Our Lapland UK Journey started way back in January. A friend of mine had been last year and she told us how amazing it was and how we needed to book when the early bird tickets went on sale. I am so glad we did this as we managed to get tickets for £59.00 per person (kids pay the same). They are only on sale for a few days until they go on sale again later in the year. We decided to go for an 11:30 slot on a Thursday as we would have to travel for an hour on the M25 and I’m sure you all know how that can go. We figured this would have us hitting the motorway after rush hour and fingers crossed for no traffic we should get there in time to have a drink and snack before we started the experience. I say experience because it literally is a magical experience from the time you arrive until the time you leave (approx 4 hours).
Lets jump back a few weeks to the day the invites are posted out. you receive an email telling you what to look for and to open it away from inquisitive eyes. Inside you get your childs invite from the big man himself and a few other bits to keep for later. When you are ready to give the letter from Father Christmas they advise you pop the letter in the gift box and put it in the freezer for an hour so that when your kids get it, its cold as if its just come from the North Pole – they really have thought of everything. The letter tells of how Father Christmas needs some helpers and they are one of the lucky ones being invited to help him.
Ok so today is the day we go to Lapland. When we arrived we parked our car and walked through to the Enchanted Forest. We go straight to check in and are given the little kids Passport. You are able to grab a coffee and snack before your departure. There are elves walking around interacting with the kids (and telling the adults not to be grumpy) until the suitcases open and you enter a maze of twinkly lights and coloured leaves. Each group is split into 2 groups, team Husky and team Reindeer. I guess this is how they manage to keep it from feeling cramped.
Off we go out into the cold, snowy tree lined paths – i just couldn’t stop saying ‘wow’! It really did feel like we were in a forest a few hours after heavy snow ! Around a few of the corners were little elf houses that were so beautifully done. The kids just stopped and were in awe!
First Stop – the toy factory. At the entrance there is an small folk door and a big folk door – this was a hit with my little one – she just loved the little folk doors. The kids sit at tables in the middle of the room and the parents stand around the edge of the room. Conker and the other elves tell the kids about how they are going to help Father Christmas make the toys. There is a sing song and the baskets are handed out. They had to stuff the penguin (don’t forget to add the heart) and decorate him with buttons, nose scarf and hat. Georgia absolutely LOVED this activity! Don’t forget to get the elves to stamp your passport!
Next Stop – Mother Christmas’ kitchen to help decorate Gingerbread cookies – Father Christmas’ snack. Again the kids sit in the middle and listen to a story before coming to the tables around the edge. They put on an apron and get some icing and sweets to decorate a cookie with. Again, a big hit with the little ones.
We then had about and hour and a half of free time where there was a cafe that served lunch, drinks and coffees. We had a quick bite and then headed to the frozen duck pond for some ice skating. The kids will love Pixie Mixies sweet shop and in the Elf Post Office you can write a letter to Father Christmas and they will post it for you. There is also a bauble shop and the Elf Emporium where you can get soft toys, trinkets, the most amazing wishing glass ! You are also able to meet and get photos with some of the elves and pet the huskies.
On the back of your passport there is a time stamp. When it gets to that time, its time to meet Father Christmas. Again you walk through the windy tree line paths in the forest past the reindeers. You can make some reindeer food, see father christmas’ sleigh and then you arrive in a waiting area where the mummies (or daddies) will go and give your names to the helpers. Keep your kids away at this point as they ask you some personal questions related to your child (to give to Father Christmas) to make your childs visit so special.
An Elf will call you when its your turn and off you go, in search of Father Christmas’ cabin. He calls you in by name and the kids sit down on a trunk next to him. The room is decorated beautifully. So first he checks to see if they are on the nice list and shows the kids the book with their name in it. He then starts asking the kids questions and telling them the personal facts, as if he’s been watching – it was very special. Georgia had recently given her dummies to the dummy fairy and she was so impressed that he ‘knew about this’. The Elf gives them a gold bell for helping make the toys for Father Christmas. All of this is being photographed by the elf but you are able to take photos and video in there too which is great. They also receive a beautiful husky – both the bell and the husky are amazing quality!
And that’s it – we say our goodbyes to Father Christmas and walk through the snowy paths one last time. Just before you leave you are able to have a look at your photos taken by the elf. You get 1 photo included per booking and have the option to buy the others too if you wanted. They do email you the digital copy as well as the option to buy the other digital prints a few days later. They also secretively hand you a toy (the snowman that they helped make in the toy factory) which you keep secret and put under your Christmas tree at home. I can’t wait for Georgia to open that on Christmas Morning and take her back to that magical day. It was only today that she asked if she could go and see Father Christmas again in the forest.
I think Georgia is the perfect age for our first visit – i will definitely be returning again next year. I have taken a few things from this visit and will definitely book for a date a little closer to Christmas next year – We were more than happy going during the week and the 1130 time slot worked well for us. I have heard that it is pretty amazing when the sun sets and being able to ice skate in the dark – perhaps if your kids are older, a later time may work better for you.
Do you know the story behind Lapland UK? Back in 2006 parents Mike and Alison were frustrated at the lack of Christmassy experiences available to their children. They decided to recreate Father Christmas’ mythical homeland here in the UK. Mike, Alison and their boys all still work at the experience, this year being their 12th year!
All in all, it really is an amazing day – its not the cheapest but I really would happily pay what we paid again, to experience it all over again. Join their mailing list to find out about the early bird sale date and its worth following them on Facebook in the lead up to your visit to get you in the mood!
For more information and to receive notification of when 2020 tickets go on sale, click here !