Santa's News

Special offer – save up to £355 per family!

nokki2 Hi! Nokki the Elf here, with a great deal for you –

Fly from Exeter on 15th December for our 4-day Santa’s Spectacular break and you could save up to £355 per family.


Here are all the details:

• Stay in a Family Type A Room in Santa’s Hotel Kieppi or Santa’s Hotel Tunturi

• First child £199 (if 2-5 years). Reduced from £399
OR
• First child £399 (if 6-11 years). Reduced from £529

• AND £50 per adult cash-back
• AND free half-board for children aged 2-5 years


For example:

  • 2 adults and 2 children aged 4 and 7 staying in a Type A Room in Santa’s Hotel Tunturi, half-board
  • Total £3,272.40
    Save £356.70


  • 2 adults and 1 child of 5 years staying in a Type A Room in Santa’s Hotel Kieppi, half-board
  • Total £2,276.70
    Save £356.70


See you soon!

Nokki   elf-prints


Valid for 15th December departure from Exeter Airport only. Book by 5pm on 31st August.

Rudolph’s Top 5 Animals of Lapland

rudolph2When it comes to furry friends, Lapland isn’t all about reindeer!

I know, hard to believe isn’t it?!

And there are some fauna foes out there too… I’ve been hanging out with lots of crazy creatures so I can bring you my top 5 animals of Lapland! Look out for them when you visit, and tell them Rudolph says hi:


5. Wolverines


wolverineThese pesky individuals eat ANYTHING. Such greedy gluttons! The wolverine looks like a cross between a bear and wolf, though I’m reliably informed they’re more closely related to otters and badgers. Definitely not as friendly as otters and badgers though!

They won’t cause you any bother, but if I had a carrot for every time a wolverine’s stolen my carrot…I’d have all my carrots back!



4. Bears


brown bears at Whipsnade zooThe brown bear is the most common of the big omnivores in Lapland (also found in these parts are wolves, lynx and the aforementioned wally wolverine). They are also the fuzziest.

Bears can be scary, but don’t worry – like the wolverine, they’re not dangerous to humans and are more afraid of you than you are of them! It’s me who has to watch out! Fortunately, I haven’t seen one for a while – unless you count the teddy bears being made in Santa’s workshop – they are WAY nicer.




3. Eagles


eagleMy feathered friends the eagles are elusive to say the least! If you spot an eagle in Lapland…or anywhere for that matter, you should get a prize. However, I did manage to track one wise guy down recently and he gave me some interesting facts to share.

Eagles are different from most other birds of prey by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak. As the phrase ‘eagle-eyed’ suggests, eagles have incredible eye site and while humans see just three basic colours, eagles see five! This enables them to spot even well-camouflaged potential prey from a very long distance – I’m impressed! Eagles are admired the world over as living symbols of power, freedom, and transcendence – that’s all very well, but it’s a lot better being symbol of Christmas, right?!

2. Huskies


picture08Coming in at number 2, are our faithful friends, the Huskies! Though often kept as pets today, Huskies have been used to pull sleds in northern regions of the world for hundreds of years – the perfect transport for your ‘Search for Santa’ day in Lapland then! You can also book the Husky Heaven adventure for your visit with us, for more husky hilarity.

Huskies are energetic and athletic, and usually have a thick double coat that can be gray, black, copper red, or white. Huskies are known for their pale blue eyes, although they may also have brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes, or even different coloured eyes!

huskySanta’s favourite husky is the adventurous Hannes who is in charge of all the fantastic excursions we have in Saariselkä. He’s bold as brass but very friendly! I get on with him pretty well, but he’s soooo noisy and always running off. If you’re reading this, Hannes – chill out!





1. Reindeer


Reindeer-in-LaplandAnd at number 1, and officially the best animal of all time forever and always, is ME!

Well, all reindeer of course.

