Meeting Santa for the day in Winter Wonderland Lapland

Lapland, Finland

Meeting Santa for the day in Winter Wonderland

Have you ever had one of those bucket list items that you thought you were never going to do and then you finally tick it off your list? Flying to Lapland and meeting Santa for the day in Winter Wonderland is not your usual trip and it is definitely a treat for both children and adults. Children will love riding the reindeer and huskies in the snow to having a one on one with Santa in his cabin, while the Adults will also enjoy riding the snowmobiles, drinking hot chocolate in the ice bar.

snow covered wooden church cottage Lapland

Photo by: globalbrunch.com – ‘church cottages Utsjoki Lapland’

If you’re fortunate enough to be planning a trip for you or your family to Lapland for the day, there are ways to make the most out of visiting Santa’s Winter Wonderland. There are various things to consider: how long to stay, which company to choose and where exactly to go.  Here’s how to make seeing jolly red himself a little easier and also give you some much-needed tips for any Lapland experience:

meeting Santa in his winter wonderland Lapland

Photo by Melbtravel – ‘Meeting Santa’ Enontekiö Lapland

How to get there & Location

The winter wonderland is located next to a lake near the town of Enontekiö, which is in the province of Lapland in the north-west tip of Finland.

My flight was chartered and part of my tour package for the day. It flew directly from Gatwick Airport (London) to Enontekiö Airport (Finland) and took roughly 3 hours and then it was an hours drive on the bus to Santas Winter Wonderland.

our chartered flight in the snow covered airport

Photo By: melbtravel – Our chartered flight Enontekiö Lapland

As I was on a chartered flight, I completed a search on the internet to see if you could purchase a separate flight to Enontekiö from London, but I could not find any.

I assume that if you want to fly to Enontekiö separately, you will need to fly to Helsinki first and then from there take a direct flight to Enontekiö with Finnair

 Santa's Reindeer sleigh ride

Photo By: melbtravel – Reindeer sleigh ride

Tips for Winter Wonderland

  • Be aware that it can get very cold during winter and the temperature can range from -7C to -35C (It was -25C the day I was there)
  • Even though you are supplied with Thermal suits and boots, please ensure that you bring additional items to keep warm. Scarves, beanies, thermals for under your clothes and waterproof gloves (also liners for inside your gloves for extra warmth).

 

sunrise over snow covered lake in Lapland

Photo by: globalbrunch.com – ‘Kirkkotuvat Utsjoki Lapland

  • There is only a few hours daylight during the winter period in Lapland, so photos of your magical trip are going to be very difficult to get. By the time you get to do the Dogsledding, reindeer and Snowmobiling activities it will already be pitch dark.
  • Make sure you bring A GOOD head torch, this was not made very clear in the notes at the time apart from bring a head-torch along.

 

Sunset behind snow covered trees

Photo By: Melbtravel Sun Setting in Lapland

  • If you want to take pictures (as I suspect most people do), you will need to make sure that your equipment takes good night pictures and it can handle the very low temperatures. I have to admit I tried to use my phone but I only got a handful of good pictures because it froze in the cold. A very big rookie mistake on my part.
  • Keep your eye out because you have a great chance of seeing the Northern lights and you definitely want to be able to take pictures of these colours dancing across the sky.
northern lights greater Utsjoki-area-Lapland

Photo by: globalbrunch.com – Northern Lights, Lapland

Would I recommend it

If you want to take pictures (as I suspect most people do), you will need to make sure that your equipment takes good night pictures and it can handle the very low temperatures. I have to admit I tried to use my phone but I only got a handful of good pictures because it froze in the cold. A very big rookie mistake on my part.

Keep your eye out because you have a great chance of seeing the Northern lights and you definitely want to be able to take pictures of these colours dancing across the sky.

Melbtravel with sled dogs

From what I noticed, all the children around me looked like that they were having an amazing time, especially when catching the snowmobile to Santa’s cabin and waiting around the fire eating marshmallows. What a great experience for any child to do and be able to share it with their family and friends.

I would suggest is that if you can afford it and have the time, look at doing the overnight stay, as one day is definitely not enough time especially with children. It is a very long day and by the time you are waiting for your flight back to London, there were lots of tired children (and adults).

red cabin in Santa's Winter wonderland

 

Read a few reviews about the different companies that offer the trip and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding because it is not a cheap trip. It will cost around £2000 for a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children), for the day and that does not include any extras like hot chocolate or souvenirs. Different companies fly to different areas of Lapland for this magical experience, so I would keep that in mind. I have heard that the Lapland experience to Rovaniemi is pretty good.

