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Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Reindeer Sled In The Snow  - Image Credit: Kimmo Syvari and Visit Finland

Here at Activities Abroad, we treasure the magic of Christmas and believe it is something to be enjoyed by the whole family. Our Father Christmas holidays are thoughtfully chosen to offer every family member a truly genuine and authentic experience filled with festive fun. What better way to spend the holidays than with the big man himself? With so many exciting Christmas trips on offer, we can help you choose the perfect fit for you and your family. 

Our Father Christmas holidays are tried and tested by the families of our very own team, so you can be sure that these trips offer you the best of the season’s festivities, with both sophistication and fun so that there is always something for everyone. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help with the festive decision-making so you can choose an unforgettable Father Christmas break.


Best Trip For Extra Fun In The Snow

Children Meeting Santa Claus in Ranua

Our Ranua Pick and Mix holiday is ideal for families looking to tailor their festive activities and remains a firm favourite amongst our guests. Here you’ll have the option to experience exhilarating husky safaris, cross-country skiing through the incredible snowscapes, or take a  relaxed excursion to the nearby wildlife park where the whole family can delight at the chance to spot animals such as polar bears, elk, deer, arctic foxes, lynx and moose!

The magical and intimate trip to see Father Christmas in his hidden cabin deep in the winter wonderland of Lapland is, however, the main highlight. Rauna also offers an amazing amount of flexibility to fit your family’s needs and the perfectly private, authentic Father Christmas experience.


Best For A Cosy Winter Cottage Stay 

Santa Claus by candlelight - Credit Kimmo Syvari and Visit Finland

For a magical winter cottage stay, you can’t get better than our trips to Jeris. With log fires and private saunas, these idyllic cosy cottages are nestled on the frozen lakeside surrounded by snow-laden forests, offering the perfect setting for an unforgettable Christmas. The children will have the opportunity to sit and share their Christmas wishes during a private and authentic visit with Father Christmas himself, capturing a true sense of magic they won’t forget in a hurry. 

There is a wide range of activities on offer in Jeris so your family can make the most of all that Finnish Lapland has to offer; from active fun such as husky sledding and snowmobiling to festive pastimes like treasure hunts, Christmas crafting and baking cookies. From dining experiences in the local ice hotels, to enjoying a meal around the campfire, our Jeris Father Christmas trips make for a truly varied and unforgettable experience. 


Best All-Round Festive Experience 

Ruka - Credit Harri Tarvainen - Visit Finland

Our trip ‘A Magical Search for Father Christmas‘, is a favourite with our Activities Abroad travellers as it provides an authentic Father Christmas experience that the entire family can enjoy. At Kuusamo, you will find a holiday that is thoughtfully crafted. Enjoy an informal Father Christmas experience that’s much more relaxed, intimate and less commercial where you and the kids can spend five full hours at the home of Father Christmas. You will be looked after by his amazing elves as you take part in a number of fun festive activities.

As Kuusamo is surrounded by natural beauty, from fells and forests to frozen lakes and rivers, the beauty of this area never fails to make an impression. While staying in one of the cosy semi-detached cottages at the family-friendly hotel, this will become your base for a range of tailored winter activities. From husky sledding and a magical reindeer sleigh ride, these are tailored to those with younger children, so you and your family can create lasting memories. The hotel also offers a wonderful swimming pool and soft play area so there’s plenty to do between the day’s activities.

Best For Watching The Auroras From The Comfort Of Your Bed 

Aurora Cabin - Northern Lights Village

As well as being able to tick the Aurora off your bucket list, our ‘pick and mix’ holidays, give you the freedom to choose activities that are best suited to your family and their interests. Our trips to Levi and Saariselkä are ideal for meeting Father Christmas, starting with a magical sleigh ride through the winter wonderland in search of the lights of his secret cabin. While more commercial Father Christmas experiences involve queuing to meet the big man himself, our trips see each family taken one at a time by a friendly elf for a private gathering. You will even receive a gift to take with you!

As well as being able to meet Father Christmas with the children, you can also tick the Aurora off your bucket list. Chasing the Northern Lights during the winter months can be as challenging as it is thrilling, which is why many of our trips are designed to make Aurora hunting both comfortable and exciting. Those looking for a chance to see the incredible Aurora from the toasty confines of their bed need look no further. You'll stay in the amazing Aurora cabins with their partially-glassed roofs, constructed to give you a view of Northern Lights while staying warm inside your cabin.  

Perfect For A Short Festive Break 

Boy With Dog Sled at Apukka Resort - Credit: Apukka Resort

Located just 15 minutes from Lapland’s capital Rovaniemi, the Apukka Resort is the ideal location for a short family Christmas break, with easy access to all the festive fun in the official land of Father Christmas. Hidden away from the city lights, the Apukka Resort allows you to surround yourself with the magic of the Lappish winter wonderland. For 3-nights, your family can indulge in a variety of winter activities, with the option to tailor those that your family will love the most. 

Best of all, Mr Claus will be waiting for your visit to his secret cabin where you will be welcomed by elves and shown around the indoor park. This Father Christmas visit offers the opportunity to take the magic train, bake gingerbread and send special letters to loved ones from Lapland. There’s also the chance to visit the amazing home of the Ice Princess, complete with Ice Gallery and Bar.

