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Visit Father Christmas in Lapland, is it worth the money?

(28 Posts)
Katnisscupcake Thu 29-Aug-13 10:29:33

I am on the website looking at prices to see Father Christmas in Lapland.

DD has just turned 4 so I'm trying to decide the following:

- Do we do it this year (we have enough money in our savings to do it and could really knuckle down and budget and save enough without dipping into the savings if we really want to). If we do, it would be the one day trip totalling £1407 including a flight from a local airport.

- Do we do it next year (my 40th is in June so it would be part of my birthday present aswell) and pay twice as much but for a 4 day visit.

If you've done either, can you tell me whether it's all worth it?

DH has to work all over Xmas so that may sway our decision, one day (a Saturday) this year might be Ok, but he would struggle to swing 4 days (either this year or next...).

monikar Thu 29-Aug-13 14:25:29

We did it when DD was 4 and it was brilliant - the real Father Christmas. You go to a sort of village with reindeer and sleigh rides and there are wood fires burning outside. There's loads of snow and it feels really festive. You see Father Christmas and his elves in his log cabin and your child gets to chat to him and gets a present. Honestly, it is magical.

We did the day trip, and after the Father Christmas bit the coach stopped at a shopping centre - like a small mall, which was ok but if I remember correctly we were left there for about 2 hours which was rather long at the end of a very long day.

In hindsight, I think my DD would have benefited from being a little bit older. The next day (when we were home) she asked me where all the snow was, so I don't think she really understood that we had travelled to Lapland.

I would say though well worth it - hope that helps.

snappybadger Thu 29-Aug-13 14:26:42

I haven't been yet but have been researching it for over a year as I plan to take my ds in 2015 when he'll be 4.5.

From everything I've read the consensus is that a single day trip is not worth the money - it's shattering and you are rushed from one thing to the next. So if I were you I would wait until next year when you can go for longer.

It's an expensive trip either way, but if you're going to spend that sort of money you may as well do it right! By the way, check out Inghams as they have good prices and also from mid-October they often have deals on via

iloveholidays Thu 29-Aug-13 14:28:59

can I ask how much roughly you're looking at. my dds will be 4.9, 2.9 and 13 months at Christmas so was thinking of going in 2 years.

snappybadger Thu 29-Aug-13 14:38:17

iloveholidays I'm aiming for sub £1500 (ideally as close to £1000 as possible but will depend if there are any bargains around). But that's based on just me and my ds.

sis Thu 29-Aug-13 14:41:16

We did one day trip with a co that took us from airport to small village by skidoo. In the village, we were given a map of where everything was and we do our own thing - so if we wanted to spend two hours feeding or riding reindeer, we could! The visit to father Christmas was, of course, limited to one per child. This system worked well so that we all did different things and didn't have to queue for too long for any one activity. we went with canterbury travel, I think, but I'm not sure if they still do the trip on the same basis as this was about ten years ago. If it is the same trip that we did then I would definitely recommend it.

dashoflime Thu 29-Aug-13 14:48:29

Id love to do something like this with DS when he's big enough to appreciate it but Lapland would be out of my budget.
I'm considering Aviemore in the scottish highlands as an alternative. Little cottage with wood burner, snow, the raindeer sanctuary, visit to father christmas.

Jdub Thu 29-Aug-13 16:50:30

We were lucky enough to win a 4 day trip - and went with Inghams. I can't recommend it highly enough - it was truly THE MOST MAGICAL THING EVER!!!!! If I could afford to go every year, I would, as it really was so amazing! If you can wait and go for 4 days rather than one, if budget allows, I would do that. I think no matter how old you are, the magic is astounding and it will be something you will always treasure.

jamtoast12 Thu 29-Aug-13 17:13:20

We went last year and it was simply the best holiday ever! Paid £2200 for four days for the four of us on the 16 dec. It was magical smile We went with thomsons to can get the same trip now for 2 adults and 2 kids for £1884 on 15 dec from manchester so don't pay £1500 for a day! It's a 3.5 hour flight plus time difference. We saw the day trippers and they only got 5 hours there and its very tiring for kids.

Thomsons have a party flight with carol singing down the intercom, all activities inc as is a gala meal with fireworks at the end! Saariselka is not a bit commercial. It's fab! I cant recommend it enough though my dd age 5 did struggle with the cold and it was only -9 when we were there!

jamtoast12 Thu 29-Aug-13 17:14:28

Don't leave til last minute, the cheapest prices are now. We booked ours last June and it increased by £1000 by sept and sold out in nov!

jamtoast12 Thu 29-Aug-13 17:21:03

Actually just thinking..... You may be best next year in terms of spends as the excursions are very expensive (doesnt matter who you go with, operator trips don't compare to the 3 hour husky adventures bookable there). We paid £350 for a 3 hour husky ride where me and dh drove a team of huskys each with a dd in the sled each. It was like Narnia! We spent £800 in four days!