There is a saying by an unknown author,  ‘It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times’ which sums up my trip to Santas Winter Wonderland for the day. Yes, it was expensive and it had its faults but the experience alone was magical and if given the chance I would not hesitate to go back.

taking a dog sledding ride over the frozen lake

What’s included in the tour package

  • Thermal suits and boots.
  • Snowmobile trip
  • Husky Sled Journey
  • Reindeer sleigh ride
  • Private meeting with Santa
  • Hot lunch
  • Snow activities: tobogganing, snowballing and snowman-making
  • Return flights with meals on board

 

Melbtravel behind Santa wonderland Lapland ice scuplture

At the entrance sign of Winter Wonderland

Have you been to Winter Wonderland Lapland before?  I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

If you love the snow check out my post on the beautiful resort Les Gets, France

Disclaimer: All views are my own and based on my own experience.

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56 Comments

  1. This looks like the kind of trip I’ll do someday when I have kids to take with me! Or I’ll probably go before just for the Northern lights! That’s my dream!! I am not very good with the cold though – even with the right clothing! Brrr!! And I’ve experienced having a frozen phone before as well! When I went hiking the swiss alps!

    1. I can handle the cold pretty well but it was super cold that you could not even take your gloves off to take pictures. I did like the open fires that you could stand by to warm up 🙂

  2. Hey Mel. Just love the story. Have always wanted to visit Finland, but couldnt make it so far. I am sure after reading this story, and watching all those amazing pictures you’ve clicked I am going to take the next step and plan something soon.

  3. Wow! How exciting to visit Santa and real reindeer! I’m a southern girl, so cold isn’t my favorite temperature – lol! BUT, you can’t visit Santa and reindeer in the heat!! The kids would so love this!!!

    1. I am originally from Australia, so all our Christmas decorations and pictures of Santa/reindeer were in Summer 🙂 Was not till I grew up that I realise that Santa was from a cold place.

  4. Thanks for the detailed information. I have a college friend who is Finnish and she had recommended going to Lapland many times. I’m just waiting for my kids to grow up a little more before we take on this journey. Looks wonderful and I think no matter where in the world you are from it would prove to be an exciting adventure.

    1. I would definitely wait until the kids are a little older because then they will remember it more and it is a very long time for young ones. It was a great adventure and hopefully I get to do it again one day.

  5. This is an experience I’d love to share with my kids when I get one. I can’t get to read this great post with all the beautiful pictures I’m seeing and not have to visit at least once in my life time before I…….. Nice tips also to know what is included in the package. Thanks!

    1. I went with my husband and we don’t have children but the next time that we go, I would love to our own children. I would just love to see the smiles on their faces when the meet Santa. Thank you in regards to the pictures, I appreciate it.

  6. How wonderful! The dogs and reindeers look so adorable. I have always wanted to witness the northern lights and do a winter hike in Finland. Meeting Santa was never on my list but after reading your post here, I m adding another to-do item to my bucket list for Finland. How I wish I could afford to jump on the next flight and fly to Finland. Btw, are there any igloos in Finland? My biggest dream has been to stay in an Igloo and watch the aurora put up a color show.

    1. I saw the Northern lights the first time when I was travelling across Sweden, after staying in the Ice-Hotel. They are definitely out of this world and I would love to see them again one day. In regards to Igloos there is another area in Finland that you can stay in Igloos made of glass and watch the northern lights while you sleep. Sounds amazing right? It is a dream destination for me to go to one day here is there website http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/en/

  7. Great great read! I want to go here for sure! It seems cold and quite hard to reach but so worth it! So glad you enjoyed it ☃️???

  8. This sounds like so much fun for both adults and kids! I would need to be extra prepared for that cold weather though! I have always wanted to visit Finland and this just seems like the perfect win especially with the reindeer and northern lights! Absolutely beautiful!

    1. I have been lucky enough have visited Finland a couple of times now and I loved it. This is definitely both an kids activity and couples. I was surprised how many couples also done the trip.

  9. This sounds like an amazing trip! I’m not really into Santa like that, but the other parts of the trip definitely sound like something I’d enjoy, especially being around the reindeer. Finland is definitely on my bucket list and I typically take cold vacations, this would be another notch in my travel belt. I never knew such a trip existed, so thanks for sharing this experience!

    1. To be honest, seeing Santa is just a small part of it. You can skip going to his cabin all together. It was a lot more fun than I thought and I think when I did visit Santa in his cabin he was glad to see some adults 🙂

  10. Oh my gosh. This is my dream. Santa and the Northern Lights with my kids. They are only 3 so I am seriously considering it for next year when they will be reaching peak Christmas hype. Thanks for all the great tips. Hope Santa is good to you this year ?

