10 Ways to Have A Perfect Family Holiday in Rovaniemi

March 26, 2018 Anna Ruohonen

Planning a trip to Rovaniemi but aren’t sure of what you can do with all your family? Don’t stress – We made a list to get you started. The official Santa’s hometown offers plenty to do for all kinds of needs.

1. Spend a Day in Santa Claus Village And Enjoy Its Activities

A family crossing the Arctic Circle in Santa Claus Village

Let’s start with the most obvious one: Meeting the city’s best known character Santa, is always a pleasure. His notoriety is understandable, as he’s friendly and cheerful every day he works – which is 365 days a year. Santa lives in Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle. The geographical line of the Arctic Circle is there to be crossed. In Santa Claus’ Main Post Office you can sit down and write a card or a letter to your friend just to tell your Santa-minded greetings.

2. Try All the Snowy Sports in Ounasvaara

For all of you who want to make it physical, bear the name Ounasvaara in your mind. Ounasvaara Ski Resort is situated a few kilometres from the city centre, where you can practice sports like snowboarding, alpine skiing, or cross-country skiing either with an instructor or if you’re experienced, solo. You can also rent snowshoes and experience the Winter Trail that sweeps around Ounasvaara fjell.

Snowshoeing in Ounasvaara

3. Play With Snow

Playing with snow in Ounasvaara

Not sure what you family would like to do but you still would like to do something? Playing with snow is always a good idea and seriously, we’ve never seen a kid here who isn’t carried away by the fun in the now. Sometimes making snowballs is enough to enjoy the day but if you are looking for something more organized, ask our safari companies what activities they have prepared for you.





4. An Expeditious hint – Slide on a Sledge

From the toddler to the golden-ager in the family, this classy activity never leaves anyone unhappy. If there isn’t a pile of snow laying around you, there are three places in Rovaniemi that have sledge trails “Rendi’s Snow World” in Ounasvaara,“Snowman World” and Moomin Snowcastle in Santa Claus Village. A smaller sled-course is situated in the heart of city, Lordi’s Square.

Sledge sliding in Snowman World

5. Something for the Youngest: Husky and Reindeer Safaris And Mini-snowmobiles

Mini-snowmobiles, Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park

Santa Claus might be a character to see in the Arctic Circle but a triple safari is definitely the thing to do. At Santa Claus Village you can choose the type of safari you want to experience; take a reindeer or husky safari or be fast and furious and let your kid explore on a mini-snowmobile.



6. Date a Polar Bear

Meeting the largest predator in the world from the other side of the fence is quite something. In 2016, the polar bear family of the Ranua Wildlife Park  got a new member, when a baby bear was born in November. The newcomer’s name is Sisu. Sisu is a special Finnish word that combines the English words of stoic determination, grit, bravery and resilience. Us Finns use the word to describe our national character. In addition to polar bears, you’ll find more than 50 other arctic animal species from the zoo. Ranua Wildlife Park is located one hour drive from Rovaniemi city. See the details for a day trip to Ranua here.


Polar Bears, Ranua Wildlife Zoo

7. Visit Some of the Lean-to's and Eat Makkara

A lean-to, Rovaniemi, Visit Rovaniemi
Photographer: Juho Kuva

Rovaniemi hides at least dozen of lean-to’s into its area and some of them are easily reached by foot. There is one, for example, along the marked Winter trail in Ounasvaara, and another one by the Kemijoki river nearby the main church. Both places offer wood to make a fire, you just need to bring your sausages and matches to light the bonfire. Frying up a sausage in an open fire is a very Finnish tradition.

8. Enjoy the Cabin Life

Want to come to Rovaniemi with your family but a hotel is not your cup of tea? Don’t worry! The area has cosy cabins for all preferences. What would be a more relaxing way to end a day than spending time with the whole family, watching a fire dance in a furnace, after being in the sauna?




Cabin, Rovaniemi, Ounasvaaran Lakituvat Chalets

9. Visit Moomin Snowcastle

A huge Snowcastle in Santa Claus Village, full of fun activities and fairytale charm. See the adorable residents of the Moominvalley as five-meter tall snow and ice sculptures! Moomin Snowcastle is open every day through the winter from 9am-7pm.

10. Introduce History And Culture to Your Kids

Let’s be honest here, the weather isn’t always as sunny we would like it to be. Fortunately, we have something for those days (and any day, really) when our souls are crying for sophistication. The Arktikum Museum & Science Centre, one of the city’s landmarks, stands by the river Ounasjoki, where it introduces Arctic culture and life to visitors from around the world. The Pilke Science Centre, near the Arktikum, reveals the current issues Finnish forests are facing.



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