We are fun, friendly, hard-working, creatures who love to meet new friends – a lot of us are pretty handsome too. A big shout out to Dasher, Dancer, the rest of the sleigh gang – boy, do we have the greatest job! Most of our species migrate to the coast in Spring, but we stay close to Santa throughout the year training for our big night on Christmas Eve when we get to help deliver presents to children all over the world – it’s our favourite night of year and we always have fabulous time.

reindeer You’ll definitely meet some of us on your visit, but why not book my Reindeer Run – an extra-special, magical experience. You’ll love it!





I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the animals of Lapland! What’s your favourite animal?

See you soon,

Rudolph

hoof

Top 5 Christmas Apps

NORAD Santa Tracker LogoChristmas AppsChristmas AppsChristmas AppsChristmas Colouring Book Logo

 

Christmas is not quite upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead to the busy festive period. Occupying children’s time is fast-becoming that little bit easier, thanks to many applications that are available to download across the Apple and Android stores. Here are our choice top five for your children’s entertainment. Careful, they are highly addictive and should be saved for the run-up to Christmas.

 

NORAD Santa Tracker

NORAD Santa TrackerTraditionally found at NORAD Santa Tracker, this app is the ‘future’ of the North American Aerospace Defence Command’s popular children’s (and adult’s!) Santa Tracker. Operational from 1st December every year, you can track Santa in ‘real-time’ as he prepares for Christmas through the Advent countdown, as well as on the night itself when he is busy trotting around the world.

 

Download – Apple | Android

 

Elf Yourself

Elf YourselfAn old favourite for all of the family. Take photos of yourself and your children then upload them into this app to see yourself doing the funky dance moves to a variety of different songs. Traditionally passed around by email in the office come winter, you can now enjoy the magic on the move whilst on holiday with the family.

 

Download – Apple | Android

 

Christmas Colouring Book

Christmas Colouring BookWho doesn’t like colouring? It is entertaining, takes time and occupies children – even to the point where they will fall asleep on a journey. And with this app, you won’t run out of pages to colour!

 

Download – Apple | Android

 

Find the Scout Elves – Elf on the Shelf®

Find the Scout Elves - Elf on the Shelf®Eye-spy is a classic, if not somewhat repetitive, game. For that reason, why not download this app? Designed for children and great for keeping them occupied, you can save yourself a bit of hassle trying to guess that word beginning with “S”. Christmas Tree!

 

Download – Apple | Android

 

Santa Cam Fx

Santa Cam FXChristmas magic is what makes this time of the year the best in younger children’s eyes. The way the carrots are magically eaten and the milk has been drunk. Even the cookies are gone! But, maybe the magic is dwindling. Surely filming your own home and seeing Santa Claus walking the steps of your lounge will fan the magical flames. After all, seeing is believing.

 

Download – Apple | Android

 

We love to hear from you – have you got any suggestions for Apps that your children love? Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Early booking offers

nokki2Hi everyone!

We have some great early-booking offers still available, but they come to an end very soon! To make sure you don’t miss out on upgrades, vouchers and more, book by 5pm on 30th June.

Here are all the details –

Accommodation upgrade:
Choose Hotel Tunturi for your holiday and get upgraded to a type B Family Suite (sleeps 2-4) – that’s a twin bedroom, including lounge with double sofa bed and a sauna. Call us and quote ‘upgrade room’ at the time of booking. Available on departures from 10th – 16th Dec, subject to availability.

Web Tunturi_15 (1)


Or stay at Hotel Riekonlinna and be upgraded to a type D apartment (sleeps 3-4), comprising of a lounge with double sofa bed, kitchenette and twin bedroom. Call us and quote ‘upgrade room’ at the time of booking. Available for Santa’s Magic trips with departures on 29th, 30th November, and 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th December, and the Santa’s Spectacular trip departing on 15th December.

Hotel-Riekonlinna


Restaurant voucher:
Any bookings for Hotel Riekonlinna made before 30th June will receive a €30 restaurant voucher. This will be included in the ‘Welcome Pack’, waiting for you on arrival in Lapland!

Excursion Reductions:
Experience everything Lapland has to offer with a fantastic optional adventure. Book before 30th June for 50% off children’s prices for the Family Snowmobile Safari and Northern Lights Adventure.

