INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Review of the Best Santa Theme Park – Santa Park Rovaniemi.
Santa Park is THE best Santa experience for little kids, all under the one roof.
It’s indoors, and that means no-one has to brave the -20° degrees celsius weather outside.
Keep the babies, toddlers and preschoolers warm while they play and enjoy ALL the Santa Park activities.
Take a look!
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- 1 A GUIDE TO SANTA PARK ROVANIEMI
- 2 BEST ACTIVITIES TO DO AT SANTA PARK LAPLAND FINLAND
- 3 No.1: Elf School
- 4 No.2: See the Elf Show
- 5 No.3: Elf Workshop
- 6 No.4: Santa Park Activity Zone for Kids
- 7 No.5: Ride the Elf Train
- 8 No.6: Bake with Mrs Gingerbread
- 9 No.7: Visit the Ice Gallery
- 10 More Activities at Santa Park Rovaniemi
- 11 No.8: Santa Park Post Office
- 12 No.9: Meet Santa in Lapland
- 13 No.10 Crossing the Arctic Circle Underground at Santa Park
- 14 Where to eat at Santa Park?
- 15 Shopping at Santa Park Rovaniemi
- 16 Lapland Souvenirs
- 17 The Inside Scoop- Santa Park Arctic World
- 18 How to get to Santa Park from Santa Village
- 19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- 20 Santa Park or Santa Village?
- 21 Toadstool Rating: Santapark Roveniemi Finland
- 22 MORE Things to Do in Rovaniemi for a Lapland Christmas Experience
A GUIDE TO SANTA PARK ROVANIEMI
Santas Grotto Lapland
Go inside Santas secret cavern and meet Santa and his elves, as they work hard to prepare for that one special day of the year.
The underground grotto at Santa Park is a fairytale wonder for kids under 8 to 10.
Roam the Gnome and I were thrilled at the sight of twinkly lights along the fairy walkways, the holiday decor and Christmas decorations, and the Christmas theming from the spectacular entrance tunnel right throughout.
Santa Park looks a delight!
The downside is the cost of entrance and souvenirs.
In fact, some would say this place is guilty of souvenir overkill.
But if you can bear that, it’s a nice way to spend a few hours.
BEST ACTIVITIES TO DO AT SANTA PARK LAPLAND FINLAND
No.1: Elf School
But you’d better hope you are short.
Elf doors are made for tall people.
Our Head Elf teacher was hilarious, full of life, and simply fabulous.
Her Elf translator sidekick was a much quieter personality and a little bland.
But Head Elf didn’t let that stop her.
At Elf School, kids (and parents) can
- learn the language of Elf speak
- discover how Elves wrap presents ready for Santa
- undertake study in Geography (as Santa needs to know where he’s going)
- see what happens in the daily life of an Elf as they go about their business.
Plus learn important skills such as Peeking through the Windows, and the Importance of Kindness.
Elf School was very very busy with day tripper crowds, so we had to wait for a second session, but the Elf teachers were accommodating and tried their very best to keep everyone happy.
Once inside, the show was a hoot.
And well worth the wait.
Don’t miss it.
This, plus the Elf Show, were the two activities that we felt gave us our money’s worth.
Be sure to collect the kid’s Elf Diplomas on the way out!
No.2: See the Elf Show
Don’t miss the Elf Show either.
The performance schedule for the day is posted near the entrance.
When we visited, the show was on at 12, 2pm and 4pm.
Elf performances are full of energy, laughter and fun.
This was our favourite thing at Santa Park, even though we had to sit on the floor to watch it.
No.3: Elf Workshop
At the Elf Workshop, there’s elf craft activities to do.
Kids can decorate their own elf on a timber round.
Or do as Jack did, and make a Reindeer face.
There’s no rules.
Or make a Christmas card using paint and popsicle sticks.
Let them dry, then take them home with you.
No.4: Santa Park Activity Zone for Kids
In between the Elf Workshop, and the Elf School, there’s a top spot for kids to play and run off some energy.
There’s two ball games.
