One of the true wonders of the world, seeing the Northern Lights should absolutely be on everyone’s travel bucket list. There’s nothing quite like watching the sky turn from an inky blue and fill with absolutely mesmerising colour. Whilst many would consider this a trip more suited to adults only, it doesn’t have to be. A trip to see the Northern Lights can be so much more than just that and with the best time to spot them coming up shortly, there’s no time like the present! We’ve gathered up some of our favourite suggestions for how to turn your Northern Light hunting trip into a family holiday that you’ll all be talking about for years to come.
See The Northern Lights
Let’s start with the main event, the biggest one; spotting the Aurora Borealis. Watch nature’s greatest light show as the sky turns various shades of colour from green through to white. To give yourself the best chance to spot the Northern Lights you’ll need to visit when the darker nights are there, giving you a season that lasts from September all the way through in to May. Many believe that the Autumn Northern Lights are some of the best to see so it’s worth trying to plan your trip around the Autumn months if you have the flexibility. There’s no knowing when the lights will or won’t appear as they can come and go within moments and may not be visible for nights on end. Whilst you may spot them at any point in the evening on your own, there are also specialised tours which can take you out to hunt them down and help maximise your opportunity to witness them. And whilst it may be a very late night for little ones, it’s a real chance for them to see something completely magical!
Traveling to Iceland to catch the Northern Lights in October or November sounds like a great idea. Before you go see and experience the magic, take care of the practical stuff from choosing the dates for viewing the lights to making reservations for a camper, etc. Try this informative guide, especially if it’s your and your family’s first time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights.
Stay In An Ice Hotel
If you’ve got mini fans of Anna and Elsa, then re-enacting their Frozen dreams by staying in an ice hotel for the night is the perfect holiday treat. Whilst the thought of staying in ice may sound a little nippy, the reality is that inside they’re cool but not icy! You’ll sleep on mattresses or reindeer furs to keep you warm, use regular bathrooms and have access to communal areas with slightly more home comforts. Or, if you’re not sure about splashing out on a night, consider visiting during the day to see what they’re like as many hotels offer this. The general consensus seems to be that ice hotels are well worth a visit but that staying beyond one night really isn’t necessary, so go, experience, enjoy and then retreat to the warmth and comfort of more traditional accommodation!
Go Husky Sledding
Try something new, harness up the pack and head out on a husky dog sled ride. Whether it’s an afternoon or a couple of days, there are plenty of husky sled rides that cater for families of all ages. Wrap up warm and let the dog pack pull you along through beautiful landscapes and terrains that you’d never normally venture across. You can even watch and learn how to drive your own sled if you’re feeling particularly brave! Thanks to the fact that husky sled rides tend to take you out into nature and away from the lights of cities, you may even be fortunate enough to spot the northern Lights whilst you’re out there – imagine!
Meet The Wildlife
What family holiday would be complete without a trip to see some animals? If you’re in the area, it’s worth visiting the world’s most northernmost animal park for a real up close experience with artic animals. From wolves to reindeer, bears to moose, this is guaranteed to be just a little different to your average wildlife park! If you’re travelling with older guests or children (those 18+ years of age) the up close meeting with the wolf pack looks to be a truly unforgettable experience.
Spend Time With Santa Claus
Seeing the big guy is just reserved for Christmas time – get those Christmas wishes in early so that the elves have plenty of prep time and pop by in the Autumn. Visit Santa at his official hometown, Rovaniemi in Lapland and enter Santa Claus Village which is open every day of the year. Toward the end of the Autumn period, one month before Christmas, is when the village really gets busy as Santa declares the Christmas season officially open. Unless you really want to experience crowds, a slightly earlier trip will help bring the magic in a slightly less bustling way!
I so want to go and see the Northern Lights, though I think it’ll be just me and Si if we do eventually, as I love the sound of a chilled teen free cruise to see them when the boys are a bit older ha!