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Your Handy Guide to Snowman World

Snowman World is a seasonal amusement park dedicated to all things snow and ice. It’s located right in the heart of Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland. In this post, we’ll explain how to plan a perfect day there. Whether you’re curious how long it will take or whether you need to book in advance, we’ve got you covered. Plus so much more!

Keep reading to learn all about Snowman World in Rovaniemi!

What is Snowman World

Snowman World is a snow-themed amusement park in Rovaniemi, Finland. Located in Santa Claus Village, it is just steps away from the main square, just past Santa’s reindeer.

While Santa Claus Village is free to enter, Snowman World requires a paid ticketed to enter. Once inside, you will have unlimited access to all the attractions. This includes snow and ice slides, ice skating, and a snow maze. There is also an ice bar, lounge and restaurant — all made entirely out of ice — located inside Snowman World.

Snowman World is an indoor-outdoor attraction. Most of the activities are outside in the open air, but there are some covered areas. This includes a permanent main building, and some structures that are actually built out of snow and ice.

Each year, they rebuild the hallways, rooms and restaurants of Snowman World out of fresh snow and ice. More than just walls, they are works of art. All along the way are intricate carvings and sculptures. There’s a different theme each year, which has included scenes from outer space or under the sea, just to name a few.

When is Snowman World Open

Since Snowman World is outdoors and made of real snow and ice, it is only open during the winter moths. Typically, Snowman World operates from early December to mid March, but the exact dates vary based on the weather each year.

When Snowman World is operating, it is open every day of the week. Typically, it is open from 10 AM to 8 PM during the peak holiday season, and then drops down to 11 AM to 7 PM for the rest of the winter.

The opening hours cover all activities inside, as well as the indoor restaurant and ice bar and lounge. The ice restaurant has set serving times for both lunch and dinner. There’s also an ice disco that only runs on select nights at set times.

Be sure to check the website for official hours, times and schedules.

Things to do at Snowman World

Entry to Snowman World includes access to the snow structures and all of the outdoor activities. Here’s a look at everything there is to see and do at Snowman World.

  • *Large Snow Slide: This is the most thrilling attraction at Snowman World. The large snow slide track goes down a pretty steep hill, and has one turn in the middle. You ride on a tube, which you’ll need carry up the snow steps to the start of the slide. The large snow slide is staffed, and they only allow one tube at a time. There is no height requirement, but everyone must ride solo.
  • *Small Snow Slide: If you’re not ready for the large snow slide, there’s a miniature version right next to it. The smaller slide is shorter, less steep, and does not have a turn. A child can sit on an adult’s lap in a single tube on the smaller slide.
  • Ice Slide: There’s a small ice slide inside one of the snow rooms. Children and adults are allowed on the slide. You must go down the slide feet-first, on your bottom. (There’s nothing to slide down on top of, like a tube or sled.)
  • *Ice Skating (skate rental included): There is a small, outdoor ice rink with a self-service equipment hut. You can grab your own skates in a variety of sizes, including children’s sizes. (The smallest I saw was 25 EU, which is a toddler 9 US.) There’s also helmets and skate aids available to use.
  • *Snow Labyrinth: This is a life-size snow maze, with snow walls about 10 feet high. The maze is small, and pretty easy for adults. It will take kids a minute to figure it out, though.
  • Ice Bar: The bar, tables, stools and even some of the glasses at this bar are carved entirely out of ice. It’s open to all ticket holders, and no reservations are needed. It’s a very family-friendly bar, and children are allowed and encouraged to be there. Drinks are available for purchase, including hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
  • Ice Lounge: Adjacent to the bar is the ice lounge. There is no service over here, but it’s got the most seating. It’s also a bit more quiet (especially when the DJ is going in the bar). The ice carvings in here are really impressive, too!
  • Ice Disco: On select nights, they have an Ice Disco in the ice bar. They have a DJ playing, everyone dances, and even the snow people come out to party. There’s no extra charge or ticket required for this, just come in and dance.
  • Ice Restaurant: At this restaurant, you can dine in a room made of ice, at a table made of ice! You need a Snowman World entry ticket to dine here, but having a ticket alone doesn’t necessarily mean you can eat here. Reservations are required, and often book up in advance.
  • Ice Carvings, Photo Ops & Characters: There’s plenty of cool stuff to see along the way. The snow people characters are often out and about, dancing with kids and posing for pics. There’s the ice carvings along the walls, plus unique ice sculptures that change by season. (There was a cool ice chair in the ice slide room during our visit.)

