Christmas Spirit in Oulu: 12 Must-Experience Christmas Delights and Events in Oulu!

The spirit of Christmas has been infused with extra charm in Oulu this year, making it a destination worth visiting from afar. We’ve compiled 12 unique tips and events that are must-experience this holiday season in Oulu!

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1. Christmas Forest: Transforming Rotuaari Square into a Cozy Christmas Haven!

On December 5th, Rotuaari Square transforms into a magical Christmas forest, where you can also grill sausages over a fire pit maintained by Oulu’s Ladun on weekends. Adjacent to the Christmas Forest, indoors, you’ll find Taito Shop Oulu’s Christmas Store.

Various events are planned within the Christmas Forest. Starting December 9th, the “Tiernapoika” choir performs daily until Christmas at 5 PM, alternating between Rotuaari Square’s Christmas Forest and Kauppurien Square’s Tiernatori (Christmas Market). For detailed information on holiday events, check our event calendar!

The Christmas Forest is open from December 6th to 28th.

2. Tiernatori: Oulu's Own Christmas Market

Oulu is known for its traditional “Tierna” time: starting in early November and continuing until Christmas Eve. In addition to Tierna-time events, you can immerse yourself in the traditional Tiernatori.

This year, Tiernatori expands, setting up traditional red huts in front of Valkea, in Kauppurien Square. You’ll discover Christmas gifts, handicrafts, and food products at Tiernator. Moreover, the Craftsmen’s Gift Workshop is situated nearby, at the corner of Kauppurienkatu and Isokatu, in the former Balmuir store.

Starting from December 9th, the Tiernapoika choir performs daily until Christmas at 5 PM, alternating between Rotuaari’s Christmas Forest and Kauppurien Square’s Tiernatori.

Tiernatori is open from December 7th to 22nd.

Photo: Kauppakeskus Valkea

3. Christmas Shopping in Oulu: Valkea Shopping Center and the Traditional Market Hall

Valkea Shopping Center is the heart of Oulu’s Christmas atmosphere. Santa Claus awaits visitors on the 3rd floor, and there’s a mailbox for letters to Santa during shopping hours. You’ll also find a gift-wrapping station on Valkea’s 3rd floor, near Roihula Playland, throughout December.

Valkea’s Summer Street hosts the Valkea Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 16th, from 9 AM to 7 PM. Numerous vendors will be present, offering delightful products that make perfect surprises in Christmas packages.

For an authentic Christmas atmosphere, visit Oulu’s Market Hall, bustling with life during the holiday season. The Market Hall’s Christmas season kicks off with the Market Hall Christmas Opening Event from November 30th to December 2nd, 2023, including the lighting of the Christmas tree at Oulu Market Square on November 30th.

4. Northern Ostrobothnia Museum: Festive Time in Ainola for the Holidays

The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum starts its Christmas celebrations on November 21st, 2023! Experience Christmas in the historical Ainola building once again! The museum’s exhibits are adorned with Christmas decorations from different eras. Also, don’t miss the giant advent calendar, where each window holds traditional Christmas information!

Open from Tuesday to Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM, and Saturday to Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM!

Free admission.

5. Experience a Magical Christmas Tale with the Kipponis!

Immerse yourself in a magical story in an authentic fairy forest and connect with a real Kipponi! Join the most enchanting Christmas story experience riding ponies!

The journey happens with parents guiding their children on the backs of trained Kipponis. This delightful adventure will provide plenty of cherished memories for the family. The Kipponis are well-trained and calm, so no previous experience in leading a pony is necessary. Adults, such as godparents, grandparents, or any other close adult, can also participate. Two adults can join for every child. This outing is suitable even for the youngest family members, and you can also join the excursion by walking.

The trips depart from the charming Kipponi Village, where a small café is also available.

Kipponi’s Christmas trips run from November 18th, 2023, to January 6th, 2024!

6. Christmas at Pikisaari: Festive Windows and Peaceful Moments at the Seamen's Home Museum

The Seamen’s Home Museum invites the Christmas peace on December 9th, 2023! At the museum, traditions, music, fairytales, and an advent calendar will transport you into the atmosphere of an old-time Christmas. Find gifts to wrap for Santa in the museum shop! So, step into Pikisaari to witness the magic of Christmas!

Open from December 9th to 22nd, 2023, Wednesday to Sunday, 12 PM to 6 PM. Free admission.

Also, peek through the windows of the Seamen’s Home Museum! Adorned and lit-up windows invite you to glimpse the Christmas atmosphere. The windows are lit from December 3rd to January 7th, from 7 AM to midnight, allowing you to enjoy them even when the museum is closed.

