FAMILY FUN IN THE SNOW

Finns are lucky to have lots of snow every winter. I don’t know if they appreciate this, but they should try coming from a country like England where it sometimes only snows once or twice a year (and then it usually melts overnight). Snow is beautiful and snow is fun, but it’s easy to forget these things if you live in Finland, because the winters can feel pretty darn long. The snow lasts from at least December to March and you do tend to take the white stuff for granted. Actually, towards the end of the winter, you just want the snow to go away! Luckily, my children are around to remind me how flipping great snow can be. Bring on family fun in the snow!

Simple family fun in the snow is the best kind of fun and there’s nothing simpler than sledging. Finland in general is not a mountainous land, but you’re never very far away from some hill or slope to slide down. Finns love to go sledging and they even have a national sledging day in February. On this day it is also customary to eat cakes filled with jam and cream. What a great country!

Tobogganing at a lakeside cottage in the Lakeland

You don’t just need a hill to use sledges and they can be an especially useful form of transport if you have young children. When there’s lots of snow on the ground, pushing a buggy becomes a bit of an impossible task, as the wheels get stuck in the snow. It’s much easier to sit the little person in a sledge and pull them along down the lane. If you have more than one kid with you, they’ll all probably want a free ride, so make sure you have enough sledges.

Another fun way to glide along the snowy roads and paths is on a kick sledge. Often used by Finnish old ladies for their shopping trips, it’s like a kid’s scooter with rails instead of wheels. Great fun for people of all ages to gleefully slide up and down the road! I recently tried using a kick sledge myself for the first time while visiting Villa Raita in Varpasalo, Rääkkylä in the Lakeland region. My kids and I had a whale of a time sliding up and down an icy road. Highly recommended!

Fun with kick sledging

For many Finns, cross-country skis are their favourite way to travel around in winter. Finland happens to be a brilliant place for cross-country skiing. Every year, after enough snow has fallen, little tractors drive around creating ski tracks across all the towns and cities of Finland. Cottage owners will often create tracks near their cottage and across the frozen lakes. Gliding on cross-country skis through the winter forests and over the lakes is a magical way to see the countryside and enjoy family fun in the snow. If you live in Finland, it’s also a great way to get from one side of town to the other.

Cross-country skiing with kids

Ice-skating is another fun activity to try. While ice skating on the frozen lakes may not always be possible due to the deep snow, many towns and villages usually have a free of charge, outdoor ice rink. Community sports fields are often transformed into ice rinks during the winter season, which are enjoyed by people of all age groups. It’s a common sight at these rinks to see small children learning to skate with parents or grandparents.

Ice-skating in the Lakeland

Cottage holidays are all about enjoying the simple things in life and you don’t even need any equipment to enjoy the fabulous Finnish snow. Memorable family activities like having a snowball fight, making snow angels, or building a snowman, only require a sense of fun and perhaps a carrot to make a funny snowman nose.

The majority of the cottages on our website can be booked for a winter getaway, so you and your crew can enjoy some family fun in the snow! It’s worth saying that if you’re planning to do any of these winter activities, you should always wear some warm and waterproof clothing. For example, a pair of waterproof trousers is much better than a pair of jeans if you plan to go sledging, otherwise you may end up with a damp bottom.

Here’s 3 other cool things to do in Finland during winter:

1.Walk on a frozen lake

There’s not many places in the world where you can walk across vast areas of water, but in winter the lakes are covered in thick ice, topped with pretty glittering snow. There is a certain thrill walking somewhere, where you normally need a boat to get to.

2.Snowshoe walking

Tired of following the same old footpaths through the winter forest? Snowshoes are the answer…even if they do look like tennis rackets for your feet. Use them to walk anywhere you please across the snowy landscape. Go exploring!

3.Visit the national parks

Winter wonderland is a well-worn phrase, but when you walk amongst the tall snow-covered trees and listen to the special hush of the Finnish winter forest, it really does feel wonderful. Visit one of Finland’s 40 national parks this winter and you’ll see what I mean.