Planning on going to Lapland UK? Ashley at Netmums visited the Christmas attraction in Berkshire. Read our review to find out everything you need to know, plus whether it's worth the money
How to get tickets
Tickets for Lapland UK go on sale on Monday 20 March 2023 at midday. You can join the virtual queue from 10am. Prices range from £59 to £149.Book here
Lapland UK is one of the most popular family Christmas activities in the UK. Ashley, here on staff at Netmums, visited with 3 children to experience it and write about what it's like for parents.
Get the real scoop with her first-person insights, whether it's worth it and a full review. If you've already booked your tickets, scroll down for tips for visiting Lapland UK with kids.
What is Lapland UK?
Lapland UK is an immersive theatrical experience near Ascot. (It's about 1.5 miles from Ascot station and there's free parking onsite.)
Once you book tickets, you're invited by Santa to help the elves prepare for Christmas. It aims to be an immersive experience about the Father Christmas story. Think of it as a walk-through origin story for Santa.
What is the Lapland UK experience like?
When you arrive you're directed to the appropriate car park for your time slot. You need to aim to arrive 30 mins before, as it takes time to get parked. The experience lasts about 4 hours .
As soon as we arrived, we bought an elf hat for each child for £10 each in the gift shop at the entrance. At the end of the experience, they get a bell from Santa to add to the hat.
When you arrive, you check in with your family name. At this point I would buy your 'Jingles'. Jingles are money you can give to your kids to spend in the gift shop. In 2022 the exchange rate was £1 = 1 Jingle.
If you're on a budget, you can avoid buying Jingles and just rush your kids through the gift shop at the end. But if you want to indulge in the gift shop experience, you probably need to give your children 20 Jingles each.
Who is Lapland UK good for?
We visited mid-November 2022 with a 9-year-old, 4-year-old and 3-year-old. I think the optimum age is probably 6-8 . While all children really enjoyed the day, the younger children sometimes lost concentration and the older one picked holes in the magic, like the snow which obviously isn’t real snow.
How much does Lapland UK cost?
First of all, let me say it is not a cheap experience – you could probably visit the real Lapland for a similar price. It cost us £530 for a family of 4, which included our spend on food / drinks / petrol / Santa photos / gifts / sweets / elf hats.
It is possible to visit with a smaller budget, but you'll need to plan ahead, especially with travel and incidentals. (The elf hats are sooo cute, though, we're really happy to have opted for them.)
Tickets are hard to get, so we followed on Instagram and signed up for release dates. We bought on 21 March 2022 for £115 per person. ( Sign up here to get early updates to snag tickets for 2023. )
What food is there at Lapland UK?
Lunch options are pizza, burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese and chips. Lunch will be around £10 per person. There is also mulled wine, hot chocolate and alcoholic options.
What to wear to Lapland UK
I would suggest you dress your children in layers (most of the experience is outdoors) and wear wellies (it’s a bit muddy even if it hasn't rained). For younger children I would bring a snack and drink, as it takes a while to get to the gingerbread eating part and smaller children were very hungry.
Is Lapland UK worth the money?
The whole experience is very professional: All the sets are designed well and you move from autumn to Christmas via 'snow'-covered tress. The staff remain in character, even when no one is around. I actually heard 3 elves alone talking – in character!
Your child gets her or his passport stamped at each activity.
You help the Elves make a snow leopard for all children. They help Mother Christmas, aka Mrs Claus, make gingerbread in Mother Christmas' Kitchen. And you all write a letter to Santa.
There's an ice rink and enough of those penguins for balance to help the smaller children. Both of the smaller children with us got a chance with a penguin.
There are also photo opportunities with huskies and you can feed the reindeers.
Tips for visiting Lapland UK
I would suggest for your hour and a half in the Elven Village: ice skate first and eat after, as most people eat first and that would have helped avoid the crowds, such as on the day we visited.
Before you attend the event, you fill in details about your children, which Santa references, making it all the more personal. Santa was very good, when we visited each child got a little husky toy.
I would suggest if you want to keep the magic alive, you hide the snow leopard they get at the end of the experience and wrap them up from 'Santa' at Christmas. The 9-year-old kept trying to look in the bag.
Before we met Santa, in the waiting area I combed the children's hair, then reapplied my makeup in the toilet. I'm glad that since we had planned to purchase the photo with Santa, I took a few moments to do that.
A note about booking your slot
A friend and I agreed to try to book for each other, whoever could get them first. That meant we did get tickets, but because we had the same booking slot both families had to see Santa at the same time, so our photo is joint. If you'd prefer not to do that, book a slot for your family alone.
The Netmums verdict
I would recommend the experience at Lapland UK. I thought it was worth the money, if you compare it to other festive outings such as, say, attending the theatre – although it is a premium experience with a price tag to match.
If this review has your interest piqued, you can find all the details for booking Christmas 2023 here3 .
Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8BD
How I visited Lapland Finland on a budget
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