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32 suggestions for visiting Lapland with youngsters

There actually is not any journey extra magical than visiting Lapland – the snowy landscapes, the prospect to satisfy Santa, to go husky sledding. However meaning most of us have by no means taken a visit fairly prefer it earlier than – which is why I’ve pulled collectively my high suggestions for visiting Lapland with youngsters.

My daugher sits on a hill of snow in Levi with snowy trees and pink tinged clouds in the background - my top tips for visiting Lapland with kids including what to pack

I’m all ready for seashore breaks however have spent fewer holidays within the snow, and this was my first with my daughter. And whereas packing lists for Lapland holidays are all the time helpful, there’s extra to it than merely remembering your thermals, as I found on our four-night break in Levi.

Suggestions for visiting Lapland with youngsters: earlier than you go

Select your dates rigorously

The sooner you go, the extra gentle you get and the hotter it’s more likely to be. However you do threat there being much less snow than standard, if it’s a 12 months with greater temperatures (like in 2018) – whereas that isn’t but frequent, the climate will all the time fluctuate throughout the six week season.

Journey later and also you may match it into college holidays (we needed to request a go away of absence to get away earlier) or you would even journey over Christmas Day itself, however will probably be darker and possibly colder.

The placement could make a small distinction too: Saariselka is the furthest north of the principle Santa Break resorts, so it has extra likelihood of early snow. Rovaniemi – the official residence of Santa Claus – is the furthest south – with Yllas and Levi within the center, though all are within the Arctic Circle.

Examine what’s supplied

Should you’re travelling on a Santa break package deal vacation, as we did, you’ll get a thermal go well with included which makes an enormous distinction.

We additionally had boots included – however keep in mind that you simply’ll be strolling down snowy steps from the aircraft to the airport and onto a switch earlier than you get the boots, so that you’ll want one thing to deal with snow (the identical goes for having gloves, hat, ski jacket and heat layers on the aircraft).

My very own pair have been additionally hotter and a greater match than those supplied, though my daughter wore her two pairs interchangeably.

Take into account what’s included

With just a few predominant exercise suppliers and tour operators in places like Levi, Yllas and Rovaniemi you might discover that the excursions are comparable whether or not you’re travelling on a package deal or independently.

For our Santa Break with Inghams, we had a go to to Santa’s Workshop on the Santa Claus Village and a gala dinner with Santa Claus on the finish; you may e-book every other excursions individually, though our husky sledding and reindeer sleigh rides, and snowmobiling have been each organized by the corporate too.

Different corporations embody extra excursions, whilst you can all the time e-book your personal. Should you prepare any independently, don’t neglect you might also be liable for your personal transfers (both at an additional value or hiring a automotive to drive within the snow).

Learn extra about our actions on our Levi Santa Break right here

What age is greatest?

Lapland is magical at any age (I used to be in my 30s once I first visited) however when the main target is on visiting Santa in Lapland, it pays to time it proper in case you can.

Most corporations advise you journey with youngsters aged 4+ and thermal fits and boots aren’t often included for under-threes. However wait too lengthy and the Santa magic could also be gone as soon as they’re too outdated.

Age 6-7 is good, though having mentioned that, we noticed households with toddlers and youths too.

How lengthy to go for? 

It relies upon partly on how a lot you need to slot in – there’s something from sooner or later journeys to Lapland to week-long breaks.

Most have a tendency to fall someplace within the center with three or four-day breaks being the most well-liked: shorter is cheaper however you’ll must be ready for busy days or fewer excursions and any flight delays may have a much bigger influence.

We went for 4 nights, which felt good – it gave time for an tour every single day in addition to time for ourselves, and we by no means felt rushed (plus we bought again on Sunday reasonably than midweek), though you would nonetheless have fitted every thing right into a three-night break.

Personally I believe a one-day journey can be very full-on with younger youngsters and dangers drained meltdowns as you lastly arrive and get to satisfy Santa – flights to Finnish Lapland are three and a half hours, so that you’ll have an early begin and an extended day.

