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Savings tips and cost overview for Lapland with children

I often hear that Lapland with children is very expensive, but with our saving tips and cost overview for a winter trip to Lapland with children you can estimate and limit your costs. You can make the trip as expensive as you want, but I can also tell you that regardless of the budget, a winter trip to Lapland with children is an unforgettable experience.

We took a week-long winter trip to Lapland during spring break 2023 with two adults and two children. We visited Pyha, Saariselkä and Rovaniemi.

Flight tickets to Lapland are one of the largest costs for a winter trip to Lapland. In our case, we paid €903 for 2 adults and two children with a checked suitcase of 25kg. We flew with Ryanair from Brussels Charleroi to Rovaniemi during the spring break. The outbound flight was very cheap: 30€ per person and the reason we decided to make this trip!

If you look at the prices of airline tickets to Lapland, you will see that during the school holidays the prices quickly rise to €350 to €450 per person, without luggage! When planning your trip to Lapland, it is useful to look at the airport that is most suitable for your destination in Lapland:

Rovaniemi Airport (RVN): Located in southern Lapland, this is the busiest airport in the region and a commonly used gateway to Lapland. In winter you have direct flights from Amsterdam with KLM, from Brussels Charleroi with Ryanair, from Düsseldorf with Eurowings, and from London with Ryanair and Easyjet.

Kittilä Airport (KTT): Close to Levi, a popular ski resort, this is a major airport in the western part of Lapland. In winter there are direct flights from Amsterdam or Brussels Zaventem with TUI, and from Düsseldorf with Eurowings.

Ivalo Airport (IVL): Located in the northern part of Lapland, this is a convenient airport for those who want to explore the untouched nature of the north. Tui Eurowings flies direct from Düsseldorf.

For direct flights to Lapland, check TUI

Direct flights from Amsterdam or Brussels Zaventem to one of these airports are the most expensive. If you want to save on airfare, you can either fly from Charleroi airport or fly to Helsinki and then take the sleeper train or “Santa Claus Express” to Rovaniemi.

For us, the return journey would have been €150 cheaper if we had taken the Santa Claus Express to Helsinki and then flown to Amsterdam. The disadvantage was that we had to go to Charleroi by public transport.

Do you need a car in Lapland? It depends on which airport you fly into and where you stay. A car is not always necessary, but it is useful and helps you save money. You always pay to be picked up, with 2 adults and 2 children the costs quickly add up. And if you are somewhere and the kids are tired, you can just get in the car and drive to your accommodation (public transport in Lapland is very limited).

We booked a car through sunnycars for €430 for a week with all-in insurance. We booked very last minute, if we had booked earlier it would have been cheaper (a week earlier was €350). It wasn’t the smallest car, but it wasn’t the biggest either. When choosing the car I would take into account how much luggage you are taking with you.

Sunnycars is our preferred website for rental cars as they offer all-in insurance

Another one of the biggest costs for a winter trip to Lapland with children is accommodation. If you book early you also have more choices. Christmas is the most expensive, followed by spring holidays because it is also the school holiday in Finland.

We paid a total of €953 for a week accommodation in Lapland, spread over three different accommodations:

  • €259 for a night at a glass igloo at Pyha igloos. Expensive perhaps, but it was one in our “bucket list”
  • 539€ for four nights in an apartment with sauna in Saariselkä
  • 120€ for two nights in the budget hotel in Motelli Rovaniemi

You can check the prices for accommodation in Rovaniemi and Pyhä on the map below. I have marked the two hotels where we stayed in orange:

We chose to go to Saariselkä because a friend of mine is from this “town”. It is not very big, but there you experience the Lapland feeling. If you stay in Rovaniemi you won’t have that. Saariselkä and Pyhä are very authentic.

The activities are certainly the largest expense of a winter trip to Lapland with children. There is a wide choice of activities, from free to very expensive. The children made a Lapland bucket list in advance, after we looked together at what you can do in Lapland. Each kid made a Top 8 and, luckily, they agreed on many activities. I did tell the children how much everything costs, and that we couldn’t do everything in their lists. In the end, we did almost everything, and we came up with an amount of €1,660 for a week full of activities.

These are all activities we did in Lapland with kids, in the order we did them:


We landed at 10:30 in the morning and went straight to the Santa Claus Village (SCV). We first ate the buffet lunch at the shell gas station opposite SCV. Highly recommended, the lunch buffet costs 15

Something you cannot miss in SCV is crossing the Arctic Circle. It marks the southernmost latitude where the sun can remain continuously below or above the horizon for 24 hours. These phenomena are known as the Midnight Sun in summer and the Polar Night “Kaamos” in winter. You can send the grandmothers or grandfathers a message when you are there, so they can see you live via the webcam. Always funny.

You can also visit Santa Claus for free. You cannot take pictures, you can only buy the one the take.

