Snowy forests, cosy log cabins, reindeer strolling past, and a whole lot of magic in the air. It can only be Christmas in Lapland. Join in the fun and give everyone a holiday to remember when you organise an extraordinary family trip to Lapland. But don’t forget to pack plenty of cold weather gear for the kids – with only 4-5 hours of daylight, and temperatures plummeting to -20 degrees or less, you’ll all need to take plenty of layers.
Don’t be put off though; we can guarantee the festive cheer and friendliness will warm you up from the inside out. Read on for our list of things to do in Lapland, that you won’t want to miss.
Visit Santa in Lapland
For a magical treat for adults and children alike, visit Santa at his official “North Pole” residence, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. You’ll meet the Elves, visit Rudolph and the other reindeer, and you can even see the huge clock that Santa uses to slow the Earth’s rotation so that he has time to visit all of the world’s children on Christmas Eve.
Visit Santa in Lapland for a magical experience that‘ll make sure you have a house full of ‘believers’ for many years to come. You can even get the kids to write their letter in advance, and smuggle it in to the big man himself via one of his helpful elves. Then just sit back and savour the looks on their faces when Santa calls them by name, and knows all about them. It’s an experience none of you will ever forget.
For the adrenaline junkies of the family, Lapland holidays offer some great activities.
Toboggans are freely available around Rovaniemi, you’ll see kids playing with them in the street.
But for something more exhilarating, why not visit Finland’s longest toboggan run in Saariselkain in the north of the country? Rent a toboggan, travel up in the ski resort chair lift and enjoy 1.8km of childish joy as you shoot down to the bottom again. We bet you’ll want to do it all over again! And while you’re in town, why not indulge in a spot of downhill or cross-country skiing at Europe’s most northerly ski resort?
Try Your Hand at Husky Sledding
Fast-paced and fun, husky sledding is a must for Lapland family holidays. Husky safaris can be arranged through your tour guide, but for an authentic experience travel to one of Finland’s Husky farms where the dogs are trained to be expert sled pullers. And mum and dad even get to drive from the back of the sled while everyone else huddles down inside. But don’t worry; it’s not as hard as it sounds. The dogs do the work – you’ll just need to steer and use the foot break to slow them down every so often.
Ride a Reindeer Sleigh
Did you know that in some of the small towns in Lapland the reindeer outnumber the people? So what better way to get around? Slightly more leisurely than the husky experience, the kids will love travelling “just like Santa does” – although we can’t promise you’ll take off! Visit a reindeer farm and meet some of the beautiful creatures before heading out to explore the stunning surroundings reindeer style. And if you pass the test, you might even be given a special international reindeer driving licence – so you can drive a sleigh anywhere in the world.
Experience Ice Fishing
Probably not one for really young children, but on your family trip to Lapland why not try a spot of ice fishing? It’s a great way to experience a popular local pastime. Join a tour and you’ll spend a day on the frozen lakes of Finland wishing for Arctic Char to bite. If the fish aren’t biting, all is not lost – there will be hot chocolate and hot dogs on offer, and the scenery is pretty spectacular.
Stay Somewhere Cool
Family holidays to Lapland wouldn’t be complete without staying somewhere out of the ordinary.
At the Arctic Snow Hotel you can choose from an ice room or an igloo.
Spend the night on a frozen bed layered with reindeer skins and decorated with ice art. The room temperature may go down to 0-5 degrees, but sleeping bags suitable for extreme conditions will make sure you have a wonderfully comfortable night’s sleep.
Or choose a glass igloo – warm and comfortable, this is the perfect place to view the northern lights and starry skies from the comfort of a nice warm bed. There is even an Aurora alarm that searches the skies for you and wakes you up when there are signs of the lights.
What to Wear in Lapland
Wondering what to wear in Lapland? Most tour operators or hotels will provide winter boots, woollen socks, thermals and gloves, but you’ll need plenty of layers to go underneath. If you’re travelling with really little ones you may need to provide their cold weather gear yourself – check with your tour company. Make sure you’ve got everything you need for the younger members of the family from our range of kids’ insulated jackets and children’s fleeces.
When you’re looking for a winter break, Lapland holidays for families can deliver something special for everyone. It’s a place where Christmas wishes really do feel like they might come true.