Family Fun | 7 minutes

Best Family Activities in Lapland

Looking to head north with the whole family to the official home of Santa Claus? Tucked into the northernmost part of Finland is the magical area known as Lapland. Yes, it has a reputation for high prices, but Click&Go can help you secure the most competitive price and the memories will be priceless. Your kids will experience the magic that emanates from Santa’s hometown, you all can explore the wintry outdoors via dogsled or snowmobile and, more likely than not, you’ll be able to catch the light show put on by the Northern Lights as they dance across the sky. See the pure joy on your kid’s faces and feel like a kid again yourself when you visit the storybook setting that is Lapland!

Note: If you need some travel tips on the climate, how to pack, where to stay in the capital city of Rovaniemi, and other general information about Lapland, check out this blog post here.

Santa Claus Village

Photograph from: https://www.visitrovaniemi.fi/

Be prepared for the crowds here, as it the most popular attraction in Lapland. Rest assured though, there is an enormous amount of things to do to entertain the entire family! To get to Santa Claus Village, you can get the 8 bus to the Arctic Circle or get the Santa Express bus. They both leave hourly from Rovaniemi. Entrance into the actual village is free, as is your private meeting with Santa Claus and with plenty to offer in this little village, we promise you won’t be bored!

Commemorate crossing the Arctic Circle 

Photograph from: https://santaclausvillage.info/arctic-circle-rovaniemi-finland/

Santa Claus village is situated right on the border of the Arctic Circle – a line that limited people get the chance to ever cross! The Arctic Circle represents the latitude in which the sun can either be above or below the horizon line for a full 24 hours – meaning that it is light or dark for the entire day depending on the season. If you are travelling in the peak winter months, expect limited hours of sunlight. You can commemorate the crossing of this border with an official certificate!

Santa Claus’ Office

Enter the workplace of Lapland’s most famous resident, Santa Claus, and enjoy the Christmas cheer provided by him and his elves (for free)! At the Santa Claus Office, your kids can trot off to the School of the Elves and then you can all pose for a photo with Santa himself. It will surely be a memory to last a lifetime. The office is open everyday, with daily hours detailed here. Naturally, Mr. Claus is at his busiest around Christmastime, so expect a bit of a line to meet him in the peak season. After, make sure you post your letters to him in the official post office!

Husky Park

Enter Husky Park and meet genuine purebred Siberian huskies! Rest assured, the welfare of the dogs is a top priority for the staff which ensures a better experience for everyone. Entrance to the park is required. The winter prices are: €10 per adult, €5 per child, or €20 per family of up to 2 adults and 3 children.

If you are truly looking to fix your need for speed and enjoy these beautiful animals at the Husky Park at Santa Claus Village, dog sled rides are available and most are a separate cost from a visit to the park. The shorter rides – Jenga, Tiny Quarter, and Enjoying the Feeling Five – do not have to be booked in advance as they run all day year round (in the summer, a summer sled is used if weather permits).

If you are looking for a longer safari, most have to be booked in advance depending on the desired excursion. Please note that the safari prices include a guide and some of the trips require group size minimums, leave at specific times, and if your child is under the age of 15, they will sit in the guide’s sled.

Snowman World

Photograph from: https://www.visitrovaniemi.fi/eat-and-drink/snowman-world-ice-restaurant/

Calling itself “the coolest place on the Arctic Circle,” Snowman World is a must visit when you are at Santa Claus Village. They have the best winter playground where your kids can enjoy hours of snowy fun, hands down. It is only open December 7th through the end of March. They have an indoor ice slide, not one but TWO outdoor slides, and a roundabout sledge. A Winter Zone ticket can be purchased for €25 per person (for those 3 years and older) and that grants you access to all the fun for aas well as entrance into the Ice Restaurant.

The Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar is one of the most original restaurants you might ever eat in. It is completely made of ice and you will be surrounded by unique architecture and ice sculptures. All reservations must be made in advance and you can choose either a lunch or dinner reservation. Note: the Winter Zone ticket does not reserve a table for you. Beware, it is only available between December and March and hours vary in the peak holiday season

Take a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer 

Fun fact: In Lapland, there are more reindeer than there are people. So, knowing that, you can be sure there are plenty of opportunities to hear sleigh bells jingling as you ride in this snowy wonderland pulled by these magnificent animals. While integral for Santa Claus’ annual world travels, reindeer are very much a part of the culture of the Sami people, who are the original inhabitants of Lapland. The cohabitation between the Sami people and reindeer is an important aspect of the historical significance of Lapland. Indulge in the Lappish culture as you get pulled around on a sleigh.

Unfortunately, these reindeer stay firmly on the ground, so you won’t be taking flight while on board the sleigh. But you are in luck when it comes to the various options! There are many service provider options, including one offered right behind Santa Claus’ Office in the Santa Claus Village in the winter and spring months. These rides vary from a 5 minute Reindeer Path ride for €14 per child and €18 per adult to longer excursions.

Santa Park Arctic World

This is not the same as the Santa Claus Village – rather it is a separate attraction. Santa Park is an underground cavern which lies beneath the Arctic Circle gives you and your kids a peek into the behind-the-scenes efforts put in to get everything ready for Christmas!

Here, where it is Christmas every single day of the year, Santa’s elves live and work as they get everything ready for all the girls and boys on the nice list. Immerse yourselves in the elvish culture – from the writing to all of the skills needed to become one of Santa’s elves – when you attend Elf School! After all of that hard work, indulge in some of Mrs. Gingerbread’s cookies, meet the Ice Princess in her Ice Kingdom, or catch the fantastic elf show being shown on the main stage!

SantaPark opens on the 17th of November and is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. The hours extend to 6 PM beginning on the 1st of December through the 7th of January (with an exception being on Christmas Eve), and then the hours drop back to 5 PM until the 12th of January. After that, the attraction is closed.  Tickets are €28 for a child aged 3-12 and €34 for those older. It’s also good to note that the website does offer exclusive family ticket packages for 2 adults and either 2 or 4 kids.

Joulukka – Santa Claus Secret Forest Private Programs

An extension of Santa Park, Joulukka is a park deep in the snowy forest where you can continue your immersion into the elvish way of life, decorate and then eat even more gingerbread around a campfire, and trek to the Command Centre of Santa Claus to be treated to a HUGE surprise – a private meeting with Santa Claus himself.

Prices for the Dreaming of Joulukka program start at €179 for adults and €139 for children ages 2-12 and the three and a half hour journey departs at 10 AM. 

Go Snowmobiling

Ride in serious style, zoom down snowy trails, and feel the crisp wind blowing when you rent a snowmobile! A brilliant activity for the entire family, this will sure to be a memorable part of any holiday. Safaris leave from various locations including some from Santa Claus Village. A drivers license is compulsory but don’t worry, it’s kid friendly because kids under the age of 12 can travel in a sled attached to the back of the snowmobile! From 30 minute rides to all day adventures that you can combine with ice fishing, the zoo, the northern lights, and more, you can cater your trip to exactly how you please!

The Arctic Zoo at the Ranua Wildlife Park

Situated 80km south of Rovaniemi, a trip to the Ranua Zoo can serve as a perfect family day trip! Meet one of the most famous little residents of the zoo – Sisu the polar bear – who was born in November 2016 and has grown into quite the handsome young bear. Watch him interact with his mother, Venus, and see over 50 other arctic animal species amidst a snowy forest environment. From lynxes and moose and wolverines to foxes, you can see all of the species as you walk the 2.8 km along the snowy wooded trail.

The wildlife park is open everyday from 10 AM – 4 PM. Ticket prices are €18,5 for adults and €16 for kids aged 4-14 years old. Family packages can be purchased as well.

Looking to have a genuine Christmas experience in Lapland? 

Click&Go Travel Podcast on Lapland 


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