Seeing the Northern Lights with kids

What does responsible travel recommend?

The younger the child, the less fascinated they will be with the lights – and even less so by the hours of waiting in the chilly, Arctic darkness. When seeing the Northern Lights with kids, families should travel as much for the destination as for the lights themselves, and basing the trip out of a town can provide more entertainment options. Well-planned daytime activities – including snowman-building and Santa for littluns, and cross-country skiing for teenagers – ensure they enjoy the trip as much as their parents, and are active enough to keep warm. Reindeer sledding, tobogganing and igloo building will keep all ages entertained for hours. In general, Arctic destinations are safe, with low crime rates and good health facilities. The cold is the number one problem – be careful on icy roads, and ensure kids are well fed and properly dressed.

Activities for families

What to do with little ones

Reindeer sledding is as delightful for adults as it is for children. Lapland has some wonderful winter landscapes – from frozen fjords to snow-capped mountains, pine forests and deep river valleys – so you can make the most of it during daylight hours as well as learning about traditional Sami culture along the way.
Say "winter holiday" to a child – and they will think "Santa Claus." Fortunately for kids – and their parents – it’s Christmas year-round in parts of Lapland, particularly in the Finnish town of Rovaniemi, where letters addressed to Santa tend to end up. If you're seeing the Northern Lights with kids in Alaska, Fairbanks also has Santa experiences.
Thick, powdery snow is a rare occurrence outside of the Arctic – and kids go crazy for it. So instead of planning endless guided tours and activities, be sure to leave some space in between for little ones to get creative with the snow. Local guides can offer great inspiration – and they can even dig their own snow cave.
If you'd like to chat about the Northern Lights or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Tips for families

responsible travel asks the experts

David Phillips, from our supplier Explorers Astronomy Tours in Iceland, shares his tips on seeing the Northern Lights with kids:
"Iceland is an active place, you want to be walking and out and about, so we don’t recommend it for kids under eight. Families should avoid the more remote regions and base themselves out of Reykjavik because many of the activities in the northeast can’t be done with children as you need a licence to drive a snowmobile, and they can’t go cross-country skiing. The northeast is great for adults, but not for children.
Try and get children interested generally and maintain their enthusiasm as best as you can. Do some reading with them and give them as much background as you can before you travel so that they know roughly what to expect."
Mikael Kangas, owner of our supplier Aurora Retreat in Sweden, shares advice on seeing the Northern Lights with kids:
"For children, waiting two hours for the lights to appear is not that interesting. When they see them, of course, it’s amazing – but with families I’ll be sure to build a fire, bring a toboggan, and keep them interested."
Written by Vicki Brown
Northern Lights family holiday in Finland

Northern Lights family holiday in Finland

Lapland family hunt for the Aurora at New Year

From £1995 8 Days inc UK flights
Northern lights family holiday, tailor made

Northern lights family holiday, tailor made

A mix of Lapland family activities and a relaxing Spa hotel

From £1065 4 Days inc UK flights
Finnish family winter adventure holiday

Finnish family winter adventure holiday

See the Northern Lights in Finland

From £2099 8 Days inc UK flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Moyan Brenn]
Convert currencies