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7 days - Magical Christmas tour for families | 50DN Exclusive
Would you like to spend your next Christmas in Lapland in a snow-covered village where streetlights are turned off in the afternoon so that you can see the Northern Lights? Christmas is a time for families to make new memories together, and this is where we step in.
The village of Äkäslompolo is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, deep in Finnish Lapland surrounded by the peaceful old forests of the Pallas-Ylläs Nature Park. This beautiful small village is your home for the week; shop with the locals, feed reindeers outside the supermarket afterwards and then have hot chocolates in the cafe on your way back to your cabin.
You will stay in cosy log cabins, each with their own fireplace and sauna. Enjoy great local food and join in some exhilarating winter activities like husky & reindeer sledding, ice fishing and snowmobiling.
On Christmas Eve we will visit a Lapp Village where the day is spent enjoying winter activities and making gingerbread biscuits & Christmas decorations. The highlight of the day is when each family receives an invite for a private visit to Santa's cabin, travelling through the snowy forest by reindeer sleigh. Each family has their own private time talking to Santa and receiving gifts in his log cabin in the forest.
We have a similar tour, running a week earlier, called Lapland Winter Magic.
- Day 1
- 24 Dec: Welcome to Lapland, transfer to Äkäslompolo village and build your first snowman
- Day 2
- 25 Dec: Christmas Day with snow activities and private family visit to Santa's cabin
- Day 3
- 26 Dec: Free Day
- Day 4
- 27 Dec: Dogsledding through the forest
- Day 5
- 28 Dec: Day at a Reindeer Farm
- Day 6
- 29 Dec: Ice Fishing Safari
- Day 7
- 30 Dec: Good Bye Lapland
- Start/End Place
- Kittilä, Finland, Finland tours
- Country Visited
- Finland tours
- 7 Days
- Easy Christmas tour - suits families with children of all ages.
Bus transfers, snowmobiles & sleighs
- FULLY ESCORTED TOUR WITH FINNISH EXPERT HOST
- Airport transfers on day 1 & 7 (for scheduled flights to and from Kittilä)
- 6 nights' accommodation in your private log cabin. Each cabin has different furniture and styles. Final cleaning of the cabin, electricity, water, heating, firewood and all taxes included.
- 1 set of linen & towels per person for the 6 nights
- 3 x lunches during your activities (lunches on days 3 & 6 not included)
- 6 x dinners including festive Christmas meal
- Winter clothing hire: Overall and boots
- All activities as per itinerary including: visit to a reindeer farm incl. reindeer sleigh ride, husky safari (2 adults per sleigh, children in guide's sleigh), icefishing safari by snowmobiles (2 adults per snowmobile, children in guide's sled), private family visit to Santa's cabin by sleigh, Christmas Eve snow activities (tandem skiing, snowshoe walking, kick sledding, tobogganing and children's snowmobiling), making Christmas decorations and decorating gingerbread. These activities can vary depending on the weather conditions.
- 50 Degrees North escort on hand - accompanies the group for the whole experience including dinners and activities, working alongside the local guides to make your holiday seamless
Flight tickets, meals other than described (note that lunches on days 3 & 6 are not included), alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, travel insurance, visas, gratuities and any other items of personal nature. The majority of the cabins don't have Wi-Fi but we will endeavour to organise some hot spotting in the cabins where possible.
Note that breakfast is not included. Each family will be able to purchase breakfast supplies at the local supermarket and that way you can enjoy breakfast in the comfort of your own cabin together with your family.
Day 1 - 24 Dec: Welcome to Lapland, transfer to Äkäslompolo village and build your first snowman
Transfer from Kittilä airport to Äkäslompolo village. In the late afternoon our tour escort will take you for a walk to the supermarket where you will be able to purchase breakfast supplies for your cabin (choose your own supplies and pay for these locally). You will then be able to enjoy a relaxing breakfast in the comfort of your own each morning with your family before the day's activities.
Free time for relaxing in your cabin: light the fire, make a cup of tea and watch the kids make their first snowman. You have kick sledges, snowshoes and cross country skis at your disposal, too.
In the evening dinner at a local restaurant, you will meet your fellow travellers at a welcome dinner.
Enjoy your first evening in Lapland. With no light pollution and no noise you can truly feel the beauty of the Arctic night, admire the night sky and hopefully see the Northern Lights. Hear the silence of the wilderness and breathe in the cleanest air in Europe.
Day 2 - 25 Dec: Christmas Day with snow activities and private family visit to Santa's cabin
After breakfast, transfer to Elämänluukku in a secret forest and be greeted by an old shaman who will introduce you to the Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony. Outside there is plenty of fun snow activities - tandem skiing, snowshoe walking, kick sledging, tobogganing and children's snowmobiling. Decorate gingerbread cookies and make Christmas decorations in Elämänluukku, where we will also enjoy lunch.
