Christmas in Lapland: Meet Father Christmas
Why go? Combine an audience with Mr F.C, the Northern Lights and skiing in Luosto – a tiny ski resort in northern Finland. The whole set-up is geared towards families with young children: there’s a menu which includes the usual faves, large family rooms, flood-lit tobogganing tracks and an indoor swimming pool (with a spa) – a rare luxury this far into the Arctic Circle.
Activities: Spend the day at a reindeer farm, visiting the elf school and stopping off at the Christmas command centre (where all children’s letters are received, in case you were wondering), before meeting the big man. Husky rides, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and sledging all feature, as does Northern Lights hunting, with all guests given Aurora alarms for when they appear.
Price: Departing 18 and 23 December 2013, the five-night Luosto Family Christmas Adventure costs from £1,625 per adult and from £1,145 per child (5-12 years). This is based on a family of four sharing, including flights (from Heathrow), transfers, half-board accommodation, all activities, cold-weather clothing and guides.
Why go? Visiting picture-perfect Ranua will feel like you’ve jumped into a Christmas card. The snowy landscapes, polar bears, fir trees and reindeer sleigh rides overflow with yuletide joy, while being on the edge of a wildlife park, means you’ll see mystical-sounding creatures like Arctic foxes, elks, eagles and white-tailed deers.
Activities: Meet Rudolph and his friends, have a snowball fight with the elves and enjoy an intimate meeting with just Father Christmas and your family.
Price: Departing 19 and 23 December 2013, the four-night Ranua Polar Bears and Father Christmas trip costs from £1,495 for adults and £1,295 for children (5-12 years) including flights, transfers, full-board accommodation, all activities, cold-weather clothing and guides.
Log cabins and a winter wonderland
Why go? Huddle down together in a log cabin where a wood burning stove and private sauna come as standard. More enticing for children perhaps is the dog sledding, snowshoeing, reindeer sleighs, sledge races and snowman-building competitions that all feature highly on the itinerary.
Activities: Travel through the forest on a snowmobile-pulled sleigh, following a candle-lit path to Santa’s house. Meet him and his elves, bake gingerbread biscuits and choose a tree from the woods to decorate. It’s enough to convert even the Grinchiest of non-believers.
Price: Departing 9 and 18 December 2013, the four-night Jeris Father Christmas Family Short Break costs from £1,425 per adult and from £895 per child (5-14 years), based on a family of four sharing, including flights (from Heathrow), transfers, full-board accommodation, all activities, cold-weather clothing and guides.
After meeting old Saint Nick in Lapland, continue the festive activities in Tampere with Christmas markets and sleigh rides.