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.

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:

Mark McFaul

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It is safe to say that here at Activities Abroad we get very excited about the onset of a new winter season. Not only do the winter months in the Arctic bring with them a host of exciting family activities such as dog sledding and reindeer sleigh rides, they also give our families one of the first opportunities to go in search of the Northern Lights!

Kirsty Wood

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Though Father Christmas may call it home, when it comes to experiences in Lapland, the man in red has some fierce competition!

Amy Walkington-Gray

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We know what you are thinking! It’s not even summer, so why are we discussing the winter season? Well, we’re going to let you into a little secret - now is probably one of the best times of year to begin planning your festive family holiday before our handpicked hotels and flights are all snapped-up!

Allan Cooper

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There really is nothing better to get you into the festive spirit than an appearance from good old Saint Nicholas but with all the times he’s come to us, isn’t it only right we visited him?

Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

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Sadly, the school holidays are over and it’s time to get back to reality. But why not give into some wanderlust thoughts and start thinking about your family winter break!

Here are Activities Abroad’s 10 unmissable winter experiences you need to have this year:

Mark McFaul

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Lapland offers so much to families wanting to revel in all the joys that come with an escape to a winter wonderland. With so much choice, we understand that it can be hard to narrow down exactly what you want to do on your family break. So, in order to help you plan your next Arctic escape, we caught up with one of our Travel Experts, Laura to get her top three experiences to have this winter with your family:

Mark McFaul

torassieppi reindeer web 1

If you are anything like us then you have probably been longing for the chance to escape the heat of summer and cool down! Now it might still be the summer holidays but the good news is that winter is around the corner and here at Activities Abroad we think that there are plenty of reasons to get excited about the colder months!

Amy Hope

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Having worked at Activites Abroad for almost 9 years I have always dreamt about taking my family to Lapland.  I am very lucky to be able to visit many of the wonderful destinations that we offer as part of my role as Product and Operations Manager and I consider many of our local partners as friends rather than just business associates.

Amy Hope

We recently caught up with Laura from our marketing team to find out about her experience meeting reindeer in Finnish Lapland, here's what she had to say:

So, I’m a little bit of an animal lover (ok - major animal lover) and when I heard I was going to Finnish Lapland and getting the chance to meet reindeer, I couldn’t have been more excited!

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Andy Marshall

Experiencing a snow holiday with Activities Abroad is more than just your normal family ski escape. Combine fantastic snow with bucket list experiences, endless fun away from crowded resorts and magical family experiences.

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Here are our top three places to experience a snow holiday:

Amy Hope

With the festive season creeping up on us, it’s not too early to turn your attention to the February half-term holiday in order to make the most of this precious time with loved ones.

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Take a look at this roundup of my favourite holidays departing during the next school half-term:

Amy Hope

Lapland has so much to offer families who are eager to experience a winter wonderland escape, but sometimes with its vast range of activities it can become the case of having too much choice of fun things to do during your stay. IMG 9819 2

We’ve picked 3 great winter experiences that you must do this year:

Katrina Seator

Our representative Katrina has been busy looking after our families staying in Harrinva, Jeris and Torassieppi this year. We caught up with Katrina to find out about her winter in Lapland.

What do families enjoy the most about Harriniva, Jeris and Torassieppi?

There are so many fun activities to enjoy especially for children. Children always love meeting the huskies. They enjoy the husky safaris and getting to cuddle the huskies. The reindeers are also very popular and a reindeer sleigh ride is a magical experience for the whole family.  The tobogganing is probably one of the most popular activities. It’s very fun and children don’t get cold as they are constantly running up the hill for another go.

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Reindeer Sleigh Ride

Ben Murg

Over the winter months our Activities Abroad representative Ben has been working in Nellim. As the season draws to a close we asked Ben to share his favourite experiences of the winter season.

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Amy Walkington-Gray

Jo and Amy our Product and Sales managers are currently in Finland checking on preparations for our family Christmas holidays.

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As they touched down in Rovaniemi it was clear winter had arrived and there was even a couple of inches of snow on the ground making everything look extra special!

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