Exploring Santa Village in Summer
Updated: Sep 18, 2023
One of the top destinations for most tourists visiting Finland, Santa Claus Village near the city of Rovaniemi in the Finnish Lapland, is a famous stop for families, young people, and people of all ages to experience the magic of Christmas and meet Santa Claus himself during the winter. However, what happens during the summer in this location and the city of Rovaniemi? What are the main activities that visitors can enjoy? Is it still worth visiting the village?
That is why I decided to go and find out during one of the hottest days of the year with an unusual temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. Sofia Ahvanen, from Visit Rovaniemi, joined me and guided me on this adventure.
First, let's explore the origins of the Santa Claus Village, also known as the Arctic Circle. Within the village, there is a small cottage known as the "Roosevelt Cottage," currently serving mostly as a souvenir shop. This charming cottage, situated adjacent to the Santa Claus Main Post Office, holds historical significance as the oldest building in Santa Claus Village. It was built in 1950 to commemorate the visit of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to the Arctic Circle.
First, they introduced me to" the man of the house", Santa Claus that was sitting in his welcoming room together with his elves. Everyone can meet him, and it's free (what they make you pay for is the photo with him, if you want to have it).
Santa told me that his life revolves around meeting visitors from all over the world and conversing with them throughout the year. Unfortunately, during the winter when visitors are more crowded, it is not possible to spend too much time talking with them. However, what he appreciates during the summer is being able to have longer conversations with his guests.
In the village, there is also a husky breeding facility where they take visitors to sled dog races during the winter. In the summer, the dogs are mostly resting, They sometimes organize dog-pulled rides with summer sleds (limited to no more than 3 people) where the huskies can pull the sled. Joona Heinonen, who works with huskies, took me around the park and introduced me to some of the dogs, including newborns just a few weeks old.
Very close to the husky's area, there is an area where you can pet, feed, and learn more about the reindeer. I personally did not know that much about reindeer, and the person in charge, Johanna Kiviniemi, guided me while sharing her passion for reindeer. She told me happily, 'The reindeer are our friends, and we treat them as such.' Each reindeer has a name, a story, and someone who takes care of them”.
The Santa Claus Village is responsible for a collection of letters from many years ago. Some are kept in Santa's house, where visitors can read them, while others are stored in the Post Office. The Post Office functions as a post office also for the locals, but with the addition to allow visitors to send letter requests to Santa himself.
Elina the elf informed me that they have a vast archive of letters in Oulu, and they read all of them. However, due to the sheer volume of letters, it is impossible to respond to each one individually. They prioritize responses for schools and hospitals, but they make every effort to answer as many letters as possible.
It was fascinating to discover that Santa Claus Village attracts a significant number of Finnish visitors more during the summer, surpassing even the winter season which all people from around the world come and visit. This unexpected experience offered a delightful surprise, with a wide range of activities and a pleasantly moderate number of tourists. If you're seeking to relive the enchantment of Christmas in an unconventional time, Santa Claus Village is undoubtedly a recommended destination. A special thanks to Visit Rovaniemi for the opportunity to immerse myself in the complete experience, for providing me with lunch, and for arranging the majority of the summer activities in the Village.