    1. My best advice is to wait till they are a little bit older or go for longer than a day, as it is just too long of a day to get and everything was a little rushed. Also look around as some of the tours charge the same price for adults as they do for Christmas. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too 🙂

    1. The Ice-hotel is amazing and it is up there is one of my favourite trips ever. I wished that we were in Lapland longer, as I think I would have enjoyed it more instead of all the rushing around.

  11. Oh wow, simply amazing! I love Lapland – I was in Swedish Lapland in February of last year. I would love to visit the Finnish side. The Northern lights are just incredible, aren’t they?

    1. I was have also been to the Swedish Lapland to stay at the Ice-Hotel and I loved it so much. I hope that you had an amazing time and so glad that you go to see the Northern lights chick.

  12. Great tips to help plan the trip! it’s hard when you’re once in a lifetime experience feels rushed – I often avoid tour groups for that reason as on your own you have more time, but I suppose here you have to take a tour!

    1. I concur about going on tour groups. I prefer not to and then I can take my time and take it all in. Unfortunately it is in the middle of nowhere, so there is no choice but to take a tour. I still had a lot of fun and the experience itself was magical.

  13. What a fantastic day trip for the entire family. I grew up near a town in Alaska called the North Pole and they did something similar, but this looks like a lot more is included. I would love to hang out with the sled dogs and really feel like I was transported a Winter Wonderland. I appreciated your review and I think anyone who goes on this adventure will be much better prepared! Merry Christmas!!

    1. I would love love love to go to Alaska and I think it is cool that the place your from is called the North Pole. Do you have a blog, as I would love to check it out? Thank you for your kinds words to in regards to my review, I always try to be an honest as I can. I don’t like giving people false hope.

  14. What an amazing experience. I lived in Norway for a little bit and wish I had known about this, since it was so close. I would love to experience the Husky Sled Journey. I need to jot that down on my bucket list!

    1. Norway is beautiful you lucky thing. I have went there a few years ago to Bergen and loved it apart from all the rain. You should definitely try and go at least once to Lapland. I hope that you have a wonderful christmas

  15. Goodness, that was a packed full day for you! We had -25 in Ohio last winter and I’d never experienced cold like it, can you imagine living in that!? And the dark too!
    I bet the sled ride was awesome. Think I’d pass on the Santa bit though 😉

    1. Oh wow how did you cope? I skied in -25 before and it was horrible, the only bit you could see of my face was my nose and I felt like that dropped off my face. The Santa bit was better than I thought, he has a really cool log cabin and you go in and chat.

  16. I can’t believe companies offer day trips from London to go see Santa in Finland – wow! I can’t say I’m a fan of the cold – I live in Canada and -35 Celsius is pretty common in Winter but I can see how this could be a fun activity especially seeing the cute reindeer!

    1. To be honest I never knew they did until I had a friend go and told me about it. Then I go on the internet and started looking around at different places that offered the trip. Wished that I had done a little bit more research as I would have stayed overnight and spent more time there. Wow -35 now that is cold, I have no idea how you live in there weather. Canada is definitely a bucketlist item for me 🙂

  17. Super awesome experience. I didn’t even know there was a Winter Wonderland in Lapland. I’m not sure it’s going on my bucket list – I’d love to see the northern lights, but I’m not sure I could stand the cold.

  18. Myself and two other adults took a road trip in March to Lapland and met Santa. We had such a nice time and it of course brought out the child in me. We also tried out hand at snowmobiling and husky sledging. I would really recommend a trip to Lapland for the young and old.

    1. You took a road trip? Wow, I have never heard of anyone doing that across Lapland before, that sounds like a wonderful experience. I am super impressed, do you have a blog post on it?

  19. It DOES look magical and I 100% agree with the saying of seeing something once rather than hearing about it a mill times. Totally so true… thats the only reason I try to mix touristy stuff even in my offbeat adventures. I don’t want to keep hearing about how cool xyz attraction is just coz everyone goes there. Its often not up to expectations but I leave the destination satisfied that I didnt miss out.

  20. It’s a trip that has been on my list like forever! Looks great – a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. But oh wow, you did this all in one day?! I was looking to stay there for a week, so that we could do all of the activities. But considering the high cost, a shorter trip might be better after all. But then I still need to convince my husband – he finds it inhuman to expose people to temperatures below 0°C 🙂

    1. I reckon you only need a few days at the most there to do everything. One day is definitely not enough and if given the chance I would definitely go for a couple of days like when I was in the Ice Hotel.

  21. Lapland looks INCREDIBLE! It totally looks like the real deal of North Pole with santa and hie reindeer. I’d love to visit one day but I’ll need lots of layers to keep me warm!

    1. They give you special suits to wear but to be honest, definitely take double thermal layers and some liners for your gloves because it is really cold. They have some fires but oh my there is not many.

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