Should you’re planning to ski in addition to the excursions, otherwise you needed to enterprise additional afield or attempt a Northern Lights tour, you may want longer to profit from the ski resort amenities.

Suggestions for Lapland with youngsters: what to pack

Select merino wool

It goes with out saying that you simply’ll want thermal layers to maintain out the chilliness within the Arctic Circle.

We took two units of long-sleeved tops and leggings every, principally of merino wool, which was implausible – it’s skinny and light-weight, dries shortly but additionally retains you superbly heat.

Pack a lot of layers

Take a lot of layers to remain heat reasonably than one thick layer, because it’s simpler to adapt to the totally different temperature.

On our first day, the temperature was round -6C, by the tip of the journey it was all the way down to -15C and associates who visited the 12 months earlier than have been met with -32C, so this fashion you may layer up or down relying what awaits you.

Click on right here to see what we packed and to get my downloadable packing listing

Pack totally different weight layers

There’s a restrict to only how a lot can match beneath a thermal go well with (and selecting a much bigger measurement would have swamped my daughter solely), so I shortly realised that there was no likelihood that we might zip it up over each her ski jacket and thicker hoody (plus thermals).

As an alternative, we had some thinner jumpers which went underneath the ski jacket or might put the thermal go well with excessive (once more with thermals beneath).

The identical went for my very own go well with, so having a range meant there was all the time one thing which labored.

Double layer your gloves

If doable attempt them on collectively before you purchase. We had thermal gloves and waterproof ski gloves for my daughter to layer up.

However the unique thermal gloves we bought have been too thick to suit inside, and the replacements nonetheless wanted some tugging to squeeze the second pair over.

As my daughter’s fingers barely got here up half-way, a much bigger measurement wouldn’t have labored any higher.

Considered one of my very own high buys for Lapland was some silk glove liners to go underneath my very own thermal gloves – I used to be continuously having to drag my proper glove off, to take pictures, to fish tickets out of a pocket, to drag my daughter’s gloves again on (once more!) and easily couldn’t do any of it with the thermal layer on.

Having the glove liner meant my hand wasn’t continuously within the freezing air but it surely was skinny sufficient that I might (principally) even use the touchscreen on my telephone.

I purchased this pair last-minute from Amazon though in case you’re close to a Decathlon retailer, these are touchscreen suitable.

Pack spare gloves

Having rigorously thought by the totally different glove layers, I managed to neglect that my daughter has a expertise for shedding gloves.

Setting out the primary morning to discover, we realised her thermal ones have been already lacking…

Fortunately they’d simply been dropped within the lodge foyer at check-in and scooped into misplaced property, however I used to be kicking myself for not having a number of back-ups!

Double layer your socks

Surprisingly, the low temperatures don’t all the time really feel that low, particularly while you’re bundled up in layers and thermals, because the air is so dry and we had no or little or no wind.

So it’s your toes and fingers which really feel the chilly first. I layered bizarre socks with thermal socks for each of us, inside heat ski boots, however nonetheless wished for thicker socks myself a number of instances.

Purchase extra handwarmers

We had two units of reusable handwarmers with us, which labored superbly the primary time we used them (simply bend to snap the steel disc and so they warmth up immediately).

I then managed to drop one in a snowdrift the place it vanished solely, and when making an attempt to warmth them in boiling water to reuse them, one popped, and the opposite two flatly refused to go squashy once more.

Subsequent time I’d take much more and go for disposable air activated ones as a substitute like these.

Get a gaiter

I’ve additionally heard them known as buffs, gaiters and snoods, however no matter title you fancy giving this convenient piece of clothes, be sure to’ve bought one!

The circle of cosy materials is rather a lot much less faff than a shawl, simpler to snuggle underneath a jacket and simple to drag up over your face and nostril, particularly in case you’re husky sledding once we felt the chilliness of the air much more.

