We haven’t had such a good track record of visiting Father Christmas.
Seth is now almost 3 and a half.
- Year 1… he was too young to notice.
- Year 2… we queued up at a church Christmas Fair but one look at the Big Man resulted in traumatic tears.
- Year 3… I was heavily pregnant so we ‘did’ Christmas in November. We met Father Christmas on the East Lancashire Railway Santa Train and Seth was a bit shy and didn’t really speak to him, he just buried his head between me and his Daddy.
As both me and my other half are working opposite weekends at the moment, family time at weekends is pretty much none existent on the run up to Christmas this year. As we couldn’t all go together anyway, I decided that I’d take the boys on a week day when there was less chance of having to queue. It worked out perfectly.
We went to a local Santa’s Grotto at Oswaldtwistle Mills in Lancashire. At £10 a child, it’s quite pricey but I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s open on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and weekends.
The grotto is in an outdoor temporary garden building at the end of the garden centre. I wish I’d known it wasn’t inside. Although we had our coats on, I’d left our hats and gloves in the car so it was a bit cold.
After getting out tickets and a Thornton’s chocolate lolly, a Christmas tree-lined path guided us through to the Grotto with different things to do along the way.
There was a reindeer and sleigh you could sit in. Costumes to dress up in and different props for taking ‘elfies’. As we continued, there was colouring to do and books to read. We took some time to sit and read the nativity. Once we got to the gate to Santa’s grotto, we were second in the queue. In no time it was our turn. I handed our tickets (which I had written on what the boys were hoping to get for Christmas) to the elf and she went off to check Santa was ready.
We were led in to meet the Big Man. Seth’s face lit up. It truly was a magical moment. I wish I could have bottled it but a photograph was the best I could do! Just look at him!
Of course, Rory’s reaction wasn’t good but I saw this one coming! I would have got a picture but I think Father Christmas wanted him off his knee pronto! Seth was over the moon that Father Christmas knew he liked Fireman Sam, and was also happy with his gift. Both boys got a teddy bear and some reindeer food.
Have you been to see Father Christmas? What do your children make of it?