Family ticket for 4 – 116€ , a drink in a ice glas 6€

Our first activity was the Snowman World . Snowman world is a snow and ice paradise for the whole family. You can slide down an ice slide, drink something in an ice glass at the ice bar (there is also an ice disco in the evening), lie down in an ice bed, descend the snow mountains on a kind of donut, go ice skating or get lost in an ice maze. The children will be busy here for a few hours. The ticket is valid for the whole day, so you can come in and out, which it’s perfect to go visit Santa Claus or do other activities in SCV in between.

Gratis , sledge at the supermarket 12€

We drove to our glass igloo in Pyhä in the evening. I was really hoping that we would see the Northern Lights from our bed. When we were there, it was very cloudy and snowing. So first, I went to the supermarket to buy something for dinner and a sledge. After dinner, we went sledding in the Pyhä ski slope. There was also a fire where you could roast marshmallows (always fun for the kids).

De skipiste is verlicht en, daarom is de Noorderlicht niet goed te zien. De kinderen waren al moe, maar we gingen een stukje lopen en ineens zagen we het Noorderlicht door een opening in de wolken. Echt gaaf!!

In Pyhä zijn er ook nog twee plekjes midden in het bos waar een ¨aurora hut¨ (een soort van afdakje met een vuurtje en hout), waar je een mooi uitzicht hebt. Er zijn paden in de sneeuw die je kunt volgen om daarheen te komen. Ik ben na ongeveer 1km terug gelopen omdat ik niet zeker wist of dit het goede pad was en mijn telefoon bijna geen batterij had.

The ski slope is illuminated, and therefore the Northern Lights are not clearly visible. The children were already tired, but we went for a walk. Suddenly, we saw the Northern Lights through an opening in the clouds. Really cool!!

In Pyhä, there are also two places in the middle of the forest with an “aurora hut” (a kind of shelter with a fire and wood), where you have a beautiful view. There are trails in the snow that you can follow to get there. I was walking to one, but I turned back after about 1km because I wasn’t sure if this was the right path and my phone was low on battery.

Adults €72, children €34 from Ukkoluosto parking, €38/€18 from Lampivaara café

We chose Pyhä as an overnight stay to go to the amethyst mine on our second day. This mine was very high on the children’s bucket list, and I also thought it was a special experience. You will be picked up in a parking lot by a snow groomer with a ¨caterpillar sledge¨. Then you ride up to the top of the fell, with a short stop at the Lampivaara café. Our children really enjoyed this!!

You can book tickets online from Luosto (slightly more expensive) or from a parking spot. If you want the cheapest ticket possible, you can walk to the Lampivaara café (winter hiking) or with snowshoes, cross-country skiing or a fat bike. The walk is 2.5km, but allow at lest 1 hour for it.

Adults €150, children 75€

The reason for going to Lapland last minute was that the children still believe in Santa Claus. Liam was already 9 years old and Mika was 7. That’s why we booked this searching for Santa package. It’s not just about visiting Santa Claus in his cabin in the woods, but also about doing all kinds of activities. The entire program lasts 3 hours, and there are only 12 spots available per time slot. We shared the activity with another family, so it was very small-scale.

You start by baking gingerbread cookies and writing a letter to Santa in the elves’ turf house kitchen. After eating the cookies, the Elf takes you to Santa’s reindeer. Then you take a (short) ride with the reindeer-pulled sleigh through the snow-covered forest. After this, it’s time to look for Santa’s secret hut. The snowmobile Elf takes one family at a time on a heated sleigh ride to the Santa’s secret hut At the hut, you will have a private meeting with Santa Claus. He calls the children by their names, and has a chat (he had received the letters that kids wrote while backing the cookies ). Inside the hut, everyone receives a present, and there is time for pictures.

Our family was the first to go to Santa. When we got back, the snowmobile elf took the other family there. While waiting for the other family to come back, the children can roast marshmallows, drink hot chocolate and play with the other Elf. Our children thought this day was magical, and they often remember it. So definitely worth the money.

30€ for 30 minutes

If you saw the kids’ bucket list for Lapland, the kid’s snowmobiles were number 1 for both of them. So we couldn’t skip this one. At the Northern Lights Village in Saariselkä children can ride through the forest,. There are several trails they can use, but don’t panic, they keep driving in circles and you don’t lose them from your sight. If you compare the price of these snowscooters with normal snowscooters, they are cheap 😉 you can book per 30 minutes. Our children thought half an hour was fine, I would also recommend booking half an hour first (don’t forget you’re standing there watching them in the cold, ha,ha,ha)

25€/day for the kid’s fatike, 45€/ 3 hours or 55€/day for the adult´s fatbike

We rented two fat bikes from rolloutdoors in Kiilopää (now they are in the city) because Mika could not cycle yet. I went on the fatbike with Liam, while Paul went on snowshoes with Mika. We chose a not too long route, where there was a fire hut for lunch. We met Paul and Mika there again, and we had lunch together. The idea was to exchange the in the afternoon: Paul would go with the fatbike and I would go on snowshoes with Mika. We also exchanged the fat bike for a larger size at no extra cost. But cycling with a fat bike is very intensive and Liam was really tired. We didn’t last a whole day. Three hours of cycling is enough.

