With our passports in hand, our invitations from Father Christmas and a bag full of jingles we were excited to start our journey through the enchanted forest to LaplandUK
We began our journey in the enchanted forest where we met two special elves who told us where elves come from and lots of other facinating things. The area we were in was full of fabulous details that really set the expectations for the day.
After using some magic to activate the door to LaplandUK we followed our herder towards the toy factory.
The toy factory was brilliant with seating around the edges for big folk so that the little folk could sit at a work bench and help the elves prepare the toys. We heard more about elves and how they need to earn the golden bell for their hats and learnt that the elves need help creating more toys as the good list is getting long each year. The girls had great fun making the toys for the elves and really felt a sense of accomplishment when they had finished. We said goodbye to the elves in the toy factory and headed to Mother Christmas’s kitchen. As we travelled from place to place we followed snow covered paths that really put us in a festive mood.
In Mother Christmas’s kitchen we met three more elves before the little folk decorated gingerbread houses with sweets and icing and then sat down to listen to Mother Christmas tell the story of the gingerbread man. Mother Christmas made us promise not to give the gingerbread houses to Father Christmas and sent us off to explore the Elf village.
We were completely immersed in our experience by now having been taken on this wonderful journey from the enchanted forest through the toy factory and Mother Christmas’s kitchen meeting all sorts of delightful characters who looked and sounded the part. Everything looked amazing and as we walked around the corner into the elf village it took my breathe away.
With wooden shops, a blacksmith, a restaurant and even a post office plus snow everywhere you looked it couldnt have been more realistic unless we could actually build snowmen and have a snow ball fight. We were really impressed with the variety of souveniers on sale and they varied in price whilst not being too expensive which meant the girls were able to get themselves a few bits with the 10 jingles that they had. We then went in the post office and wrote a letter to Father Christmas which they posted and they even sent a postcard home for 1 jingle. After visiting the Elf Emporium and the post office they decided to visit Pixie Mixie in the Sweet Shop where they filled a cup of sweets for 3 jingles and then headed on to the ice. With lots of penguins and skates available in all sizes we never felt too crowded on the ice and had lots of fun.
After skating we went to see the huskys who loved being petted by everyone. Unfortunately we were running out of time so we couldn’t eat in the elf restaurant, instead we grabbed a bratwurst and set off on the trail to visit Father christmas. On the way we saw all of his reindeer which were happily lazing around saving their energy ready for Christmas Eve.
We checked in with one of the elves before being called by name to visit Father Christmas. We walked through another forest filled with snow covered trees and carfeully concealed pathways each marked with a different coloured ribbon tied to the trees. I am sure this was to ensure that our elf lead us to the correct Father Christmas and I thought that this was very clever way of doing it.
I have to admit that meeting Father Christmas was the only slightly disappointing part to our day. He was fabulous and in character and we got to spend quite a while with him but his cushion on his stomach was obviously square and it kept slipping (not that the girls noticed at all). This was the only slip up throughout the whole three and a half hours that we were there but it certainly didn’t spoil it for us and as we were getting ready to leave Elizabeth turned to me and said that it was the best day ever and LaplandUK was much better than the real Lapland! Certainly great praise from a notoriously hard to please child who finally believed in the magic of Christmas and told me that we saw the real Santa at LaplandUK.
The price of LaplandUK might put a lot of people off visiting and it does seem like a lot but it is on par with a trip to the theatre. With so many activities to take part in, plus the fact the kids get to keep the gingerbread house and they get given a fantastic cuddly Husky, as well as time for ice skating, meeting Huskys and Reindeer and all the immersive theatre I believe it is well worth the money. It is worth noting that a photo with Santa cost £15 (or 3 for £30) and a cup of coffee is around £3 which does add up but I would happily pay to return next year because it was the best festive experience we have ever had.