My daughter’s was fleecy and albeit I used to be jealous sufficient to attempt it on to see if it fitted (it did, simply – click on right here to take a look at the fluffiness) so I’ve my eye on an analogous one like this fleecy one subsequent time.

My daughter lies in the snow, hat pulled down and fleecy snood pulled up over her face against the snow - my top tips for visiting Lapland with kids including what to pack

Make sure that your hat covers your ears

Or contemplate a balaclava (though once I wore one underneath my helmet for snowmobiling, I believed my daughter would explode with laughter).

And in case your youngsters are like my daughter, who can lose hats as simply as gloves, take at the very least two. Tassels can are available in helpful to tie it underneath their chin too, though it’s value figuring out huskies prefer to play with longer tassels…!

Yow will discover conventional trapper-style hats in addition to some very cute animal variations – every thing from a unicorn to a fleecy fox and furry wolf.

Slip in some slippers

Or some cozy sneakers. I had my very own ski boots and was additionally supplied with one other set however there’s nothing like pulling on a snug pair of slippers after a day clomping round in heavy boots.

Thermal socks could be heat however typically tight so I used to be glad to peel these off and this stored me heat with out underfloor heating.

My daughter had her slipper socks (together with some fleecy tracksuit bottoms) for a similar cause – I used to be tempted by this fox pair for her as effectively and this fleece-lined pair for me!

Have a sizzling water bottle

The apparently skinny duvets on our beds have been impressively heat, so we might actually have managed with out our sizzling water bottles.

However there’s nothing fairly so comforting as curling up with one while you’ve been chilly – I packed this 1 litre sizzling water bottle with a fleecy cowl for me, and a dinky 0.5 litre model for my daughter.

I additionally threw on this fleece journey blanket simply in case: in the long run we by no means wanted it, however for a fiver it was nice as a back-up.

Pack moveable snacks

Chocolate biscuits, fruit leather-based, cereal bars… I got here armed with loads of snacks for each of us which might simply be slipped right into a bag once we have been out for the day, each time my six-year-old wanted a high-energy enhance.

Enjoying in snow is large enjoyable, as have been all our winter actions, however it may be tiring so just a few treats have been best to maintain her going and Finland shouldn’t be the most affordable place to purchase meals.

Persist with your personal favourites, though the fruit Bear Nibbles and Cadbury Animal Biscuits labored wonders.

You possibly can by no means have an excessive amount of sizzling chocolate

Ticking the excessive power field and excellent to heat us up as we relaxed after a day within the snow, I believe I misplaced depend of the variety of sizzling candies we had between us.

As we have been in a lodge reasonably than self-catering, I grabbed a handful of various sachets which solely wanted boiling water – Cadbury, Galaxy, Wispa – and sipped by all of them. Yum.

For a bit of additional luxurious, lots of fancy sizzling candies must be made with sizzling milk however these Charbonnel & Walker Consuming Chocolate flakes and the Basic sizzling chocolate from Lodge Chocolat could be made with boiling water.

Deliver wine

The bottle of crimson wine I picked up in Obligation Free at Gatwick was only some kilos greater than a small glass in a single Levi restaurant (and barely lower than a big glass in our lodge).

You should purchase wines on the Alko store however the one in Levi is a bit stroll from the centre of city and you may’t merely choose up a bottle in a grocery store in Finland.

Take a rucksack

You most likely gained’t have an enormous quantity to hold however when you’re in a thermal go well with, you could have restricted accessible pockets, so one thing to stash the necessities in and maintain your fingers free to fiddle within the snow is beneficial.

I took my Osprey daylite backpack which had loads of room for every thing, sufficient pockets to maintain all of it separate, plus a helpful compartment on the again to stuff gloves and hats in once we went inside.

Take into account learn how to carry your telephone

Even with my glove liners on, my chilly fingers managed to fumble my telephone and drop it right into a snowdrift on day one.