Each family will receive an invite from Santa with your scheduled time for a visit. Visit to Santa's cabin starts with short snowmobile sleigh ride, followed by a short reindeer ride. Santa's cabin is in the forest and secluded and each family has a guaranteed private visit. Santa reads children's letters and each child receives a small gift from Santa.
In the evening we will enjoy a traditional Christmas Day buffet dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 - 26 Dec: Free Day
Enjoy a relaxing family breakfast in the comfort of your own cabin. The rest of the day is free and you may wish to take part in some optional activites.
Lunch is not included today, so you can either get supplies from the local supermarket or try one of the local restaurants.
Please note: Optional activites are not included in the tour price.
Day 4 - 27 Dec: Dogsledding through the forest
Today we will meet our doggy friends, the huskies. Bus transfer to a nearby husky farm where we are greeted by a bunch of friendly barking and yapping dogs, eager to get going! After a very important safety briefing, children will be placed in the guides’ sleighs and the parents will share a dog team. And off we go mushing through the snowy forest!
Drive through snow-covered forests and over open plains. In this safari, snowmobiles are not used, the guides will also ride the Husky sledges. Driver can be changed in the half way of the safari.
Please note children under 6 are unable to ride the sledges.
In the evening, dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 5 - 28 Dec: Day at a Reindeer Farm
After breakfast, bus transfer to a local reindeer farm. On our visit we will get close to these beautiful creatures. Your guide will tell you about reindeers, their indigenous Sami culture and life in the Arctic. To round up the outing we will visit the reindeer gallery,which is a museum as well as an art gallery. You can warm up in the hut or the lean-to shelter where we offer real campfire coffee, cookies and reindeer sausages.
We will then have a short reindeer sleigh ride along a track through the forest, before heading back to Äkäslompolo.
In the evening dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6 - 29 Dec: Ice Fishing Safari
Today we will have a go at ice fishing and snowmobiling. After a snowmobile drive to a frozen lake you get to experience the traditional way of winter fishing – through a hole in the ice. We will enjoy wilderness lunch, and hopefully you'll be lucky enough to catch your own fish.
Rest of the afternoon free: curl up by the fire with your favourite book and enjoy the view of the winter paradise outside, or take a toboggan or snowshoes and head outside.
It is our last evening in Lapland. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.
Day 7 - 30 Dec: Good Bye Lapland
After breakfast, transfer to Kittilä airport.
Family quad total price applies when 2 adults and 2 children (between 4-12 years old) travelling together. Please contact us for a quote for your family as price will change depending on your allocated cabin.
30 Dec 2023
- To steer a husky team you need to be 18 years old.
- To drive a snowmobile you need to have a valid driver's license. Please, remember to bring it with you.
- Minimum age for the safaris is 4 years old.
- Snowmobile safari organisers have insurance. In case of accident you personal liability is max EUR 850 per accident case.
This tour is based in a small village - the group dinners and daily activities are short walks from your accommodation. You will be provided local sleds & toboggans to commute between these places. In the case of extreme weather, the escorts can arrange ad hoc transfers when required.
Please note activities are subject to change.
Note about the images in the gallery - each cabin is different with its own style and configuration. The images are a guide only.
Our Scandinavian experts can assist you with flight connections from North America to meet these tours as well as adding pre- and post- accommodation in Helsinki. Helsinki has many lovely Christmas markets to visit as well as activities such as ice-skating, city saunas and strolling through the Christmas shops during your stopover.
Interactive Tour Map
If you want to commit to a booking please use the Book Tour form below.
Travelling with young children
Holidaying in the Scandinavia with Younger Children
Here are some suggestions and tips from our staff who have kids themselves, for travelling in Scandinavia with younger children. We hope that you will find this advice helpful and be sure to ask us for more information before travelling as our staff have all grown up in Scandinavia.
In general, Scandinavia and Finland are very child-friendly destinations and if you have any special requests or questions while here, please contact the staff at your hotel immediately. Almost all restaurants can be considered child-friendly with baby chairs and sometimes also drawing utensils, books or toys, and when using public transport, Scandinavia offers some great support for families with younger children. Baby changing tables in public toilets, play equipment and play rooms at airport terminals and family wagons in trains with playing area for the little ones are common place.
Arriving and Jetlag
When possible, we suggest arriving to Scandinavia or Finland a day or two earlier before your holiday program begins so that your younger children can adjust to the time zone. Young children arriving from the Southern Hemisphere generally wake up at around 4 - 5am for the first few mornings before they get accustomed to the new time zone. Be sure to have breakfast provisions ready for this, as it is unusual for anything to be provided from the hotel at this early hour. We suggest bringing packages of the child's favourite breakfast cereal from home plus tea bags etc. to help in those first few days. Likewise, quiet entertainment for those early hours might be a good idea as well.
