A couple of weeks ago, Boo recieved a very special letter. It was from Father Christmas and it invited her to visit him at Lapland UK and to help his elves! To say she was excited would be an understatement! This is the first year that Boo has any real idea about what is going on around Christmas, she will be 3 in December, so when I was asked if we would like to visit Lapland UK and then share our experience I said “yes please”!
The excitement starts before you even get to the enchanted forest when you child’s personalised letter from Father Christmas arrives. The letter invited Boo to help the elves in Lapland UK as the good list was so long, there were too many toys for the elves to make on time! Boo was so excited when we told her what her letter said and this is the face she pulled! I am not sure if it’s because she couldn’t believe Father Christmas was writing to her, or because she had made the ‘good list’!
Our tour time was at 14.00 and the website recommends you arrive half an hour early to get checked in. The car parks are named after animals which was lovely, as Boo could remember that we were in Badger carpark. We parked up and headed in to the enchanted forest…
Checking in was super quick and easy, and what struck me was the attention to detail right from the start. The elves had big feathery quills and huge old books (which cleverly hid iPads). Boo was very curious about the quill and asked lots of questions about it. She received her Elf Passport from a very friendly elf and then we headed off to get some elf jingles. The currency in Lapland UK is Elf Jingles (though ‘proper money’ and cards are also accepted). We also received our stickers for the tour, we were on the reindeer tour. The other tour was the husky and they went round Lapland UK separately.
We waited in the lovely cafe until it was time for our tour to start. We each got a cold drink, for the three of us it came to £6. Boo and her daddy explored while we waited for it to be our turn to go through the magic doors. This was the last time we had to wait any length of time for the whole day, as everything was so well organised. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone in to every aspect of the experience at Lapland UK, not just the sets and the costumes but the itinerary too.
It was lovely to see so many excited children, Boo was amazed and she joined in with all the shouting and the rhymes. Once through the door we entered the Enchanted Forest. We then sat down on wooden benches and we met two wonderful elves, Sage and Eeko. Their set was amazing, their costumes were stunning and the elves themselves were incredible. Every child was completely enchanted as Sage told his story and then we said the magic rhyme to go through the doors to Lapland.
First stop in Lapland was the Toy Factory, where the children met more elves and helped them make some toys. The toy factory itself was fantastic, there was even a conveyor belt of old toys going round above our heads. The children helped make two toys, a cuddly reindeer and a wooden teddy. Boo loved making the toys. She then proudly carried them to the elf at the window to be wrapped.
Each of the elves we met along the way had a wonderful and distinct costume and a very big personality. Boo loved watching them and then taking part too. Though at one point in the Toy Factory she turned back to my husband said ‘I’m the fastest!’ then ran up to the front to say hello to the elves…
Once we had helped the elves in the Toy Factory we headed to Mother Christmas’s Kitchen. We helped Mother Christmas to make gingerbread men, Boo loved this part! She just couldn’t resist tasting some of her work! She made a wonderful gingerbread man, which from the sounds of things was very yummy. Whilst the children were busy creating their masterpieces the adults tried some ginger cookies, which were lovely.
Mother Christmas told the children a story, once they had finished their gingerbread men. Then, Boo told us she needed the toilet, so we headed out just in front of the rest of our group to the Elf Village. The Elf Village is a short walk through some snowy trees. Everything is well sign posted including the toilets and the first aid station. The toilets were immaculate. There are several sets of toilets including at the entrance, in the Elf Village and at the exit. Each set of toilets was really clean which was great especially with the number of people using them.
The Elf Village was wonderful. In between the shops were little tiny houses for little elves, and there were lights everywhere. Each shop had a few elves in there dressed in spectacular costumes who had lots of time of the children. Boo loved Bauble, the elf who runs ‘Bauble’s Bauble Shop’ and Boo had a good chat with her about baubles and disco balls!
Our tour started at 14.00 and our slot to see Father Christmas was 17.00. We arrived at the elf village at about 15.15 and so we had plenty of time to explore. There are huskies for the children to see, Boo loved one called Amber. There is an Elf Post Office so you can write your letter to Father Christmas. Boo wrote ‘Dear Father Christmas, I love you, from Boo’ which was so adorable. My favourite shop was The Elf Emporium which was filled with old fashioned toys and Christmas decorations. My husband and I were so ‘happy’ when Boo picked a wooden toy drum (it’s so loud!)
