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Family snowshoeing in Finland

Family Christmas Adventure Challenge in Finland 2022

Challenge level: 2 out of 5

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When can I go?

17 December - 24 December 2022 Sold Out
Duration 8 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info $187
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

Family Christmas Adventure Challenge in Finland 2022

Prepare for the best Christmas of your life! This magical family adventure challenge gives you the chance to ski, ice-skate and snowshoe through the sparkling Arctic wilderness, build igloos as a team and even meet Santa Claus and his Elf!

That’s not all! You’ll embark on a private husky safari, earn your reindeer driving license and learn Arctic survival skills, like how to light a fire without matches and use it to cook a meal.

No Christmas is complete without family games, and we’ll play a collection like no other. Ever tried playing Finnish baseball in the snow with a rubber chicken? How about participating in the Monkey Olympics? You will now, with loads of fun team-building activities to strengthen your family bonds and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

You’ll bake gingerbread with Santa’s Christmas Elf, ice fish with our Arctic experts, relax in a traditional Finnish sauna and spend a night sleeping in the igloos you’ve built.

What’s more, every night, our Arctic Experts will watch the sky to see if the conditions are right for the Northern Lights to dance for us. If we’re really lucky, we’ll experience the Aurora Borealis, a breath-taking display of nature few people ever get to see!

Sustainable travel 
Dream Challenges and our partners in the Arctic believe nature is the most important thing on this planet. Our amazing local challenge leaders do everything they can to ensure the lakes, forests and natural beauty can be enjoyed and preserved now and for generations to come. See our FAQs to learn more.

Your itinerary

Day 1
UK - Kuusamo, Finland | Flight to Finland, Challenge Briefing and Games

We kick off our Family Christmas Adventure Challenge at the airport in London, where we gather as a group for the first time and catch our flight to Finland.

Touching down in the winter wonderland of Kuusamo in the late afternoon, we’re welcomed off the plane by our amazing local guides. Together, we transfer through a snowy paradise, no doubt feeling as if we’ve been transported into a Christmas film. As the snowiest area in Finland, Kuusamo makes the perfect setting for our Christmas challenge and we settle down at a cosy lodge, nestled in the countryside.

After a delicious Welcome Dinner, our evening ends with a briefing from our expert Challenge Leader, followed by games in the sports hall.

Every Night - Northern Lights Hunt
Every night, our Arctic Experts will watch the sky to see if the conditions are right for the Northern Lights to dance for us. If we’re really lucky, we’ll have the option to turn the evening activity into a Northern Lights Hunt and experience the Aurora Borealis, a breath-taking display of nature that few people ever get to see!

Day 2
Gear check, Monkey Olympics, Arctic Animals and Ecosystems

Waking to a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we check our gear with our local guides to ensure everyone has what they need to stay warm, dry and comfortable throughout the adventure. We check our warm clothes, shoes, ski boots, basic adventure gear and safety gear and if you’ve chosen to hire specialist gear, you’ll receive it now.

One we’re confident and happy with our gear, we embark on our Monkey Olympics! Prepare for a team-based outdoor sports activity that combines physical and mental challenges with a fun twist and friendly competition. Stepping out into the snow, we work together in the World Championships of Monkey Drive to beat the previous winners’ records! Then it’s time for Finnish baseball with a rubber chicken! This hilarious game brings us closer as a team and leaves us breathless with cardio and laughter.

After tucking into a group lunch, our Challenge Leader opens our eyes to all the amazing animals that live in the pristine lakes and forests of Finland, including moose, reindeer, wolf, lynx and a variety of bird species. We’ve specially selected local guides that share our care for nature and the environment and this intro to Arctic animals will give us special insight into how to respect the local habitats to protect the wild animals that live in them.

All clued up on the theory, we’re ready to experience the lakes for ourselves. Famously known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, Finland has a whopping 187,888 of them! Needless to say, it doesn’t take us long to find one – there’s one right next to our cabin, the perfect place to sit, learn about the life inside them and enjoy the silence of the forest. We also have the chance to do a spot of ice fishing!

