Destination Europe

Searching for Santa at Santa's Lapland

Posted on
December 12, 2017

Day two of our three-day trip to Saariselkä was our Search for Santa day.
We were given our coach times the day before we left and we were one of the first to arrive for our day that promised to be packed full of fun.
Tucked in our pockets were our magic tickets (the kids letters to Santa, that we had “posted” a few weeks previously) and the timings for our husky rides, the only set time given on the day. The rest of the day we could do whatever took our fancy.
Santa's Lapland
We arrived to a covering of fresh snow and the kids leapt straight in to snowball fights as soon as we alighted from the coach, whilst us adults got our bearings and then wandered down the hill where we found a handy warming tent and activities such as ice fishing, sledging, snowmobiles and skiing.
Santa's Lapland
The kids were keen to try everything and Isaac was soon bouncing around on a snowmobile which was looped around a tree for safety.
Santa's Lapland
Our Husky sled ride was booked for 11.10 and we had planned on doing our search for Santa afterwards, however whilst we were enjoying the sledges, one of the Santa’s Lapland reps came over to advise there were no queues for the search and it would be a good time to go as apparently it gets much busier later.
Santa's Lapland
We walked straight onto a sled which was to be pulled along by a snowmobile. The driver explained that we were going on a fast ride across a frozen lake and not to worry about any cracking noises and we were soon zooming off a speed through a snowy forest and onto a huge expanse of white snow.
Santa's Lapland
The driver slowed as he spied something ahead and the kids squealed with delight when they spotted some presents wrapped in the snow. Our driver asked if we should follow the trail, to which we all shouted “Yes”.
Santa's Lapland
We soon happened across some cheeky elves who flagged us down and started playing with the kids, pulling their hats down and even hopping into the sled with us.
Santa's Lapland
When the slight of hand happened with our “magic tickets” I don’t know, as I was so preoccupied with the elves that I didn’t notice, but that was the whole point. We were soon beckoned over to the small wood cabin in the woods, but who might be inside?
Santa's Lapland
Our own private meeting with Santa was a truly magical experience. They were amazed when he produced their hand-written letters and read through them, asking questions about what they had asked for and answering any questions they had.
Santa's Lapland
He spent lots of time with them and we never felt rushed. It was quite nice to warm up by the fire too as Santa handed out some lovely presents which they will treasure forever.
Santa's Lapland
The cheeky elves borrowed our camera’s too, taking some pictures for us, and a few cheeky “elfies” of themselves too.
Santa's Lapland
Once it was time to say goodbye we left the cabin with the elves, who continued to mess around and make the kids throw snowballs at them.
Santa's Lapland
We then hopped in the snowmobile-sled and whizzed back through the forest to where we had started.
Santa's Lapland
We arrived back just in time for our husky-sled ride where Hubby and I, as drivers, had to attend a safety briefing and the kids were entertained with silly games and songs by the reps. As soon as the Huskies spot the crowd of red suits you can hear their excitement as they look forward to doing each and every ride.
Santa's Lapland
What surprised me was that we all fit in one sled and that only five huskies were expected to pull us, but they did it with ease.
Santa's Lapland
With the exception of meeting Santa, this was the highlight of our day and to make sure both adults get a chance to “drive” you are stopped halfway round to swap over.
Santa's Lapland
Once the ride is finished you are encouraged to make a fuss of the dogs whilst they have a rest.
Santa's Lapland
There is staff on hand to chat to about the dogs and it is obvious to see that they are very much-loved and well looked after. I was surprised by their names though, as most have English names and Dave, was our racing dog in our pack. He also takes a mean selfie!
Santa's Lapland
The Search for Santa day is split between two sites, which you catch a snowmobile-sled to travel between. Both offer warming tents with pancakes or gingerbread and warm berry juice or tea which is all free, plus there are manned open fires dotted around if you need to warm your hands up.
Santa's Lapland
Lunch was served in a hygge filled Scandi log lodge. They served a delicious spaghetti bolognese which all mine went back for second helping of and is the perfect kind of food you need when it’s cold.
Santa's Lapland
At the second site, were more fun activities including Reindeer school where you got to sit in Santa’s sleigh, see where the Reindeer live and learn more about the beautiful creatures before being presented with some reindeer food to take home to put out on Christmas Eve.
Santa's Lapland
It is then time for a ride in a reindeer sleigh, which unlike the huskies is slow and steady, but just as much fun.
They really are beautiful creatures and the fresh snow resting on their antlers made them seem more magical.
The kids also got to feed them their favourite food, Lichen and try their hand at lassoing a set of antlers.
Santa's Lapland
We got the chance to try a spot of crazy golf in the snow, which is more tricky than it looks as the ice makes the surface all bumpy.
Santa's Lapland
There was also a fun pantomime type show to watch in a massive igloo, with two elves hosting. The antics included singing, dancing and finding a missing elf hat.
Santa's Lapland
In a second igloo was the ice bar where the adults could enjoy an alcoholic tipple and the kids a fizz treat. This was the one place you need to bring some money with you, as everything else was included in the day.
Santa's Lapland
Once we had exhausted all the activities on this site, we took the snowmobile sled back to the other to try out some of the other activities we missed earlier.
Santa's Lapland
The lure of the snowmobiles was too much for the kids and they all had a go this time, even Sebby as he giggled and bounced around.
Santa's Lapland
The day didn’t end there, we were booked onto the Northern Lights experience that evening, which I will save for another post, followed by the Gala dinner at the Tunturi Hotel where you are positively encouraged to wear your Christmas finery.
Santa's Lapland
Like the previous nights meal, it is a buffet style meal but this time it is a traditional Christmas dinner, complete with crackers on the table and Christmas games and sing-songs.
Santa's Lapland
We have been very lucky to experience some memorable holidays, including our Carnival Cruise and Walt Disney World, but this Search for Santa day tops every single one of them!!

