This weekend we were lucky enough to visit LaplandUK for the second year in a row and I was a little bit sceptical to see if it really was as magical the second time around. Parking up in the forest and following the signs to the enchanted forest through lots of little woodland paths started to bring back memories and the girls were really starting to get excited.
We checked in with one of the elves and as we had visited before the girls were given a special little elf cuddly toy to keep. They were also given their Elf Passports and I was invited to the exchange desk to purchase some elf jingles. Now elf jingles are the currency whilst in the elf village and the exchange rate is £1 to 1J. You are not able to use pounds whilst in the village but they are able to accept jingle payments via card. Don’t worry about buying too many jingles as they can always be exchanged back into pounds at the end of your trip.
Whilst we waited for our departure time we sampled one of the local elf baked delights and enjoyed a nice hot drink to warm us up ready for our journey.
On our journey through LaplandUK, we were to meet many elf friends and we started off in the forest where we were introduced to Eco, the elf who cares for all of mother nature. We learnt all about where elves come from but I won’t spoil the surprise. The forest glen really transported you away and the sights, sounds and smells soon had you believing that you really had left the hustle and bustle of the check in station far behind you.
After performing some magic and opening the doors to Lapland, we were taken via the snowy paths to the toy factory where the children had to help the elves to put together stuffed reindeer and wooden teddy bears. The toy factory was full fo amazing things to look at such as a countdown to Christmas, a toy list on the wall and lots of different toys all waiting to be finished and packed off into Santas sleigh.
After helping the elves to finish their toys it was time to head to Mother Christmas’s kitchen where the children were invited to decorate Gingerbread men on the strict instruction that they were not to share them with Father Christmas. After all, he is growing sideways tall, which is how I feel after one too many gingerbread too. We listened to a story and even a little song by Mother Christmas’s elves before we were led on our way to the elf village.
The Elf village is my favourite place of all and you really feel as though you have been transported to Lapland. In fact, as someone who has actually been to Lapland I think that LaplandUK actually looks more Christmassy! The elf village is full of amazing places to visit such as the bauble shop, the sweet shop, the post office, the elf emporium and the restaurant as well as the fabulous Ice Skating area. With around 90 minutes to explore this wonderful area we couldn’t wait to get started but we were soon distracted by the gorgeous Husky dogs and their herders.
Once we had finished stroking the Huskies we headed to Pixie Mixies Sweet shop where the girls decided to spend some of their jingles. There was a huge selection of things that you could buy but they opted for a pick n mix cup each which cost 4 jingles. They managed to fill them to the top with their favourite sweets so they were very happy with their purchases.
After our visit to the sweet shop, we popped into the Bauble shop where you can buy special baubles for your tree and even get personalised ones too. We then went into the Elf Emporium which was full of toys, ornaments and games to buy. Here you could purchase the toys that the children had been making in the toy factory or buy something else to remember your time at LaplandUK. Alison spent the rest of her jingles on a wooden harmonica whilst Elizabeth bought a few smaller items including a little craft set where she could colour in her own Christmas decorations.
Next up we headed into the Post Office where the children can write their letter to Father Christmas. There was paper and pencils to use and the elves give the children a special wax seal to keep the letters shut before they are popped through one of the letter boxes. You can also buy and post a postcard from here and also purchase personalised present sacks which I got last year.
Before we headed on to the ice, we followed our noses into the elf restaurant. We didn’t visit the restaurant last year but the smells coming out of the door were too much to resist and we soon found ourselves enjoying an early dinner. Mother Christmas’s Christmas Pie was delicious and I would definitely recommend it. All of the food was hot and fresh and there was enough of a selection that I had difficulty choosing what I wanted.
With full bellies and happy smiles, we decided to spend the rest of our time of the ice. The sun was starting to set so the effect of the elf village was even more magical as the lights twinkled in the trees and the snow glowed. The girls were both naturals on the ice and when we finally had to come off to go to visit Father Christmas they both declared that they want to go ice skating again very soon.
The last part of our journey took us through the snowy woodland paths, past Father Christmas’s Sleigh and the reindeer enclosure, and finally to Father Christmas’s hut nestled deep within the snow-covered forest.
The girls faces lit up as Father Christmas mentioned their favourite things and recent events and even though they are at that age where they are starting to doubt, you could see that the magic was alive in their eyes as he spoke.
We may not have much longer before they lose their ability to believe but if bringing them to LaplandUK can keep the magic alive then I would happily pay to bring them back each and every year because being in this magical place even has me wondering, is Father Christmas real?