Monday 10 December 2018

Santa's Secret Cottage Review, Kuusamo, Lapland

Santa, seated with title overlaid
Travelling to Lapland to meet Santa is something many parents dream of for their children, so it's really important to find out as much as you can before booking your Lapland trip. If you are  planning to make the journey, or even thinking about it, here is the low down on what to expect when you visit Santa's Secret Cottage, which is about a 30 minute drive from Ruka, Kuusamo. We visited Santa there in March, as part of our trip to the Ski resort in Ruka and wanted to share our experience, to help you know what to expect and to prepare for this exciting part of your Lapland adventure.

We stayed in a lovely Ruka Suites apartment at the Ruka Ski Resort and the bus collected us from right outside. The tour was arranged via Ruka Safaris who are experts at arranging all kinds of activities, from snow mobiling to husky rides, to ensure you experience the best that Lapland has to offer. You can read more about the trips you can book with Ruka safaris in our previous posts; Finnish Lapland Part One and Finnish Lapland Part Two. It is definitely a good idea to look into other excursions while you are staying in Ruka, as there is so much to do there and it's worth making the most of the time you have in Lapland.

A very snowy entrance to Ruka Village, taken from up a hill.

On arriving at Santa's Secret Cottage, we were met by some of Santa's elves. We were travelling in quite a large group, as part of the Reima #MillionHoursofJoy trip, but everyone was easily accommodated and there was plenty of room for all the children. The first activity was sledging. On the Ruka safaris website it says that the physical activity level is easy, but the sledging was situated down a very steep hill, which might prove difficult for people with mobility difficulties, as it did for me. However the elves were brilliant about it. I left my son in the hands of a very good friend, so he could enjoy the sledging, and I was invited into Santa's cottage for a nice cup of tea with Mrs Claus, who was very welcoming. Here I am, sitting (although I didn't know this at the time!) in Santa's very own seat, oops!

Female seated in a wooden cabin, with a spinning wheel in the background

The sledging was a lot of fun and afterwards, the children enjoyed hot chocolate and sausages in a cabin, served by the elves around a roaring fire. After that, all the children were called inside to meet Santa and Mrs Claus. Santa's secret cottage was cosy and welcoming, with a long wooden table and chairs, a sofa and small Christmas tree. I felt it looked exactly as I had imagined Santa's home would. There were all the home comforts you would expect to find in someone's house, including Mrs Claus' knitting! The Christmas tree wasn't the most impressive sight, but I think it was in keeping with the theme of Santa's humble dwelling, there was nothing ostentatious, it was all very understated and quaint.

Santa seated, laughing, next to a small Christmas tree.

All the children were seated on a rug in front of Santa and Mrs Claus and he began telling them about his life and his role delivering presents to the world. The children, who were of many different ages, were absolutely captivated. Our large party consisted of children from a lot of different countries and Santa spoke to many of them in their own languages. He was very detailed in his explanations and was happy to answer all the children's questions. He also posed for photos and was extremely patient and funny.

Santa, seated in front of a small crowd of children, talking to a little boy at the front.

After meeting Santa and hearing about his life, it was time to enjoy cookies, chocolates and drinks from the elves' kitchen. There was an abundance of food and drink and the elves were very friendly and efficient in making sure everyone had what they wanted. It was lovely to have some time to just sit in the cottage and absorb the atmosphere with our friends. The children were all very excited and their was a an amazing sense of wonder on all their faces. One of my favourite aspects of this trip was that it was never rushed, everything happened at a laid back, leisurely pace and it felt as if Santa had all the time in the world for us.

A little boy receiving his gift from Santa.

After everyone had eaten and had a look round the cottage, including the gift shop, which had some lovely small wooden items, as well as cuddly toys, postcards, and other souvenirs, it was time for everyone to receive their gift from Santa. First, Santa taught everyone to sing a traditional Finnish Christmas song, then each child was called up to receive their gift and a personal postcard to take home. Santa posed for even more photos and didn't seem to mind at all. Mrs Claus got on with her knitting, which was fair enough, that scarf wasn't going to knit itself! This marked the end of our amazing adventure to Santa's Secret Cottage and we loved every minute of it. The atmosphere was wonderful, and fulfilled everyone's expectations of what meeting Santa would be like. We were there for a few hours and it was well worth the journey, if only to witness the sea of faces filled with total awe and wonderment. I really hope you get to make the trip, it really is the experience of a lifetime.



  1. I would love the look of this cottage and would be lovely to spend Christmas there big time.

  2. This sounds like a fantastic experience and its great that the children weren't rushed and got lots of time to spend with santa and mrs claus! I would love to take my children one day!

  3. Oh wow this looks amazing! I so want to take the kids one day!

  4. We did this last year and it was magical. Would love to visit again

  5. It sounds amazing, my children would love something like this. I bet it was magical x

  6. Oh my it looks so magical! My girls would love to go here . Maybe next year :)


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