Planning to visit Lapland UK this year? Then here's our top tips on how to make the most of this magical day
As Lapland UK prepares to open its doors (on 17th Nov -24th December 2018) - for the 11th year running we thought we would give you the inside track on all the things you need to know to ensure you and the family have the most magical day.
Don't worry we won't be giving away any of the magic, fun and treats in-store this is a practical 'how-do' list to ensure you arrive with some tried-and-trusted insider knowledge.
Lapland UK is structured in three sections: The first 90 minutes is an interactive experience which includes the Elf Welcome, toy making and gingerbread cookie decorating. Then there is another 90 minutes of free-time in the winter wonderland where you can ice-skate, grab lunch/dinner and refreshments and explore the christmas village. From here you then begin your journey through the Elven village to your scheduled visit with Farther Christmas (never Santa!) in his log cabin.
BOOKING & BEFORE YOU GO:
* Register for priority booking so you get a first choice of date as tickets go on Sale in September so book early to ensure you get the day, time and offer you want. Visiting in November and going midweek can be the most cost effective options.
* The whole Lapland UK experience lasts for 3 ½ – 4 hours. Bear this in mind when booking your slot and especially for younger children who may need feeding and naps. We suggest a lunchtime slot (around 1.30pm) that way you see Lapland UK in day and as its gets a little darker towards the end. (See not above about how the days is broken down to plan your time)
* At the time of booking you can also personalise your visit. This makes the visit to Father Christmas even more magical when he knows the younger guest names, favourite toys, friends and what they want for Christmas. Here you can also flag if you have bebn before to ensure children get an alternative gift from previous years.
* It's also worth considering pre-paying for Lapland Jingles. Lapland jingles are the currency used around the village, in the stores and at the must-visit Elf Emporium. Each Lapland Jingle is worth £1. They can also be purchased upon arrival and any unused coins can be exchanged on departure.
* Once your tickets arrive - which is a special box with a letter inviting you to Lapland UK - ensure you make this all part of the experience. The Lapland UK founders suggest placing the box in the freezer to give it that just arrived from the North Pole effect.
* Wear warm clothes - preferably layers you can easily remove. Whilst mainly indoors you will be exposed to the weather when walking between areas and for the bulk of your free time at the winter wonderland - so best to be prepared. You are also on your feet for a large chunk of it - bear this in mid and opt for comfy shoes or boots.
ARRIVING & GETTING READY:
* Don’t be late! Aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before you are due to enter Lapland UK. The carpark is huge and is a little walk form the entrance. This ensure you don't feel rushed and can gather all your coats, scarves etc. Remember you cannot reschedule your time slot and you will have join your allocated party at whatever point in the tour they are at.
* Taking small children? Although all of Lapland UK is buggy friendly if you can go without one - do. It will makes things much easier.
* Upon arrival you will be told whether you are a husky or a reindeer. Standing by that door ready will of course give you the best seats for the first part of the tour - into the Elves Enchanted Forest and Woodland. You will also be given your Elf Passport (for collecting stamps as you explore) and a special pin badge. This is also the time to collect or exchange your jingles, take a toilet break and if enough time, grab a cuppa.
THE WINTER VILLAGE:
* The first part of the tour involves your welcome into the elf woodland and the story of Lapland UK, then its on to the toy workshop and then gingerbread decorating and storytelling. There will be lots of standing at this point.
* The middle part of your tour will be in the Winter Village. Here you have plenty of time to eat and take a break. The Elf Restaurant serves up hot and cold food, cakes, refreshments and festive treats. It's spacious and a great place pitstop to catch a breather.
* This part of the tour also allows for some ice-skating - there is a queuing system but it moves pretty quickly to ensure everybody get a chance to skate.
* Don't miss a chance to meet the huskies, take some photographs and of course, shop. The Elf Emporium is where you will find the biggest selection (you can see our edit here of the new toys that have been added), Mrs Bauble's shop, Pixie Mixie sweet shop and visit the post office.
* The post office is a delight in itself and here children can post a letter to Father Christmas and of course, get their passport stamped.
GOOD TO KNOW: Ensure you have purchased everything you want from the shops as you cannot return here after your Father Christmas visit.
THE MAIN EVENT & DEPARTING:
* Enjoy the village and don't rush the experience but keep one eye on the time for your schemed visit to Father Christmas. Although running a little late doesn't seem to be an issue - as we the whole of the Lapland UK tour you never feel 'herded'. It's a little walk through Elven forest up to log cabin that is home to Father Christmas.
* Here you will first enter the Compass Study. Basically it's a check-in area so they know you have arrived - and also the last chance to update the personalisation details to ensure a magical experience upon meeting the main man himself.
* The visit with Father Christmas is relaxed and beyond magical. You are not rushed, there is time for chatting, photographs and memories. As part of the experience you are gifted a professional photograph upon leaving which is presented in a card frame - which is a great touch as this is usually extra charge.
* You can of course purchase more pictures or additional items like the Lapland UK scrapbook in the final shop at the exit. Here you can also buy clothing and accessories for your Husky dog (which is your Lapland UK christmas gift) - last chance to get rid of these Lapland jungles too.
Remember the Lapland UK Christmas Experience. It's True.