Northern Lights over Lapland


Call our friendly team today, or book online. Remember, just one week left to take advantage of these offers.

See you soon!

Nokki the Elf x

Christmas Traditions from Around the World

We’ve been investigating how other countries celebrate Christmas, and have discovered lots of fun facts to share. Maybe you’ll be introducing some of these cultural, Christmas traditions to your celebrations this year?!

Australia
australiaChristmas in Australia is in the middle of the summer holidays! When he gets to Australia, Santa gives the reindeer a rest and uses kangaroos to deliver the presents…

Canada
canadaOn the south shore of Nova Scotia, there’s a tradition called ‘Belsnickeling’, where people dress up in funny Santa costumes and go from house to house until the home owners guess who you are!

Mexico
mexicoBetween 16th December and Christmas Eve, children often perform the ‘Posada’ processions. These celebrate the Christmas story when Joseph and Mary look for somewhere to stay.

France
franceIn some parts of France, it’s tradition for 13 different desserts to be eaten on Christmas Day! All the desserts are made from different types of fruit, nuts and pastries.

Poland
polandDuring Advent, people in Poland prepare their house for Christmas by doing a big clean! Windows are washed and carpets are cleaned – everything must be ship-shape for Christmas Day.

Greece
greeceOn Christmas Eve, children often go out into the streets singing ‘kalanda’ (carols). If the children sing well, they might be given money, nuts and sweets to eat.

Russia
russiaChristmas was not celebrated very much in the days of the Soviet Union. Now it is normally celebrated on 7th January.

China
chinaMost people in China don’t know much about the Christmas story and it is only often celebrated in the major cities. Santa is called ‘Shen Dan Lao Ren’.

Indonesia
indonesiaSanta is very popular in Indonesia and is called ‘Sinterklass’ (Indonesia used to be ruled by Holland). Exchanging gifts is very common.

Greenland
greenlandIn the villages of Polar Inuits, families like to visit each other and have parties. They drink coffee and eat cakes and exchange brightly wrapped parcels. Traditional presents include model sledges or sealskin mittens.

Argentina
argentinaIn Argentina, the main Christmas meal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve. At midnight, people let off fireworks and toast the start of Christmas day.

Egypt
egyptChristmas Day isn’t celebrated on 25th December, but on 7th January. For the 43 days before (Advent), many people will have a special fast where they eat a vegan diet.

Nigeria
nigeriaAs well as Turkey, a traditional Christmas dinner in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes include yam, fried rice and some type of stew.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
congoChristmas Eve is very important, with churches hosting musical evenings and a nativity play. These plays last a very long time!

South Africa
south-africaBeing in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa enjoys Christmas in the summer – you may be sitting by the pool in the sunshine while ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’ plays on the radio!

Latvia
latviaThe traditional Latvian Christmas Day meal is cooked brown peas with bacon sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage, bacon rolls and gingerbread.

Vietnam
vietnamIn Ho Chi Minh city, people like to go into the city centre on Christmas Eve and crowd the streets. Cars are not allowed for the night. It can get a little warm for Santa in this hot country!


Do you have any unusual Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us?!

Festive Feasting!

Mrs Claus is pleased to present this sample menu of delicious treats – these are the kind of dishes you can expect to enjoy if staying in one of Santa’s Christmas Cabins! It’s never too early to look forward to Christmas food!


Breakfast
cheese

A variety of local meats and cheeses, Natural Yoghurt, Local Breads with Jams and Honey
Porridge and Pancakes
‘Egg of the day’ with toast and beans

Afternoon Tea
youle_log

Christmas Yule Log or Mince Pies

mince-pies

Dinner
general

Mini BLT canapés or Cheese Straws

Tomato and Basil Soup or Red Pepper and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Turkey, with honey roasted vegetables and roast potatoes
Or Pork Medallions Served with Balsamic Honey Sauce

Dessert

Christmas pudding served with Brandy Sauce or fruit jelly, or Sticky Toffee Pudding


Our mouths are watering! Is there anything you’re desperate to see on one of our menus?!

Poll: What is your favourite Christmas film?



