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Helsinki layover

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Hi All,
In route to Asia, we have a long stopover (8 to 9 hrs) in Helsinki mid December and then we have a 1-night layover coming back home on Dec 30.

I just started my research but am looking for ideas on nice family places to stay-2 adults and 2 teens plus possibly inlaws. (so far-just check the Hiltons and hotel haven)

Just from reading a bit, looks like I probably have enough time to wander around the city on our way going-any not to miss city highlights that we absolutely should visit? Or great guide recommendations? Should we just take the train from the airport into the city and walk around?

On the way going home, should we try to to do a ferry ride? Are they running in late December?

Thanks.

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