Stay close to Santa's village, on the side of a ski resort or tucked away in a cabin
The three and a half hour flight time to Lapland means you can easily keep the kids entertained with movies and excitement on the way.
Then it’s on to one of its snow-based resorts, from central towns to secluded retreats. The modern capital of Lapland, Rovaniemi is the closest town to Santa’s village and so makes a convenient base for family holidays with younger kids. It’s also near Ounasvaara ski resort and provides a plethora of trips, from husky or reindeer drawn sleds to snowmobile rides and activity centres with festive themes.
If you’re keen to get the family involved in skiing, Yllas is the biggest ski centre in Finland, with the longest slopes. There are always good levels of snow here and also some of the best Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Situated next to the Yllas-Aakenus National Park in an area of seven fells, hiking and snowsports reign supreme here. Or for an away-from-it-all break in the heart of a pine forest and another national park – Pallas Yllastuntari – Muonio is the choice.
Best family activities in Lapland
The most well-known of all family activities in Lapland is, of course, visiting Santa Claus on the edge of the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi. As well as seeing the big man himself, the kids can send Christmas mail from Santa’s Post Office, attend Elf School and go underground in the Santa Park grotto. Snowman World is a 10-minute drive from Rovaniemi, where you can meet snowmen characters for ice skating and ice hockey, see intricate ice sculptures and build plenty of snowmen.
Whichever resort you stay in, there’ll always be multiple chances to get out on the snow. Little ones will love being pulled on a sled by husky dogs or reindeer, and can steer their own mini snowmobile. Hotels also lay on activities like snow-shoeing, snow football, or gathering around a campfire to sing carols and toast marshmallows.
Other family holiday destinations
There’s nowhere quite like Lapland, but if you’re looking for a similarly snowy family adventure, try Iceland. The country provides further chances to see the Northern Lights, as well as bobbing in geothermal lagoons and viewing geysers up close. And Slovenia is another destination for excellent skiing conditions in its northern resorts like Kranjska Gora.
But if it’s Lapland all the way for you, read more in our travel guide.