The one for the bigger kids is a dual ball competition where two teams try to beat one another throwing balls into a hoop, working against the clock.
The second one is like one of those arcade games where you throw your ball at a distance into one of three different sized holes – a Bear, some kind of cat, and a Red Fox.
These games were definitely more attractive for boys than girls.
Luckily, the Elf workshop is right next door, so if your kids are more into craft than ball games, you can still keep on eye on both of them while they do their thing.
No.5: Ride the Elf Train
Kids can hop on the magic train and take a ride through the enchanting magical worlds of the Elves headquarters
While it’s not Disney, this ride is actually very cute once you are inside, and it takes you through many different worlds of Christmas.
A lovely unexpected surprise, although one we did have to queue for.
Hot tip: Head over this way when Elf School is about to start and you’ll miss some of the crowds.
No.6: Bake with Mrs Gingerbread
Kids can decorate their own gingerbread cookie in Mrs Gingerbread’s Kitchen, and then eat them in this cosy place.
You can order a cup of warm glögi on the side if you are prepared to pay the price.
Expect bill shock.
3 euro each, to decorate a cookie with a squeeze of icing sugar glue and sprinkles.
Plus a whole lot more for an emergency bottle of water, as we were all dying of thirst and I’d forgotten our bottle.
For the cost of entrance, I assumed this activity would be included, but no.
No.7: Visit the Ice Gallery
Take a warm coat and head inside the Ice Gallery to see all the frozen sculptures, and if you are game, stay in the cold icy room to enjoy a drink at the ice bar.
(Another extra cost, of course, and you had to serve it yourself. Just follow the instructions on the note.)
I’d heard there was an Ice Princess to meet who can tell you about the different ice sculptures, and how they were made, but she was obviously at a hair appointment when we visited.
Sitting inside an ice igloo was something you can’t do everyday, so the boys thought this was cool.
More Activities at Santa Park Rovaniemi
These activities are similar to what you’ll find at the Santa Claus Village.
If you have, or are planning to meet Santa in Lapland, or visit the Official Santa Post Office IN the Santa Village, there’s no reason to spend too much time in these Santa Park activities or it may confuse the kids.
You won’t miss out on much if you skip them entirely.
No.8: Santa Park Post Office
Drop into Santa’s post office at Santa Park to send your Christmas greetings back home.
There is a cute Santa post office set up here if you want to watch the Christmas mail being sent off on it’s way.
No.9: Meet Santa in Lapland
The highlight of any visit to Santa Park is to meet Santa in the secret grotto and take a family Christmas photo, but only if you won’t see Santa elsewhere.
Confused and not sure which one to visit?
Take a look at our guide to the best Rovaniemi Santa for tips, and an overview.
No.10 Crossing the Arctic Circle Underground at Santa Park
It’s the only place where you’ll cross the Arctic Circle underground, although that in itself is a bit underwhelming. We had to ask staff to point it out to us, and then we realised we’d already walked under the archway.
(You can buy a certificate to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event)
Where to eat at Santa Park?
Rovaniemi Santa Park is home to Cafe Kotakahvio.
Sit and eat while you enjoy the Elf Show, if you can find a seat.
While it’s a huge room, the tour groups of day trippers do take up a lot of space.
It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet meal, open from 11am to 4pm.
Adults are 18,90 euro, and children are 12,90 euro.
There are also some snacks and drinks available, however the prices are exorbitant.
Do BYO water, or stay thirsty!
Shopping at Santa Park Rovaniemi
Santa Park is a shopper’s delight.
In fact, there is almost too much to choose from.
There’s all the normal range of Lapland Christmas souvenirs, including:
- Reindeer hides from 149 euro
- Santa Park coffee mugs
- Christmas ornaments
- Christmas tree decorations
- Soft Toys
But there’s one section that’s a little more upmarket, with dressy coats, artworks, cashmere throws and beanies, puffer vests, and tote bags.
Find it on the left after the Post Office, along a white washed wall.
Santa Park Mugs
Husky Soft Toys & Reindeers
More Reindeer Stuffed Toys
These white reindeer toys cost 19,50 euro each
And more Plush Reindeer Toys…
Cute Red Fox Plushies
The most adorable of the lot?
