Last year we visited Lapland UK and we said we wouldn’t return until Little E was old enough to understand and enjoy the Christmas magic. So you can image Darren’s surprise when I was bugging him to take us again this year. I had looked into Breakfast with Santa at Colchester Zoo again but the increase in price meant there wasn’t that much difference in going there or Lapland UK. The bonus with Lapland UK is that Ethan would get the chance to ice skate again as we are allowed on the ice wearing our snow boots and therefore able to support him.
So on the 1st of December Ralph and Roxy, our elf on the shelf, arrived not only with advent calendars but with very special invitations for Ethan and Little E. The invitations were from Father Christmas inviting them to visit him at Lapland UK.
Ethan wasn’t very excited at first but as soon as Little E was up he excitedly babbled to her about the letters and Father Christmas.
After a long journey we arrived at the Elf forest and was transported to Lapland UK.
Our first stop was at the toy factory to help the elves build the toys. We made a reindeer and wooden horses before singing with the elves.
The next stop was to help Mother Christmas make gingerbread.
I knew from last year that Ethan would enjoy the activities but I was pleasantly surprised how much Little E got involved. She had a fantastic time playing the instruments and tasting the gingerbread!
After the set activities Ethan was able to take to the ice again, this was the highlight of the day for him last year and he was eager to get back on the ice.
Whilst Ethan was busy on the ice Little E was enjoying running around the elf village. She loved her freedom!
After being completely worn out by both children we left the elf village early to make our way through the forest to see Father Christmas.
Little E wasn’t happy about this and nearly cried the whole way as we walked to visit Father Christmas.
Our time with Father Christmas was my highlight. I did think that Little E would cry when we met him as she really wasn’t in the best mood and very tired. Thankfully she didn’t but we didn’t dare take her out of her buggy. Ethan was amazing with Father Christmas and was very excited. Our time wasn’t rushed and Father Christmas happily talked to both children even though he didn’t get much back to work with.
So did we enjoy our second visit to Lapland UK?
We did but having a toddler to entertain is tiring and makes it a very different experience. We did think the activities last year were better, we only made one toy last year so had more time singing in the Toy Factory. There was also singing with Mother Christmas that we didn’t do this year. We had a much smaller group last year on our tour and I’m wondering if perhaps the tours are running late they change them as required. We only noticed this because it was our second visit, I don’t think it would have taken your enjoyment away if this was your first experience.
We felt there was more attention to detail with the snow and trees this year, the paths were longer and wound into the trees more. This is what makes the visit to Lapland UK so special for me, I loved there was more snowy trees to walk through. The village was set out differently but we didn’t get to look around as much as we did last year.
We also didn’t eat there this year as we took a packed lunch with us which we ate before our tour started. This saved money and time. Prices for food are expensive in the village but then they have a captive audience and I wouldn’t say it was any different in price from eating out in a theme park.
Ethan enjoyed the ice skating but it was very slippery this year, this could be because it had rained on the Monday night. It also wasn’t as cold this year which might have had an impact.
This year you visited the reindeer before visiting Father Christmas, last year it was after. I preferred this as it added time to your walk in the snowy forest.
Our visit with Father Christmas was a perfect end to our day.
Will we return to Lapland UK?
Next year we have decided that we want to try a different Christmas experience with the Children. Lapland UK has been perfect for Ethan because how the day is staged means there is now queuing, which for us means no distress. If we do return I want Little E to be older to enjoy it more and be able to take part in the ice skating.
Lapland UK is a very expensive experience but if you break down what it is included in the price of the child’s ticket I don’t think it is that bad if you pay the lower price for tickets. I do think that you shouldn’t be charged for the photo with Father Christmas, I think that should be factored in to the adult price. You also pay the same price for a child over one when they clearly can’t take part in all of the village activities. I think that perhaps children under two or three should be a lower rate.