Wednesday 11 July 2018

Lapland is on sale for this Christmas and in case you missed Catherine Bowe blog on it last year I thought this was a good time to put it up again

Tell everybody about Lapland kids... We are getting a lot of enquiries about Lapland at the moment so I thought it a great time to tell you about our experience of the magical mystical place of fairy tales that is the REAL Santa’s homeland.

We didn't tell our four (or anyone else for that matter!!)about our trip to Lapland until the morning of departure when we handed them their tickets at silly am to arise them from their slumber...their little faces and shrieks of disbelief were a joy to behold and although we didn't realise it at the time that ecstasy and unbridled joy was to continue for the next few days!!

From the moment we arrived at Dublin airport and were greeted by some of Santa’s helpers the excitement was palpable. We boarded the plane and were whisked away to a magical dreamland...the 4 hour flight flew by (literally) as the children were kept entertained throughout by the excellent crew on board.

Upon arrival in Lapland I thought the children (and us if truth be told) would explode with excitement. I had been worried that the reality wouldn't live up to the pictures or expectation but as we landed and I looked out on a winter wonderland my fears all melted away it really was picture postcard perfect! In the arrivals hall we were met by Snow Princess who was to be our elf guide throughout our stay...I didn't realise at the time how much my children would come to love this elf she was wonderful!!! 

I had been shopping for this trip for almost a year picking up ski gear for the children in every sale I encountered...I needn't have bothered!!! En route to our hotel we stopped and were kitted out from head to toe VERY literally with perfectly clean and fresh snow gear

(I had been worried this gear wouldn't reach my not so exacting standards...I was WAY WRONG and could've saved on a LOT of packing!).

Onwards to our hotel where our not so little crew needed 2 rooms so we had a "boys room" and a "girls room" far so civilised!!! We then had a little free time while we explored the town, took a walk along the completely frozen river, made snow angels and the kids (ok ok AND adults) slid down any hill we encountered we were also EXTREMELY luck & privileged to see an amazing display courtesy of the Northern Lights MAJOR bonus!!

We then were brought into the deep dark forest (not scary but magical) where we got to try our hand at snow was BRILLIANT like jet skis but WAAAAY better!!! were tucked up warm and brought in a kind of sled lined with reindeer hide pulled by a jet ski but Michael and myself got to drive the real McCoy for a full half hour all around a magical forest over a frozen lake and through a clearing all lit by lanterns AMAZING!! We then had a hearty dinner...not exactly Michelin star quality but perfectly adequate!! Then back to our hotel to recharge!!

The following day was action packed Snow Princess picked us up after a really great breakfast with something for everyone and again whisked us off to the forest all the while telling the children stories about the big man and how wonderful and kind he is and also a little about Jack Frost who looked after all the snow in Lapland!...

One of our eagle eyed monkeys asked her why she didn't have pointy ears and she very quickly explained that elves ears only start to grow pointy after they are 100 years old and as she was only 85 she had another 15 years to wait for her ears!!!

We arrived again in picture postcard perfection all soft powdery snow (snow is soft and powdery in Lapland COMPLETELY different to what we're used to!) we were to spend half of our day here we had reindeer rides, husky rides (and WOW are they fast the husky’s DEF not the reindeer!!!!)more snow mobiling and this time there were little skidoo's (minisnow mobiles) for the kids to drive themselves there was LOTS of hot berry just to drink round the numerous bonfires and loads of opportunities (which we took) to build snow men & women!!!!

There was also little tobaggo for sliding down the numerous slopes around us GREAT fun!! We were then treated to a lovely lunch of meatballs & mash (VERY Ikea!!!) and then off to our next adventure ...although it was not yet 3pm it was already dark!!

We then headed to Santa Village where there was loads of lovely little shops for souvenirs and the obligatory Christmas decoration or 10. There were plenty of play areas around and about to keep the children (and men alike) entertained while I did a little souvenir shopping!

Santa’s official post office is at Santa Village so next we headed there to send some postcards to everyone back home with Santa‘s official postmark! This is also where we could see ALL the letters coming in from all over the world and we got to see how they are sorted VERY exciting...the dreaded naughty list was there too!!...Four pairs of anxious eyes checked & double checked JUST in case!!! We still had 2 small people VERY attached to their dodos (bad parenting at its best!!!!) BUT on that day in Santa Village in Lapland they both brought ALL their dodos and donated them to the collection box Santa has there for dodos-he collects them for the baby elves & baby reindeer cause they don't make dodos in Lapland!!!

When we arrived back that evening we had a quick dinner as we had privately organised some ski lessons for everybody at a nearby resort which was great fun and has added a ski holiday to the kids bucket list!! There was also plenty of time for tobogganing here which the small two loved but BY GOLLY they have NO slope was too high...great fun though and good value and EVERYBODY me included fell asleep in the taxi back to our hotel...we FELL into bed EXHAUSTED but happy!

Next morning kids excitement levels hit a peak today was THE DAY today they would meet the big man the REAL Santa!!! But first Snow Princess collected us and brought us to Santa Park an underground wonderland where Santa used to have his workshop until every body found out about it and he had to move it to another secret location. He kept his elf school here though and Mrs Claus still makes her world famous gingerbread here so we got to try our hand at decorating(and eating) gingerbread, then a tour of the workshops then off to elf school where we got to learn a few elf secrets!!!!...all these elves were over 100 years old so all had their pointy ears and one elf was almost 320 years old!!!!!

Again plenty of souvenir buying opportunities and an Angry Birds play park to keep the kids entertained!

Back to the hotel then to change into the obligatory Christmas jumpers to meet the main man! For the last time we were brought deep into the forest to Santa’s secret cabin in the woods...tea lights lit the path leading to the log cabin it was all EXACTLY how I'd imagined it would be magical and very very beautiful!...first we were treated to a really lovely Christmas Dinner then there were fun and games with Snow Princess and the other elves they are amazingly good with children even the shy ones just brilliant at taking them out of themselves...

THEN in the distance we could hear a tinkling everyone rushed outside just in time to see him YES YES YES HIM THE REAL SANTA arrive through the woods on his sleigh with Dasher (apparently Rudolf had a touch of flu and was recuperating!) and yes I was actually crying looking at all the little (and not so little) faces around me staring in awe at this majestic man (he MUST be at least 6 feet tall) with a beard right down to his belly! Everyone went inside and it was wonderfully organised and before we knew it, it was our turn to go in and meet him he greeted each of the children by name (a feat I sometimes struggle with!!)& each got a little gift (husky dog!) which I have no doubt they will treasure forever! After Santa met with everyone he mingled for a while and was very generous with his time with everyone and then he was off on his merry way. There was a small fireworks display once Dasher was well on his way and then back to our hotel high on life and all so very very happy!

There was a little time the next morning for some last minute shopping then back to the airport and a teary goodbye to the wonderful Snow Princess I thought the kids would never stop hugging her and then home.

Lapland truly is a magical once in a lifetime experience and is actually about so very much more than meeting Santa which is something I hadn't realised until we were there! Yes it is expensive and you would probably have a much longer holiday in the sun for the same price but the lifetime memories created by a trip like this are immeasurable and unmatched by ANY sun holiday we have ever taken your timeframe to do it with your children is limited but I promise you won't regret it and your experience will be worth the sacrifice!

We couldn't recommend it highly enough try it before it's too late!

Call Catherine on 0504 22200 to book your trip to Lapland today - EasyPay Plan available

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