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20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland
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20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland with Kids

20 Top Tips for Visiting Lapland with Kids!

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Christmas treats for kids don’t get much better than going to Lapland and meeting the real Father Christmas – do they?  They don’t, but you do need to think about a few things to get the best out of it!  So here are 20 top tips for visiting Lapland with kids!

NB: We travelled to Lapland as guests of Santa’s Lapland.

Before you book

1. What’s the best age to take the kids to Lapland?

The best age for visiting Lapland with kids is when they’re as old as they can be without the magic having already disappeared. Most of the companies don’t recommend the trip for children under 4 and I can see why. The temperatures can drop (we experienced -32) and the kids need to be able to understand how to keep themselves warm. The huskies and reindeer rides can be lost on the younger ones too, and they are very much part of the overall experience. In my heart of hearts I’d say 6/7/8 are perfect ages.

Santa's Lapland Search for Santa Day | Mini Travellers | Top tips for visiting Lapland with kids

2. How long should we stay in Lapland?

A 2-3 night trip seems to be the most popular way to do Lapland, but there are also week long trips and also day trips too. If you don’t want or need to do any of the additional activities then a 2 night trip is long enough, as you get the afternoon on the day you are arrive and the morning of the day you leave, in addition to your Search for Santa day.  It is also cheaper to do the 2 night trip, as with a 3 night trip you get an adventure day and the additional activities can really start to add up.

If your kids are adventurous though and you fancy skiing and other additional activities go for the 3 night stay or even longer. The families we met who did the Northern Lights tour in Lapland really enjoyed it.

A day trip to Lapland is certainly cheaper, but you have to consider if it is worth it. The children are likely to be up at 3ish for an early morning flight, fly three and a half hours, spend the afternoon in Lapland, fly three and a half hours back and arrive home very late.  I know my kids couldn’t really do that without probably being upset during the afternoon (key part of the day) and if there are any delays on your way out, you don’t have much slack in the schedule. How long to visit Lapland for is something to be considered really carefully and only you know your children’s limits.

Children enjoying the snow at Lapland. Part of my 20 Top Tips for visiting Lapland with kids - Read my tips at

3. Which company should we pick to go to Lapland with?

There are many companies out there but we found the experience with Santa’s Lapland fantastic and certainly comparable to trips friends have taken with TUI.  The resort Santa’s Lapland use is a small village, which is very picturesque – Saariselka.

Want to travel to Lapland in 2018?

You can journey to magical Lapland for a once in a lifetime chance to meet Father Christmas from £929 per adult, reduced rates for children available. The price includes three nights at Saariselkä Inn with flights and transfers, departing in December 2018 from a choice of UK airports. This magical deal also includes all activities such as a private meeting with Santa, Elves and Igloo Fantasia and husky and reindeer sleigh-rides. Santa’s Lapland staff will also provide the whole family with thermal clothing so they’re fully equipped for the enchanting adventures that lie ahead! For more information please visit or call 01483 791 915.

You can take a look at our video of our trip at the bottom of the post!

4. When during the season is best for visiting Lapland with kids?

To be honest I don’t think it matters too much which season you visit Lapland in. The temperature varies all the time (often between 0 and -32 degrees) and it isn’t warmer or colder at any time in the short six week season.  Go whenever fits in with you and the kids school.  We ended up heading there over Christmas which was very special but also involves more planning due to Christmas presents etc. at least returning those Santa delivers on Christmas morning.

20 Top Tips for visiting Lapland with kids - Discover my top tips for a family trip to Lapland at

5. Where should we stay in Lapland?

We stayed in a Travelodge-style room at the Saariselka Inn. It wasn’t fancy, but it was fine.  If I’d have thought about it properly I would have chosen a room where you don’t have to get dressed for breakfast and dinner. We ate our breakfast in the pub attached to the Inn and our evening meals at the hotel a 5 minute walk away. It would be nicest to be able to simply leave the thermal suits in the room and walk downstairs for food, but that’s probably my only comment on the choice.  Look carefully at the descriptions of rooms if style and luxury matters to you – but do remember that’s not really what this trip is all about!

Once you’ve booked Santa’s Lapland

Once you’ve booked your trip to Lapland here are a few tips on how to make visiting Lapland with kids a little easier.
1. Make sure you have your ski jackets, scarves, hats and gloves on the plane with you as it is freezing when you land and the kids will want to immediately throw snow!
 20 Top Tips for visiting Lapland with kids - Find out more about how to create a magical trip to Lapland at
2. When you go to get your thermal gear from the shop on the way to the hotel, try the mittens on – you don’t want them to be too big.
3. Take lots of snacks (like biscuits and chocolate bars) with you for emergency melt downs. Also pack a large picnic for the plane as you’ll fly early and not get to the Lapland resort until way after the kids want lunch.
4. Take hot chocolate for use with the room kettle! I don’t think you can drink enough hot chocolate when you are out there in magical Lapland!
5. Take some charge banks for phones as the temperature means the battery goes QUICK! The same applies to cameras for capturing those special moments, although our Go Pro Hero 5 coped really well!
6. Get a Northern Lights app straight away! Yes we did see them and without taking a trip to see them too. This was taken just outside the restaurant at the Tunturi Hotel on Christmas Day.
The Northern Lights - as seen on when visiting Lapland with kids
7. If you are skiing and want a lesson make sure you book early.
8. The food at the gala dinner is invariably basic, whichever company you book with (forewarned is forearmed)!
9. Take three sets of base layers and ski socks, and two sets of gloves and hats each as these get wet (and possibly lost!)
Children in PJs on a visit to Santa's Lapland