Make the reservation online, because there are not too many children’s fat bikes, but also because the price online is cheaper than in the store.

15€/3 hour of 20€/24 hours

We rented snowshoes from Lapland tours. If you rent them for a day, you return them the next day. There are special routes for snowshoeing, very well marked. You can also walk to the Aurora hut at night, but it is also doable without snowshoes.

15€/person, 35€ family ticket (2 adults & 2 kids)

The smoke sauna with ice swimming was in my bucket list. We were going to go the four of us, but it was fully booked. Somehow, I managed to get a place for myself. The sauna was full, but I enjoyed it. Most people were Finnish, and it felt authentic. After each sauna session, everyone cooled down in the cold water. You don’t necessarily have to go into the water, it is also cold when you get out of the sauna. When I was there, it was -10 degrees.

Free – 39€/2 hour tobogganing ticket

The full-length Aurora tobogganing starts at the top of Kaunispää mountain. The track is very fast, and there are some challenging turns. After the start, there are two different routes. If you turn right from the bridge, you can take the easier route back to the chairlift and all the way down to the Saariselkä Chapel. If you turn left from the bridge, the route is illuminated with Aurora Experience light art during opening hours, and it is the more challenging route back to the chairlift.

The aurora tobogganing is not suitable for children under 7 years old. I went in a sledge with Mika (7 years old) and it was challenging. I had to brake a lot, but it was a lot of fun. When I went alone, I reached a speed of 33km/h.

If you have a sledge, you only have to pay for the lift up. But you can also take the ski bus (5€/day) up, and then down by sledge. Or if you have a car, you drive to the top , then take the sledge down and the rider takes a one-way chairlift up to get the car.

If you buy a ski pass for a day, choose a day where the slopes are open at night. You can ski during the day, and do the illuminated Arora tobogganing after dinner. We did that. Liam and I went twice, Mika and Paul once. That was enough for everyone: it was -10 and snowing. While braking, you get a lot of snow over you. So take your ski goggles with you, otherwise you won’t see anything.

The aurora tobogganing should be for sure on your Lapland with children ´s bucketlist.


In Saariselka you can sled for free from one of the slopes with a kind of donut. Great fun for all ages, but especially if the children are under 7 years old, and are not allowed to go to the Aurora tobogganing.


You don’t necessarily have to go with a guide to see the Northern Lights. With kids, I would take a pack of marshmallows and a thermos with hot chocolate, and walk to the aurora hut in the evening. The path is well marked, partly illuminated and maintained throughout the winter to allow walking without snowshoes. At the aurora hut, there is a fire and wood. There you can sit outside and wait to see the Northern Lights.

49,5€ /day-ticket for adult, 32,5€/day-ticket kids 7-16 years old, 42€/day Equipment set

Skiing in Saariselkä is very relaxed. We were there during school holidays in Finland, and we never had to wait for a lift.

The slopes are a little different than in Austria. There are many blue and red slopes, but the end of all slopes is steep. We felt that the end of many blue slopes was also red. As the winters can be very cold, there are a few kotas with a fire to warm up or grill a sausage. There are also camfires in several places.

70€ Adults, 40€ children

On the way from Saariselkä to Rovaniemi, we stopped in Luosto at jaakkola reindeerfarm. We had a 3 km reindeer sleigh ride through the frozen swamps and forests. Really beautiful!

After the ride, there was time to feed the reindeer and take pictures. We ended the visit in the warm kota enjoying a cup of hot berry juice and homemade cakes, while hearing interesting stories about reindeer herding and local culture. The children were impressed, and asked many questions.

€59 adults, €49 children

I wouldn’t miss Kotatieva Leisure park. I would definitely plan a whole day for it, because there is a lot of things to do there. What makes Kotatieva unique is their skating rink through the forest. In addition to skating, they have many winter activities such as ice bowling, sledding, ice hockey, kicksled, disc golf, traditional Finnish games, really a lot!! And all activities and materials are included in the price. Between the snow fun, you can rest in the warm Lappish hut and grill a sausage.

You can choose between a day ticket, a day ticket with sauna and hot tub, an aurora ticket (skating in the evening and dinner) or aurora ticket with sauna and hot tub. So definitely another item for your Lapland with children ´s bucketlist.

23€ family ticket

The Santa Sport spa can also be used by non-guests. the pool is not super big, but enough for a few hours of fun. There are also a few hot pools, a small jacuzzi and a plunge pool. Our children really enjoyed jumping from the hot pool to the cold plunge pool.

In total, we spent €4,000 on our winter trip to Lapland with children, so €1,000/person. Here is the overview for the excel lovers as myself:

I have not included the food in this amount, but in the evening we usually cooked something ourselves. We also had dinner in the restaurant at the Shell gas station opposite to SCV two evenings, but the prices there are very reasonable. If you go out to eat, it is best to do it for lunch. Almost everywhere you can find an lunch menu, in the form of a buffet including water, milk and coffee for about €12.

What do you think of this amount? Did you expect more or less?

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