Visiting Father Christmas – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…

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The Reality of Visiting Father Christmas

One thing I was really, REALLY excited about in 2013 was b’s first visit to Father Christmas. I had this image in my head that it would be completely dreamy and b would love it. In reality it was quack. Sorry, our code word for crap. We were ushered in with ten or so other families. We couldn’t hear anything the big man said because all the kids howled their heads off (I know, I know, that’s my kid now!!) and it was just a completely rushed disappointment.

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Never mind, not the end of the world I thought, we’ve got next year.

Christmas 2014 – and another crappy Santa Visit

So fast forward to 2014 and b is 18 months. We decide to visit Father Christmas at our local animal farm park. They take you around the farm on the little tractor train before you visit FC. Then you wander through the magical forest, to the grotto. Yep, it sounded promising. In reality, it was crap again! We froze our asses off for ten minutes on the tractor train, before heading into the grotto. Again, it was set up so that all families on the train went in together. Again we had to wait in turn for our photo and strain to hear what was said for the noise and commotion of multiple kids! And to make it even worse than last year’s fiasco, this time the gifts were right there, IN THE ROOM!! Honestly, who in their right mind thought this would be a good idea?! Not one child listened to anything FC had to say! We spent the whole five minutes trying to stop b from having a complete meltdown because he wanted his tractor and he wanted it NOW!

I didn’t even take any photos – it was that memorable. Sigh. Here is one we had taken in the snow globe at the local garden centre. B was really enthusiastic about this too…

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Center Parcs Santa Visit

Oh well, no biggy, maybe 2015 will be better…and it WAS! After much deliberation, I decided to bite the bullet and book us our santa visit at Center Parcs. We went to the Winter Wonderland in 2014 but I begrudge paying ten quid for a five minute FC visit. But it seems you very much get what you pay for! You can read about our full trip to Longleat Center Parcs Winter Wonderland here 🙂

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The most magical yet!

Here are the reasons why this Father Christmas visit was the most magical yet 🙂

One in one out. Non of this “shared Father Christmas visit” malarkey. It was lovely. We got our five minutes alone time with the big man and we could finally here him.

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Magical entrance. The lead up to the grotto was really lovely and magical. There were different areas to look at as you queued up, so it held b’s attention until it was our turn to go in.

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Photo included! We had a family photo taken, which was part of the cost (£10). It actually came out ok…ish !

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Hidden toys! The toys weren’t all on show and the gift was a soft, snuggly bunny which b loved.

We didn’t feel rushed. Although we only had 5 minutes, we had to fill out a little form before we went in with the child’s name and what they wanted for Christmas. This was a nice touch.

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Basically the whole experience was well thought through and worth the ten quid for five mins! Blimey, that Father Christmas was on £120 an HOUR!

Have your Santa visits been magic or more manic?! Share your Santa calamities with me in the comments! And don’t forget to pin the pics for later 🙂 Or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more mayhem and magic this Christmas 🙂

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Linked with KCACOLS

22 comments

  1. Our visit to Father Christmas was wonderful, despite Alfie having a tug on his beard! I have high expectations of this year as well, after spending ages choosing somewhere to go, so will see how it goes!

  2. I know what you mean about the farm park! We tried going to one last year after my friends had said they\’re brilliant, but we had exactly the same experience. Frozen on the tractor ride, ushered into a crowded room trying to keep the kids still while Santa told a story we couldn\’t hear, and then a rushed photo. All that at about £40 for the family! Lame. In previous years, we\’d gone to one at Bluewater Mall near us. The grotto wasn\’t flashy but it was good enough for my little ones, and you got to go into see Santa on your own. Plus it only cost a fiver per kid with no cost for adults. We\’re going back there this year, but apparently they\’ve made it bigger. Hopefully they haven\’t ruined it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  3. Ah! Our photos are pretty similar, tbh. I don\’t know what makes the organisers think that toddlers are suddenly going to become excellent at queueing faced with the promise of a five minute consult with the bearded one…
    I hope your 2016 visit is successful 🙂
    x Alice
    #kcacols

  4. Mine are a bit old for all that now, but we always used to see FC at the social club my dad went to. They had a kids Christmas party that ended with a visit from the man himself, the kids loved it.
    #KCACOLS

  5. We\’re not taking Piglet to see Santa this year. We will probably wait until next year….. or even the year after! I don\’t want to pay for a rubbish experience when he doesn\’t really understand it. It seems you had a good time last year though at least! #kcacols

  6. Ahh so glad to hear last year\’s was a good one! We\’ve had this when the boys were younger too but they absolutely love it now. Love the fact a photo was included in the price, that is a really nice tough. #KCACOLS

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