We booked our holiday with Santa Claus Trips and I cannot fault their customer service. To get the best value and take advantage of free child spaces it is recommended to book your trip as soon as the dates become available, which is typically in the October, the year before you intend to travel.
Search for Santa Day

  1. Reply


    December 12, 2017

    Wow Kara this really is a dream come true and I am absolutely loving following your posts on your Lapland adventures!

  2. Reply

    Fi Ni Neachtain

    December 12, 2017

    Oh my goodness, how absolutely magical is this! I so want to do this with my boys someday, it would be an absolute dream come true!

  3. Reply

    Mrs Mary Ann Abbott

    December 12, 2017

    This truly looks an amazing experience, love the photo with the dog!!

  4. Reply

    five little doves

    December 12, 2017

    Oh wow this really is my dream holiday! It looks utterly magical!

  5. Reply


    December 12, 2017

    I am so jealous of all your guys got up to, I would love to play in that snow with my nephew. What an experience

  6. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    December 12, 2017

    What a magical day. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for the children and for you to see them. Very special

  7. Reply

    Ana De- Jesus

    December 13, 2017

    I am so jealous that you were able to go on a snowmobile and judging by your smiles it looks like you had a grand time. Can you invite me next time?!

  8. Reply

    Katy Stevens

    December 13, 2017

    Wow it looks like such a magical time. So many wonderful memories for life!

  9. Reply


    December 13, 2017

    This looks AMAZING! I have to admit I chuckled at the ‘don’t worry about cracking sounds’ – I would definitely panic lol. I’m really surprised they let you pet the dogs because when my fella went dog sledding in Norway the dogs were only considered ‘working dogs’ and you couldn’t stroke or fuss them because they would freak out and think you were going for them. Good to see the dogs so well looked after where you went.

  10. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    December 13, 2017

    Wow Lapland sounds like a dream holiday, and the husky ride sounds amazing. I’m glad they made you guys feel special and nothing was rushed when meeting Santa x

  11. Reply


    December 13, 2017

    This sounds like a trip to remember for a lifetime! I especially love how Santa had their handwritten notes 🙂

  12. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    December 13, 2017

    It all looks so amazing and how fab the children got to try a snowmobile!!

