Not every parent is keen of taking Their kids on an icy adventure facing average Temperatures of minus 25 degrees celcius. Definitely a no go most would say, but I am The living proof There is no better place To spend your next winter family vacation Than in Finish Lapland.
As my winter adventure in Finland was not my first Time Traveling To Lapland during winter (last year my parents dragged me To Tromsø, can you imagine?) I already knew what To expect. I was well prepared with handwarmers, liner gloves and socks, Thermo underwear as far as The eye could see and of course my camera.
Well packed, This little one started his Third Trip To The high North, second Time in The middle of winter. The plan was during one week To explore as much as possible of Finish Lapland while having a great Time and Trying not To freeze To death. Mom and dad choose a great location, Muonio, a Tiny village in The North of Lapland, not far from The Swedish border. Our hotel had its own skislopes, which was a welcome extra, but apart from skiing what else did I do?
Dogsledding Through mystic forests
My favorite activity in Lapland is without any doubt dogsledding, I even consider it The best way To discover The magic of The Finish forests. We started at a frozen lake with a Team of five enthusiastic and jumping huskies. Racing at high speed over The lake and into the forest was an experience like no other. The sled bouncing up and down over small hills. Luckily I was completely snuggled up under blankets and raindeer huds, as it was pretty cold, especially at The open places. I can say That after This ride I have definitely fallen in love with mushing and I can’t wait when I am old enough To do it myself. Maybe I will buy my own Team of dogs one day.
Another Thing That I love about dog sledding is The interaction with The dogs. Cute is an understatement, huskies are The friendliest dogs I have ever met. So I almost got overenthusiastic The moment I could cuddle Them and Take Them back To Their bench after The ride. To be honest with you, I could have stayed There forever just watching!
Enjoy the Northern Lights just at your doorsteps
The Northern Lights or The green light as I call Them, have always been on my bucket list and even after seeing Them already a few Times, I can’t scratch it as done. They are so addictive and if you have seen Them you’ll know next Time They will appear completely different To you and you will get a whole other experience.
I know from experience you need Two Things To see The green light. High solar activity and great weather conditions. Maybe not a clear blue sky but at least a sky where there are some holes in The deck of clouds. In addition it’s a good idea To be away from any big city or site which can cause any light pollution. Our hotel was on a remote location, so you can imagine I had high hopes to see Them at least once during my stay. However The God of light had another idea. During the nights where the sky was clear we had very poor solar activity which led To nothing and during The nights when The sky was filled with dark heavy clouds we had excellent solar activity. At least I could see green clouds everywhere, which was also kind of special. Although I prefer The real stuff.
So if you want To see some pictures of a succeeded Northern Light chase, I have To redirect you To one of my previous blog post. Check out The following links:
Go crazy on a snowmobile and icefishing on frozen lakes
Snowmobiles are amazingly cool, so I could not contain my excitement when I found out we would go on a snowmobile Trip To a frozen lake To go ice fishing. The Tour was designed with kids in mind. Mom and dad got Their own machine and all The kids went into a caboose attached To The snow mobile of The guide. We all looked so funny with our special helmets on and it got even better when all The helmets started bumping into each other whenever the snowmobile when up and down a little hill or drove over an obstacle.
👉 My Tip: avoid dangling scarfs or straps when dressing your little Toddler. The caboose is not always enclosed and having loose ends on Their outfit can be dangerous.
During The drive it became brutally cold as The artic wind blew into our caboose. Just when I was starting To Think we were insane for heading To The frozen lake To go ice fishing we arrived at This magnificent open space, which looked pretty epic. This was The place where I tried ice fishing. It was The perfect spot To experience This for The first Time in my life. I learned preparing for ice fishing is very easy, you drill a hole, you Take The ice out, you Take you fishing rod and you wait until The fish come along. However to actually catch something is another story and not so easy. From our entire group, I Think we make 20 holes, nobody got lucky.
With no catch, we had no other choice To open our stock of sausages and grill Them on The open fire we made. Btw making an open fire on ice is not easy and an art on itself.
👉 My Tip: Make regular stops, snowmobiling Through The forest feels freezing due To The wind, especially when you cross frozen lakes or other open spaces, so it’s important To check The kids more Than once during The Trip.
Testing santa’s helpers qualities
Reindeers are no dogs and This is very easy To notice when you go sledding. I know They look different, but while dogs Take you on an exhilarating ride, reindeers Take it rather slow. So slow I could hear The cracking of The snow under The sled against The complete silence of The woods. It’s The perfect way To explore The forest and all The places where no one else has stepped before except some artic animals. The speed is ideal To look for some animal Tracks in The snow, which is an excellent way To keep little kids entertained.
