Lapland - Day Trip December 2013

Hayley Bass on 04 June 2015
I booked our family day trip to Lapland as a surprise for my two young daughters Eloise (aged 7) and Amelie (aged 5). Just two weeks before Christmas December 2013. What a better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to visit the real man himself, Santa Claus?

Our day trip was with Thomas Cook and we also flew with Thomas Cook Airlines. We were about to embark on a truly magical experience of a lifetime. If you love Christmas I would recommend a visit to Lapland even without children as it is magical for 'big kids at heart' too.

We travelled from London Gatwick to Rovaniemi airport (2 hours and 45 minute flight). The airline staff were brilliant and kept the children entertained with colouring and a few songs along the way. Each child was given their own red Santa hat and it was lovely to see lots of little Santa's dotted about the plane.

The flight touched down in Lapland and we were greeted by miles of pure white untouched fresh snow crunching under our feet. At this stage it was early and still daylight. We went through the airport very smoothly and onto the transfer coach. After a short journey we were taken to a building where we were provided with a very warm thermal snowsuit, socks and boots. They do not provide hats or gloves so I'm pleased we were well prepared with our own. We were now looking twice the size with our big padded snowsuit over our clothes and coats but at least we were warm. The daylight was disappearing now and the temperature was dropping to -20!

We were all ready now to visit Santa's home. Although still only late morning it was dark now in Lapland, flakes of snow looked like glitter was falling from the sky as it glistened in the moonlight. Before meeting Santa we had plenty of time to make snow angels, race down a hill on sledges and play snowball fights.

Rudolph and his reindeer friends were all set to give us a magical sleigh ride. The whole family sat in a sleigh together and we sped off on the smooth snow. I will never forget being eye to eye with the reindeer from the sleigh behind that was catching us up. It felt unreal that we were being whisked along by these magnificent creatures.

It was now time to go inside Santa's house to meet him. My children were a little shy at first but then felt at ease as his soft voice spoke to them (and he knew their names!) about how their year has been and what they would like for Christmas. With his long white beard and big boots he looked amazing. There was a professional photographer ready to capture the experience of the whole family. Santa handed out some early gifts to Eloise and Amelie then invited us to his huge dining room for warm three course lunch.

After lunch we went inside a Kota Teepee to listen to traditional stories all about Santa and his Reindeer told by a mystical Shaman. All of the children were captivated by every word he told them especially when they were given their black little nose that would magically disappear meaning that Rudolph now knew them and where they lived.

Next we were taken back outside to where the Husky Dogs were noisily waiting ready to give us an exhilarating ride through the woods. They were much faster than the reindeers and our sled slid much closer to the trees! We felt very safe knowing we were being steered by an expert standing on the back of our sled. This was another thrilling experience for our family to enjoy together.

Our time was now over visiting Santa's home but we had lots more fun still to come. We transferred by coach to Santa's Village where we could visit the toy factory and have another photograph opportunity with Santa. Here we were met by giant snowmen and heavy falling snow. It was a lot colder now so we were grateful of the many indoor area's to visit along with some little gift shops to purchase a memento. Here there was also cafe's to buy warm drinks and food. In Santa's Village you have the chance to cross the Arctic Circle.

After a long but magical day it was now time to start our journey home. We returned our thermal snow clothing and we could suddenly tell how cold it was back in a normal coats and luckily only had to venture outside for a very short walk back to the coach. Once back at the airport we were on the plane in about half an hour so no waiting around with tired children. The flight home was very quiet with lots of very happy sleeping children.

I would recommend a Lapland experience to anyone who loves Christmas. The day trip is wonderful and if you have the budget and time to stay longer I would recommend this also.

To sum our experience up in two words "Truly Magical"