SantaPark Rovaniemi Finland

SantaPark in Rovaniemi, Finland -Review

Rovaniemi SantaPark in Finland is the only place where you can cross Arctic Circle underground. Here is our review of Santa’s home cavern.

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Because we travel to Finland every year to see our family and spend part of our year there, we are able to visit Lapland quite often. On one of our trips to Rovaniemi we went to see Santa in SantaPark Arctic World, and it was quite an experience!

SantaPark was a completely different kind of experience from anything else in Lapland in my opinion. It was engaging, fun and really well done. Not only did our kids have a lot of fun there, but we adults enjoyed it a lot too.

If you have never been to Finland, I can tell you that Lapland is the coldest part of the country. At the same time, it is also the most exotic place you will find there, and is definitely worth a visit.

There are many reasons for people to visit Lapland other than seeing Santa and his reindeer.

In the summer time you can experience the nightless night in the most beautiful setting. Fall on the other hand is a popular time to do hiking trips on arctic hills and see the foliage. And then of course, in the winter time, there are many kinds of snow activities like husky safaris, down hill skiing and ice sculpture contests.

Most people visiting Lapland hope to see the Northern Lights. But seeing them is not guaranteed and they only show up for the lucky ones. That is what we call the magic of Lapland!

Welcome to SantaPark sign in Rovaniemi Finland.

SANTAPARK ARCTIC WORLD

SantaPark is an amusement park built inside an underground cavern. The cavern was quarried into the bedrock 50 meters deep, and in order to enter the park, you will first walk through a long descending walkway.

Another place where the bedrock has been used to create a resort is Hotel & Spa Järvisydän in Rantasalmi. It is truly an amazing place, and definitely worth a visit if you are touring around Finland.

Walking into the Santa’s cavern was pretty exciting for the kids, since there were northern lights and some elf shadows reflected on the wall, and you could hear echoes in the air from the rock walls.

It was quite chilly underground, so even if you visit during the summer, you should bring some warmer clothes.

SantaPark was first opened in 1998, and it is usually open from June to the first week of August, and from November to the beginning of January. There are many fun activities and attractions in the park even though it is not huge.

Santapark is part of a bigger company called SantaPark Arctic World which also offers tailored trips to Santa Claus Secret Forest; Joulukka, accommodations, restaurant services, and conference & event services.

SantaPark entrance in Rovaniemi Finland
Santapark Rovaniemi Finland hallway to get in.
Walkway down to SantaPark
A fun fact; Santa's home cavern also serves as a safety bunker for local people in the event of an emergency. A total of 3000 people will fit in.

What to do AT SANTAPARK IN ROVANIEMI

When purchasing tickets, definitely check the schedule for the day in order to know what is going on. We happened to arrive right when the elves were starting their big show on the main stage, so we stayed and watched that first.

The Elf Show was very entertaining and even our little one watched all the way to the end. The elves of SantaPark are quite the acrobats, I would say! When the show ended, they walked in front of the stage to greet and pose for photos with the kids.

Elfs performing at Santapark, Rovaniemi
Elfs at Rovaniemi SantaPark doing acrobats in their show.
Our daughter with an elf hat at Rovaniemi SantaPark Selfie stand.

Right after the show ended, there was an announcement that the Elf School was starting soon, so we headed there next.

The Elf School was very cute, but we felt that it was a little long. Even so, the kids seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Two elves where running the school; one spoke Finnish and the other one English. The elves told us about their lives and duties, and sang with the kids.

At the end everyone got a diploma and an elf hat. So I guess I graduated too, since I got myself an Elf School diploma!

Elfschool in SantaPark Rovaniemi and their two elves.
An elf at Rovaniemi SantaPark Elfschool.

The only actual ride in SantaPark is the Magic Train which takes people into a snowy forest to see animals, and then on to the elf workshop. The ride is not very long and will also work well for smaller kids.

Since there were no lines to the train while we visited, we rode it twice. It really reminded me of Disneyland rides which are always well made. I wish that real train trips were this much fun!

Magic Train ride at SantaPark Rovaniemi.

SantaPark is said to be the only place in the world where instead of crossing over the Arctic Circle, one can cross beneath it. It is one cool thing you can do after you visit the Ice Princess in the Ice Gallery.

Before going in, you can bundle up with a long white coat which is much needed. I’m glad they gave us coats since I was dressed for the summer weather outside.

The gallery is full of ice sculptures and there is also an ice bar. We didn’t stay very long, since it was so cold there, but we did talk a little bit with the Ice Princess and took a couple photos with her.

Afterward you can purchase a Crossing Diploma which proves that you crossed the Arctic Circle Underground.

Ice Gallery and some of the sculptures at Rovaniemi SantaPark
Ice Princess at Rovaniemi SantaPark.
Blogger Paula sitting at Ice Gallery ice chair in Roveniemi SantaPark.

After that we went to meet the star of the park: Mr. Santa Claus. He was sitting in his office waiting for kids to come see him.

