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visit santa in lapland It's hard to imagine a bigger Christmas treat than going to meet Santa in his home in Lapland. I'm not thinking of a fly-by-night, fake Lapland in the New Forest or West Midlands, but the real Finnish Lapland, a frozen winter wonderland of deep snow and pine forests above the Arctic Circle. You need to catch the children at the right, impressionable age, and it's expensive. So you're only likely to go once - and you therefore want to get it right. With the wide choice of options available, it's easy to mess up. I've gone on two pre-Christmas Lapland trips, and while one was magical, the other turned out to be a disaster. Here's what you need to know: Look for deals Few families would regard flying the children out to Lapland in the run-up to Christmas as an essential holiday. Therefore, in these times of financial hardship, demand for Lapland trips has fallen, and tour operators have reduced their programmes. Even so, the holiday companies are still struggling to sell all their Lapland holidays for this Dec-ember - and that means there are deals to be had. Visit Santas Lapland Holidays for an excellent deal I found. I'm looking at a discounted offer from The Dream Travel Group for a three-day, two-night break in the first week of December. Including flights, accommodation and activities, for a family of four with children aged six and seven it comes to ÂŁ1,450 - a reduction of about ÂŁ470. Expect more of the same from other companies - particularly if you leave booking until the very last minute. When I took my family on a three-night break to Lapland a couple of years ago, the highlight for all of us was not in fact meeting Father Christmas. More memorable were the snow-mobile and husky-dog rides, the tobogganing in the deep, pristine snow, and just being somewhere so otherworldly, where in the -middle of the day you get a bluetinged twilight, and where it's very, very cold. To appreciate all this properly rather than fleetingly - and perhaps see the Northern Lights - you need to stay for a couple of nights or more. Though short breaks are naturally more expensive than day trips, I think they are better value, especially if you are able to find a good deal.

An example: I'm looking at another offer from the same company on a three-night Sleigh Bells Ringing break, which has an impressive amount included (all meals, lengthy husky and snowmobile rides), for ÂŁ699 adults, ÂŁ549 children.

Visit Santa in Lapland  

It's hard to imagine a bigger Christmas treat than going to meet Santa in his home in Lapland

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