The countdown to Christmas has begun, and with it comes all of the exciting activities and events popping up across the country. As Christmas is such a busy time of year, you might not have the time to pack your suitcase and hop onto the next flight to Lapland, so why not opt for the next best thing; a staycation featuring all of the festive fun of Lapland, right on your doorstep here in the UK.
Not sure where to start? No problem, because Gousto, the renowned recipe box company has done all the hard work for you and mapped out a luxury Lapland experience right here in the UK. This really is the ultimate Christmas adventure for you and your family, and who knows, you might even run into Santa Claus!
You might not have time to visit Lapland itself, but why not visit the next best thing right here in the UK. Lapland UK is a 4-hour immersive experience, exploring the original story of Father Christmas and the secret world of the elves.
For the price of the ticket, kids get a whole host of activities to try, from making their own toys in the Elven Toy Factory, printing their own Elf passport, ice skating and a beautiful memento to cherish and remember the experience by.
Taking place in Whitmoor Forest, Lapland UK is open each year from November, through to Christmas Eve. Search for Lapland UK online.
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
This really is the ultimate Christmas activity! Winter Wonderland is situated in the heart of one of London’s most famous landmarks, Hyde Park. Boasting an array of winter markets, festive fairgrounds, ice skating and cosy wooden grottos, even if you can’t make the trip to Lapland, you’ll find plenty of Christmas fun right here.
If you’re a Christmas foodie, then Winter Wonderland has so much to offer. From street food with a festive twist, to mugs of warming glühwein and hot chocolate, there’s something for everyone here.
If a sprinkle of festive magic is exactly what you’re looking for, then the new Magical Ice Kingdom contains a 45-metre ice slide, so perhaps go on this before indulging in the festive foodie treats!
As you make your way down from the Magical Ice Kingdom, you’ll find The Secret Forest. The Bavarian theme wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory steins of German beer and gigantic Bratwursts.
Visiting with friends? Hire one of the cosy Bar Hüttes which come complete with an inbuilt karaoke machine, so you can channel your inner Mariah whilst having a festive sing-a-long.
Blithbury Reindeer Lodge
For a truly Lappish experience, why not take a trip to the Blithbury Reindeer Lodge. It’s a very ‘hands-on’ experience, with visitors being encouraged to stroke and fuss the reindeers which is a completely unique experience!
One of the most exciting attractions at the lodge, is the Scandinavian sleigh rides. These traditional sleighs are pulled along by the reindeer and visitors can have a short ride for a Christmas treat!
If you’re looking to buy a few gifts to go under your Christmas tree, then Comet’s Christmas shop is filled with beautiful Christmas decorations and handmade gifts, some even created from the antlers dropped by the reindeers over the year. Search for Blithbury Reindeer Lodge online for more info.
Husky Dog Sled Rides
Have you ever imagined the thrill of being pulled along on a sled by huskies? This is one of the amazing excursions available in Lapland, but what about in the UK?
Just outside of Tewkesbury there’s a company offering just this! Arctic Quest offer sledding adventures, where you can zig-zag through the woodland landscape of the River Avon. It’s a very hands-on experience and you will learn all about the amazing huskies and have the chance to take control as you zoom through the countryside. Search for Arctic Quest online to find out more.
Indoor Skiing and Snowboarding, Manchester
Lapland plays host to some of the longest ski and snowboard runs in Finland, which makes it the perfect destination for advanced skiers and snowboarders alike. If you’re not a brilliant skier, or your technique is a bit rusty, it might be worth booking a lesson at the indoor ski slope at the Chill Factore in Manchester.
If slipping and sliding down a slope sounds less than appealing, then why not pay Santa a visit in his grotto made from real snow! An amazing Lapland-esque experience awaits! Just search for Chill Factore Manchester online.
The Ultimate Sauna Experience, Sherwood Forest
Make your way to Center Parcs for the full Finnish sauna experience. This sauna is nestled in the treetops of Sherwood Forest, boasting amazing views you won’t find anywhere else (well, except maybe Lapland itself).
The traditional Finnish sauna boasts a whole host of health benefits and mood boosting properties, which is why they are such a popular pastime in Scandinavia. Did you know there are more saunas than cars in Lapland? Search for Aqua San Spa at Center Parcs online.
Enchanted Christmas, Gloucestershire
Christmas is all about enchanting experiences and this is true of the Enchanted Christmas attraction in Gloucestershire.
Take a walk along the sensory trail which twists and weaves through the Arboretum’s glorious trees which has been especially illuminated in kaleidoscopic colour. Keep your eyes peeled, as these trees are dotted with surprises!
Christmas choirs line the trail, serenading you with songs and carols as you take in this wonderful woodland experience.
The Enchanted Forest takes place every weekend in December, up until the weekend before Christmas, so there’s still a bit of time to enjoy this magical experience. Search for Enchanted Christmas Gloucestershire online.
Did you know that in Lapland, the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) are visible for at least 200 nights each year? For a luxury stargazing experience in the UK you just need to know where to go for the darkest skies.
Across the UK, Dark Sky Telescope Hire offer unique, luxury stargazing experiences which are perfect for couples, families and small groups. The company have sought out the best stargazing locations in the UK, perfect if you’re a budding astrophotographer looking to capture some amazing shots of the deep night sky.
December can be tricky for spotting the Northern Lights, so be sure to double check before you book. Search online for Dark Sky Telescope Hire.
We would like to thank Gousto for putting together this wonderful Christmas ideas list of where to go and what to do. And, don’t forget that Gousto can supply all your special Christmas recipe boxes.