Meeting Santa is always exciting, and the kids were happy to tell him their wishes already during the summer. He promised he would come all the way to California to visit us! And of course we got our picture together with Santa.

We did not purchase the photo package they were selling, but Santa Claus didn’t seem to mind that we took a few pictures ourselves. Santa’s Office is probably the busiest place of the park!

Then we headed over to Mrs. Gingerbread’s Bakery to decorate some gingerbread cookies. We also stopped by the Post Office where you can send some Holiday Cards stamped from the Arctic Circle.

Santa Claus at SantaPark Rovaniemi Finland.
Decoration at SantaPark in Rovaniemi

The last thing we did before leaving was to visit at the Elf’s Workshop. I loved it that they actually had this old fashioned arts and crafts corner where kids were able to make Christmas ornaments. It actually seemed to be the only place that was a little bit crowded.

We painted some elves and we nailed them on the wall of the workshop room together with an elf. Some of them we brought home.

Elf crafts that kids have made at SantaPark Rovaniemi.
Our daughter sitting by a Christmas tree at SantaPark Rovaniemi.
If you like knitting, here is your chance to add a bit to the long scarf that decorates the tree.

We did not eat at SantaPark, but we did have some coffee and local pastries. Upstairs from the cafeteria, they have the Angry Birds Activity Park, so while we adults were still sitting there and sipping our coffee, the kids ran over to play.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes to the elves and start waiting for the return of Christmas.

Andry Bird Park in SantaPark

ROVANIEMI SANTAPARK IN FINLAND – OUR REVIEW

We really liked SantaPark and all the activities they had. The place is pretty unique and the kids had so much fun there.

All the elves and staff were so friendly, and their shows were great. I was especially happy that they had crafts and things that the kids got to do themselves. They had a good variety of things for kids of all ages, even for the littlest ones.

We didn’t really know what to expect when we went in, but we were pleasantly surprised. The park was clean and well kept, and also accessible with a stroller.

SantaPark is not huge, so I’m not sure how crowded it gets during the Holiday season. We were there during off-season and in the middle of the week, so it was very slow. We didn’t have to queue for things very long.

Even though we were there at summer time the ambiance in Santa’s cavern was lovely and we were truly able to discover Christmas spirit there!

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There is so much to do in Rovaniemi even after you are done with SantaPark. Another great place to meet Santa is Santa Claus Village which is located right next door. There you can also meet his reindeer or do some souvenir shopping.

If you are visiting Rovaniemi in winter there are many snow activities and tours you can do. One of the best ones is the Northern Lights tour. Or you can stay a night in SnowHotel or a glass igloo and try to see the northern lights that way. We stayed in a glass villa in Kemi and loved it!

Anytime of the year, Rovaniemi is beautiful! We have also been there at summer times when you can enjoy the midnight sun. On our last trip drove all the way up to Norway to visit Arctic Ocean and Alta Rock Carvings which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our Finland Travel Resources
If you are visiting Helsinki read about our favourite hotels or the day trips you should make from there!
And if you are heading to Lapland, here is everything you should know about Santa Claus Village or SantaPark in Rovaniemi.

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📞 If you need data during your stay then Airalo works well in Finland.
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🗺 When looking for tours we use either Viator or GetYourGuide. They are both great.

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14 Comments

  1. Rovaniemi Santapark really gets you into the Christmas spirit! Even an adult will have a great time there! I love the idea of the Elf School – a diploma and an elf hat are great souvenirs to take home with!

  2. Oh I so want to visit this place with my daughter! The elf show looks hilarious, the magic train looks, well magical and ice bar looks awesome although I rekcon that’s probably the last place I want to be during the winter… LOL! The elf workshop sounds like to much fun. Definitely something my daughter would love as she loves arts and crafts.

  3. This Santa Park looks great and seems like you guys had a lot of fun. I would love to visit the Elf School and do that train ride. My kid has been into elves lately and he would be thrilled.

  4. There could be no better way to spend Christmas holidays than finding Christmas spirit at Rovaniemi. I love that place. While I couldn’t go during the Christmas period, I still loved it. Undercrossing of the arctic circle and meeting the Santa were my favourite things.

  5. This Santa Park in Finland really goes all in! I’ve never seen any Santa places take the Christmas symbol and make so much – from the show to the elf school to the arts. It just looks like an all around good time for everyone in the family, including a princess that might turn to ice! It’s good to know that the high admission price was worth it.

  6. The Santa Park in Finland seems like the ultimate place to visit for Christmas. The elf school sounds so cool too. I thought that’s something you can only see in a movie. I would definitely want to visit this place for Christmas in one of the next few years! 🙂

  7. Elf school?? I’ve never heard of such a thing, but what an adventure that must have been! I’m guessing that it was super fun, because it takes a lot to hold kids’ attention for long periods of time. The little wooden santas look really cute. Sounds like a great place to take kids and get into the Christmas spirit!

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