*These attractions are outdoors, fully exposed to the elements.

How long do you need at Snowman World?

There’s a decent amount of things to see and do and Snowman World, but it doesn’t have to take that long.

As a general rule of thumb, plan to spend about 2 hours at Snowman World. Add an extra hour to that if you’re traveling with children or if you’re going to eat lunch at the ice restaurant. Add an extra 1.5 hours to that if you’re eating at the ice restaurant for dinner.

That said, if you get to Snowman World when it opens, you can beat the crowds and might be done in less than 2 hours. (We rode the big snow slides at least 15 times with no line right after they opened.) As the park fills up, lines form and things start to take longer. The longest line is for the big snow slide, which can sometimes be a 10-15 minutes wait during peak hours.

Sample Snowman World Itinerary

Tickets for Snowman World are valid all day, so you can come and go as often as you like. This is great if you’re balancing Snowman World with other Santa Claus Village attractions, or in our case, taking a nap.

Here’s an example of how we scheduled our day.

  • 10 – 11 AM: Meet Santa at his office in Santa Claus Village
  • 11 – 11:15 AM: Arrival, check-in and change clothes at Snowman World
  • 11:15 – 12 PM: Little snow slide once and then many, many rides down the big snow slide
  • 12 – 1 PM: Lunch at the ice restaurant
  • 1 – 3:30 PM: Nap Break (We were staying nearby at the Santa Claus Holiday Village hotel.)
  • 3:30 – 4 PM: Ice Skating
  • 4 – 4:30 PM: Snow Labyrinth (We took many, many laps around. It didn’t take 30 minutes to solve it.)
  • 4:30 – 5 PM: Ice slide
  • 5 – 5:30: Ice Disco
  • 5:30 – 6 PM: Final few rides down the big snow slide (There was a much longer wait this time.)

This is an example of how you could spend a full day at Snowman World. In total, we spent about 4.5 hours at Snowman World, which is longer than most people. We had a toddler who adored the snow slides, so we went down that way more times than the average guest. It was also our second day at Santa Claus Village, so we’d already seen a lot of those attractions.

Ice Restaurant at Snowman World

The ice restaurant in Snowman World is the pinnacle of ice engineering. Each room, hallway, table and seat is carved out of snow and ice. Not only is everything functional, but it’s incredibly beautiful. The walls are intricately carved and sculpted to a different theme each year.

The ice restaurant serves lunch and dinner on a set schedule. There are three lunch seatings and one dinner seating daily. Both lunch and dinner seatings have a pre fixe menu. Lunch includes bread, a main course selection, and dessert. Dinner includes the same, plus a soup course. They also have some kid-friendly options available.

Note: Children don’t have to order from the children’s menu to be eligible for children’s pricing.

Reservations are strongly recommended. You have to pay for the meal when you book the reservation, and it includes your entry ticket to Snowman World. Reservations often book up completely, sometimes several months in advance, so book as early as you can. Walk-ups are very rarely available, particularly during the high season. (There were no walk-ups available during our February visit.)

We’re vegetarians and not foodies. For what it’s worth though, we thought the food was great! The portions were a bit odd though. For example, the two vegetarian main course options were tomato soup or pasta with tofu. The pasta dish was huge with a massive portion of tofu, while the soup was just a basic small bowl of soup.

We’d highly recommend dining at the ice restaurant during your visit. It’s not actually that expensive when you factor in the cost of admission, which is included in the pricing. Lunch ends up being about €25, which is not significantly more than you’d spend at most restaurants nearby.

How cold is Snowman World?

Snowman World is mostly an outdoors, wintertime activity. However, some areas are colder than others.

You can divide Snowman World into three temperature zones:

  • Indoors: A small portion of Snowman World is indoors in a permanent building. This includes the ticket counter, small gift shop, restrooms, and a small cafe (not the ice restaurant). These rooms are fully heated.
  • Ice Structures: There are some hallways and rooms that are entirely built out of snow and ice. This includes the room with the ice slide, the ice bar and lounge, and the ice restaurant. Even though these rooms are built of ice, they’re enclosed and protected from elements. These spaces usually stay right around freezing (32°F / 0°C), regardless of how cold it gets outside.
  • Outdoors: The rest of the park is outdoors in the open air, and uncovered. The snow slides, ice skating and snow maze are all in the fully outdoor section. You will be exposed to full outdoor temperature and precipitation.

