Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year! Even before I had kids I have always loved Christmas so with my kids ranging in age from 10yr to 1yr I couldn’t resist an overnight trip to see SANTA in his hometown!
From the moment you arrive at Dublin airport you can feel the difference, the check in desk signage simply says “NORTH POLE” immediately it gets everyone excited even though it’s stupid o clock in the morning. There are elves from the North Pole at the airport to ensure everyone has packs with some colouring pages and a some bits n bobs for the kids. The elves on the flights make it such fun with christmas songs being sung, it really gets everyone in the festive mood.
On arrival in Lapland, it is stunning. It’s just so WHITE. Everywhere you look makes you feel like you’re in a christmas card. The weather of course is cold, very cold but it’s not like the cold/snow in Ireland. It’s a dry cold so it’s quite comfortable to be in and it doesn’t seep into your bones like it does at home. December in Lapland has a very short window of daylight so most of our time in the dark but to be honest I loved it, it just added to the atmosphere.
Our elf brought us from the airport to a big warehouse to get our snow suits. Our elf was brilliant, she told us lots of stories and even some secrets about Santa. She explained that all elves, like humans look different and lots of them are very old. The snow suits are great and easy to move around in, you get a full suit, gloves, snow boots and hat.
We were brought to our own area in Lapland where we spent the day playing in the snow, sledging, mini snow mobiling for the kids and we got to meet the reindeer and get pulled in their sledges. We had a lovely lunch and got to decorate gingerbread cookies.
After lunch we got to do husky dog rides and then we went snow mobiling, this was brilliant. The adults could drive their own or since I had small kids we were driven by one of the operators. In the dark with only the snow mobile lights flying through the forest in Lapland is Magical. The kids found some of it a bit scary and it was quite noisy but a brilliant experience.
After all of our activities and because we were up so early the kids were knackered by the afternoon but then it was time to meet the MAIN MAN, Santa. We were brought to his log cabin and went to meet him with one other family that were on our overnight trip, this was hugely disappointing for me. It was not the meeting I have envisaged at all. He did have the kids Santa letters out on the sideboard but he didn’t refer to them at all and because there was 2 families in at once I felt the meeting was a bit impersonal. That being said, his log cabin was cosy and warm with a huge open fire. Santa was lovely, everything you imagine he would be. He chatted with the kids happily and posed for photos. All the kids were given a small gift to remember their meeting with Santa.
After all the excitement of the day, we had a 1 night stay in a central hotel. Our rooms were lovely and the hotel restaurant was just across a small lane. Food was buffet style with lots of choice, it was typical Finnish food but everyone found something to eat and nobody went to bed hungry.
The next morning before heading to the airport, the elves brought us to Santa’s village. This is where anyone on the Tui Day Trip goes. It is beautiful, there is quaint shops with souvenirs, a post office where you can post your letter to Santa or send a postcard home from Lapland. You can also cross the artic circle in the village and meet Santa AGAIN if you want to but you have to queue for that. We had some much fun playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and buying Christmas trinkets.
Our afternoon flight home was a very quite affair compared to the flight over, everyone was so tired and to be honest it all felt a bit like a dream!
Lapland was wonderful and it was definitely on my bucket list. In all honesty I was terribly disappointed with our Santa meeting and the next time I got I will definitely go with the other operator we use, who ensure each family get private meetings with Santa and spend lots of time with Santa. I would love to go back in the next couple of years when my youngest son is a bit older and will remember it. Even with my disappointment We made such incredible memories that I will always treasure my trip to Lapland.
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