Ski Saariselkä & Santa’s Resort in Finland

My family and I were finally able to try out snow skiing and snowboarding for the first time in our lives at Ski Saariselkä Sport Resort in Finland two weekends ago.  I ended up with a nice bruise on one of my butt cheeks from it for the past 2 weeks, but all in all it was a very fun experience for all of us!! We also went on a ski lift for the first time… and boy oh boy was that hilarious!! I fell off the side trying to get off and lost my blue winter hat in the process which went flying down the ski slope never again to be seen! 😦 So, if anyone finds a nice light blue winter hat that has a Helsinki tag on it… it’s mine! My husband also banged up his legs trying to get him and Mia off safely… my goodness, we were a complete mess trying to get off that darn ski lift!! Leave it to the family from Florida to show everyone how to do it so gracefully! Ha Ha! Oh well, we can now say we’ve tried it, not successfully, but we survived… barely! Another check off the bucket list! 🙂

We first tried out snow skiing with a very nice ski instructor named Leen.  It was a great experience to have snow skis on our feet for the first time. It was a little difficult to walk at first, but we managed to go skiing down a little part of the bottom of the slope! The next day we tried out snowboarding.  We were exhausted from all of the excitement of staying up late the evening before to see the amazing northern lights, so my husband and I didn’t do as well.  But, to our surprise, Mia was a natural!! She had so much fun and we couldn’t believe our eyes when she kept successfully going down the little part of the slope and even slightly turning at the bottom.  She looked like a little surfer girl with her arms stretched out on that snowboard…We were so proud and amazed!!  All in all, this was a very fun experience for us and something we will never forget.  We would love to try cross country skiing one day as well.. it looks a lot less scary and much more peaceful!!

Here are a few photos from our first experience snow skiing and snowboarding:

Mia with a pair of snow skis on for the first time!

Mia was so happy to have a pair of snow skis on her feet for the very first time!

 

This is Mia with our ski instructor Leen, learning how to stop.

This is Mia with our very patient ski instructor Leen, skiing down the slope!

 

This is me trying out snowboarding for the first time!

This is me trying out snowboarding for the first time! It was much more difficult than I thought it would be!

 

Mia and her daddy on the ski lift... so happy right before all the excitement happened trying to get off! :)

Mia and her daddy on the ski lift… so happy right before all the excitement happened trying to get off! 🙂

 

Mia and I at what felt like the top of the world (well almost)... we were north of the arctic circle!

Mia and I at what felt like the top of the world (well almost)… we were north of the arctic circle!  That is also my blue hat I lost after falling off the ski lift!

 

I had a lot of fun trying out snowboarding for the first time!

I had a lot of fun trying out snowboarding for the first time!

 

This one is a bit blurry (forgot to change the settings).  This is our family with our amazing ski instructor, Leen! :)

This one is a bit blurry (forgot to change the settings). This is our family with our amazing ski instructor, Leen! 🙂

 

Santa’s Resort:  After our ski lesson on Friday, we made it back to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort where we stayed and they had transportation (a quick 5-minute drive) ready for a group of us to experience their Santa’s Resort. We were greeted by a very friendly elf and were taken to feed some of Santa’s reindeer. We were then taken up a pretty snow lined path to where we could see Santa in front of a cute little cottage and he was standing next to a real reindeer!! Mia starting screaming “Santa, Santa, Santa!!” It was a pretty cool sight to see!  We were then able to take photos with Santa and his reindeer and then went inside his cute cottage. Mia was able to sit on Santa’s lap and he gave her a present. The cottage had a cute desk where letters from children around the world were displayed. It also had a room where Santa’s sleigh bed was and a very cozy fireplace in the living area.

We were then taken down a beautiful wooden bridge where you could get a great view of the Celebration House (Finland’s largest log building which is used for special events).  We enjoyed a nice warm juice drink and some tasty gingerbread cookies inside the stunning Celebration House.  Here are a few photos from our experience at Santa’s Resort:

Mia and I with Santa and one of his reindeer at Santa's Resort.

Mia and I with Santa and one of his reindeer at Santa’s Resort.  What a neat experience!!

 

Our Family with Santa and one of his beautiful reindeer! I believe this may be a photo for our Christmas card this year!

Our family with Santa and one of his beautiful reindeer! I believe this may be the photo for our Christmas card this year!

 

Mia with Santa in his cottage. He gave her a nice gift as well!

Mia with Santa in his cottage. He gave her a nice gift as well!

 

I love this shot of Santa walking in the distance!

I love this shot of Santa walking in the distance with all of the snow all around him!

 

This was a very unique building on the property!

This was a very unique building on the property at the end of the bridge!

 

You can go gold panning here in the summer.  Mia really wanted to do that, but of course it was frozen!

You can go gold panning here in the summer with Santa’s elves. Mia really wanted to do that, but of course the river was frozen!

 

Mia and I with the beautiful Celebration House in the background.

Mia and I with the beautiful Celebration House in the background.

 

The Celebration House on the property is absolutely stunning!

The Celebration House on the property is absolutely stunning!

My family and I really enjoyed our weekend trip to Saariselkä, and truly had the time of our lives! We can now mark two things off our Red Pin Adventure  Travel Bucket List:

Try snow skiing

Try snowboarding

For more information about Ski Saariselkä and ski/snowboarding lessons, please visit:

Ski Saariselkä Sport Resort

For more information about visiting Santa’s Home, please go to:

Kakslauttanen – Santa’s Home

To view my earlier post from this same trip about seeing the northern lights from a glass igloo, please visit:

Seeing the Northern Lights through a Glass Igloo

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