What to Wear to Snowman World

If Snowman World is open, it’s going to be cold. Even though there are some warmer areas, it’s a good idea to dress for the weather outside. Winter coats, mittens, hats and scarfs are all recommended, and make them waterproof if you can.

Snow pants (or a full snowsuit) are the best option. If you’re going down the ice slide or snow slide, you’re going to get snowy, and eventually wet. Snow pants will keep you dry and warm.

If you don’t have snow pants, at least get rain pants. The rain pants won’t do much to keep you warm, but they’ll keep you dry. If you wear rain pants over your warmest layers, you’ll be just fine. (This is what I did.)

Read more: For a detailed look at all of our exact cold weather gear, including the leggings I swear by, check out these 10 Things to Pack for a Winter Trip to Finland.

The ice rooms, including the restaurant and bar, can often feel pretty warm compared to the weather outside. We ended up taking off some of our layers while were eating, because we felt pretty comfortable in there.

Snowman World for Adults & Kids

Snowman World is great for both kids and adults.

As far as children go, the idea of a snow-based theme park is obviously appealing. If your kids can tolerate the cold, they will thrive at Snowman World. From the snow slide to the dance party, kids of all ages will have a blast.

There are no official height requirements for any of the attractions. However, there are some limiting factors to consider. For example, ice skate rentals only went as small as 25 EU and kids had to ride by themselves down the big slide. Other than that though, even small children can have fun on the ice slide and riding with a parent down the small snow slide.

Snowman World isn’t just for kids though. In fact, in the afternoon and early evening, most of the people there were adults! The big slide, ice rink and ice bar were understandably the most popular spots for adults.

Buying Tickets to Snowman World

Anyone can enter the main building at Snowman World — including the indoor cafe, restrooms and gift shop — without a ticket. However, access to everything else, including the ice restaurant, requires a ticket.

Tickets are sold for a specific date, but they are not timed. You can enter at anytime and your ticket is valid all day. That means you can come and go as often as you want throughout the day. They will give you a wristband when you check in, and you can show that at the door every subsequent time you enter the park.

General admission tickets don’t usually sell out, so you can buy those in advance or at the door. If you want to make a reservation at the ice restaurant, you should book that online in advance as soon as possible. Reservations sell out completely, especially during the high season (December and January), and are often not available on the spot.

Note: If your plans change, you can cancel your reservation for a 95% refund as long as it’s more than 24 hours in advance.

Tips for Visiting Snowman World

  • Get there when they open. Most people go to Snowman World later in the day, after visiting the main Santa Claus Village attractions. If you want to beat the crowds and avoid lines, get there right when they open.
  • Store your bags. Whether you just got a present from Santa or have a backpack for your day trip, you might find your hands full when you get to Snowman World. They have a locked storage room in the main building where you can store your things for free while you’re at Snowman World. Just ask the person at the desk to unlock it for you.
  • Make a reservation for the ice restaurant. It is just worth it!
  • Don’t pre-pay for a drink in the ice glass. If you book your ticket online, you’ll also have the chance to pre-purchase drinks from the ice bar. It’s not really worth doing it, though. There is no price break, and you still have to wait in the bar queue to order your drink with the voucher.
  • The alcoholic drink in the ice glass is a straight shot. Another thing to note if you’re considering pre-ordering ice drinks, is that the alcoholic option is just straight alcohol. This is not a mixed drink or cocktail. If you can’t take shots, save your money and buy a non-alcoholic drink in the ice cup. Then separately, order a cocktail if you choose. (The Glogi is where it’s at!)
  • Dress appropriately. Playing in the snow all day is only fun if you’re not freezing. Be sure to wear waterproof pants and bundle up for a day outdoors.
  • Visit at least twice. If your schedule allows, try to visit Snowman World once in the day light and once at night. I
  • You can cheat in the labyrinth. There’s a map carved into the ice at the entrance to the snow maze. Snap a picture if you think you might want some help along the way.