There is also a sweet shop, which was awesome. I love looking in through the window. My husband found some biscuits he hasn’t been able to get over here (they are Swedish/Danish) so he was really happy! Boo spent the last of her elf jingles in the sweet shop and bought a white chocolate lolly which was nearly as big as her head!
I am saving the best until last, in the centre of the Elf Village is an outdoor ice rink! Boo and my husband headed there first and spent ages on there. Boo had such a lot of fun she has been asking to go ice skating again. There were skating elves on hand to help anyone who fell over and little penguins for the smaller children to hold on too.
The light started to fade whilst we were at the Elf Village and this really added to the atmosphere. I was worried about a tour time of 14.00 – 17.30 as Boo gets tired if she is on the go all day, but she was just having too much fun to be tired! The Ice Rink looked very lovely in the twilight and Boo asked to go Ice Skating again but it was time for her to meet the man himself!
We ventured down the narrow, winding path in the trees, leading out of the Elf Village. The first thing we came across was a small wooden bridge, from which you could see tiny wooden houses. We then found a lovely wooden cabin, where the elves were waiting for us, or rather waiting for Boo. We were directed inside and they asked that one of us sit with Boo and one of us go up to the desk. Again the elves here had big quills and large old books, hiding iPads. The elf checked the information to see if anything had change and then we waited!
While Boo waited she sat with her daddy looking at the wonderful room and giggled as she waved to a very serious looking elf with a book, who was hard at work! We didn’t have to wait long before a happy looking elf came and called for Boo. It was then onward to see Father Christmas
The path was very long and twisty and we all got covered in snow from the trees. Whilst we walked, the elf chatted to Boo, who told her that it had been ‘the best day ever!’. It was a fairly long walk for Boo to Father Christmas’s house, but it really did add to the magic. Even as an adult you felt like you were lost in the woods in the middle of a giant, enchanted forest.
Once we reached Father Christmas’s house we sat outside whilst the elf went to check Father Christmas was ready. Boo sat outside for less than a minute waiting to be called in. She was so excited, it really was delightful to see. The door opened, and in she raced! Father Christmas had his ‘Good List’ and he and Boo had a lovely chat. He talked to her about what she had been doing, and what she loved to do at home. He even showed her that her name was on the Good List, she was very proud! Father Christmas asked her what she was hoping for for Christmas. And he then gave her an early present for helping the elves.
Whilst Boo sat with Father Christmas the elf took a few photos of them. There was also the chance for us to sit with Boo and Father Christmas and have a photo taken. We then headed out to look at the photos. Included in the ticket price is a photo of your child with Father Christmas. We’d had about 8 taken and could pick which one we wanted. You also have the opportunity to buy a scrap book which comes with two more photos from the day too, that was £15. The scrap book contains a space for your child’s invitation and completed passport as well as pages about the day and activities.
We then headed back out to the car, Boo even remembered that we parked in Badger Carpark! We had a truly wonderful day. From start to finish we were in there for nearly 3 and a half hours. A visit to Lapland UK isn’t simply a visit to see Father Christmas, it a magical interactive pantomime adventure. And that doesn’t cover the half of it! I have never experienced anything like it. Our visit to Lapland UK was the most extraordinary day out and it really celebrates the magic of Christmas. Lapland UK asks you to ‘Believe in the Magic’ and it was clear from the wonder in my daughter’s eyes that she really does.
When I found out we were going to Lapland UK I didn’t read too much about it as I wanted to discover everything with Boo. I am glad I did, but here are a few thoughts I want to include:
Wrap up warm and wear sturdy footwear, it’s mostly outside and there is a bit of mud.
The tour time of 14.00 was perfect as we got to watch twilight fall in the Elf Village, which was magical.
Fill in the information on the site before you go, it really adds to the experience and means you have less to fill in once you reach the desk on your way to see Father Christmas.
At very nearly 3 years old, Boo was probably at the younger end of the children who would get the most out of Lapland UK. Next year and the year after are going to be the ideal years for us to take Boo to visit Lapland UK again. This is obviously my opinion for Boo and it will of course vary from child to child. There was a large age range of children at Lapland UK all having a wonderful day.
At between £65.50 and £109 per person (the Lapland UK website lists the specific prices for each day) it is expensive when compared to other visits to see Father Christmas. But as the experience doesn’t really compare anything else. Lapland UK is, quite honestly, on a completely different level, so I don’t feel you can’t really compare the price. All I can say is that we all had a truly magical experience and I would love to take Boo again.
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We were given tickets to visit Lapland UK free of charge, however all opinions and words are my own.