A Guide to Christmas in Lapland, Finland

Kids don’t stay kids for that long. Their innocent enjoyment of Christmas and the tales behind the holiday eventually leave them. Eventually they all stop believing. This can be sad for many parents. Great as it is to see their children grow up, many parents wish their little ones could hang on to that innocence for a bit longer.

In recent years, it has become popular for parents, especially in the UK and Europe, to make the most of their childrens’ short-lived youth by taking a Christmas break to Finland to visit Lapland. This may be a trek too far for parents on other continents for this reason alone but often proves a popular option for those touring Northern Europe during the winter season. In either case, these breaks aren’t so cheap so why are they so popular?

What are Lapland Christmas Breaks?

A trip to Lapland has one primary aim for many kids. They get to meet the real deal and to sit on the lap of the “real” Father Christmas. After all, the Santa in the store or the one who visits them at school is just helping out the man himself. The man himself, as every kid will tell you, lives in Lapland.

So, visits here revolve around a face to face meeting with Santa (the beard really is real!) in a truly magical and beautiful winter landscape.

There are different options to choose from.

  • Day trips
  • Short breaks before Christmas
  • Short breaks that include Christmas

The length of the trip may dictate what activities can be fitted in. Obviously, Father Christmas and his elves will be the main highlight but there are many other activities that may be enjoyed even on a short day trip.

Lapland Christmas Break Activities

The options on offer may depend on the holiday company that runs them. Some common choices include:

  • Reindeer sleigh rides
  • Husky sleigh rides
  • Snowmobiling
  • Skiing and winter sports
  • General snow activities (there is always plenty of snow!)
  • Visits to Santa’s workshop/Post Office to meet the elves
  • Finally, of course, the meeting with Santa himself!

It’s worth checking if a package also includes the provision of winter wear. Most will provide ski/winter suits and boots which are essential wear in Finland in the winter, even for a day trip.

Getting to Lapland and Where to Stay

Some families will simply opt for a day trip to Lapland. This can be a little tiring but still makes for a memorable day. Day trips tend to be given early starts to incorporate flight times (usually between 3.5-4 hours from the UK). Others will stay over to do more and some will even spend Christmas there. This can often be set up so that the kids meet Father Christmas on Christmas Day itself.

The majority of families will take an organised package break here. This will, for example, cover their flights and travel costs, most/all of their activities and their accomodation costs if they are staying over. Some do prefer to arrange their own travel/hotels in which case the Visit Finland website may be useful. Those looking to learn more about the Finnish Christmas and visits to Santa may want to check out the site’s online video.

It is also worth shopping around to see what kinds of costs are on offer before opting to book a break. Many parents find that they get the best deal by booking early and by comparing costs/buying online. This isn’t one of those holiday options that gets cheaper last minute generally as it will often get more popular the closer it is to the big day.