Rovaniemi's real claim to fame is that Santa Claus lives in its suburbs, as reflected in the growing number of tourist attractions in the area. The SantaPark Christmas theme park is set deep inside a rocky cavern and offers a Magic Sleigh Ride, a Puppet Circus, and a Christmas Carrousel, among other attractions. Take the Santa Train from the Park to Joulupukin Pajakylä (Santa Claus Village) and stop along the way at the Reindeer Park to see Santa's sleigh team.
Sami in native dress and reindeer hauling sleighs enhance the authenticity of the village. (This is likely to be the only place where your children will be able to pet a reindeer—the ones you'll see in the wild are shy.) Postcards can be mailed from the special Arctic Circle post office. There's also a complete souvenir shopping complex, plus the impressive mountains of mail that pour in from children all over the world. And yes, he does answer every letter. The village is closed when he is abroad, on December 25.
Arctic Circle, 96930, Finland
600-301–203-€1.50/min+local charges; 016-356–2096-village info