Chilled from our trip to the lake, we warm up by relaxing in the lodge’s sauna and tucking into an enriching group dinner. We spend the evening learning funny Finnish words and enjoying more team activities that help us form new bonds and grow closer as a group.

Day 3
Ice Skating, Igloo building, Movie night

Here in Winter Wonderland, Finns learn to skate before they can walk, so after breakfast, we borrow quality ice hockey skates and helmets from our Arctic team and learn to ice skate like the locals!

A tasty lunch then fuels us up to build the bases of igloos together! We gather an enormous pile of snow and let it freeze and harden overnight. Tomorrow, we’ll build the rest of the igloo, but for now, our work is done.

We settle down for dinner and another sauna, before finishing the evening with a movie night. Our local guides have an awesome collection of Finnish nature films and cultural classics with subtitles for everyone to enjoy – they’re a great way to spark discussions about the local way of life – past, present and future. Alternatively, you’re welcome to bring your own movies to watch.

Day 4
Outdoor cooking, Arctic Survival, Igloo Building and Night in an Igloo

We’ve learned so much about Finland already, but now it’s time for the best lessons yet: Arctic Survival! After breakfast, we practice some of the most important survival skills needed for living in the Arctic, like making fire without matches. We put our new skills to the test, working together in our family groups to make our lunch over open fires that we build ourselves. After all that work, lunch has never tasted sweeter!

This afternoon, we get to finish building our igloos! It’s no easy feat, challenging us both physically and mentally, but think of the celebration once it’s finished! After all, no igloo build is complete without a housewarming party for our new snowy dwellings!

Tonight, after our dinner and sauna, half of us get to sleep in the igloos we’ve built. You’ll stay plenty warm with the four-season sleeping bags we provide. If you prefer the feel of a bed, you’re welcome to stay in the lodge instead and end the day with an optional games night.

Day 5
Cross-Country Skiing School, Santa visit, and Night in an Igloo

Waking to breakfast at the lodge, we wrap up warm and get out into the snow for a cross-country skiing lesson! Our Arctic guides show us the basics and if you’re already an experienced skier, they’ll give you their top tips to bring your skill to the next level. Now we’re confident to ski into the wilderness with our guides. We hear nothing but the sound of our skis as we venture through miles of sparkling snow, exploring the spotless fields, forests and lakes – an experience we’ll never forget.

Having worked up an appetite, we return to the lodge for lunch. Then, we get a real Christmas treat – a visit from Santa Claus and one of his Christmas elves! Santa has sweet teeth, so we bake some delicious gingerbread for him. The elf helps you choose the best decorations and shows you all his baking secrets.

We all know that Santa’s a very busy man this time of the year, so he can’t stay for dinner. It’s just us tonight and after our meal and sauna session, the other half of our group can sleep in the igloos we’ve built, while the rest enjoy a games night at the lodge.

Day 6
Snowshoe Expedition and Camp Lunch

Make sure to eat a big breakfast, as we have a big day ahead! We pull on the quality snowshoes we’ve hired and set off into the wilderness for a snowshoeing adventure. These special shoes help us to walk through the deep snow and keep us on top as we journey cross-country through more of the forest. Even the smallest children can take part. If they’re unable to snowshoe, we can carry them in a special sledge, so they can just kick back and enjoy the ride!

Spending a full day snowshoeing, we’ll get to explore miles of untouched woodland where few humans have roamed. Remember to listen and look out for the Arctic animals we learned about on our first day. We stop for a warming camp lunch and hot drinks along the way to keep us energised and raring for more!

All things must come to an end, so we return to the lodge in time for dinner and a very welcome relax in the sauna. We end another perfect day with optional indoor sports and games, all of us sleeping in the lodge tonight.

Day 7
Husky Safari and Reindeer Farm

After breakfast, we have the special chance to meet a team of beautiful huskies and enjoy a husky safari! The adults will drive the sledges, where the children sit comfortably under a warm blanket.

Our private team of huskies will take us on a breath-taking ride through snow-covered forests, lakes and fields, far further than people can travel alone in one morning. At the end of the safari, you can snap some pictures with the huskies, before we fuel up with lunch.