Christmas films certainly make the run-up to that special time of the year enjoyable. Tell us which are your favourite Christmas films! You can select more than one answer, then click vote to see what everybody else has chosen. Remember to share it with your friends and family, too!

We’ll give you a hint, ours is from 2003 and features a really really big Elf!

Lots of love,

The Santa’s Lapland Elves

What is your favourite Christmas film? (You can select multiple answers)
 

If your favourite film isn’t there, or you have another suggestion, let us know in the comments below! We love new films and can’t wait to watch them in the few weeks before Christmas!


The Lapland Look – what to wear..

What an amazing time you’ll have in Santa’s Lapland! When you get into resort you will be provided with a thermal onesie, thermal outdoor boots, a pair of woollen socks and thermal mittens. But for the ulitmate Lapland look, you’ll need…

Thermal Base Layers – Long Sleeved tops and trousers. The key to keeping warm in the colder climate in Saariselkä is being able to layer up appropriately. It is easier to control your body temperature by adding or removing a layer. The layers also help to trap the air to keep you warmer, so think about packing more thin layers rather than one bulky jumper. Although it is cold outside, inside there is heating the same as any hotel around the world!

snowmobile


Balaclava/Buff – especially for children, these are great for keeping the wind chill off your face when going on the Huskies etc!

Warm Hat – A lot of heat is lost through your head so a nice warm hat is a definite. The crazier the design the better! With everyone wearing the same thermal suit, crazy hat designs are a great way to make sure you get on the coach with your own children!

ice hockey


Gloves (including liners) – These almost go without saying, cold hands are no good at taking pictures! One of the first things to go cold on your body are your extremities (hands and feet) so keeping these layered up are vital.

Socks – As with gloves, these are going to be really important to bring with you. You will need to wear these under the provided woollen socks to make sure that you go home with the same number of toes that you arrived with!

Santa Tobagganing


Swim Stuff (For the Sauna!) – It is most likely that your accommodation will have a sauna and it would be terrible for you to miss out on this Finnish Tradition! True Finns wouldn’t bother with the swim suits and some saunas in resort are clothing optional!


Sensible Shoes – With Saariselkä being completely iced over throughout December the stilettos can probably stay at home! The walk from the plane to the terminal is over the snow so have some sensible shoes on.

ice fishing


Camera –  Not necessarily a clothing item but one you should remember to ‘wear’. Ensure you have spare batteries and plenty of memory! You may only be in resort for a couple of days but there is plenty of opportunity to get pictures to take away as memories of your excellent holiday!

Finally, make sure you bring plenty of smiles and festive cheer to make your stay even more magical!

Northern lights – a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Arriving in Lapland and seeing the most beautiful frozen landscapes, picturesque log cabins and tucking into Finnish cuisine appeared to be the most magical experience of my life. Little did I know, it could only get better!

 

After a day of hard work, the staff team here in Saariselka were treated to a team building event of experiencing the Northern Lights Adventure. We all kitted up, wearing our own body weight in thermals and woolly layers and waded our way through mounds and mounds of crisp snow to find an entourage of snowmobiles, lined up and raring to go. We partnered up, hopped on and off we went, into the untouched winter wonderland of Lapland’s back garden.

 

 

Passing weeping pine trees that were laced with sparkling snow, feeling the cold wind turn our blushing cheeks crimson, and screaming and laughing whilst we whooshed through the beautiful scenery was just the beginning of our Northern Lights Adventure. After what felt like a lifetime of magic, we pulled in to a small nook in the woods to be greeted with a cup of hot berry juice and ginger cookies around a blazing fire. Once we were refreshed, we continued on our journey to find the Northern lights.

 

Lights


By this point we had been having so much fun we forgot what we were looking for! About 5 minutes into our return journey, everyone began to silence, and all the passengers heads turned to fixate on the wonders above us. Low and behold, there they were in all their glory – The Northern Lights. For a moment I felt as though I had been transported to Oz, the Emerald City, as the sky danced and glistened with the most beautiful lime green lights. It was hard to believe it was real. At that moment I realised, that in fact THIS was the most incredible moment of my life to date. Never in my life have I been so breath taken by something so natural and magical. The lights began to dance, and tease their way further and further away from us. As a convoy of snowmobiles, it became a race – us versus the Aurora Borealis!

