Hei from the Retired Toddlers in Finland!
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Our kids were 3 & 5 years old when we went to Finland as a fulltime traveling family and it was EVERYTHING! Festive, magical, snowy … and cold & a little expensive. But soooo worth it!
Visiting Santa in Finland with Kids is Magical
We visited Rovaniemi, Finland as part of our Around the World in 80 Days trip. Rovaniemi is located in Lapland area of Finland. Almost all flight options connect through Helsinki to Rovaniemi.
Dreams actually do come true at SantaPark Arctic World, which is full of lots of activites for kids!
Go to Rovaniemi Finland for a Festive Winter vacation.
Check out the video below for a glimpse at the city center!
Dream of Joulukka : Santa's Secret Forest:
Get ready to feel the joy of Christmas. These videos fill my heart and will forever be some of our favorite families memories. If you have a chance, don't pass up this experience! Watch all 4 parts below!
As part of the Dream of Joulukka experience, we attended Elf School.
This is such the magic of childhood - pure joy!
A walk through the snow covered forest of Joulukka, with snow lightly falling around us, playing with elves ... it doesn't get much better...
And then it was time ... for the visit we had been waiting for ... Santa's Secret Command Center. Located under a snow covered hill in the forest of Joulukka, it was nothing short of magical!
The next day, we headed to SantaPark, for some more festive fun!
SantaPark is more of an indoor amusement park of sorts. It's absolutely worth going and the kids had so much fun! While you can also visit Santa Claus inside SantaPark, we opted not to, since we already had the perfect magical experience visiting him at his Secret Command Center in the Forest of Joulukka ~and we didn't want to confuse the issue ;)
There are lots of opportunities for festive adventures around Rovaniemi. The next day, we opted for bus ride to Santa Claus Village. This is an area that is free to enter, but has activities you can pay for, as well as some restaurants and hotels onsite. Here, we played on the snow covered playgrounds and walked through the village, but didn't partake in the dogsled or reindeer rides.
If you love the magicalness of Christmas, this is a family vacation you won't forget. Follow along on Instagram @RetiredToddlers for more epic adventures and trips with kids!
Here we are walking through the snow covered Forest of Joulukka, on our way to Elf School. (This was the Dream of Joulukka Experience with SantaPark.)
Elf school wouldn't be complete without decorating Gingerbread cookies by the cozy fire!
We roasted marshmallows, drank a warm Finish tea and played in the snow with elves, while we waited our turn to go into Santa's Secret Command Center! (only one family at a time goes in, which makes it extra special!)
We made it into the Command Center (make sure you watch the videos above!). Santa not only knew their names, but he knew what they wanted for Christmas!
Interesting Travel Facts about Finland
The official languages spoken in Finland are Finnish and Swedish
Finland is ranked the #1 happiest country in the world!
There are 187,888 lakes in Finland
There are more Saunas in Finland than Cars!
During the winter you may be able to see the Northern Lights, but get out of the city for a better viewing opportunity!
Tap water in Finland is safe to drink - and has even been found to be cleaner than bottled water!
How Much Does it Cost to go to Finland?
Flight: $1,766 USD Roundtrip for 4 tickets
$854 USD for 4 tickets on Finnair ONE WAY. We flew from Tallinn, Estonia to RVN (Rovaniemi) via a layover in Helsinki. I expected for the proximity that the flight would be cheaper, but this was the best we could do for the timeframe we wanted. Flight out (Rovaniemi to Riga, Latvia was $912 USD on Finnair for 4 tickets one way).
Hotel: $990 USD for 5 nights at Scandic Polar. Finland ain’t cheap. We could have found some cheaper accommodations outside the city but that would entail renting a car and we like to walk out and around the town. Room was small. I mean SMALLl! Probably the smallest room we’ve ever stayed in. A queen bed that was more like an oversized single. And with all our snow gear, it was laughable! But we got nice and cozy and spent most of the time touring around anyways. Hotel breakfast was included and it was a nice European spread with lots to choose from. Hotel is older but in a great location downtown Rovaniemi.
Things To Do:
Dream of Joulukka Tour $600+ USD for family of 4. This was the reason we came here. I wanted a magical Santa experience and the Forest of Joulukka didn’t disappoint. I mean, see the videos above. Worth. Every. Penny!
Santa Park: There are different pass options here. It’s all indoors (although the kids had a snowball fight with an elf out front!) and there are so many things to see and experience - The Ice Castle, Playground & Shows, Mini Train Ride, Elf School, Santa Claus, Gingerbread Cookie Making & more. This place was so fun & festive. See the video above!
Santa Claus Village: It’s free to enter here and then there are shops and reindeer rides that cost money. But we just walked around and played in the snow and at the snow covered playgrounds while listening to holiday music and trying to stay warm!
Other: There are lots of other tours and adventures. Including, snowmobiling to see the Northern Lights. We didn’t have time to do it all, but those tours looked like fun if you have a longer stay. There are buses that take you around town, including SantaPark & Santa Claus Village - they are inexpensive and run often!
Total: 5 Nights Approximately: $3500- $4,000 USD with food and taxis and such. This experience can easily cost upwards of $10,000 USD with a nice hotel and more of the experiences that Santa Park has to offer. We felt like we were able to have an amazing experience without breaking the bank!
Michelle is a full-time traveler who also runs a business with Beautycounter.
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