I love Christmas and I’ve always wanted to go to Lapland to visit Father Christmas. We didn’t manage to go when G was little but when the Boys (Grandsons) came along we always said we would take them.
There’s 4 years between the littlest and biggest Grandson so we had to get the timing right. We didn’t want the littlest to be too young and we didn’t want the biggest to be too old. So, we decided that the right time to go would be when Z was 4 and F was 8, C is in the middle, so he was 6.
The Boys were 4, 6 and 8 three years ago so that’s when we actually made the trip to Lapland, but I wasn’t blogging back then. However, it was such a wonderful trip that I just wanted to share our experience with you.
Choosing our trip to lapland
When we finally decided when we would go to Lapland, I started researching travel companies and the various holiday options. We’d been looking forward to this trip for so long that we wanted to make sure it was really special for the adults as well as the children.
We hadn’t managed to take G to Lapland when she was little, so we wanted to make she had a wonderful time as well as the Boys.
We quickly decided that we wouldn’t go for one of the many Day Trip options as they just sounded too exhausting. Instead we decided to go for one of the 3-night short stay packages that included a range of activities as well as a visit to see Father Christmas.
Next, we had to choose who to go with and I did lots of online research checking reviews and trying to decide which travel company to go with. We chose Nordic Adventures as they offered a good selection of holiday packages and they had good reviews.
Our Lapland Itinerary
We chose the “Dancing with Elves” package which was 3 nights at Harriniva Wilderness Lodge set in Finnish Lapland, on the banks of the frozen Muonio River.
We wanted to go as close to Christmas as possible, so we booked the trip from the 19th to 22nd December.
The package included the must have visit to see Father Christmas, but it also included a snow mobile ride, husky sledging, ice fishing and more.
DAY 1: Leave for Lapland
It’s a fairly long trip and we had to change planes at Helsinki, but the Boys were very good. We made sure we had iPads with downloaded films and plenty of snacks to keep them going.
The coach from the airport to Harriniva took around 1 hour. When we arrived at the Harriniva lodge we were shown to our rooms which were warm and cosy.
A full set of thermal clothes is supplied for use during your stay and these were waiting for us in our room, they take details of measurements etc beforehand, so everything is ready for when you arrive.
The thermal outer suits supplied are super warm and you just need to take lots of light base layers to wear underneath. We bought the boys merino wool base layers and balaclavas as the last thing we wanted was for them to be too cold to enjoy the trip.
DAY 2: Reindeer encounter, Snow Fun & Father Christmas
On the morning of day 2 we went to see the reindeers. We were welcomed by a reindeer herder to his traditional kota, where a Shaman told us an ancient folklore tale, the boys were mesmerised. And, after the talk we had the chance to ride in a reindeer sleigh and take turns in driving.
In the afternoon the boys had a chance to go ice fishing and play hockey on the ice and later bake gingerbread and toast marshmallows.
That evening we went to see Father Christmas in the woods. Each family has a personal trip to see Father Christmas at his house is set deep in the woods. To get to his house you are taken on a magical ride through the snowy forest on sleighs snuggled under reindeer pelts to keep warm.
The last part of the journey to Father Christmas’s house is on foot with lanterns.
The visit isn’t rushed, and the boys had lots of time to talk to Father Christmas to tell him what they would like for Christmas and he asked them about school and their friends. It’s well organised and personal and the boys loved it.
I have to say Father Christmas was a bit skinny but the boys didn’t seem to notice!
DAY 3: Snowmobile & Huskies
Day 3 was the highlight of the trip for me. We spent to the morning on a snowmobile ride. Adults drive in pairs whilst the children are wrapped up under reindeer pelts on a sleigh behind the guide’s snowmobile.
We drove through the snowy forest and Artic fells and the scenery is jaw droppingly beautiful. Halfway through the drive we stopped at a log cabin for hot drinks and for everyone to play in the waist deep snow.
But if I thought the snowmobiling was wonderful it was nothing compared to the afternoon when we got to drive our own huskies.
Again, the children were snuggled up in a sleigh behind the guides. The adults’ mush 2 per dog team. It’s hard to describe the experience as the vastness of the landscape and endless snow is just magical.
As you’re whooshing through the forest and across the open landscape the only sounds that break the snowy silence are the panting of the dogs and enthusiastic calls of the musher.
DAY 4: Time to Go Home
Day 4 was the end of our wonderful trip, but we had the morning to have one last play in the snow and enjoy breathtakingly beautiful setting before it was time to set off back home in time for Christmas.
An unforgettably magical trip to Lapland
It really was a magical trip and none of us were disappointed.
The Boys had a wonderful time and even after 3 years still talk about the trip. They can’t wait to go back. But not so much to see Father Christmas now they’re that bit older, but they just want to go dog sledging and snowmobiling again.
It was a truly unforgettable trip.