- Mumsnet Reviews
- More Information
"I wanted to give my daughter a real 'trip of…"
I wanted to give my daughter a real 'trip of a lifetime' visit to see Santa in Lapland before her belief in the man in the red suit disappeared, so I was delighted to be invited on a First Choice Santa trip to Lapland. We plumped for a two day overnight trip - leaving Gatwick frighteningly early on Saturday morning to be back by early evening on Sunday.
Our adventure began the minute we climbed the steps to the airplane with every child getting a Santa Hat and special Christmas activity pack to keep them occupied at least part of the way on the 3 and a half hour trip. Festive films and cartoons played for the duration of the flight - you really have to be a fan of Christmas for this kind of holiday - and there was a carol singing contest as we crossed into Lapland airspace.
We landed with a planeload of children buzzed with excitement at Kittila airport - it was 11am Lapland time, but the sun had only risen - in early December daylight lasts an hour or two. Just before Christmas it actually disappears altogether. As part of this trip, First Choice provide you with all the clothing you'd need to keep you and your children warm - so our first step was to queue up for snow suits, boots, balaclavas, gloves, ski socks and snow boots. Take everything that's offered to you - you'll need it. (Tip - you could be waiting in temperatures of -17 at this point, so make sure you all have plenty of layers on when at this stage. It's a good idea for the family to put on any thermals before you leave the plane).
From here we were whisked to the Snow Village where we switched from a coach to snowmobiles to head into the forest to see Santa Claus. Crowd control was well organised, so there was just a few of us waiting with cups of warm berry juice by an open fire, before we were led into to meet the man in red. Every child gets a present at this point, but it's also the perfect opportunity to pass over your child's Christmas present list.
The Snow Village has a whole heap of activities on offer - you can wander round an Ice Hotel, go on reindeer sleigh rides - there's even a chance for older children to drive their own pint-sized snowmobiles. But were were feeling the cold by now and didn't complain when it was time to decamp to the Crazy Reindeer Hotel in the nearby ski resort of Levi.
Our hotel looked magical on arrival - covered in snow and with a million fairy lights lit up all over it. Our room was warm and modern, with an immaculately clean bathroom and there are hot drinks machines and vending machines on every floor. You may be in a room which isn't in the main building, so you'll need coats and boots to come in for the restaurant and bar.
Dinner on the night we were there was a 'gala dinner'. You could dress up, but most people went in smart casual. The buffet food was tasty - expect turkey and vegetables for adults, and a choice of burgers and nuggets for kids. Entertainment included a hotly-contested quiz followed by a children's disco and then a short fireworks display in the hotel forecourt. A lot of the other families on longer trips here took advantage of the nearby floodlit slopes to take their kids tobogganing in the evenings.
The next day we ended our trip with a visit to a huskie farm for a half-hour huskie sledge ride through the countryside. This was an utterly magical experience - definitely the highlight for everyone in our group - and well worth going on if you get the chance. Then we were back to the airport for our flight home complete with Christmas lunch.
All in all, a great trip, worth doing once if you can afford it, before your kids wise up and no longer believe in Santa.Read moreLess
4 people found this review helpful.