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Lapland Christmas

soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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Question,
Has anyone been to Lapland with their kids at Christmas to see Santa, that have any recommendations on places to stay, areas to see, where to avoid etc etc.
This is a non-California trip as we intent to fly, looking at about 5 days.
Trying to plan for 2022, yes i know, must be mad. But this maybe our last opportunity before our little lads gets too old. He will be 6, 7 years old early 2023.
Looking to do a once in a lifetime trip, so want advice from as many places as possible...:thumb
 
Wesel

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Santa can't be there at Christmas, since he's here !
:rolleyes:
 
bvddobb

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We went to Santa Park in Rovaniemi this summer. Turned out to be closed due to Covid. So, check well beforehand!
 
soulstyledevon

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kurienp

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Question,
Has anyone been to Lapland with their kids at Christmas to see Santa, that have any recommendations on places to stay, areas to see, where to avoid etc etc.
This is a non-California trip as we intent to fly, looking at about 5 days.
Trying to plan for 2022, yes i know, must be mad. But this maybe our last opportunity before our little lads gets too old. He will be 6, 7 years old early 2023.
Looking to do a once in a lifetime trip, so want advice from as many places as possible...:thumb

Not with kids or during winter, but just a few months ago and Santa was there, with his reindeers and busy packing gifts. If small kids, I think you can easily spend about 2 days there. Many activities the whole day around and you do have cabins and rooms you can book there within the Santa Claus village. Reindeer rides, igloos, snowmobile rides - should be enough to keep kids busy ... but guess, on the expensive side in Winter.

The train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi is also a good one. If train, take the upper floor ... more space in the rooms for a family.

The only other place in Rovaniemi we visited was Ounasvaara Observation Tower and Ounasvaaran Lookout. An easy walk from the parking area ... but not sure how it will be with a few feet of snow.
 
bigmac77

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We went to Finland just before lockdown, flew Gatwick to Rovaniemi, as others have said the Santa village is just outside Rovaniemi. We didn’t go to the village but we went up to Pyha where there is a small ski resort. We did dog sleigh trip, full day on snow-mobiles, sledging, snow shoe-ing and saw the Aurora Borealis it was great and not too cold when we were there only had one day when it was -15 C. The skiing was a bit basic and was just something extra to do in the afternoons/evenings but the snow park was great and my kids loved it.
 
Aldridge_cali

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We did this, albeit 12 years ago. When booking, we found you could do cheap or expensive. We chose to go cheap for longer, I think it was 4 nights as we like to explore a little and get a feel for the area.
For us, this was the correct choice. The extra time allowed us to go out in the local town for drinks and meals, went sledging, hiked up a hill and hired snowmobiles for a whole afternoon to really explore. The kids still remember a night-time hike on a frozen lake to see the northern lights.
The downside was that the included activities were bad.....really bad. But, you get what you pay for and the kids were happy with them.
Obviously, if money was no object, then the high end package for 4 nights would have been perfect.
 
Last edited:
Amarillo

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Question,
Has anyone been to Lapland with their kids at Christmas to see Santa, that have any recommendations on places to stay, areas to see, where to avoid etc etc.
This is a non-California trip as we intent to fly, looking at about 5 days.
Trying to plan for 2022, yes i know, must be mad. But this maybe our last opportunity before our little lads gets too old. He will be 6, 7 years old early 2023.
Looking to do a once in a lifetime trip, so want advice from as many places as possible...:thumb
We made an unplanned visit to https://santaparkarcticworld.com/santapark in August 2017. We spotted the place as we were passing on the way to our campsite.

The place is definitely worth a visit if you are passing, but don't expect the ticket to be all inclusive: for example, while they might offer a FREE activity for children of decorating a gingerbread man, if your child then wants to eat that gingerbread man you will need to pay an inflated price.

1638966287371.jpeg

There are lots of elves around this repurposed nuclear fallout shelter (yes - that's what Santa's grotto really is). At the time of visiting I had a long white beard, and one of the elves, long blond hair in tightly plaited pigtails and heavily freckled face came up to me and giggled with her hand covering her face "you look just like my master".

1638966996277.jpeg

Clare told me to shut my mouth which I then realised had fallen wide open.

While I can't recommend anywhere to stay if you do go, please pay this place a visit and take a photo for me while there.
 
ThomasHJ

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We've been to Finnish Lapand.

We try to avoid the usual touristy stuff normally, but went all in on that trip: husky ride, reindeer ride, snowmobile ride, skiing, watching Aurora Borealis, etc. And we loved it. Mostly because everything was covered in snow. Unlike we'd ever seen. The trees were buckling! It was great.

We went to a touristy place called Ruka(tunturi) near the Russian border. But still it was all quite calm and nice.

We chose to avoid the whole Santa / Santa village stuff. So I can't help you with that, but all the other stuff was truely a once in a lifetime experience. Expensive, but worth it. Go!
 
