There comes an age when you’re too old to sit in Santa’s lap. But the good news is you’re never too old to visit Santa at Lapland.
It’s a common misconception that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, keeping himself busy year-round training reindeer, overseeing his toy making elves and trying out Mrs. Claus’ new cookie recipes.
However, The North Pole, which is the northernmost point on Earth, is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean on constantly shifting pieces of sea ice. No one could live in that environment, not even magical Santa. Which is why Santa prefers to reside in Lapland.
Lapland, the northernmost part of Finland, is a magical region within the Arctic Circle with 200 long days of winter, huge glittering expanses of snow, amazing wildlife and displays so pristine that they take your breath away. But the real drawcard is Santa Claus Village and Santa Park in Rovaniemi.
Every day of the year you can meet Santa Claus and you can also meet the lovely Mrs. Claus. Have a souvenir photograph taken with the real Santa (not one of those store imposters), take a ride in Santa’s sleigh or enjoy an interactive show or workshop. You can even bake delicious gingerbread with the elves. You’ll also learn a ton of interesting tidbits about the jolly red fellow and perhaps even discover the true story of Father Christmas.
Santa’s Village is one of the most popular destinations in Lapland, however there’s only so long you can listen to Ho Ho Ho before No No No. Luckily there’s lots more to explore in Lapland.
Lapland is a true Winter Wonderland. It’s snow-covered hills, forests, frozen lakes and falls offer unlimited exciting experiences for outdoors enthusiasts. Skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, ice carting, tobogganing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing – if it involves ice or snow then you’ll find it in Lapland.
When you are ready to come indoors, don’t expect to get away from the cold just yet if you visit one of their unique ice and snow structures, such as a snow hotel. Sleep on a transparent bed made from snow and ice surrounded by ice art and illuminated artwork. The room temperature is just above minus, so you’ll want to stay snuggled in your reindeer fur to keep warm. It also helps if you hit the ice bar before bed.
Another great sleeping option is a glass igloo. In these you can lay back and be witness to one of nature’s most spectacular shows, the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. Playing out on the Arctic sky between January and April, this eerie phenomenon is caused by electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with air molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and deflected by Earth’s magnetic field. This process results in an emission of colourful lights visible at night, and it is deserving of its title as a natural wonder of the world.
In addition to Santa’s 13 reindeer, Lapland is also home to another 200,000 reindeer and there’s plenty of fun experiences involving them. Enjoy the frosty bite of a reindeer sleigh ride or safari or watch the annual reindeer races where the jockeys are pulled on skis behind reindeer doing over 50kms an hour.
If reindeers aren’t you’re thing, then try a hugely popular husky sled ride, where you might even get to try your hand at mushing. Or if you’d rather be up close (and not dashing through the snow) there’s plenty of reindeer and husky farms to visit and make new friends.
And when it’s finally time to warm up, Lapland has you covered. Or uncovered. Often considered a landmark of Finland, the sauna has always been used for bathing and relaxation in this part of the world. According to Wikipedia, in Finland there are more saunas than personal vehicles and you can experience them almost everywhere you go. There’s even a gondola equipped with an electric sauna that allows you to admire the breathtaking and freezing snow-capped surroundings while you work up a sweat.
So what are you waiting for? Have yourself a very Merry Christmas in Lapland!