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32 ideas 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 – which is why I’ve pulled collectively my prime ideas 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 seaside 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 at all times helpful, there’s extra to it than merely remembering your thermals, as I found on our four-night break in Levi.

Ideas for visiting Lapland with youngsters: earlier than you go

Select your dates fastidiously

The sooner you go, the extra gentle you get and the hotter it’s prone to be. 2018’s unexpectedly excessive temperatures meant there was a lot much less snow than regular in November, and whereas that’s uncommon, the climate will at all times fluctuate through the six week season.

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

Examine what’s offered

Should you’re travelling on a Santa break package deal, 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 just’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 had been additionally hotter and a greater match, though my daughter wore her two pairs interchangeably.

Think about what’s included

With a couple of fundamental exercise and tour suppliers in areas like Levi, you might discover that the excursions are related 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 and a gala dinner with Santa on the finish; you’ll be able to guide another excursions individually, though our husky and reindeer sledding, and snowmobiling had been each booked by the corporate too.

Different firms embrace extra excursions. And in the event you organize any independently, don’t overlook you may additionally be liable for your personal transfers (both at an additional price 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 after I first visited) however when the main target is on visiting Santa in Lapland, it pays to time it proper in the event you can.

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 However wait too lengthy and the Santa magic might be gone as soon as they’re too outdated.

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

How lengthy to go for? 

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

Most have a tendency to fall someplace within the center: shorter is cheaper however you’ll have to be ready for busy days or fewer excursions and any flight delays may have an even bigger affect.

We went for 4 nights, which felt excellent – it gave time for an tour day by day in addition to time for ourselves, and we by no means felt rushed (plus we obtained again on Sunday fairly than midweek), though you might nonetheless have fitted all the pieces 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 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.

Ideas for Lapland with youngsters: what to pack

Select merino wool

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

We took two units of long-sleeved tops and leggings every, largely of merino wool, which was unbelievable – 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 fairly than one thick layer, because it’s simpler to adapt to the completely different temperature.

On our first day, the temperature was round -6C, by the top of the journey it was all the way down to -15C and mates who visited the 12 months earlier than had been met with -32C, so this manner you’ll be able to 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 completely different weight layers

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

As an alternative, we had some thinner jumpers which went below the ski jacket and will 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 spread meant there was at all times one thing which labored.

Double layer your gloves

If attainable 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 obtained had 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, an even bigger measurement wouldn’t have labored although.

One in every of my very own prime buys for Lapland was some silk glove liners to go below my very own thermal gloves – I used to be always having to tug my proper glove off, to take photographs, to fish tickets out of a pocket, to tug my daughter’s gloves again on (once more!) and easily couldn’t do any of it with the thermal layer.

Having the glove liner meant my hand wasn’t always within the freezing air but it surely was skinny sufficient that I may (largely) even use the touchscreen on my cellphone.

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

Pack spare gloves

Having fastidiously thought by the completely different glove layers, I managed to overlook that my daughter has a expertise for shedding gloves.

Setting out the primary morning to discover, we realised her thermal ones had 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 at all times really feel that low, particularly if 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 strange socks with thermal socks for each of us, inside heat ski boots, however nonetheless wished for thicker socks myself a number of occasions.

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 they usually 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 an alternative like these.

Get a gaiter

I’ve additionally heard them referred to as buffs and snoods, however no matter identify you fancy giving this convenient piece of clothes, be sure you’ve obtained one!

The circle of cosy materials is so much much less faff than a shawl, simpler to snuggle below a jacket and simple to tug up over your face and nostril, particularly in the event you’re husky sledding after we felt the nippiness of the air way more.

My daughter’s was fleecy and admittedly 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 identical one like this 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

Ensure that your hat covers your ears

Or contemplate a balaclava (though after I wore one below my helmet for snowmobiling, I assumed 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 least two. Tassels can are available helpful to tie it below their chin too, though it’s price realizing huskies prefer to play with longer tassels…!

Slip in some slippers

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

Thermal socks could be heat however usually 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 motive – I used to be tempted by this fox pair for her as properly and this fleece-lined pair for me!

Have a scorching water bottle

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

However there’s nothing fairly so comforting as curling up with one if you’ve been chilly – I packed this 1 litre scorching 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: ultimately 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 may simply be slipped right into a bag after we had been out for the day, every time my six-year-old wanted a high-energy increase.

