If you're a devoted fan of the whole Santa thing — and we're not just talking about presents, but about reindeer, huskies, snow, the whole deal — there's a travel destination you're going to want to visit. Because it's as close as you can actually get to Santa's Village IRL.
Think of Santa Claus' Village as like an amusement park in the Lapland region of Finland. It's located within a town called Rovaniemi. To clarify, that's in the Arctic Circle.
But Finland actually isn't that difficult or expensive to get to, even though the "Arctic" sounds so exotic.
You can fly airlines like WOW Air that offer amazing deals. Finnair actually offers a free stopover in Finland for up to five days. You can fly right into Rovaniemi airport.
And from there, it's even free to enter Santa's Village! Naturally, you will have to pay for the activities though, like snow mobiling, inside the village.
When you arrive, you'll surely notice the Arctic Circle designation line made with a white marking. Most tourists want to take a photo here. Instagram gold!
This is a place full of magic and Christmas cheer — and not just for children. Although, some things like Santa's Office and the Main Post Office are right up their alleys.
When the kids here meet the big guy, it's not a mall-style Santa, either. This dude is legit. Parents bring presents and sneak them over to the elves to distribute. It's basically the cutest thing you'll ever do with your kids — and actually a very badass adventure for a travel-loving family. (Way more badass than the mall.)
In the village, there's tubing, snowman building, and copious eating — but beware they eat reindeer here!
Although there's a lot to do in Santa's Village, Lapland offers so much else to get you into that Christmas vibe, too.
One big activity is driving huskies through the snowy forests. The company most well-known to book through is Lapland Safaris. (Big bummer, though: a member of the team reportedly killed his girlfriend in an act of domestic violence this year. Not a very holiday-magical detail.)
You're also going to want to see the Northern Lights and there are so many tours on offer to see them in a unique way. You could take a snow mobile out at night to go find the best spot, for instance.
If you want to see the Northern Lights in warmth and luxury, then check into a glass igloo hotel.
You can't leave without hanging out with some reindeer. It'll be something you (and your jealous social media followers) never forget!
One last thing you can consider as part of this trip — that is totally unique — is taking an iceberg cruise through the frozen Baltic sea. You'll see some seriously insane views! If you're crazy enough you can even get in the water. (Brrr, no thanks — taking a hard pass.)
Lapland is one of the most beautiful places in the world and it's really the cherry on top that Santa (ahem) lives here!
Still on the fence about a trip? Consider this one last photo:
Aaaah, the magic of the season!
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