ratbagcatbag Thu 29-Aug-13 19:26:58

Jdub - that's fab to know, we're saving now, so we can go when dd will be six. I want to do the four day trip and do everything whilst were there. smile

snappybadger Thu 29-Aug-13 19:27:13

jamtoast that sounds fantastic! Just wanted to say that the £1500 I quoted above was for flights and a week in Saariselka half board and also included all the main activities I want us to do. I would not pay £1500 for one day!

starwish Thu 29-Aug-13 21:05:59

Lapland is more than worth the money, although I really wouldn't bother going for a day, I have been more than once, always staying for a week. Last year we paid £1000 for a week self catering including a visit to santas hideaway, rides on reindeer etc. We went with Inghams and I know this is my first post but I don't represent them (naice ham, poo trolls, shopping lists etc) I really recommend them and they are the cheapest. The excursions are a lot cheaper than the likes of first choice etc. We always book it as a ski trip then add the santa extras on. Lapland is a lovely place. Please ask if you want any more information.

Katnisscupcake Thu 12-Sep-13 15:04:15

Thank you all - sorry I haven't been back to check on responses!!

So I think we have decided to leave it until next year when DD will be 5.5.

My only concern is that we're currently TTC number 2 and I may be (hopefully) pregnant by then or will have a young baby... Is it still doable in either of those situations?

I think we will plan to book in June next year when it's at it's cheapest, at least I will know by then what my situation might be.

Thanks again!

jamtoast12 Thu 12-Sep-13 18:14:46

I don't think its doable with a young baby if I'm honest. My dd was 5 and I wouldn't have taken her younger due to the cold but others have and been ok. Kids under 3 can't take part in all the activities ESP huskies and snowmobiles so in terms of getting your money's worth, it would be wasted. In fact thomsons lapland brochure actually states the holidays are for kids over 4. Going independently would be easier with a toddler as you can take your time etc. on our Santa trip, even with four days we barely had time to eat and the hour it took to dress us all was tiring for dd.

Being prengant would only be an issue for the excursions and sledging and if not far along, you may even be fine for them.

Prices are super low for this year...currently £1800 which is even lower than the best price from last year! I'm dying to go!!!

Hadagutsful Fri 13-Sep-13 19:43:18

What's the oldest do you think a child could be to still get some magic out of seeing Santa in Lapland? Our eldest would be 9 when our youngest got to 4. He's likely to be a non-believer by then isn't he? shock

jamtoast12 Sat 14-Sep-13 08:00:57

Depends on your area I dds school it common for the 10-11 year olds to believe! Dd is 8 and absolutely believes. Tbh lapland is so convincing even I believed when I got back grin

There's enough fun to be had even as non believer.

BiscuitsandBaileys Sat 14-Sep-13 16:18:56

We are going this Christmas and my youngest dd is 9 and still believes so do I grin

lillybloom Sat 14-Sep-13 16:24:56

I took my ds when he was 6 for the day trip. I loved it as much as he did. It was expensive for just a day but i was already breaking the bank and an overnight would have stretched it too far. My ds thought that it was magic to get a day and it kept him believing for a year or two more. he was already unsure as the school janitor had played Santa and he had seen through the disguise. We did lots of activities but never felt rushed at all. I wish id more kids so i could do it again.

Hadagutsful Sun 15-Sep-13 11:21:31

Ah that's encouraging. I was worried that DS1 might have missed out if he was 'too old'. Hoping it will keep the magic alive for him a while longer. grin

MiniMousse Sun 15-Sep-13 11:30:21

Jam toast, can I ask which hotel in saariselka you stayed at? And would you recommend it?

jamtoast12 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:03:22

We stayed at the holiday club which was nice as they'd refurbished the rooms. However they didnt do family rooms so got two twins so me and dh each slept with a dd. it worked fine as it gave us lots of room which was needed! It took up to an hour to get us all dressed and often whoever was ready first was then boiling whilst sitting waiting for the others so its easy to start getting irritated! the pool was good but we only went in once and I wouldn't have gone in at all but the kids were so cold after our husky trip that they were desperate! No point booking for it as you can swim anywhere!

We visited the snowflake which I think was the best as all the evening family entertainment is based there and they have a lovely bar area which the holiday club doesn't. It was impossible to sit and have a drink at night at our hotel with only four tables! Our gala meal was at the tunturi which was also very nice and better than the holiday club. Overall I'd recommend the snowflake.

worriedsick100 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:12:01

I am trying to sort this 3-4 day holiday and having no joy - the travel agents quoted me £4000 for 2 adults and 2 children today! We do not have to go bang up at Christmas. They did not seem to have any trips which were not after 10 December but we are happy to go earlier if this makes it more affordable. Has anyone go any suggestions? Many thanks

Haribojoe Thu 26-Sep-13 09:04:41

We did the day trip when DS1 was 4.

Best day we have ever had, cannot recommend it highly enough.

DS still talks about it now, am hoping to go again next year when DC will be 9 7 4 and 2.

Two tips which were helpful for me, they can even supply you with gloves and boots so we didn't need to but some if the the cold weather gear that we took with us.

If you want Father Christmas to give DC something special you can give if to one of the helpers before they meet him.

DS2 had just got into the Polar Express and some how wink Father Christmas knew to give him a hold bell just like in the film, am welling up just thinking about it smile

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