Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ruka: The Best Lapland Resort for Children

Boy in Tyre Ride with Title OverlaidIn March we were lucky enough to stay in Ruka Ski Resort, which is in Kuusamo, Finnish Lapland. It is a truly remarkable place and I strongly recommend that if you can, go. What this custom-made Lapland resort offers, in terms of magic and wonder, for little (and bigger) ones cannot be beaten. It has a depth and realism to it, with no plastic or gimmicks, that appeals to children of all ages. It is also really educational, you absorb so much about the culture and landscape just from being there. We found so many aspects about Ruka that made it family friendly, that we have written this guide on all the best bits for children.

If you are taking young children to Lapland, Ruka has everything you need. The first thing you will notice, is that there are no cars in the resort. This takes a big worry away from parents, because it's hard enough wrangling small children, without adding ice and snow into the mix! As you enter the resort in a car, you are taken down a small ramp into a huge underground car park, where you can leave your car, unload small children safely and take a leisurely trip in the lift to the surface. 

The entrance to Ruka village, with underground car park ramp.

Once there, you will find any number of restaurants and shops, giving you the option to choose whether to eat out, or enjoy a meal in your apartment, if little ones get too tired. We stayed in RukaSuites Ski Inn Apartments, which were so convenient for all the amenities. As well as having a supermarket and small parade of shops within the apartment building, the apartment was also a very short walk (about five minutes) from the centre of the village, giving almost immediate access to all the restaurants, playparks, shops, etc, as well as a very useful bus stop.

The front entrance to the RukaSuites Ski Inn Apartment Hotel

There is a free bus which is very frequent and will take you to the snow park, where there are lots of activities for children, including rides and toboggan hire, as well as children's skiing, with a dedicated ski school and equipment hire. All equipment is professionally fitted, to make sure it is safe for children and adults. L took part in a ski lesson and, at almost 12, he was one of the oldest, the children taking part ranged from about three years old and they were all really enjoying themselves. 

Young Skier Posing in Full Ski Wear

The Ski Inn Apartments all feature balconies, with beautiful views of the stunning countryside. It's a lovely way to spend an evening, sitting out under blankets and you can even see the Northern Lights, without even leaving the hotel. This is brilliant if you have little ones who need to sleep when the Aurora Borealis arrive. Even if they manage to stay awake to see it, they probably wouldn't be up to going outside to view the spectacle, so it's also a great way to see it together. We didn't manage to get any photos from our balcony, so here is one that L took on an expedition up Ruka mountain. 

The Northern Lights, taken from Ruka mountain, overlooking a snowy forest.

There are both indoor and outdoor play areas for children. I can't tell you much about the indoor play area as we didn't get a chance to check it out, but the outside playgrounds were great fun and we especially loved the ice playground. There was a big slope for sledging, as well as an ice slide built into the slope. The structures were beautiful, but simple, a smaller slide with steps, a tunnel and a little climbing frame, all made from ice, but what was lovely was watching the children making their own fun, instead of relying on complicated structures and inventions. 

A slide and tunnel made entirely from ice.

I think this sums up the ethos of the whole place for me. Children are encouraged to explore, adventure and discover, using what's around them. It's a brilliant way to get children outside and show them what's wonderful about nature. The people at the resort are amazing, there is always someone around to help, offer advice or just give a friendly smile and their English is brilliant too. The place is just naturally fun and there's so much to do, from toddler to teenager, no one is ever bored. Everything you see and do is different and fascinating and Ruka will capture not jsut your imagination, but also your heart.



  1. Looks like you had a fab time! I’d love to take my girls at Christmas

  2. Aww I've saved this, as I dream of one day taking the children to Lapland. It looks so magical :)

  3. Oh wow it looks amazing! Lapland is definitely on our bucket list!

  4. It sounds like a great resort. We're going to Lapland in December but are heading to Rovaniemi. However I'm sure it won't be our only visit so Ruka could be next on the list!

  5. What a beautiful place. It looks out of this world. My kids would love it here.

  6. It sounds perfect and looks beautiful. I would love to visit here with my children one day, pure magic

  7. Looks like you had ana amazing time here . We want to go for Christmas this year :)

  8. We stayed in Saariselka when we went and I have to admit we were disappointed by the accommodation. This looks fab

  9. This looks like an absolutely amazing place to stay. I'd love to be able to take the kids to Lapland one day so I've bookmarked your post for future reference :)

    Louise x


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