Best For Flexibility and a Tailor Made Experience 

Children Playing In the Snow in Rukka - Credit: Harri Tarvainen

Ruka offers the perfect trip for families looking for ultimate flexibility in their Arctic itinerary. As one of the largest ski resorts in Finland, it is one of the top destinations in the country with plenty of opportunity to try out a range of snow sports. 

In fact, there’s many activities for the whole family to enjoy that you can choose for a tailored itinerary that suits you, your family and their interests. Try your hand at snowmobiling or husky sledding over the tundra or take a more laid-back approach relaxing in the saunas and Jacuzzis of Lisakki Village. You can even treat yourselves to a truly unforgettable overnight stay in an igloo! There is something for everyone in Ruka. 

Best ‘Hidden Gem’ Trip 

Husky Sled Vuokatti - Image Credit: Matt Robinson

Vuokatti, located in the Lakeland region of Finland, is a lesser known but no less magical winter wonderland experience for your family. Considered a ‘hidden gem’ in the Arctic, it remains idyllic for a family Christmas holiday that’s free from crowds and commercial attractions. 

The kids will love the truly special trip to Santa’s Village, where, after enjoying some hot drinks and Christmas treats, they can meet Father Christmas. During your private meeting in his cosy cottage, there’ll be the chance for a family picture together so you have lasting memories of the day and children will also receive a small gift as a token of the experience. 

If you’re keen to get into the full Christmas spirit, you can even pet and feed the wonderful reindeer! The range of activities in Vuokatti is fantastic and they are operated by passionate and knowledgeable guides who know the destination inside out. From husky safaris where you’ll rush through scenic snow landscapes to trying your hand at the ever-popular pastime of ice fishing, your family is sure to have a memorable festive trip. Evenings will be spent at the Hotel Vuokatti and Suites, where modern comforts meet the picturesque setting, overlooking the frozen lake.

If you’re thinking of treating your family to a trip to meet Father Christmas in winter, you can get in touch with our team to discuss each holiday in more detail.

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Joanna Robertson

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As the world slowly opens up again, there is much discussion regarding what travel will be like following Covid-19. We know it will be more complex but rest-assured, our Family Travel Experts are continuously monitoring the situation so that they can guide you through your booking and monitor the ever-evolving new rules, so that you don’t need to worry. With their expert knowledge, you can be confident that your travel plans are in safe hands and that you can book knowing your holiday is ATOL protected.

Our wonderful suppliers in Finland are also working incredibly hard to implement new procedures which will provide additional peace of mind for guests and we are delighted that none of our destinations have experienced any significant outbreaks of Covid-19. Indeed, they are currently fully anticipating operating their winter programmes and looking forward to welcoming our guests this coming season.

An Arctic escape to magical Lapland should be at the top of everyone’s list this winter. But with so many incredible winter wonderland experiences that the whole family can enjoy available, it can prove difficult to choose exactly what to do on your own winter break. Read on for our top three Lapland experiences to help you plan your dream Arctic itinerary:

Joanna Robertson

 Kevät vasanmerkkuu 4 LapinMateriaalipankki TerhiTuovinen resize

From seeing the invisible to swimming for miles, these marvellous mammals are full of tricks. Find out some fun facts below!

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Joanna Robertson

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Several weeks into lockdown and we don’t blame you if your lesson planning is starting to feel a little uninspired. So, we thought we would help…at least with a Science lesson (and maybe a dash of Geography, History and Art too!).

Introduce your young explorers to the wonder of the Northern Lights in our Mini Guide to Aurora Hunting.

Joanna Robertson

We know Easter weekend will be a little different for us all this year and although our original plans will have changed, there’s no reason why we can’t make new traditions together as a family! 

Here is some inspiration from family traditions across Scandinavia...

Mark McFaul

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World Book Day celebrates children's stories and the love of reading. Here at Activities Abroad, it is one of our favourite days in the school calendar! Not only is it a chance for parents to share their favourite books with their children and help develop their imaginations but we also believe that there is something magical about picking up a book and transporting yourself to somewhere else in the world with just the turn of a page!

Mark McFaul

Steven Melford Charlotte Nellim staying at Muotka MyActivitiesAbroad 12

After we received such a fantastic response to our #MyActivitiesAbroad competition that we ran over the Christmas holidays, we decided to run it again over February half term!

Kirsty Wood


For years, the Algarve has been the destination of choice for UK families visiting the stunning Portuguese coast. However, here at Activities Abroad we think that in order to experience a truly memorable family holiday, you need to visit the locations away from the tourist trail and uncover the hidden gems instead. It’s in these special destinations where you can enjoy authentic and unforgettable experiences that you and your family will cherish for years to come.

Amy Hope


Our Product Manager Amy has plenty of experience visiting our winter destinations and it’s always extra special when she gets to experience the magic of Lapland with her family! Here she gives her expert advice on how to dress children for a family winter holiday. 

Kirsty Wood


Though Brexit is official, in the world of travel we know that friendships and the opportunities for great family holidays are much stronger than borders. In fact, Visit Portugal wants to remind us of just that.

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