Do you love the magic of the Christmas season? Then a trip to see Father Christmas in Lapland will be an experience you will never forget.
We are all familiar with the traditional image of Santa Claus. The much-loved figure brings much joy the world. He is the jolly one with the rosy red cheeks, twinkling smile, white beard and a bright red suit. We know what he looks like but he has always maintained an air of mystery and magic. His hectic schedule doesn’t allow him much time to stop and chat in people’s houses when he is delivering gifts around the world at Christmas. However, if you happen to travel near the Arctic Circle and Santa Claus Village, he is more than happy to welcome visitors into his home and the Elves Kingdom in Lapland.
The Scandinavian Travel Group has an exciting range of excursions and Christmas programs in Lapland that the whole family will love. You can either join a group program or book a private one. There is so much to enjoy including Santa Claus Village and Santa Park located on the Arctic Circle.
6 Magical Santa Experiences
- 1. MEET SANTA CLAUS IN A SECRET HIDEAWAY Set aside 1½ to 2 hours for fun with Father Christmas in Levi. Even when Santa is not hard at work he still loves to make time for friends and visitors at his secret hideaway. You can meet him and Mrs. Claus at this magical place. Rudolf the reindeer and happy helper elves are here too. It is situated on the banks of a Lappish village – the perfect winter scene. Even though Santa is a very popular person, there are no queues because the Scandinavian Travel Group organizes private tours so you don’t have to wait around in the cold. You are welcomed into Santa’s Christmas house where you can relax around an open fire. Every child gets to spend time with Santa and tell him their wishes for Christmas. They will also receive a special gift. Enjoy treats of gingerbread cookies and traditional Finnish Christmas mulled wine. This program is in Levi.
- 2. SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE AND SANTA PARK Prepare for 3 hours of non-stop fun in the Rovaniemi Christmas Village! The excitement beings when you pass along the Magic Path and cross the official Arctic Circle line to meet Santa Claus in his office. As this is a momentous occasion, you will receive a personal diploma for crossing the Arctic Circle. Another highlight is popping into the Official Santa Claus Post Office. It receives thousands of letters addressed to Father Christmas Lapland from children and adults from all over the world. You can also send a postcard to your friends and family with the official Santa Post Office stamp. The fun isn’t over. The next stop is Santa Park. Prepare to go on a magic ride, visit the Gingerbread Bakery and enjoy different shows including Elf School Interactive Show and elf workshops. This tour is 7 km from Rovaniemi. Departure for this program are organized from both Levi and Rovaniemi.
- 3. VISIT THE ELVES’ HIDEAWAY AND SANTA CLAUS WORKSHOP This is an action-packed 3 hours. Visiting the elves in the Elves Kingdom in Lapland and Santa’s workshop is thrilling for both children and adults. The hideaway is tucked away on the bank of the longest river in Lapland. It is hidden by the magic forest which heightens the sense of secrecy and intrigue. Fortunately, the Scandinavian Travel Group know how to get there. The elves are waiting to get the winter and fairytale activities started. There is no time to lose! The memorable fun includes tobogganing, playing Elves’ football and having fun in the snow. Indoors, baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. Making Christmas decorations, writing a letter to Santa Claus, so the Elf’s postal service will deliver your letters to him. You will then visit the main Elves’ house where the Elves live. This program is in Levi.
- 4. TOY FACTORY MAGIC WITH SANTA CLAUS This is a Santa extravaganza. Travel deep into the forest to find the elves hard at work at the Toy Factory. This is where the magic happens. The elf workshop is buzzing with action and laughter as the elves work hard at making toys for the children of the world. You will meet the friendly elves who will share their secrets to making the most beautiful toys. Ask them about the biggest book of wishes. It is a must-see! You will even get to meet Santa Claus who is always happy to take time out of his busy schedule to welcome new friends. Don’t forget your camera. These are moments to treasure. Departure for this program are organized from both Levi and Rovaniemi.
- 5. PRIVATE VISIT OF SANTA CLAUS TO YOUR CABIN OR HOTEL ROOM If you want to make your visit to see Father Christmas in Lapland truly special, this exclusive progam is the perfect choice. The Scandinavian Travel Group can arrange for Santa Claus to visit you in your private accommodation. He has a gift for the children and good wishes for everyone else. He always brings a friend whether this is Mrs. Claus or a cheerful elf or maybe even Rudolf the reindeer. This adds to the party atmosphere. This private visit is so special because you have Santa’s full attention for half an hour where you can talk to him, ask him questions, share your secret wishes and simply enjoy being in the company of this magical man who has many incredible stories to share.
- 6. ICE KINGDOM INSPIRED BY DISNEY’S FROZEN For 2½ hours you can lose yourself in a magical iced world that captures the excitement of the Oscar-winning movie, Frozen. Visit the fairytale Snow Castle, where you can meet the favorite characters from Disney’s hit movie. Olaf, Elsa and Anna are ready to take you on an adventure in our interactive entertainment program. The Snow Castle is one of the most beautiful snow constructions in Lapland. After some Frozen fun, warm up in a café with a complimentary warm berry juice or coffee/tea. This program is in Levi.
