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Lynda Millward, HOT Marketing experiences a Christmas like no other…with a little extra magic sprinkled on top.



Reindeers, huskies, tobogganing, lots of snowy activities - ice fishing, snow hockey and riding mini skidoos, elves around every corner, spectacular shows and venturing deep into the forest to visit Santa’s secret hideaway for an unforgettable private visit at his workshop. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …This is Christmas in Santa’s homeland, Lapland.



The lead-up to Christmas is the most popular time to visit Lapland - you will need to book early (at least a year in advance), this also includes pre-booking your activities. Alternatively, if you’d like a little more flexibility and pay slightly lower prices, you can still enjoy your Lapland ‘Christmas’ in late November/early December, instead of travelling at Christmas itself.

Most Christmas tours will take you to Rovaniemi, where you’ll find Santa Claus’ Village. We opted to travel to Saariselkä further north, a little less ‘touristy’ yet still provided all the ingredients for a truly magical white Christmas experience.

Four or five nights is a good time to spend in Lapland, allowing you to enjoy all the activities and increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights too. In December there is approx. only two and a half hours of daylight – it takes a bit of time to acclimatise to the constant dark skies. As part of your Lapland tour you will be provided with the appropriate thermal snowsuits and outdoor boots as well as woollen socks and thermal mittens you’ll need to keep warm in the below zero temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about your suitcase being full of all the bulky stuff!

Travelling from New Zealand is a long haul, so we stopped in Los Angeles on our way over and spent time at Disneyland with lots of squeals, fun and laughter and is almost! as magical as Lapland at this time of year! We also spent time exploring London before heading to Lapland, and homeward bound we spent New Years in Legoland San Diego. It was a trifecta of Christmas goodness! Highly recommend breaking up your journey into ‘holiday chunks’ and we opted for the Air New Zealand SkyCouch, with the extra seat allowing the kids to lie down and sleep as most were night flights – the kids (and you!) will appreciate it.



Our entire Christmas adventure was a highlight, with experiences that constantly wow’ed, enchanted and delighted all the family including the young and the young and heart!

Our Lapland highlights included:

REINDEERS – there is nothing quite like seeing the real life Dasher, Prancer, Comet, Blitzen and friends

TOBOGGAN down the longest toboggan slope in Finland! There are quite a few twists and turns but awesome fun. You catch the chairlift up again for another run… and another… and another!

SNOW DAY – a day of fun! Snow-hockey, skidoo rides, ice golf, ice fishing, making snow angels, more tobogganing and then warm up with  pancakes and hot berry juice (think warm ribena) listening to stories in a Kota (teepee tent)

SNOWMOBILE SAFARI – bumpity bump, bump … its an exciting ride but hold on tight.  You reach some great speeds and if confident go at the front of the group, there’s nothing worse than being behind a ‘slow’ driver!  And best tip of all, be the passenger, you just get to hold on and enjoy the fun!

VISITING SANTA – the most exciting day … a sleigh ride takes you through the forest searching for Santa’s cabin, watching for elves as you go (they pop out at various spots adding to the excitement). You reach Santa’s cabin and the pure excitement and anticipation on the kids faces of meeting Santa, gives you the warm and fuzzies. Santa is surrounded by elves and presents and chats to the kids. He then hands them a present each and you have a family photo. It’s a moment of share joy and one the kids will remember and talk about for years to come.



Late November to Late December


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