Fortunately the powdery snow meant it emerged unscathed (though the battery degree dropped immediately to three%) however I regretted not taking the waterproof case I personal, which hangs round my neck.

Utilizing the telephone with glove liners by the skinny case may need been tough however it will even have made me really feel safer holding it on our husky sled.

This case is suitable with any telephone as much as 6.8 inches, together with a Samsung S23 and iPhone 14, this bigger case for handsets as much as 7.5 inches like a Samsung S30 or iPhone 14 Plus.

Bulk purchase batteries

Even in case you handle to not drop your telephone right into a snowdrift (extremely suggested!), the chilly temperatures drain batteries a lot quicker.

Plus you’ll be snapping away on the beautiful surroundings rather a lot, in addition to capturing some implausible household reminiscences.

So in case you’re utilizing a digital camera, it’s value having a second battery charged and prepared. Should you’re utilizing a telephone, maintain a charged moveable battery at hand.

This slimline Anker energy financial institution is good because it’s not too cumbersome however can shortly and fully cost a telephone (with energy leftover)..

Or maintain your telephone in the identical pocket as handwarmers if it’s beginning to get chilled.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

The dry air may imply you don’t really feel the chilly as a lot as you count on, however your pores and skin actually will.

My fingers felt as dry as paper, so a lot of hand cream is important – I had my Neutrogena Norwegian Formulation hand cream (apt for a visit to Finland!) and super-moisturising L’Occitane Shea hand cream for an added enhance.

Be sure to’ve bought loads of lip balm too: my Elizabeth Arden eight-hour cream was additionally nice for any notably sore spots on my fingers from pulling stiff zips.

The gondola linking Levi Panorama hotel with the town below - my top tips for visiting Lapland with kids including what to pack

Lapland suggestions: the place to stick with youngsters

Lodge or self-catering?

There are self-catering residences and chalets in addition to inns in locations like Levi, so you may select which fits you greatest (together with each half-board and full-board choices within the inns).

It’s value allowing for that meals in Finland isn’t low-cost, so self-catering is probably not as low-cost as different locations – and that whereas I’ve had some completely good meals there, you don’t actually go to Lapland for the delicacies!

With chips and youngster favourites like rooster nuggets on the buffet at our lodge, Levi Panorama, there was one thing for my daughter each night, plus a few stand-out grownup choices together with salmon with dill and a melting beef stew.

Should you’re planning to eat out, two massive pizzas with drinks at Basic Pizza in Levi value us round 40 Euros. You possibly can eat extra cheaply or simply spend extra although.

How far is it to the restaurant?

One factor that’s value contemplating is how shut your rooms are to the restaurant – some will probably be in a separate constructing within the lodge so on chilly evenings or if it’s quite a lot of minutes stroll, you may want thermal fits on the best way.

The identical goes in case you’re planning to eat out and will probably be strolling out of your lodge. After a enjoyable time out within the snow, I used to be very happy to take off some layers and simply hop into the raise to get to ours.

Central or secluded? 

Levi itself isn’t large – and the identical goes for most of the different predominant Santa break locations – however with snow, thermal fits and chilly climate, in case you’ve bought a 15-minute stroll to get wherever, you’ll shortly get fed up of that with drained youngsters.

On the plus aspect, in case you’re a bit method out of the principle city, you get unspoiled snow to discover.

Levi Panorama is linked to the city by a gondola, and I used to be in two minds whether or not I’d find it irresistible or whether or not it will be an added faff.

Fortunately, it was the previous – we had snowy woods to wander by, the gondola was solely a minute or so away and left us proper within the coronary heart of Levi, and my daughter and I liked the views as we have been carried up and down the mountain.

We by no means needed to wait greater than a few minute for it to reach and by no means did not get a seat both (and tickets are free in case you keep within the lodge).

It runs from 9.30am to 9pm which labored effectively, as we weren’t out exploring earlier or later.