Taking part in in snow is large enjoyable, as had been all our actions, however it may be tiring so a couple of treats had been splendid to maintain her going and Finland shouldn’t be the most cost effective place to purchase meals.

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

You may by no means have an excessive amount of scorching chocolate

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

As we had been in a lodge fairly 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, a whole lot of fancy scorching candies have to be made with scorching milk however these Charbonnel & Walker Consuming Chocolate flakes and the Basic scorching chocolate from Lodge Chocolat could be made with boiling water.

Convey wine

The bottle of purple wine I picked up in Responsibility Free at Gatwick was just a few kilos greater than a small glass in a single Levi restaurant (and barely lower than a big glass in our lodge).

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

Take a rucksack

You most likely received’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 preserve your palms free to fiddle within the snow is helpful.

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

Think about the way to carry your cellphone

Even with my glove liners on, my chilly fingers managed to fumble my cellphone 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 cellphone with glove liners by the skinny case might need been difficult however it will even have made me really feel safer holding it on our husky sled.

This case is appropriate with any cellphone as much as 6.8 inches, together with a Samsung S20 and iPhone 12, this bigger case for handsets as much as 7.5 inches.

Bulk purchase batteries

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

Plus you’ll be snapping away on the attractive surroundings so much, in addition to capturing some unbelievable household reminiscences.

So in the event you’re utilizing a digital camera, it’s price having a second battery charged and prepared. Should you’re utilizing a cellphone, preserve 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 cellphone (with energy leftover)..

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

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

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

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

Be sure you’ve obtained loads of lip balm too: my Elizabeth Arden eight-hour cream was additionally nice for any notably sore spots on my palms 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 ideas: the place to stick with youngsters

Lodge or self-catering?

There are self-catering flats and chalets in addition to inns in locations like Levi, so you’ll be able to select which fits you greatest (in addition to each half-board and full-board choices within the inns).

It’s price taking into account 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 baby 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 huge pizzas with drinks at Basic Pizza in Levi price us round 40 Euros. You may eat extra cheaply or simply spend extra although.

How far is it to the restaurant?

One factor that’s price contemplating is how shut your rooms are to the restaurant – some can be in a separate constructing within the lodge so on chilly evenings or if it’s various minutes stroll, you would possibly want thermal fits on the way in which.

The identical goes in the event you’re planning to eat out and can 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 big – and the identical goes for most of the different fundamental Santa break locations – however with snow, thermal fits and chilly climate, in the event you’ve obtained a 15-minute stroll to get anyplace, you’ll shortly get fed up of that with drained youngsters.

On the plus aspect, in the event you’re slightly means 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 like it 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 beloved the views as we had been carried up and down the mountain.

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

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

There are a couple of bonuses for Lapland inns which you received’t discover in most lodging – for starters, a drying cabinet is unbelievable if you’ve discovered your self coated 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 numerous factors, which this sorted out superfast.

Some inns actually have a mini sauna within the room (not suggested for kids below 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 the event you’ve obtained another person to take care of the youngsters as you gently toast).

Even in freezing temperatures a swimming pool can go down properly, particularly when it’s too chilly to go outdoors for lengthy or in the event you’re unfortunate sufficient to not get a lot snow – though my pool-obsessed daughter managed fairly fortunately with out a swim on this 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

Ideas for visiting Lapland with youngsters: if you’re there

Take it sluggish

Enable further time for all the pieces right here. There’s no query of merely grabbing a coat and coming out (not that there normally is with youngsters!)

In Lapland, you should think about further time to get into thermal fits, to tug gloves over gloves, then to stroll by the snow.

Consider 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 if you’re clambering over the snow and becoming in all types of enjoyable actions.

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

This Lapland kids’s exercise guide and journal is nice for if you’re kicking again after your time out, and makes a enjoyable memento too.

Bear 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 night time 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 would possibly count on. Nonetheless, if you’re heading off the crushed observe, take a torch.

Waking up at nighttime 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 assume it’s bedtime by 5pm!

You may not 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 day by 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 after we went snowmobiling too!

Obtain an Aurora app

I’ve visited the Arctic Circle thrice and have nonetheless but to see these wonderful swirling inexperienced Northern Lights.

Sadly the cloud cowl meant I used to be no luckier this time, however to save lots of 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 occasions to identify them.

*First printed 2018, up to date 2021*


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, based mostly on our experiences from our journey, together with countless faffing with gloves and fumbling with telephones. This publish accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Photographs copyright MummyTravels


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