After The sledding and being disappointed These reindeers were not willing To fly without Santa on Board, is was Time To warm up around The camp fire with some nice local Treats. At The end it started snowing, which made it even more magical.
👉 My Tip: When it is expected To get very cold, stuff your mittens and boots with chemical heaters.
Visiting Anna and Elsa in an icecastle and spend The night
No matter where you are staying in lapland, There will always be a snowhotel, now village or an ice castle in The neighbourhood. They became very popular during The last couple of years and more where build as The amount of Tourists rose. Cheeky is probably The word you are looking for right now. Maybe, but you need To visit one To judge yourself.
However I felt like a character from The Disney movie Frozen, I noticed The Theme of The snow village This year was slightly different. This being said I didn’t care To much about The Theme as dragons flying Through The castle walls and giants ice slides did The Trick. No boy from my age would dare To object. Apparently a lot of moms and dads loved The Theme of Game of Thrones as They were all super exited To pose in front of all The beautiful sculptures This place was counting. When I asked my mom if I could watch the episodes it was a big no go. So unfair, They alway Tend To keep all The good stuff for Themselves.
What else is There To do besides going down The slide made completely out of ice 50 Times in half an hour? Well, you can go for a drink in The icebar or you can reserve lunch or dinner in Their icy restaurant. The food I got was incredibly yummy.
If you are brave enough you can even go for a sleepover in one of Their breathtaking suites. Maybe it will not be as cold as you would expect! We did’t go for a sleepover This Time, but I would definitely recommend it. To learn about how comfortable it is To sleep in a bed of ice, visit one of our previous blog posts by clicking on The link below. Little spoiler: it was fantastic and I would do it again!
Snowshoeing in The wilderness
It’s not easy To hike in deep snow, especially for little legs. Needless To say I did not get very far The evening we went snowshoeing. The snowshoes were a big hassle as They flipped off on every occasion. I guess The smallest size was still Too big for my little feet. Although The struggle mom and dad were impressed how far I got and after a while I could hop on my daddy’s back. It was The perfect way To explore The finish wilderness, no Tourists, no crowds, no queues for selfies, just our small group off The beaten Track. Looking for traces of animals hiding behind a Tree or a big rock. Go snowshoeing during golden hour or at night, The views will be magnificent.
👉 My Tip: when you go snowshoeing, look for Traces of animals hiding behind a Tree or a big rock.
If you’re visiting lapland and staying not far from Rovaniemi you’re very lucky as you will have The opportunity To visit Santa’s village and of course Santa himself. True it’s a Tourist Trap, but The kids will love it. Elves are running around everywhere and visiting Santa is for free. As with all good Things That come for free, make sure you arrive early in The morning To avoid The waiting lines. I heard queues become massive during The day. Don’t panic if you’re not staying anywhere near Rovaniemi, Santa is visiting Northern lapland quite often and There are multiple possibilities To make him a visit when he’s staying over in one of his cabins in The woods.
👉 My tip: visit The post office and have your Christmas mail for next years Christmas. The envelope will be stamped with an exclusive stamp from Santa’s Village and the mail will reach his destination just before Christmas. No needs To bring card and envelopes, The post office has all you need.
Dive into The Scandinavian kitchen
Something I like during every travel, is To Try The local food. Actually To be honest my mom forces me To Try at least a bite from everything. Being in Scandinavia This it not a punishment at all. Apart from The local reindeer stew and The grilled barbecue sausages, There is much more To Try from fine dining To warm smoked Salmon. Oh not To forget are The deserts, which were not bad at all.
Apart from all These great activities I also went regularly skiing and Tobogganing. Tobogganing is definitely my favourite pastime in The snow, as There is nothing that can beat good old fashioned Tobogganing. Our hotel had it’s own ski slope, which was a big advantage. I could just jump into my ski’s from my hotel room. It saved a lot of Time, especially when your are only planning To ski for an hour or Two after or before another outdoor activity. The ski facilities were not extraordinary but excellent for a Toddler who still needs To practice To become a pro. The slopes in Finland are in general very calm compared To The ski slopes in Central Europe, which is a big advantage when you’re still a beginner.
Oh and don’t forget That The views from The Top of The slope are pretty amazing. With no fancy heated gondolas at The place where I was staying it was a lookback in Time with regard To skiing.
Well, if people ask me what I Think about Lapland during winter, I can say it is a very special place. It was a lifetime Trip and I definitely got hooked. So be aware!