The celebration of St. Nicholas
You will find Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Lapland, but we have to go back in time to get to know the real Santa Claus. His legend is linked to a monk called St. Nicholas of Greek descent who was born around 280 A.D. He was known and respected for his kindness and generosity. His good reputation inspired many stories. Some say he gave away all his wealth while others shared tales of him traveling for miles to help those less fortunate than himself. He was also known as the protector of children and become the most popular saint in Europe. St. Nicholas Day on the 6th December is also known as the Feast of St. Nicholas. It is celebrated by the giving of gifts on St. Nicholas’ Eve.
From Sinterklaas to Santa Claus
The stories of St. Nicholas started to slowly make an impression in American culture by the end of the 18th century. There was media interest around Dutch families who made an occasion of honoring the anniversary of St. Nicholas’ death. St. Nicholas’ Dutch nickname was Sinterklaas and the name Santa Claus evolved from this.
Gift-givers around the world
As well as Americans embracing Santa Claus in the 18th-century and onwards, there are other well-known gift-bringers in different countries around the world. Kris Kringle is said to deliver ribbon-wrapped gifts to Swiss and German children. Jultomten or simply “Tomten” is the Swedish version of Santa Claus who brings presents to children at Christmas. English stories are rich with tales of Father Christmas visiting homes on Christmas Eve to fill well-behaved children’s stockings with gifts. In France, Père Noël fills children’s shoes with little treats. In Italian folklore, an old woman called La Befana delivers toys and goodies to children on Epiphany Eve, the 12th day of Christmas. The gift-giving continues today when you meet Father Christmas in Levi. When you MEET SANTA CLAUS IN A SECRET HIDEAWAY the children receive a special gift.
Santa Claus and Finnish traditions
In Finland, Santa Claus is a much-celebrated tradition and everyone works hard to maintain the Christmas spirit that brings joy to families and children across the land. The official opening ceremony of the Christmas season each year in November at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. The Scandinavian Travel Group’s special tour SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE AND SANTA PARK captures the magic of this place with its magic path that crosses the Arctic Circle and the Official Santa Claus Post Office. It receives thousands of letters from children and adults from all over the world. Since 1985, it has received about 18 million letters to Santa. More recently, Santa Claus has received over 500,000 letters a year from about 200 different countries.
The magic of Christmas Eve
The Finnish tradition of celebrating Christmas is similar to many other nations during the holiday season. The focus is on family and friends spending Christmas together. A traditional Christmas meal and drinks are a part of the celebration. Santa Claus, of course, is the highlight of the occasion. Waiting for him to arrive on Christmas Eve symbolizes the excitement surrounding the Finnish Santa Claus tradition. Children hope that their posted letters to the North Pole will result in a gift from Santa. Another Finnish tradition since 1920 is Santa visiting children in person at home. There is much anticipation as children wait for Santa to knock on the door. If they have been well-behaved, Santa is happy to hand over a gift. Whereas, in America, Santa is more likely to meet and greet children in department stores on in the shopping mall. If you want to celebrate the Finnish tradition of welcoming Santa in person, the Scandinavian Travel Group can organize a PRIVATE VISIT OF SANTA CLAUS TO YOUR CABIN OR HOTEL ROOM.
Christmas at the movies
Santa has inspired many heart-warming movies over the years. The Finnish film “Christmas Story” (Joulutarina) is a charming tale about Santa’s childhood. It tells the story of a little orphaned boy called Nikolas who grows up to be Santa. He is forever grateful to his adoptive families who all made a promise to look after him. To show thanks, he makes them presents when he moves to a new home. He continues this tradition over the years, making more and more gifts as his adoptive families continue to expand and grow with more children, grandchildren and so on. This tradition of giving Christmas presents celebrates Nikolas’ love of Christmas. As he grows old, he eventually becomes known as the figure of Santa Claus.
Not only is the tale memorable but the location and scenery are too. Nikolas is filmed living in a small snow-covered cottage in a picturesque place high up on the Levi fell. This cottage has since become an Instagram hit. If you visit Levi, Lapland, you can see this fairytale cottage. the Scandinavian Travel Group has a special snowshoeing tour that takes you to see the cottage featured in the movie. See the details, below:
INSTAGRAM SNOWSHOEING TO SANTA’S CABIN. Once you’re at the top of Levi, strap on your snowshoes and hike to the Santa’s cabin. When it is covered in snow during the winter season it makes the perfect Christmas photograph. It is no surprise that this image has been shared and liked thousands of times on Instagram. The Lappish fell scenery is also stunning. You will feel as though you are starring in your own Christmas movie!
Other Santa Claus and elf fun favorites include:
- 1. Miracle on 34th Street. This classic was filmed in 1947 and captured the hearts of millions of movie-goers. It is regarded as one of the top Santa movies of all time. The remake in 1994 starring Lord Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson is also considered a must-see at Christmas.
