For around 200 days per year, Finland witnesses the stunning natural phenomenon known as Aurora Borealis. It may seem like it's quite easy to catch a glimpse of the amazing colourful lights over your head, but actually hunting the Aurora Borealis is more a matter of luck.

Chasing the Aurora Borealis

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Northern Lights with Kids

The lure of the aurora borealis was calling my name. I’ve never seen them and was really hoping we would get a glimpse of them on our trip to Finland. I’ll go ahead and spoil the anticipation, we didn’t see them. So that means the chase is still on! But now I’ll help you see them!

  1. Don’t pay for a tour, seriously. Unless you wait to book until the day or two before. You need to see the chance that the aurora’s will occur. Otherwise, you may spend a bunch of money and be disappointed and with cranky kids who are up way past their bedtimes.
  2. Do pay for the alerts from Aurora Service: Europe. You can find their website HERE. Spend some time exploring the website and understanding what you are looking for.
  3. Download the app “My Aurora Forecast & Alerts“. It is fabulous and super helpful to see what the chances are.
  4. Where to go to see the lights on your own? Use google maps to find this location: 66°34’57.6″N 26°01’28.7″E. It is just north of the Santa Claus Holiday Village and is the perfect view over the lake. There are also teepees where you can burn a fire, more about that below.
  5. If you don’t have a car and don’t want to take a tour, head away from any light sources and up on a hill to better your views.

Here is how we spent our night “chasing the northern lights”.

We hopped into the car after dinner with some little smores kits that I packed. We also packed a portable tripod and our SLR camera. Once you reach the location, there is free wood where you can build a fire in the teepee to cook your smores and stay warm. My son enjoyed helping dad to build a fire. Don’t forget to bring matches or a lighter and some kindling.

Making smores while waiting for the aurora borealis

We set up the camera and tripod and waited while we checked the app frequently for updates. On all 3 nights, the cloud cover was too low and thick to see anything. It was disappointing but common. We still had a great time cooking smores and meeting other tourists who joined us by the fire as the night progressed.

If you want to check out more about our Lapland Santa visit, click HERE to head back to our main post.

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