 

Lights Lapland


The term “Once in a Lifetime” is a common cliché, thrown around for mediocre experiences, however seeing the Northern Lights is truly the REAL meaning behind this phrase. However, we have been so fortunate here in Saariselka that we have in fact seen the Northern Lights 4 times, each time brighter and brighter.

 

Lights Aurora Borealis

 

Words cannot describe the feeling that comes with seeing something so amazing and awe-inspiring, and to be able to share this experience with a great group of people – what more can I ask for!?


Words – Jessica Bartley

Lapland Ranger

Getting to know Native Lapland

Having spent two weeks in the beautiful resort of Saariselka, Lapland, I have been enticed by the sparkling fairy lights draped tastefully over snow covered pine trees, by the sheer sea of white covering every settlement, plant or animal around, by the Christmassy magic that overpowers the entire resort and by the lively yet peaceful atmosphere that surrounds you here. However, being a lover of culture,  I wanted to delve deeper into the Lappish magic and find out a little more about the area behind the festivity and tourism.

Sami – (Sar – mee) – Europe’s only indigenous people, the Sami, are very spiritual folk, who have fascinating traditions, rituals and folklores. They believe that everything has a soul – plants, animals and objects included. They have magical explanations for the Northern Lights, using the wildlife and nature around them to explain this beautiful natural phenomenon, which is both feared and respected as they believe it is the awakening of the spirits sending messages to the living. They rely on nature a lot to survive and to explain the weird and wonderful happenings of Lapland, for example the Sami believe that the colour of the Autumn leaves – “Ruska” evokes feelings of peace and harmony before succumbing to the harsh cold of the glistening winter months. The return of sunlight in Spring awakens the beautiful landscape and fills all beings with the joy of life as a reward for surviving the winter.

Northern Lights 

Reindeer – The Sami also rely heavily on Reindeer herding, for food and for business, as these magical creatures outnumber people in Lapland. A local Sami told me that the way to differentiate between the sexes of the reindeer is by their antlers. Female reindeer shed their antlers in December ready for winter, whereas the male reindeer keep theirs through till spring, when they shed theirs. Reindeer are also a delicacy here in Lapland, you will most certainly find them on most menus, if you’re feeling adventurous enough to try it, do so as it is delicious!  And there’s always Rudolph’s Reindeer Run!

Reindeer

Kotas – Cott-ah – A “Kota” is a Lappish Hut, similar to a tipi, which was originally used to heal. Lappish medicine men contacted spirits through the hole in the top of a Kota to heal the wounded. Here in Lapland now, you will usually find refreshing hot berry juice, ginger cookies and a warm fire – I guess this is a more conventional way of healing oneself from the crisp cold!

hut

Weather –  One of the most fascinating things about Lapland is the changing climate. In winter expect an average of 4.5 hours of daylight, sandwiched between hours of twilight or darkness. This only enhances the whole experience, as the colours of the sky range through a mixture of icy to midnight blues, hones of terracotta and crimson, pretty pinks and if you’re lucky enough – emerald greens! There’s nothing more satisfyingly festive than wrapping up warm in minus 10°c, and sledging home in the glistening twilight. In the summer months, daylight suppresses the night and banishes darkness to a measly 4 hours a day, and even sometimes overpowers all darkness to allow for the midnight sun to loom over the melted evergreen forests. Lapland is like a treasure chest of mythical magic, the deeper you dive, the more you discover. Dare to delve into the wonders behind the wonderland.

For more information and holidays check out Santa’s Lapland here

Words – Jessica Bartley

Lapland Ranger

 
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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 A magical sleigh ride in the snowy woods A short '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!

© 2015 Santa's Lapland, Mountain House, Station Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1EX
Registered in England No. 350786   |   ABTA No. V4871   |   Phone: 01483 791 945
Open Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm, Saturday: 9am - 4pm