What kind of a Christmas adventure would this be if we didn’t get to see reindeer too? This afternoon, that’s what we’ll do, heading to a reindeer farm to feed the animals and talk to the herder. You also have an opportunity to earn your own reindeer driving license!

NB: Our ground partners have built relationships with animal handlers that have the same core responsible tourism values as we do, so you can rest assured the huskies and reindeer are very well cared for and never overworked or underfed.

We’ve finally come to the end of our adventure, so tonight we sit down for a fantastic farewell dinner and award ceremony. We tuck into exquisite food, reflect on our unbelievable experiences and enjoy some final team activities.

As if our adventure couldn’t get any better, we even get a second visit from Santa and his elf! Every lucky child gets a Christmas present, delivered by the parents to the elf beforehand.

Day 8
Kuusamo – UK | Free Morning and Flight to the UK

This morning is free for us to lie in as long as we want, relax at the lodge and use the sauna a final time, before our local guides transfer us to the airport in the afternoon for a late afternoon/evening flight back to London. Touching down in London later in the evening, we part ways for home and a very good rest in the relative warmth of the UK!

Funding options

Adult, aged 18 years old+

Pay the registration fee (£125) and challenge costs (£1,699) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £195).

$2,548

Challenge costs, not including airport taxes

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £125 per person.
  • Pay your non-refundable flight supplement of £250 plus your airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £195, not included in challenge costs) by 23rd September 2022
  • Pay the remaining challenge balance of £1,449 by 4th November 2022.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £195), your food, accommodation, reindeer farm visit and husky safari, transfers, guides, equipment and medical support.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £195) and winter gear rental (approx. £109pp)

Child, aged 8-17 years old

Pay the registration fee (£125) and challenge costs (£1,250) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £195).

$1,875

Challenge costs, not including airport taxes

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £125 per person.
  • Pay your non-refundable flight supplement of £250 plus your airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £195, not included in challenge costs) by 23rd September 2022
  • Pay the remaining challenge balance of £1,000 by 4th November 2022.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £195), your food, accommodation, reindeer farm visit and husky safari, transfers, guides, equipment and medical support.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £195) and winter gear rental (approx. £109pp)

FAQs
Family Christmas Adventure Challenge in Finland 2022

This family adventure is most suited tor adults and children from 8 years and above. Children younger than 8 are welcome to join too and further discounts will apply - they will be able to take part in most activities. Please just get in touch and we'll be happy to arrange this for you. Email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 431094 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm). 

It's the perfect Christmas adventure to bring families closer together and make amazing new friendships with other adventurous families. There's no maximum age limit.

This amazing Christmas Family Adventure is suitable for people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. No training is required, but the fitter you are, the more likely you are to enjoy the physical activities, like snowshoeing and skiing.

Why not get started now with these awesome indoor training ideas you can do as a family?

We have given it a difficulty rating of 2 due to the long hours spent in sub-zero temperature conditions, but we make sure all participants have adequate gear to do this safely and comfortably.

No, absolutely not!

We don't expect you to have previous ice skating, snowshoeing or skiing experience. The activities are designed for beginners, with lessons to teach you the basics and a slow pace when we venture out into the wilderness. It isn't down-hill skiing, but off-road skiing.

Both Dream Challenges and our local partners in the Arctic believe nature is the most important thing on this planet. Our amazing local challenge leaders for the Family Christmas Challenge in Finland 2022 do everything they can to ensure the lakes, forests and natural beauty can be enjoyed and preserved now and for generations to come. See their full pledge here.

Our local partners have built relationships with animal handlers that have the same core responsible tourism values as we do, so you can rest assured the huskies and reindeer are very well cared for and never overworked or underfed.

Our local partners are committed to supporting both travellers and our local economy in a way that respects the best interest of all parties. The money goes where it should go: to the local guides, bakers, fishermen and women and other small producers and local partners that make you feel part of the community.

