Half-Term Activities: Where to See Arctic Animals in the UK

Santa with reindeer and sleigh in Lapland

My elves tell me it’s half-term school holidays in the UK – what a treat! – and you might be looking for things to do with the children this week.

If your little ones want to learn more about my magical Arctic home, why not go to the zoo to discover some of the majestic (and very cute) animals that live in Lapland? After all, December is a long time to wait to meet the huskies and reindeer in the wild wonders of my snowy homeland.

Here are some of my lovely local critters, and where you can see them at zoos and safari parks around the UK:

ReindeerLondon Zoo

Cute reindeer at London Zoo

There are four beautiful female reindeer at London Zoo in Regent’s Park. London Zoo is always a hit with kids, and their website has plenty of facts to learn about the animals. They’d do well to swot up before coming on a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland!

Opening times: 10am – 5:30pm

 

Arctic FoxHighland Safari Park

cute Arctic foxArctic foxes have litters between April and June, so keep an eye out in case there are little fox babies at the Highland Safari Park in Kingussie, Scotland! While in winter they are as white as the Lapland snow, in summertime their fluffy coats turn grey.

Opening times: 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)

Brown BearsWhipsnade Zoo

brown bears at Whipsnade zooWellington and Winslow are sisters who live at the Whipsnade Zoo, although they are a little different from the children who come to meet me each Christmas – these sisters are Eurasian brown bears! If you want to bring your own brother or sister, families can save 10% by booking online at the Whipsnade website.

Opening times: 10am – 6pm

LynxDudley Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo

Eurasian lynx at Whipsnade ZooBoth Whipsnade Zoo and Dudley Zoo are home to the cute and crafty Eurasian lynx. Their fluffy padded paws act like snowshoes, so they can move quietly across the top of the snow in Lapland without sinking in.

Opening times at Whipsnade: 10am – 6pm
Opening times at Dudley Zoo: 10am – 5:30pm (last entry 4pm)

Wolves – Whipsnade Zoo

AEurasian wolfre you Team Jacob? Meet Jacob the Eurasian grey wolf! While wolves do live in parts of Lapland, you won’t see them at Santa’s Lapland – they closest you’ll get is my friendly team of husky dogs. This means Whipsnade Zoo is your best chance to see stunning Arctic wolves.

Opening times: 10am – 6pm

Great Grey Owl – Highland Safari Park

Great Grey OwlGreat Grey Owls are also called Lapland Owls, and are common in my neck of the northern woods. A pair named Skye and Edwin lives in Scotland at the Highland Safari Park – they are some of the biggest owls in the world, and if you come to visit me, you may hear their friends twit-twooing in the atmospheric Lapland twilight.

Opening times: 10am – 5pm

What are your plans for  half-term? I hope you have a lovely time, and let me know on Facebook if you visit my friends at the zoo!

Images from zoo websites, with the exception of the arctic fox by Douglas Brown.

My Special Lapland Check-List

Items to check
What I offer
What some other companies offer
Meeting Santa Guaranteed Private Family Meeting In a large group
Reindeer sleigh ride 7-10 minute ride in the snowy woods A 2-minute 'taster' ride
Husky sled-ride 15-minute ride driving yourselves 2-minutes around a small loop
Snowmobile sleigh-ride Included for everybody Not included
My Elves and Igloo Fantasia Fun and Games with my Elves in my Igloo Not included
My Artistic Igloo Admire my Elves ice sculptures and enjoy a drink Not included
The resort The magical, natural spirit of Lapland Commercialised and busy
Places to stay The best hotels and Christmas cabins Business hotels
Resort helpers My own helpers and Rangers Limited help or just agents
Child reductions FREE places and low low prices Small, token reductions
Airport Transfers Short 25-minute coach-ride Up to 3 hours in some cases!

© 2014 Santa's Lapland, Mountain House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1EX
Registered in England No. 350786   |   ABTA No. V4871   |   Phone: 01483 791 945
Open Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Saturday 9am - 4pm