Did you know you can meet Santa Claus every single day during the year in his office in the Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle just outside Rovaniemi city? Only on Christmas Eve he is not in his office due to certain reasons…, but he returns again on Christmas Day to talk to visitors from all over the world.
The Arctic Circle and the Santa Claus Village are situated approx. 6 km:s north from the city center of Rovaniemi near the road number 4 that goes to Ivalo and Inari. You cannot miss it with the spectacular roofs on the buildings. The building with Santa’s office inside has the special Santa’s picture on the roof.
In the Santa Claus Village (link with a lot of information, also a live cam from Santa’s office; not always working, sorry) you can cross the Arctic Circle for the first (or the last?) time in your life. The Arctic Circle is marked on the ground in the middle of the village and also with a blue wire between the houses in the village to be seen also in winter time when the ground is covered with snow.
Your crossing of the Arctic Circle can be documented by an Arctic Circle crossing diploma you can buy at the Information desk.
The main building is of course the Santa Claus office where you can meet Santa Claus himself. On your way to see Him some days there might be a long queue, but I can assure you there is a lot to experience and look at on you way to your goal and the queuing is done inside the building so you do not need to worry about any minus degrees outside and how they would affect a waiting. You can learn the story of how it is possible for Santa to visit all children all around the world in just one night. On calmer days of the year there is supposedly no queue at all and you get to meet Santa right away.
As you enter the special door to Santa’s inner office the excitement and expectations are of course high. Everything depends, of course, on how interested you actually are in meeting Him. You should not bother if you do not believe in Santa….The whole atmosphere inside Santa’s office is like a fairy-tale and you’d better live a fairy-tale yourself to get the most out of the visit.
Santa speaks a lot of languages, like Chinese and Japan, but you must not be disappointed if he does not know your own language. The meeting is still a success. His warm eyes and his smooth voice and the feeling when you can sit close to your “idol” are everything needed for the success.
During your visit you will be asked by a photo elf to smile and a photo is taken of you as you meet Santa Claus. The meeting is also video recorded from the beginning to the end. The length of your meeting is very much depending on how long a queue is waiting outside the door. I, myself, had the great opportunity to meet Santa for the first time on a day with no queue at all, and that made my day! I will never forget that.
On your way out from the inner office you will meet elves who give you the opportunity to buy this special photo or get the video stored on a USB memory stick to take home with you. But this is absolutely optional.
Outside the Santa’s office there are several buildings in the village with a lot of Christmas related things to buy for your own memory or as gifts to take home with you, and Christmas carols are played on the loudspeakers every day of the year!
There is also the special official Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, from where you can send some greetings with the special Santa’s stamp on. You can actually choose when your card should reach the addressee; this Christmas or the next. All the letters from children all over the world to Santa arrive to this Post office and Santa reads them all. At Christmas 2012 Santa received over half a billion letters. He has several elves to help him answering the letters. This year he has sent 43,000 letters to 231 different countries. Everyone, who wants gets an answer from Santa! The address is: Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, Santa’s Workshop Village, 96930 Arctic Circle, but from the letters shown in the Post Office you can see addresses on them like: Santa Claus, Finland or Santa Claus, Arctic Circle, that have also reached the right “person”.
So far, the elves have found 184 countries from which Santa has received a total of nearly eight million items in the past 20 years. The address to Santa Claus is: Santa Claus, Tähtikuja 1, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle, Finland.
On the evening before Christmas Eve Santa Claus turns up outside the office to leave for his trip around the world. He is followed by thousands of people taking farewell every year.
Depending on the winter, how much snow there is and of other reasons, there are also built several “icy” devices around the Santa Claus office. Sometimes there is an ice café and sometimes a “snow village”. Everything to give the visitor from foreign countries the real feeling of snow and winter.
In winter time outside in Santa Claus Village there is always an ice slope for children and this is very popular. Even so that the experience to slide down this slope is remembered by many children all over the world to be the thing they remember most from the visit to Santa Claus Village. That depends a lot on how the fairytale has been dealt with and the Christmas spirit is built at your home and told before the visit. You could say the parents have a great deal to cope with depending on how they want the visit to be remembered afterwards….Am I right?