This afternoon after school had finished for the festive holidays, the Grandparents (my inlaws) had paid for us to all go to have Dinner with Father Christmas at Barton Grange, a garden centre near to where we live. Barton Grange is just magical at Christmas they have won awards for their displays and if you ever have the pleasure of going one year you will see why. It was just beautiful and Judah could not take it all in. He was mesmerised, running around each display with so much glee and excitement I thought he was going to explode. You could see all the onlookers delight in watching how amazing Christmas is when you’re a toddler. I honestly think it is my favourite Christmas memory to date thinking back through all my Christmases past…. to watch him drinking in everything…. well, it’s one of the best Mum moments I’ve encountered.
Anyway, are you prepared for a LOT of photos. Dinner with Santa was lovely the children were filled with such excitement whilst they were waiting for him to arrive and enjoying their sandwiches etc. Barton Grange had provided them each with ham sandwiches – cheese was available also for the vegetarian – they had crisps, yoghurt, chocolate chip cookie, and colouring items for those that weren’t so excited, ours didn’t touch their crayons which is a first.
Whilst the elves were serving out dinner, the head elf came and sat with us (he went round each table) and chatted to the children and made them each something with balloons. He was very entertaining, my father-in-law was saying how the entertainment at the beginning was like being in our own pantomime…. he was right, the whole time everyone stayed in character and really incited the magic of Christmas, stirring up the excitement ready for Santa’s arrival.
When the big man himself came out they were so excited. I was too to be honest, they had built it up so well. They each got to go up and collect a present from Father Christmas. We had let them know the age of each child and their sex so they could prepare the gifts. It was really quite lovely.
Judah collecting his gift
They each received a beautiful age appropriate book, a creative toy, and a pack of chocolate gold coins. They were all thrilled. Barton Grange must have decided Judah was a girl though as his presents were pink…. he’s at an age where he’s not fussed and we’re not for making toys about gender but as all the others were so gender specific they must have lost the information of him being a boy. He loved his little pink cars anyway and we didn’t make a fuss as it wasn’t like he’d been given a dress, this was still something he will use a lot.
Finally at the end of the dinner everyone was able to go and have a photo taken on Father Christmas’ knee.
I would thoroughly recommend the whole experience, it is quite pricey at £20 per child and £7 per adult in attendance. I’m not sure we would’ve paid it, but with the in-laws generously paying, it has definitely made me think about saving up for next year as the children enjoyed it so much. There are so many wonderful Christmas experiences, as a newb really with this being the first Christmas my first born (about to be 2 and a half) has really understood, we’re just branching out into all the different things that can be done. Maybe this will be one of our Christmas traditions… who knows?