These cute red fox toys.
Santa Football shirts
Football fans should keep an eye out for the red and white Adidas shirts with SANTA CLAUS 25 on them, on the right as you exit.
These shirts makes a fun but quality gag gift for soccer fanatics.
There’s plenty of Santa Hats, but the most practical gift is a Santa Park water bottle.
The Inside Scoop- Santa Park Arctic World
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in euro, unless otherwise stated
Santa Park address: Tarvantie 1, 96930 Arctic Circle, Finland
Website: Click here
Santa Park opening hours 2019-2020
Santa Park in Finland is open at these times below:
- 9 November – 30 November 2019: Daily, 10.00 – 17.00
- 1 December 2019 – 5 January 2020: Daily, 10.00 – 18.00. Exception: 24 December | 10.00 – 16.00
- 6 January – 11 January 2020: Daily , 10.00 – 17.00. Exception: 11 January | 10.00 – 15.00
Santa Park Finland prices 2019-2020
Children under 3 years old are FREE!
9 November – 30 November 2019
- 34,00 € / adult
- 28,00 € / child (3-12 years old)
1 December – 21 December 2019
- 35,00 € / adult
- 29,00 € / child (3-12 years old)
22 December 2019 – 11 January 2020
- 36,00 € / adult
- 30,00 € / child (3-12 years old)
How to get to Santa Park from Santa Village
The best bet to get TO Santa Park from Santa Village is to catch a cab from the taxi rank outside Santa Village and drive the distance.
It costs about 15 euro for the one-way trip.
Santa Park is 2 kilometres north of Santa Village. Although it is possible to walk there from Santa Village if it’s not too icy, I wouldn’t if the kids are in tow.
It’s safer to catch a taxi or organise a transfer from the village.
The Santa Express only runs one way, so you can catch it BACK from Santa Park to Santa Holiday Village but not on the way there.
One way tickets are 3.50 euro for adults, and 1.80 euro for kids.
It’s cheaper than a taxi, that’s for sure.
Santa Park is an 8km drive from Rovaniemi City centre on the Santa Express bus, or in a taxi, but only 2km from the Rovaniemi airport.
There’s free parking if you are driving by car.
Getting to Rovaniemi in Finland
READ MORE: How to get to Rovaniemi from Helsinki by train
READ MORE: How to get to Rovaniemi Lapland by airplane
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Santa Park or Santa Village?
What’s the difference between Santa Park vs Santa Claus Village?
Santa Claus VILLAGE is FREE to enter, and you can wander around all the different shops, tourist information centre, and activities at your leisure.
It’s FREE to see Santa in the Main Office (or in Christmas House), although you if you want a photo with Santa, you need to pay for the privilege.
Santa Claus Village is outdoors, and you need your snow suit on to move between all the different activities.
Santa PARK is indoors.
Santa Park has adorable elves, its’ best quality.
(The Elf School and the Elf Show are tops!)
Santa Park is definitely better suited for the younger kids, who can’t stay too long outdoors in the cold. Santa Park is comfortably heated, a nice respite from the cold.
It is also fairly dark to set the mood (and a little dismal in places), unlike Santa Village which is light and bright.
Anyone who is young at heart, and who loves the Spirit of Christmas and the magic of this time of year will enjoy Santa Park too.
But without doubt, it IS expensive.
Toadstool Rating: Santapark Roveniemi Finland
The million dollar question is would I go back?
Yes, but only with children no older than 5.
It’s a bit hit and miss for older kids, although the boys were entranced by the two Elf shows.
It’s also a little too contrived for me.
I’d much prefer to spend the time playing in the snow at Santa Village, and see the Elves at Joulukka Forest.
(Joulukka is expensive, operated by Santa Park also, BUT this tour is worth EVERY CENT.)
MORE Things to Do in Rovaniemi for a Lapland Christmas Experience
Click the blue links below.
The Ultimate Guide to a Lapland Christmas Experience
The Best Things to do in Rovaniemi in Winter AND Summer
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