand it. More we know and learn, the more we notice and discover new things around us. James Gagliardi who is an American botanist has created the the posters based on Smithsonian Gardens. The exhibition is in english, estonian and russian. 

  • Photo exhibition “Butterflies”

In the hall there is a small photo exhibition about butterflies. Author of the photographs is Marje Loide who is a biologist-botanist. In her free time she likes to go hiking. Different seasons have different faces and through photography she likes to show it to other people too. She likes to take photos of insects and in the wintertime of the frozen ice flowers on the windows. On early mornings, nature has a different feeling and energy. Everything starts to wake up and with the sun rising and fog starting to disappear.  Birds are singing and bugs and other animals are starting to move around. This is the best time to capture it all in the photos. 

  • Haabjas – Estonian Expanded Dugout Boat

In the lobby there is an exhibition about Estonian Expanded Dugout Boat. The expanded dugout boat is a canoe-like boat made by hollowing out a single tree, usually aspen, with expanded sides and a shallow base. Until the 1960s, the boats were used for daily transport on rivers and fishing but now their use has changed and become more recreational. These boats that are displayed in our lobby are made by Aivar Ruukel and Soomaa national park cultural heritage specialist Sandra Urvak.

The building and use of expanded dugout tree boats in Estonia’s Soomaa region was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding list. Read more >>

If all the other attractions in Tartu Nature House and its Park have already been tried out and you are looking for more fun activities for your family and friends then we have new and exciting outdoor games for you to rent and enjoy! There are a variety of games that require active movement and puzzling, suitable for both children and adults, for picnics and small outdoor workouts.

The game selection includes:

  • Different throwing games
  • Nature House “Twister”
  • Good old chinese jump rope
  • Fun with hula hoops
  • A match game for puzzles
  • “Tic-Tac-Toe”
  • Jumbo “Jenga”
  • Badminton rackets (coming soon)
  • Jumbo Dominoes (coming soon)
  • A game of “4 In a Row” (coming soon)



Game set (1-3 games according to the request of the lender ) 5€

1 game included in the ticket price for family and house ticket buyers

*Games can be rented on the basis of a valid identification document for up to 2 hours. Games are to be used in the park area of a Tartu Nature House!

Open hours in summer: Tue-Fri 10-18; Sat 11-16

Did you know it was possible to visit Tartu Nature House without leaving the comfort of your own home?

You can dive into our warm and colorful virtual tour between the walls of your very own home and discover the exciting corners of Nature House you’ve never seen before. Be sure to turn on your speakers when wandering around the conservatory!

Exhibition “Transparent Nature House” introduces the visitor almost everything found in the Nature House and its park through spherical pictures.

Information can be found on environmentally friendly building solutions, the Nature House principles of using, as well as on conservatory plants, animals, and the use of water and energy.

The exhibition will show just how a Nature House located in the center of Tartu uses solar energy, rainwater, cashmere goat wool, clay, and wood in a way that both cares for their visitors and nature.

Start your virtual tour here >>

Tartu loodusmaja virtuaaltuur

Welcome to the European national and symbolic animal quiz! 

Tartu Nature House invites all Estonian school pupils to participate in a quiz on knowing the national and symbolic animals of European countries.

Europe is a continent composed of several different countries, each with its own language and culture, so there is no singular national animal. Instead, individual countries have chosen their own national and symbolic animals. To prepare for the Quiz you can get acquianted to them we have prepared a list of the animals for you. Have a look at the list before taking the Quiz >>

The rules are simple: 

  • Each participant can choose their own level to answer. You can choose higher but not lower level.
  • There is a certain time frame when the Quiz is open. It is from 14th February to 28th February.
  • You can take the Quiz several times. But you will get points only for your fist submitted Quiz.
  • You need headphones or speakers for Grade 4 – 12 Quiz. It will have some audio clips.
  • If you have some problems with quiz write to pilleriin.parnsalu@tartuloodusmaja.ee

Take the Quiz and test you knowledge! 

Grade 1 – 3
/the Quiz is not active any more/

Grade 4 – 6
/the Quiz is not active any more/


Grade 7 – 12
/the Quiz is not active any more/


Prizes for the smartest participants!
Tartu 2024 – Euroopa Kultuuripealinn ja Rohelille disain

Matsalu Nature Film festival is organised already for the 19th time and Tartu Nature House is happy to announce that a selection of the best nature movies will be shown in Tartu also from 22.-24.09.2021. The purpose of the festival is to introduce and recognise new nature films and their creators. Also to increase interest in environmental issues and raise awareness about sustainable lifestyle via films.

Additional information on Matsalu nature film festival website: ww.matsalufilm.ee

Film festival schedule in Tartu Nature House:

Wednesday, 22. of September

  • 17.00 – “What a colorful World” (Austria, 50 min)
  • 18.00 – “Rebirth” (Taiwan, 60 min)

Thursday, 23. of September

  • 17.00 – “My Dragon River” (Germany, 52 min)
  • 18.00 – “The Otter, a Legend returns” (The Netherlands, 52 min)
  • 19.00 – “Animal” (Germany, 75 min)

Friday, 24. of September

  • 17.00 – “Nature’s Nurseries” (Germany, 48 min)
  • 18.00 – “Santa’s wild Home” (Austria, 50 min)
  • 19.00 – The Winner Film

Ticket Information:                                       

   Full price Discount*  
MAFF Pass  24 12 Entrance to all the movies from 22.-24.09
Single ticket 4 2 Entrance to one of the selected films

* teachers, students and pensioners 

The event is free for schoolchildren, but we advise to pre-book the tickets.  

Booking of Matsalu nature film festival tickets and festival passes goes through the link below:
Ticket booking

Tickets can be bought from Tartu Nature house

Additional information: +372 736 6120, info@tartuloodusmaja.ee


From 26.08 some COVID-19 protective measures will be applied (from the age of 18).
For you to visit Tartu Nature House you must provide one of the following:

  • Immunization certificate (only when fully vaccinated) with identity document;
  • Certificate of recovery from COVID-19;
  • Negative PCR test not older than 72 hours;
  • Rapid antigen tests performed by a healthcare provider not older than 48 hours.

OR in some cases wearing a mask is mandatory. Children under the age of 12 or visitors for whom it is unreasonable to wear a mask for health reasons or other important reasons do not have to wear a mask.

Additional information:  +372 736 6120, info@tartuloodusmaja.ee