I know it may still be a little early for some but I always start to feel festive immediately after Allana’s birthday on November 12th. The Christmas tree has already been up for a fortnight, I’ve had the best Christmas surprise of my sister arriving home a few weeks earlier than I was expecting, a wonderfully festive family evening at the local National Trust property and last weekend we ticked meeting Father Christmas off the festive ‘to do’ list too.
Wyevale Garden Centre’s kindly got in touch and offered the girls two special tickets to meet Santa Claus at one of their centres just down the road- Endsleigh. We had decided against telling the girls we were meeting the main man himself until the morning of our visit and I’m glad we did. Willow was so ecstatic and I think slightly nervous about meeting him that I’m sure the excitement would’ve been overwhelming had they known earlier.
Endsleigh Garden Centre always looks pretty spectacular at Christmas time as they really go to town with the decorations at their entrance but having never visited Santa there before I was unsure what to expect of his Grotto. In all the initial excitement I completely forgot to take a photo of the entrance to Santa’s Grotto but I must say it really felt and looked like a magical woodland and we were greeted by the loveliest elf. Willow and Allana immediately set to work writing their letters to Santa before moving on to plant their very own magical Christmas tree seed.
After planting their seeds they were ready for the main event… meeting Santa!! We were greeted by another very friendly and happy elf, Jingles, who took us to meet Santa. But first we had to knock on the door incase Mr Claus had nodded off to sleep!!
Santa’s snug was a beautifully inviting little room, full of pretty twinkly lights, presents, a lovely little fireplace and in one corner a very special ‘sprouting chamber’ where Santa asked the girls to place their plant pots.
Both girls were completely enthralled by Santa and Willow was full of questions for him, I was actually quite surprised and impressed with some of her questions and loved that she felt the need to tell him we ‘live up the hill’ and that he will need a key as we don’t have a chimney. My favourite moment was Santa bouncing up and down with Willow and jiggling his belly after Willow said she would like a pogo stick for Christmas!
After a little chat and a few giggles the girls were given a small early Christmas present before Santa asked us to help him with a little bit of magic. After rubbing our hands together and saying the words ‘mince pies and sausage rolls,’ Jingle the elf opened the Sprouting Chamber and the girl were delighted to find their seeds had grown into magical little Christmas trees.
After saying our goodbyes we were met with a few tables full of baubles, ribbons, tinsel and glittery pipe cleaners ready for the children to decorate their trees. Willow loved decorating (or celebrating as she likes to say) her tree and Daddy made both the girls a beautiful mini tree topper each.
The girls thoroughly enjoyed meeting Santa Claus and although we were gifted our tickets I would have happily paid the £10 per child for the experience. We also had a family photo taken with Santa, which I did chose to purchase. I think one photo on its own was pretty over priced but they did have some good packages on offer. We bought a bauble, keyring and 2 photos for £16, probably a little more than I would usually spend but we’ll be giving a few of the items out as gifts. If you’re looking for somewhere to visit Santa and you want an experience thats a little special and different then I’d highly recommend checking out your local Wyevale Garden Centre.
What has been you or your child’s best Santa experience? Have you been to visit the main man yet this year?
*Disclosure- we were gifted the tickets to meet Santa but all words and opinions are my own.