Bedding and Room Arrangements
Hotel rooms in Scandinavia more likely than not, only have twin beds pushed together to make a double if required. The spare children's beds are often foldout beds. Generally, it is easy to arrange at reception for the cots but be sure to ask for help if something doesn't seem right. We were provided a cot without a mattress once - very uncomfortable indeed if we hadn't chased that up!
Also, in Scandinavia it is not common practise to have tea or coffee provided in the room, and even if there is a kettle, there might be nothing else. We suggest travelling with a small supply of your own tea bags/coffee, and asking directly at reception for a kettle on arrival.
Feeding your children adequately is probably the hardest thing to do on an arranged holiday - kids are out of wack with jetlag, fussy and hungry for their own comfort food. When hotels and packages provide set times for meals and buffets, it is important to come prepared.
It is handy to take a small cooler bag already from home filled with snacks, utensils and fresh food. From the breakfast buffets it is usually acceptable to take a small amount of fresh food such as boiled eggs, rolls and fruit for morning and afternoon tea for the little ones.
We would also suggest that you give your kids a taste of what’s to come before their holiday on some foods that they are likely to get in Scandinavia. Meatballs, European flavoured sausages, soups & then treats like cinnamon buns and waffles are typical children's menu items. Cinnamon is a very common flavour used in Scandinavia and Finland.
If you are part of an arranged program, be sure to ask at reception if you need anything in particular. The hotel staff will be more than happy to warm up baby food and organise more snacks or fruit.
Choosing your optional activities
We recommend seeking all available information from the reception or activity provider when considering what optional activities will suit your younger children. These activities can be cold and involve a transfer a certain distance from the hotel. If you are uncertain why the activity is being run at a particular time, please ask for clarification as there is often a reason that you might be unfamiliar with. We all know as parents that children generally perform better earlier in the day than later, however, the activity providers might have a safety, logistic or climate reason for picking a certain time.
In Scandinavia, it is often left up to the parents to make decisions about age limits and suitability (unlike other regions where everything is stipulated) so be sure to ask reception or other guests who have done the activity for further advice.
We usually don't recommend winter activities, such as longer husky safaris, snowmobile safaris and late evening Aurora Hunts to children under the age 4-5. This of course depends very much on a child as every child is different, but for younger children we recommend shorter excursions as it can get very cold sitting still in a sled. Some operators also do not take children under the age of 5 on their tours, so please ask us specifically before travelling about these limitations.
Protection against the cold
This is going to make or break your holiday in Scandinavia in the winter. Be sure to refer to our comprehensive packing list provided in your pre-departure information and be on the look out for the best protection for your children in the cold. Winter is great time for kids to play outside and snow-based activities will keep the young ones entertained for hours as long as they have appropriate clothing.
Extra (non-cotton) layers that can be added or taken away when needed, heat warmers and slip on crampons for the older children are recommended. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves, and extra pair of mittens will come in handy after building a snowman or two. A balaclava type of hat that covers both the neck and ears and which can also protect part of child’s face if needed, is also great under a warm and windproof beanie.
The base-layer next to skin should be either wool or synthetic blend, never cotton. With perspiration cotton turns quickly damp and then cold, no matter what other warmer clothing items are layered on top of it.
Many of the hotels and activity providers also do offer warm outer clothing for hire, but if traveling with small kids, please do check beforehand that correct sizes are available.
- Heat warmer pads for inside gloves and boots. Please note that these should not be used directly against the skin, hence for hands, you will need to use the pads in between the two pairs of gloves/mittens recommended in our packing list
- Good boots and warm woolly socks for your little ones
- Bags & suitcases that can easily be carried by one parent if the other is carrying children. Many of us use Trunkies for our travels so that our kids can sit on them, or sometimes the kids can pull the cases themselves. If your child is small enough to be carried, we highly recommend a baby or toddler carrier that leaves your hands free for handling the luggage.
- Provisions for the first day or two whether it is snacks, nappies or fruit drinks.
- Books, drawing pencils or other tranquil inside activity and your child’s favourite teddy!
Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter
Recommended Scandinavian Winter Tour Packing List:
- Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
- Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
- Warm windproof cap/hat
- Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
- Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
- Warm scarf
- 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
- 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
- Woollen or fleece trousers
- 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
- Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
- Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
- Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
- Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
- Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
- Hand warmers
- Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
- Personal medication
- Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
- Travel documents (including insurance)
- Photo ID
- Note book and pencil
- Camera, memory cards and charger
- Chargers for other gadgets
- Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.
Travel Insurance and Safety
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. The safety of our travellers, staff and operators is a major priority of 50 Degrees North. With an operational office in Norway, 50 Degrees North has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.