Your registration fee of £125 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £1,699pp for adults aged 18+ or £1,250pp for children aged 8 - 17 years old, cover:

  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £195).
  • Dinner or snack on Day 1, depending on flight arrival time.
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on Days 2-7.
  • Breakfast on Day 8.
  • Accommodation and all camping equipment for the optional night in the igloos*.
  • Snowshoes, skis, ice skates, sledges, backpacks, cooking gear and utensils and ice fishing gear.
  • All transfers in Finland.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first-aid trained Finnish/English speaking expedition staff and Dream Challenges guides.
  • Visit from Santa Claus and his elf.
  • Reindeer farm visit and private husky safari with animal handlers that have the same core responsible tourism values as we do.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead up to and during your challenge.
  • Medical support.
  • Your Family Christmas Adventure Challenge in Finland 2022 medal and t-shirt.

Please note, the challenge costs do not include airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £195) and winter gear rental (approx. 109€)

*No single supplement is available, but each participant will only share with their own family.

In addition to paying your registration fee, you will need to budget for:

  • Your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £195 but subject to change – up or down).
  • Additional specialist winter gear required for the challenge hire (109€ per person, to be booked and paid for in advance - we will let you know when bookings for this are available). The hired gear includes:
    ● One set of thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
    ● Woolen socks
    ● Fleece
    ● Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
    ● Down jacket
    ● Winter boots (suitable for snowshoes)
    ● Small hat + big hat for extra cold weather
    ● Gloves + mittens
    ● Buff
    ● Balaclava
    ● Head torch
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities & personal expenses.

All the special gear (like outdoor cooking gear, camping equipment, snowshoes, cross country skis, etc.) will be provided and are all included in your challenge cost.

However, you do need to come prepared for a variety of weather conditions in the Arctic. 

We strongly recommend adventurers who don't own suitable outdoor clothing (like Winter Boots, thermal base layer, etc.) to hire these from our Arctic experts at an additional cost. Please just get in touch with us upon booking your challenge to reserve your gear package. Suitable sized equipment for children of all ages is available. Call us on 01590 646410 or email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com

The gear hire is at an additional cost of £109pp, so please make sure to budget for this. The hired gear includes:

● One set of thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
● Woolen socks
● Fleece
● Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
● Down jacket
● Winter boots (suitable for snowshoes)
● Small hat + big hat for extra cold weather
● Gloves + mittens
● Buff
● Balaclava
● Head torch

We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to take on the challenge well before your departure date and we'll have a gear check on our first day to make sure you have everything to keep you warm and comfortable enough for the planned activities.

We'll spend most nights at the adventure lodge in the stunning countryside of Kuusamo. On one of the nights, you have the option to sleep in the igloos we've built, with all camping equipment provided to keep you cosy. However, you can sleep in the lodge if you prefer.

Once a public primary school, the guesthouse has been newly renovated to provide clean and cozy, standard-level accommodations. The dorm-style rooms have bunk beds with a maximum occupancy of six people per room with private bathrooms. No single supplement is available, but you'll only share rooms with your family. Bed linen, towels and access to the traditional wood-heated sauna are included. See video and pictures here.

Due to the capacity at the lodge we can only accept bookings from a maximum of 5 families per trip so book early!

All camping equipment for the igloo is included and designed especially for Arctic conditions, to keep us warm and dry.

All the food is included, according to the outlined programme:

  • Dinner or snack on Day 1, depending on flight arrival time.
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on Days 2-7.
  • Breakfast on Day 8.

The menu typically consists of typical Finnish foods, which are sourced as locally as possible. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, and will give you plenty of energy.

If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know at least 60 days before the challenge and we'll be happy to arrange this for you. Email us at customercare@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Finland, simply get in touch and we can find flight options for you.

Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 17 weeks before our departure date by emailing us at customercare@dream-challenges.com or calling us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am- 5pm).

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.

Dream Challenges has a provider detailed in your Welcome Pack, which you will receive shortly after booking your challenge, which provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. You can also call us for details on 01590 646410 during our office hours (9am, 5pm, Monday - Friday).

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a ice skating, snowshoeing and skiing holiday in Finland.

Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.

Currently, UK nationals don't need a visa to visit Scandinavia. We'll let you know if this changes.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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