Lapland Santapark in Rovaniemi

If you've read any of my previous articles you will be aware that I am not a fan of taking a Christmas Lapland holiday in Rovaniemi.  However, I was invited to Lapland during December last year to experience the new Rovaniemi "product" from Esprit Holidays.

I was not holding out much hope, but I went there with an open mind, and was not disappointed with what I was shown.  I'm still not impressed with Rovaniemi, and certainly wouldn't stay in the two "town centre" hotels, but the arrangements for the Lapland activities were extremely well prepared.

I also wasn't looking forward to the grand finale - a "Gala Dinner" at SantaPark.  I have been primed over the past years that Santapark was an awful amusement park built into the side of a hill (reminicent of a nuclear bunker), with poor quality rides for expectant children, and tacky souvenirs.

I was pleasantly surprised.  Yes, it is a large "bunker" builty into the side of a hill, but it was definitely better than I was expecting.

The Esprit Holidays "Wonder of Santa" and "Dream of Santa" Lapland holiday all visit Santapark (if you take the full board option) and they have arranged for exclusive access during the meal.  There is a fun stage show with Elves dancing and singing to various Christmas favourites.  This is a surefire hit for the younger children.

There are also a number of other activities, such as cookie making and decorating, Elf school and a small ride through a model Elf World.  Don't expect a Disney style theme park, but set your expectations at a reasonable level, and remember it's aimed at the children, not you !