7. Loppula Nature Café: Natural Christmas Vibes in Sanginjoki

Elves take over the courtyard of Loppula Nature Café in Sanginjoki! The charming, old forest ranger’s house in Sanginjoki invites you to a Christmas atmosphere.

On Saturday, December 2nd, from 12 PM to 6 PM, Loppula’s courtyard will host local product Christmas markets, and on the same day, a family-friendly elf path will open.

Elves will be available throughout the weekend and on December 9th-10th.

8. Family-Friendly Christmas Concerts: Valve Cultural Center and Oulu Symphony Orchestra

Enjoy Christmas music with the whole family at the Valve Cultural Center and Oulu Symphony Orchestra’s concerts. The Mimmit band’s family-friendly Christmas concert “Puhuri” on Sunday, November 26th, at 3 PM, will immerse listeners in the Christmas spirit amidst snowy landscapes. Additionally, the “SOIVAN SIILIN JOULU” – a family Christmas concert – will take place at Valve on December 10th, at 2 PM and 4 PM.

Oulu Symphony Orchestra concludes its autumn season with a family-friendly classic Christmas movie, “Home Alone,” screened at Madetoja Hall on Thursday, December 14th, and Friday, December 15th. The orchestra will perform the movie’s music live. Before the concert, you can indulge in a delicious Home Alone-themed buffet at Restaurant Preludi. Check out more details on the Oulu Symphony Orchestra’s website!

Find the schedule for all Christmas concerts conveniently in our event calendar!

9. Seniors' Traditional Christmas at the Idyllic Lomakoti Onnela

Christmas is a time for coming together, and no one needs to be alone. The idyllic Lomakoti Onnela in Haukipudas Asemakylä, by the wild Kiiminkijoki riverbank, invites seniors, whether alone or with a friend, for a traditional Christmas celebration. The peaceful Christmas celebration starts on Saturday, December 23rd, 2023, at 5 PM, with full board enjoyment of traditional Christmas treats until Wednesday, December 27th, 2023, morning. The program upholds Christmas traditions, allowing for relaxation and unhurried togetherness.

10. Christmas Spirit in Oulu's Winter Nature with Guided Tours by Lappis

Experience the Christmas atmosphere in Oulu’s winter nature! Lappis’ weekly tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Additionally, you can book private tours separately.

The fatbike tour introduces you to winter cycling like the locals. Starting from Pikisaari, the tour explores the most beautiful and rewarding cycling routes in the estuary area. The guide ensures a smooth ride and shares local scenery, culture, and customs along the way.

The snowshoeing tour takes you through the winter wilderness. Skiing on fur-based skis is comfortable and doesn’t require prior experience. The tour heads to the diverse terrain of Kivikkokangas. During the excursion, the guide serves warm juice, shares insights about Finland’s nature, and takes care of the route. The tour includes snowshoes and poles.

Lappis also organizes winter trips to the enchanting Lintula Forest. The weekly program tours are guaranteed departures, so even a single customer ensures the tour’s operation. The price includes guide services and a fireside snack (sausage, drink, pot coffee/tea, and pastry).

11. Cozy Christmas at Nallikari by the Sea

At Oulu’s Nallikari, you can blend traditions with something new. The modern villas and cozy holiday cottages offer an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, providing the perfect setting for a traditional Christmas celebration.

Both the villas and cottages are equipped with well-appointed kitchens for preparing traditional Christmas delights. The villas come with their private sauna, while cottage guests can access public saunas.

After indulging in Christmas meals and taking in the breathtaking snowy views outside the window, step out into the nearby natural surroundings. Just minutes away from the accommodation by the sea, you’ll find yourself admiring the famous Nallikari beach. The frozen sea, the frost-covered sandy shore, and the reddish horizon create a unique Christmas atmosphere, ideal for holiday strolls.

12. Taito Shop's Christmas Store and Festive Handicraft Workshops

Taito Shop Oulu’s Christmas Store opens on Rotuaari on December 5th, 2023, at 10:00 AM. The store is a treasure trove for Christmas enthusiasts, offering gift ideas for everyone! The products are of domestic quality, showcasing Oulu’s craftsmanship. Open on weekdays from 10 AM to 6 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Sundays from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Every Wednesday, the store hosts a Christmas-themed workshop from 2 PM to 5 PM, and on Saturdays from 11 AM to 2 PM. Some workshops are free, while others have a small materials fee – check the Taito Pohjois-Pohjanmaa Facebook page for the latest workshop details.

Before the Christmas Store’s opening, Taito Shop’s Christmas celebration will take place at the familiar Rautatienkatu store on Saturday, November 25th, from 10 AM to 2 PM. There will be a demonstration of himmeli, frame weaving, and candle painting.

This Christmas season in Oulu promises enchanting experiences and festive moments for all, making it a delightful destination to embrace the holiday spirit and create lasting memories.