10. Take snoods and balaclavas – it was -32 when we were there.
11. Consider not booking any excursions before you go, you may find the tasters enough especially if it’s very cold.  We didn’t actually do any of the extra activities due to the temperature, and enjoyed tobogganing and a wander on the hiking trails building snowmen, making snow angels and throwing snowballs – all free!
12. Take hand warmers for the kids, just the air activated kind not the gel ones as they last for the whole day.
 13. Eating out in Lapland isn’t that expensive but drinking is.
Drinking can be expensive in Lapland - Top tips on visiting Lapland with kids
14. The suits are very bulky, and it will depend on the temperature as to whether you wear them or not. At -32 they were the only option but if it’s a lot warmer you may want to wear your own ski gear.
15. Stock up on alcohol at the airport. You don’t get it duty free but it’s still much cheaper. Alternatively pack a couple of bottles of wine in your suitcase (we took champers as it was Christmas after all!)

Wondering what visiting Lapland with kids is like? Watch our video!

NB: We travelled to Santa’s Lapland as their guests but all views and opinions and tips are my own!

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20 Top Tips for visiting Lapland with kids - Make the most out of your family holiday to Lapland with my guide. Plan your perfect visit to Lapland and enjoy the experience.

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  • Reply
    Laura | Little Ladies Big World
    5th January 2018 at 8:52 am

    Such fab tips, we were looking at going next year as Roma will be almost 4 and Eva almost 8, like you say I didn’t want to leave it too late for Eva to lose that age of magic. Gorgeous pictures and the northern lights just outside look amazing too x

  • Reply
    5th January 2018 at 10:28 am

    Excellent tips here I’d definitely prefer not to have to get fully kitted up to eat breakfast. Also about clothes and taking snacks for the plane. I always think it’s the small things that can make or break a holiday. Thanks

  • Reply
    5th January 2018 at 10:46 am

    Great tips. I agree about eating in the same place!

  • Reply
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    5th January 2018 at 12:30 pm

    This looks like it was such a magical trip. Good tip about the hotel room and the airport wine!!

  • Reply
    5th January 2018 at 9:37 pm

    This looks amazing, great tips and definitely something we are looking into for next year with our little ones!

  • Reply
    Jenny - TraveLynn Family
    6th January 2018 at 5:16 am

    What a magical trip and perfectly timed for the big day! This is something I definitely need to do with my boys in a couple of years.

  • Reply
    Erin Ek Rush
    7th January 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Wow! What a thorough post.. you’ve really covered it all. It’s a once in a life time trip for most people so it’s really important to plan as much as possible!

  • Reply
    Katy Stern
    7th January 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Such great tips here Karen. I am desperate to take my little ones, and would love to go this year but my eldest will be 8 (perfect age), middle daughter 4, but my little man will be just 2, which is probably quite young if the temperatures drop to minus 32. It looked so magical, and I absolutely loved following your trip!

  • Reply
    Starlight and Stories
    7th January 2018 at 8:10 pm

    We are looking to visit Lapland next winter, so thrilled to read your tips here. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog
    8th January 2018 at 9:33 am

    So many fantastic tips Karen and YEAH for seeing the Northern Lights!

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    8th January 2018 at 8:15 pm

    There’s so many fantastic tips here, especially around booking activities and the taster sessions. It looks so much fun even if it was a bit cold 🙂

  • Reply
    Helen Wills
    8th January 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Oh wow lucky you getting to see the northern lights! This is everything I would have wanted to know – all the questions I’ve asked myself over the years. I think we’re a bit past it now, with a teenager, and I”m sad I missed the opportunity. Perhaps I’ll take grandchildren one day 😉

  • Reply
    Matt D.
    9th January 2018 at 3:13 am

    Nice tips. Nice place. Just a little too cold.

  • Reply
    9th January 2018 at 10:04 am

    Although mine didn’t really believe in Santa when we went, at 8 and 10, I think as you say they still believed in magic and were not fussed by the cold. Great tips!

  • Reply
    Choice Furniture Superstore
    17th February 2018 at 5:16 am

    These are really great tips. Thanks for sharing them. I liked this post.

  • Reply
    9th May 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Great guide for a fun Lapland adventure!

  • Reply
    Kanika Bakshi
    5th August 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Hey Karen, thanks for sharing these great tips. I will definitely like to consider all of your tips on our next trip to Lapland. Keep posting such helpful tips.

  • Reply
    Jon Ferraro
    8th August 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Hello Karen, I have 3 beautiful girls too, I think I should take them there as well. Looking forward to an amazing experience. Appreciate the tips.

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