  13. Reply


    December 13, 2017

    That looks magical, would love to go on a sleigh ride in the snow and see Sanat

  14. Reply


    December 13, 2017

    What a magical day, I’d absolutely love to go on a husky ride and I’d be really interested to visit the reindeer and hear more about them. I love how personable the Santa visit was for the kids and it just sounds like you had an amazing time

  15. Reply

    Justine Robson

    December 13, 2017

    This sounds magical. I’m very jealous!

  16. Reply


    December 13, 2017

    This is so magical and I’m so tempted to do this with my children. It looks perfect

  17. Reply


    December 14, 2017

    I loved that selfie with Dave! This looks like such a magical and exciting experience for everyone, not just the kids! I love the reindeer visit too, I would have been totally mindblown as a kid seeing them in real life, as they seem to only feature in books when you’re little. So jealous that you got to zoom around in a snowmobile!!

  18. Reply


    December 14, 2017

    Wow how amazing, im so jealous! I love the Reindeer school and that Vixen cabin so cool. The snowmobiling I would love to have a go at. Love the family picture at the end x

  19. Reply


    December 14, 2017

    I found this one so interesting, looks fun with snow, santa and the nature is beautiful! I love that ice cave, and what an experience!

  20. Reply

    melissa major

    December 14, 2017

    Lapland looks like the perfect location to go to during the festive period! It must of been fab going on the reindeer sleigh

  21. Reply

    Linda Hobbis

    December 14, 2017

    It sounds very well thought out and organised which, in those temperatures, must be a blessing. I’m sure the kids will remember their time as long as they live. I would love to do this with Caitlin and Ieuan.

  22. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    December 14, 2017

    This sounds like the most incredible and magical trip – something the kids will be talking about for years to come

  23. Reply

    Holly - Little Pickle's Mom

    December 15, 2017

    Erm… this TOTALLY, hands down, wins the best family festive day EVER. Snow, husky dogs, presents and Santa?! Your children are so incredibly lucky – they’ll remember this FOREVER.

  24. Reply


    December 15, 2017

    This looks like the perfect trip I would love to take my children there. Lovely photos and I especially loved the fire photo what an amazing experience ????

  25. Reply


    December 15, 2017

    Ah I love the idea of a private meeting with Santa, sounds like such an experience. You’ve taken so many pretty pictures!

  26. Reply


    December 15, 2017

    This is something I would really love to do with my children. Some of my friends have been and said it’s amazing. Love the photos it looks like an amazing experience.

  27. Reply

    Tanya Brannan

    December 17, 2017

    What a wonderful adventure for you and all the family! Even though I am 43, this so made me want to go and search for Santa myself, I love the fact that you did the husky trip and the reindeer is just beautiful,. What fantastic memories you all will have!

  28. Reply


    December 17, 2017

    That looks like such an incredible trip. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy something like that.

  29. Reply


    December 18, 2017

    This sounds like an incredible time – I am SO jealous! Merry Christmas!

  30. Reply

    Suzy McCullough

    December 18, 2017

    lol not to worry about any cracking noises. ha! It all sounds amazing Kara. Santa has one epic beard. I love the Huskie selfie…wow they are strong to pull 5 of you. #getgone

  31. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    December 19, 2017

    OMG, that’s the PNP Santa!!! What an amazing opportunity and great photos, too!

  32. Reply

    Afshan Nasim

    December 21, 2017

    Aww glad you had fun. Lapland is such a great trip to do, especially for the kids. Very magical! I have been to Kusamo for a day trip and this post takes me back, unfortunately my son was so small to appreciate it. Will have to plan a trip soon. Would love to see the Northern Lights too!

  33. Reply


    January 1, 2018

    This looks so magical, I would love to take our little ones, do you think it would be too cold for a two year old? #getgone

  34. Reply


    January 12, 2018

    Apart from Santa and Elves I hope we (all adults) have a similar experience when we head to Lapland in February. Great read and photos.

  35. Reply

    Kanika Bakshi

    August 8, 2018

    Wow! Awesome post. Thanks for sharing this post as I got an idea to take my niece to this wonderful destination for her trip so that even her dream of seeing Santa comes true and she can enjoy various activities there. Keep posting such interesting articles.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog