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“Nice arrangements to view the Aurora lights”
Review of Aurora Village

Aurora Village
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Nice arrangements to view the Aurora lights”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

They have nice arrangements to view the aurora. They bring you to the village, which is on the bank of a lake (frozen in winters) and have teepees in which you can keep yourself warm, till the aurora appears. There are arrangements for tea and coffee. The area on the lake provides a nice and dark sky to view even level 2 auroras. I didn't find the location of the heated seats useful, because sometimes the lights from the teepees can interfere with the aurora viewing experience. It is beneficial to rent the winter clothing from the Aurora village guys, because at -20 C, with the wind chill, that is the clothing needed to keep you alive!!

The day time activities are fun. We loved the dog sled ride as the trail was nicely designed with ups and downs and bumps along the way to give a nice sense of thrill. The experience of sliding down a steep slide of snow and ice is also extremely thrilling. Feast yourself on marshmallows after roasting them over fire. The only problem is that they pick up from 5 hotels in the downtown and if you are staying elsewhere, you need to make your own arrangements to reach one of those hotels.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank VinayBavdekar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellent Place to Spend the Day”
Reviewed March 12, 2014

We really enjoyed our time at Aurora Village, but you should know that in many ways it is what you make of it.

The Aurora Village is located along the Ingraham Trail, approximately half an hour outside of town. They offer a bus service which will pick you up from your hotel, but we opted to drive ourselves and follow the bus. This also saved us $20 /pp. Once you are at the village, there are a variety of activities you can pay to do, but the rest is freely available.

We paid to do "drive your own" dogsledding, which was an excellent experience. While it was quite brief (10-15 minutes on the sled), it was truly a highlight to dogsled through the forest. The rest of our activities at the Aurora Village were then complimentary.

They have lots of old-fashioned snowshoes to borrow, and you can just grab a pair and go wandering into the forest. On a clear winter's day, this is highly enjoyable. They also have an ice slide and inner tubes, which is lots of fun. Lastly, they have a warm tipi tent, an outside fire, and hot chocolate and marshmallows for roasting. All in all, a great afternoon.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank CttnFlwrz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe, New York
Level Contributor
135 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Best way to view Aurora -Efficient, Safe , Friendly !!!!”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

My personal opinion is that Yellowknife was the best place to see the Northern Lights (they come right over you head not just in the horizon)and the Aurora Village made the entire process and experience delightful. I am NOT a winter sports person so I needed to invest in some heavy duty clothes since one evening it was -42 degrees which is SCARY COLD but many tourists rented the clothes and boots from the village and were very satisfied. You are in the wilderness, it is deadly cold, very little street lighting and the brochures even tell you to DRIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK due to the fact cell service is undependable, the roads are covered in compacted ice and you do not see tow trucks or law enforcement once you are out of town. Now--driving the ICE ROAD across Great Slave Lake was cool but constantly plugging in the engine heater or just leaving the car running was a bit of pain in that cold and it seems that taxis are readlitly available. One of the many reasons I appreciated the Village doing all the driving.
Now for "my" facts regarding Aurora Village-
1-E-mail contact is good--they may not answer immediately but all arrangements were done well and when I had to cancel my first weekend planned in Feb and move two weeks out due to NY snow they were wonderful--just be patient
2-I would estimate that 80-90% of their tourists come from Asia--Yellowknife is well advertised in Asia and many tour groups make this a prime destination. We met some wonderful people but you have to understand that 80-90% of the employees are also Asian with English as a second language so you need to also be patient. They need this staff (and its good business) to communicate with all their clients from Japan, China, Korea etc The staff was friendly and helpful but if you have trouble with a heavy accent just ask to speak to another employee and you may understand them better
3-They pick you up in school buses (in NY we never even take them out with a dusting of snow) which travel across ice covered roads very efficiently. Make sure all skin including face is covered since you may be able to stand the first 15-30 minutes but after that you will get frost bite. Pick up times are great and everyone meets in lobby of hotel.
4-The Tee Pees you see in the photos are wonderful when you get cold--You are assigned a certain Tee Pee by your guide and then you can spend as much time in there as you need to warm up. They have hot tea and cocoa and provide a late night snack of soup. The stoves are aways kept full of wood by some great employees who spend the entire night making sure eveyone stays warm
5-Bathrooms--They are fancy porto potties but again if you need facilities they are there for you and in an enclosed building
6-Restaurant--when we were first told about it we had no intention of going in but on Sat night the lights were not that bright so we ventured in to see what they offered. We found a lovely restaurant, wonderful friendly waiter, great food (I really enjoyed the fish chowder and the Butternut squash soup) and a chance to take off several layers of clothing and have some warm food and glass of wine--you can run out to the balcony to occasionaly check the status of the Aurora also.
7-We also enjoyed their daytime activites of dog sled rides and many others did the snow mobiling or snow shoeing along with tube slide. If you only chose to do one daytime activity and you take their transpertation you may end up waiting around since they pick you up at noon and return you at 5pm

All in all it was a great BUCKET LIST trip and I advise you to take a nap when you can since you do not return to your hotel each evening until after 1:30am.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
11 Thank Linda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fish chowder was yummy”
Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

Snug in our Canadian goose jacket and well-padded super-heavy boots, the aurora viewing experience was very enjoyable, too bad the activity was low. But, the highlight of the day was the fish chowder!! More of this and less chicken noodle soup please.

Wished there was also a short explanation on the aurora to noobs like us.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Hansen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A good place to view the lights, but too "group oriented"”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

Aurora Village seems to be getting better. The village is a great place to see the Aurora, and it was better organized than some previous reviews have warned. However, they are still slow at helping patrons understand the logistics of the village and the experience. Both the day- and night-time activities are very group oriented, and so we spent a lot of time being shuffled around and waiting for information.

With the night-time viewing, I recommend that you just relax until the guide has oriented the whole group; there will still be plenty of time to wander around and view the Aurora. I don't recommend the heated chairs, since they are all clustered together and we found we just didn't spend much time in them. Warm up in the teepee (ours was crowded & smoky) or just step into the gift shop for a bit.

With the day-time activities, we were assigned a number for when we would start our activity. Not knowing when our number would be called, we sat around in the teepee for almost 2 hours, and so if I were to go again, I would insist on being given a time estimate. The dog-sled ride was okay (two people per sled), but I wouldn't suggest the snow-mobile unless you are really excited just to ride on one (they were just travelling around in circles on the lake).

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank CdnBackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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