Tips for an atmosphere-packed Christmas season in the Jyväskylä Region

Photo: Jiri Halttunen

Christmas Opening. Photo: Jiri Halttunen 

Snowflakes dance in the sky, windows are decorated with Christmas lights, the aroma of gingerbread fills the nose and Christmas carols are to be heard all around. The Christmas season is here again! In the Jyväskylä Region Christmas at its most authentic can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: with ears and eyes, while spoiling the taste buds or even getting a little exercise. Take a look at our tips for simple Christmas shopping, delicious Christmas fare, fun opportunities for exercise during the festive season, and experiencing the wonderful Christmas atmosphere only the Jyväskylä Region can provide.


Festive atmosphere

In the run-up to Christmas Jyväskylä becomes a Christmas village and the region is full to overflowing with magical Yuletide events. The Christmas season in Jyväskylä gets properly under way on Saturday 23.11. when the official start of Christmas is declared in the city centre. Also the Illuminated Christmas Park and Toivola Christmas Courtyard opens at the official start of Christmas. Gear up for Christmas with pre-Christmas party on the track at Karting Center, for instance, or dancing and bowling at Hankasalmi’s Revontuli Resort. Chill out between Christmas and New Year with a ready-made holiday package. Which do you prefer – a relaxing Christmas break at Spa Hotel Peurunka or a traditional country Christmas at Surkeenjärvi?

Christmas churches

Jyväskylä Parish organises welcoming Christmas events for all, such as Christmas bazaars, concerts and special church services. This year Christmas mass will be celebrated in both Kuokkala and Palokka church on 24.12 at 22.00 and in Taulumäki, Vaajakoski and Jyväskylä city church at 23.00. Enjoyable carol services are given virtually throughout the month of December and Christmas concerts delight audiences from one year to the next. The Christmas nativity can be enjoyed too on Christmas Eve (24.12. at 16.00) in Säynätsalo church. 

Christmas food

What would Christmas be like without those special Christmas dishes? At Christmas the cafés in the Jyväskylä Region are filled with the aroma of gingerbread and ‘glögi’ – spiced mulled wine – and the restaurants serve delicious Christmas lunches. A Christmas lunch can be enjoyed in a number of restaurants including Restaurant Harmooni, Hotel Verso, Scandic Laajavuori and Vesilinna in or near the city centre and Varjola Farm in Laukaa. This year Perttula Farm is staging a Christmas café on three weekends starting from 23.-24.11 which will also be selling Perttula Farm Christmas gift packs containing a big selection of local produce and delicacies!

Christmas gifts

Christmas shopping can be easily accomplished at traditional Christmas markets, at atmospheric Christmas yard events and gaily decorated shopping centres. Jyväskylä Paviljonki’s Christmas Market held on 7.-8.12. is a great place to find beautiful presents and toys, craft items and Christmas treats. Toivola Old Courtyard’s boutiques present an opportunity to do some shopping in an atmosphere reminiscent of days past every Saturday and Sunday from 23.11. onwards and everyday during the period 13.-23.12. Jyväskylä’s shopping centres are also richly decorated for Christmas with carols ringing out in just about every store. Last-minute purchases can be made conveniently at stalls flanking Jyväskylä’s Christmas street during the period 18.-23.12.

Get moving at Christmas

In Jyväskylä, the city known as Finland’s capital of sport and physical activity, there are countless opportunities for physical recreation during the Christmas period. How does skating or playing some ice hockey at Viitaniemi’s sports park grab you? Or maybe some cross-country or downhill skiing at Laajavuori? Great facilities for physical activities indoors can be found at the multipurpose sports hall and Kuokkala’s Graniitti, where badminton or a workout in the gym, for example, can be easily arranged. Aalto Alvari and Wellamo in turn are the places to enjoy a swim and sauna. If you fancy a true christmas sauna experience and might even try ice swimming, head to open sauna nights in Revontuli or Haikusauna. Fans of ice hockey should keep an eye out because the city’s big team JYP has a number of home games in the Finnish Elite League over Christmas at the LähiTapiola arena.

With the kids

For children Christmas is a time of excitement and magic. The Jyväskylä Region is full of fun activities for families with young kids during the Christmas break. Get quickly into the Christmas spirit in Christmas Workshop for children at Vesilinna 23.11. Jyväskylä city library is the place to encounter some tiptoeing elves, while the city’s churches offer numerous opportunities to sing some of your favourite Christmas carols. Remember too our Adventures for Kids- webpage, which provides the best tips on enjoying an active, adventure-packed holiday with the kids.

Other important occasions during the Christmas period

6.12. is Finnish Independence Day. Finns like to celebrate Finnish Independence Day by watching the grand reception given at the Presidential Palace on TV and by lighting candles at war graves. The City of Jyväskylä, the Jyväskylä Evangelical Lutheran Parish and the Jyväskylä Garrison are organizing public events with free admission to celebrate the Finnish Independence Day.

Another major celebration during the Christmas period is New Year, for which the Jyväskylä Region offers first-class opportunities. On New Year’s Eve the City of Jyväskylä stages a celebration aimed at families with young kids on Paraatiaukio, Kirkkopuisto (Church Park, opposite City Hall) from 17.00-18.00 as well as a New Year’s reception complete with fireworks at midnight. New Year can also be celebrated at Spa Hotel Peurunka and Varjola Farm among others.


Don’t forget these!

Christmas song from Vesilinna tower 23.11.2019-6.1.2020
Hiljaa, hiljaa joulun kellot kajahtaa (“Christmas Bells”) by Armas Maasalo is played from the Jyväskylä Christmas Opening until Epiphany at 6 pm. Listen the Christmas song here. 

Jyväskylä Start of Christmas 23.11. 
Kompassi, Kauppakatu
Click here for more information 

Illuminated Christmas Park 
Kirkkopuisto/Church Park 
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Christmas in Toivola Old Courtyard 
Cygnaeuksenkatu 2 
Click here for more information 

Independence Day 6.12.

Christmas market 7.-8.12. 
Jyväskylä Paviljonki, Lutakonaukio 12

Christmas Street 14.-22.12.
Click here for more information

City of Jyväskylä New Year’s reception 31.12. at 23
Paraatiaukio, Kirkkopuisto (Church Park, opposite City Hall)
Click here for more information 


Visit the Joulukylä Jyväskylä (Christmas Village Jyväskylä) website and the event calendar to find all the experiences and events held in the Jyväskylä Region over the Christmas period in one place. Remember also to follow Joulukylä Jyväskylä on Facebook and you’ll be the first to hear about the latest events and open the doors on the advent calendar!

Share your Christmas photo of the Jyväskylä Region using the hashtags:
#joulukyläjkl #visitjyvaskyla #joulu #xmasjkl 



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