There are just a few bonuses for Lapland inns which you gained’t discover in most lodging – for starters, a drying cabinet is implausible while you’ve discovered your self lined in snow.

Inside a thermal go well with, you’ll keep comparatively dry however in addition to soggy gloves, hats and socks, we ended up with moist cuffs and hems at varied factors, which this sorted out superfast.

Some inns actually have a mini sauna within the room (not suggested for kids underneath 12) in addition to communal saunas – women and men’s are separated however you’ll be anticipated to go in bare in Finland.

After a freezing day, it may be blissful (particularly in case you’ve bought another person to take care of the children as you gently toast).

Even in freezing temperatures a swimming pool can go down effectively, particularly when it’s too chilly to go outdoors for lengthy or in case you’re unfortunate sufficient to not get a lot snow – though my pool-obsessed daughter managed fairly fortunately and not using a swim on this Lapland journey.

My daughter in the snow with the gold of sunset at around 2pm - my top tips for visiting Lapland with kids including what to pack

Suggestions for visiting Lapland with youngsters: while you’re there

Take it sluggish

Enable additional time for every thing right here. There’s no query of merely grabbing a coat and coming out (not that there often is with youngsters!)

In Lapland, you could consider additional time to get into thermal fits, to drag gloves over gloves, then to stroll by the snow.

Think about downtime

Having a thermal go well with to put on is a large bonus, retaining the snow out and retaining everybody heat, however they’re not light-weight.

Sporting one could be surprisingly tiring, even for adults, not to mention youngsters, particularly while you’re clambering over the snow and becoming in all types of enjoyable actions.

On the finish of the day, as we bought again to the lodge, I used to be glad to unzip mine, take off my boots and simply relax. (That is the place the new chocolate and slippers is available in too).

This Lapland youngsters’s exercise e-book and journal is nice for while you’re kicking again after your time out, and makes a enjoyable memento too.

Keep in mind the darkish

After we visited in early December, there’s solely about two hours between dawn and sundown. By mid December, it’s the polar evening and formally darkish all day.

On the plus aspect, we had essentially the most lovely gentle in the midst of the day, a pinkish gold shade, and the sluggish daybreak and nightfall means you do get some daylight earlier than the official dawn and sundown.

There are additionally loads of streetlights and the snow displays to provide a half-light later than you may count on. Nevertheless, if you’re heading off the overwhelmed monitor, take a torch.

Waking up at the hours of darkness and it being full darkish by mid afternoon undoubtedly confuses your physique clock although, particularly on the primary day with a two-hour time distinction and a really early begin for the flight. Be ready to suppose it’s bedtime by 5pm!

You won’t want all of your layers

I used to be so equipped for the low temperatures and decided the chilly wouldn’t cease us that it got here as a shock to find we didn’t want our thermal go well with every single day.

On our first day, the temperatures hovered round -6C – not precisely tropical, however thermal layers, a thick hoody, ski jacket and ski trousers, plus ski boots (and hat, gloves and many others) stored us toasty heat.

My daughter’s thermal go well with was too heat for the heated pods once we went snowmobiling too!

Obtain an Aurora app

I’ve visited the Arctic Circle 3 times and have nonetheless but to see these superb swirling inexperienced Northern Lights.

Sadly the cloud cowl meant I used to be no luckier this time, however to avoid wasting hours spent outdoors staring hopefully on the sky, I downloaded My Aurora Forecast app (click on right here for Android) which helps you to know your possibilities and the very best instances to identify them.

*First revealed 2018, up to date 2023*


My top tips for visiting Lapland with kids, from what to pack for a Santa Break in Lapland to how long to spend and where to stay, as well as why extra hot chocolate is always good.

Disclosure: My Santa Break was courtesy of Inghams. All opinions are my very own, primarily based on our experiences from our journey, together with limitless faffing with gloves and fumbling with telephones. This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Pictures copyright MummyTravels


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