- 2. Elf. Buddy’s adventures take him from the North Pole to New York City.
- 3. Jingle All The Way. Arnold Schwarzenegger needs some of Santa’s magic to get the perfect toy for his son.
- 4. Santa Claus: The Movie. An unscrupulous toymaker ends up with the powers of Santa.
- 5. The Christmas Chronicles. Two young children help Santa after he crashes his sleigh.
- 6. Get Santa. Santa accidentally gets arrested! Fortunately, there are people on a mission to help Santa and save the day.
- 7. Arthur Christmas. Santa’s son Arthur makes sure no one is going to miss out on the magic of Christmas.
- 8. Noelle. We follow the legacy of Santa Claus and discover his daughter is the one to bring back the Christmas spirit.
- 9. Saving Santa. The adventures of a time-traveling elf on a mission to protect the magic of Santa’s sleigh.
- 10. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Santa’s most famous reindeer has to help Santa stand up to Stormella, an evil queen.
Santa’s official home in Lapland
The origins of Santa Claus’s birthplace may lie in modern-day Turkey but it is generally agreed that now you will find Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Lapland. This is where he lives with Mrs. Claus, his reindeer and countless busy elves who help him make toys in his workshop for the children around the world. If you head to the northernmost region of Finland, you’ll find Santa’s village located on the Arctic Circle. It is as magical as it sounds.
Twas the Night Before Christmas
It is thought that a Christmas poem written in 1822 helped to inspire the classic image of Santa and how we imagine him today. The popular Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” was written by Clement Clarke Moore, although author Henry Livingston Jr. is also linked to this work. The words paint a vivid picture of Santa Claus as a “right jolly old elf” with a round belly and twinkling eyes. We hear how he came down the chimney delivering presents on his sleigh full of toys and his eight reindeer get a special mention, too.
Traditional Finnish Christmas tales
Christmas poems and stories have stood the test of time because they capture the imagination of the young and the old. Finland’s rich culture of storytelling sets the scene for myths, spells and legends.
- • The elves of Lapland
Santa is the most famous resident in Lapland. However, his elves are also familiar figures in mythology. The “tonttu” are mythical creatures from Nordic folklore. These house elves have been likened to gnomes or dwarves. According to stories, the tonttu handed out gifts. Then they became commonly known as Santa’s little helpers. According to rumors, the tonttu also had a mischievous side and would steal from houses if they weren’t treated with respect. To keep them happy, people would leave the tonttu a bowl of porridge. This tradition led to leaving milk and cookies for Santa.
If you want to meet the elves, the Scandinavian Travel Group know how to make it happen with a special tour. VISIT THE ELVES’ HIDEAWAY AND SANTA CLAUS WORKSHOP is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can spend time at the elves’ hideaway and Santa’s workshop and see where the magic happens and where the toys are made. The elves’ kingdom in Lapland is hidden by a magic forest but our local tour guides know how to get there.
- • The Yule goat
Another figure of Christmas is known as the “Yule Goat”, possibly because he had a long white beard not dissimilar to a goat’s beard. In the 17th century, young people in costume, including those in a Yule Goat disguise, would perform plays and carry out pranks. In Nordic countries, the modern tradition is to use straw goat ornaments as Christmas decorations. Another Yule Goat myth was the Yule Goat Man. He was supposedly an ordinary man who turned into a goat on Christmas Eve.
- • Christmas spells for catching reindeer
Scandinavian folklore is rich with spells and charms. For example, there are spells for catching reindeer (a useful one for Santa Claus to know), ones to ward of frost and even one for good sleighing conditions when you want a good sprinkling of fresh snow! These spells were collected and published in The Magic Songs of the Finns by Elias Lönnrot. If you love reindeer, the Scandinavian Travel Group has exciting reindeer tours including a VISIT TO A REINDEER FARM AND SUPER REINDEER SAFARI.
Naughty or nice?
Children around the world are well aware of the naughty list! If they misbehave, Santa won’t bring them a gift at Christmas. The elves keep track of everyone’s behavior, whether it is naughty or nice. Children know that if they have tried hard to be good throughout the year, their name will be included in the elves’ List of the World’s Well Behaved Children.
Book to see Santa Claus and Elves in Rovaniemi and Levi, Lapland
Book online or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and our travel agent will be in touch. Or if you prefer to chat in person, call/WhatsApp/Viber +358 400 514 530.
Meeting Santa is usually at the top of everyone’s wish list but the Scandinavian Travel Group has an excellent range of tours to make sure you have the best time in Lapland. The tours include:
- • Northern Lights
- • Igloo building
- • Reindeer safari
- • Husky safari
- • Snowshoeing
- • Exploring on snowmobiles
Read more about these activities on our website for inspiration and ideas when planning your winter holiday. Alternatively, contact us directly if you have any questions about our tours.