- The awe in my kids' faces when seeing the aurora borealis
- Fresh air and quiet stillness of the frozen lake
- Driving the snowmobiles
- The dancing lights (auroras)
- Exploring the lake to find the biggest snowball
- Adjustable beds in the igloos
Prepare in advance
Book a family igloo and dinner in advance, especially if traveling during popular times.
Good to know
Depending on the snowmobile safari provider selected, there may be age limits on what the kids can do. Check before booking. They will have fun being pulled behind in a sled, but if your kid really wants to drive one, find a provider that has mini snowmobiles for your kid's age. Also, there is a shuttle to the igloo hotel.
Recommended time of the year
In northern Lapland, the aurora borealis shines about every other clear night between September and March. In southern Finland, they are visible about 10-20 nights per year.
You can save money by sharing a snowmobile and swapping drivers halfway through. The igloos are expensive, but worth it.
About This Day
Head north to the Arctic Circle and experience the northern lights in Finland with kids and much more. Start the day off at Rovaniemi's Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park. Then, hop on and cruise through Finland's beautiful forests on snowmobiles. Along the way, breathe in the cool, fresh Arctic air. Next, make your way to the Arctic Snow Hotel and Glass Igloos to explore the frozen lake and hit the sledding slopes before the evening show. Lastly, take in the aurora borealis in the comfort of your own glass igloo. It is quality family time at its best, with a little something for everyone.
The Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park offers multiple snowmobile providers and areas to practice riding before embarking on an adventure. The guides are patient when answering questions and great at teaching nuggets how to safely operate the machine. Once everyone is comfortable, take a family trip through the woods. Age permitting, the kids drive their own mini snowmobiles and adults either ride together on a big one or take two snowmobiles. Our guide led us on an amazing adventure, giving us time to drive freely around a big area, and helping us when my husband rolled ours. Be warned, this trip is so much fun the kids will almost certainly ask to buy a snowmobile when returning home.
DIRECTIONS This is part of the Santa Claus Village. It's a short walk from the cabins if you're staying there, next to the Reindeer Park.
Behind the Arctic Snow Hotel & Glass Igloos is a lake that is frozen in the wintertime, and a great place to explore with your kids. The hotel has sleds and other equipment that you can use, but even just a simple walk out on and around the lake is a fun activity. It also makes for a great spot to have a snowball fight and take some unique pictures. The day we were there, there was a race going on and there were lots of people cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, running and walking around. There were a few active warm-up huts around the lake with people who were willing to let you sit and warm up a bit.
DIRECTIONS At the Arctic Snow Hotel & Glass Igloos, head to the back of the property at the bottom of the sledding hill.
TIP If you get done exploring the lake, the hotel has two good sledding hills. You can also go explore the Snow Hotel and feed the hotel's resident reindeer as well.
It is hard to put words to something this awesome. Seeing the aurora borealis in and of itself is very cool, but nothing beats watching the northern lights in Finland (and the stars) from the comfort and warmth of your own bed in a family glass igloo. Bigger than the normal size igloos, it has four twin beds, which are adjustable (and declared by our nuggets as the coolest beds ever). Each igloo also has a nice, private bathroom, mini-fridge and two comfortable chairs. There was plenty of room for luggage as well. The igloo also has an aurora alarm (which works) that will go off if the auroras come out to dance. While there were not a lot of kids there the days we were there, they were more than accommodating to our little nuggets. We were fortunate to see auroras both nights we were there. If there's a show, you won't get a lot of sleep, but it will be worth missing that night's rest.
DIRECTIONS From Rovaniemi, the distance to the hotel area is approximately 35 km (21 miles). You can reach the hotel by car, taxi or by arranging transportation with the hotel.
TIP Despite all of the glass in the igloo, there is still enough privacy to feel comfortable. Be careful at night if the lights are on, as there may be a reflection on the ceiling that can be seen from outside. The hotel has a few restaurants with good food, other than that there's not much else nearby.