Cal’ish

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As my mother in law resides in the area, we go there every now and then. I can highly recommend the national parks nearby, some are open and maintained for hikes in the winter as well.
 
soulstyledevon

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Thanks all.
Some really good information.
I’m just trying to work out wether to stay at the Santa village.
Trying not to be selfish, it’s probably not really my sort of thing. But the trip is for our little one, so need to put his experience first.
 
Cal’ish

Cal’ish

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Thanks all.
Some really good information.
I’m just trying to work out wether to stay at the Santa village.
Trying not to be selfish, it’s probably not really my sort of thing. But the trip is for our little one, so need to put his experience first.
As far as ”theme parks” go it’s pretty good.
 
ThomasHJ

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Thanks all.
Some really good information.
I’m just trying to work out wether to stay at the Santa village.
Trying not to be selfish, it’s probably not really my sort of thing. But the trip is for our little one, so need to put his experience first.
One can not argue with ''trying not to be selfish', which is of course a nobel thing to strive for. So good for you @soulstyledevon, however...

In my experience, relaxt and happy parents make for relaxt and happy kids. We've always tried to avoid doing anything solely for the kids. Of course sometimes we end up doing so. But we try to do (as much as possible) things we all enjoy (Our kids turned 5 and 7 this week). Or combine things. Like take them on a hike, but make sure it ends at a pancake restaurant.

For me personally, the Santa village, much like disney land, etc sounds horrible ;-) And even though my kids would perhaps enjoy it. I don't think we'd go. But the reindeers, dog sledding, snow fights, staying in glass roofed accomodation, or perhaps Lego land (I like Lego I admit) would be something we could all enjoy (parts of).

Much like camping in the Cali; we'll choose a nice site that everyone can enjoy. Something for us (walks, quiet, nature) and something for the kids. But never one of those sites geared to children, where we as adults would not feel comfortable
 
J

Jay gas

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Question,
Has anyone been to Lapland with their kids at Christmas to see Santa, that have any recommendations on places to stay, areas to see, where to avoid etc etc.
This is a non-California trip as we intent to fly, looking at about 5 days.
Trying to plan for 2022, yes i know, must be mad. But this maybe our last opportunity before our little lads gets too old. He will be 6, 7 years old early 2023.
Looking to do a once in a lifetime trip, so want advice from as many places as possible...:thumb
Been lucky enough to go to a resort called Levi in Finnish Lapland a few times. Booked through inghams and went for a week each time.
Lots to do there downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobile trips reindeer sleigh rides and a visit to the husky farm with a run out with the dogs. Levi is not to far from Santa’s place up there. Even managed to find ourselves at a frozen lake with naked sauna
Stayed at a hotel called the crazy reindeer and it was pretty crazy at times with the Finns and their love of alcohol.
Would recommend it highly and wrap up warm
 
S

savoyad

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We looked at this and ended up taking a 7 day ski package to with Crystal. All the Santa stuff, and the other activities you do on those trips, were available in resort - either through the tour operator or directly with the local providers. It cost less than the prices for shorter dedicated "Santa" trips and was an amazing holiday. We went to Ruka (skiing was limited compared to Alpine resorts, but there was enough and it was perfect for the kids, and a different experience) but I'm sure it's the same story in all the Lapland resorts.
 
ThomasHJ

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Yeah, we found the skiing in Ruka to be nice, especially with kids. If you are seasoned skiiers you might find it to easy, but with kids it's great. We could ski in and out from the front door of our cottage. And the slopes were so not-busy. Brilliant.
 
andyinluton

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Been lucky enough to go to a resort called Levi in Finnish Lapland a few times. Booked through inghams and went for a week each time.
Lots to do there downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobile trips reindeer sleigh rides and a visit to the husky farm with a run out with the dogs. Levi is not to far from Santa’s place up there. Even managed to find ourselves at a frozen lake with naked sauna
Stayed at a hotel called the crazy reindeer and it was pretty crazy at times with the Finns and their love of alcohol.
Would recommend it highly and wrap up warm
We've stayed at the Crazy reindeer a few times. Highly recommended, decent restaurant, & you can have an appartment with a private Sauna.
The Santa visitors centre is about an hour and a half to the south & when we were there it was available as an organised day trip.
Not sure if the huskys/ snowmobile etc are any cheaper in Levi than as part of a package at the Santa Resort but a good place to stay for a week.

I would check the reviews on the Crazy Reindeer & make your own mind up! It may have gone downhill a bit since we were last there ( 2014)
 
Last edited:
P

PeteS

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We went to Levi and used inghams. We stayed at the hotel just next to the ski slope. The hotel had a indoor and outdoor swimming pool and a bowling alley. Some of the rooms are not connected to the main part of the hotel which means getting Cold Weather gear on to go to breakfast. It is close to the town. We booked quite a few trips the best was raindeer sledging across a frozen lake and of course seeing Father Christmas. If you stay a Levi there is a childrens slope just to the left of the main slope. It is great because you can do skiing or use the sledging slope. Also there some hits at the bottom of the slope that have open fires in and you can cook sausages over the open fire.
Just check what is open as we went a few years ago.
Hope that helps and have a good time which I am sure you will.
 

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