Here are some Queue-busting tips for visiting Santa at Willow’s Farm at Christmas 2018!
Lucy visited Santa at Willow’s Farm at Christmas 2017 and came up with these great tips!
I am not sure there is a festive activity that is not available at Willow’s Farm this Christmas. They really have thought of it all, and as you might expect from Willow’s Farm, they do it all very well. However this makes it very popular so we have included a few tips on how make your day run smoothly.
We took all three girls, Amelia (7), Florence (5) and Nancy (2), on the first Sunday in December. We arrived at a leisurely mid-morning time to find the car park packed, but still with endless space. To our amazement there was no queue to get into the farm, and a very helpful warm welcome from the lady on the gate who gave a thorough run through of all that was on offer. If you haven’t visited before its worth getting a few top tips on the way in as there is so much to do and a packed schedule of entertainment dotted around the farm.
We quickly realised that there was no queue at the gate as everyone was queuing to see the big man from the north pole, or to buy lunch for their ravenous brood. There are two cafes, both of which were packed full. The queue time was only about 10 minutes, but to a small hungry child (or their parents) that can seem like an eternity. There is a reasonable selection of the normal children’s favourites available; packed lunches, beans on toast, baked potatoes etc. Paninis and soup seemed to be the favourites on the adults menu. In hindsight, a packed a lunch would help avoid the queuing and allow more time for exploring. We ate in the soft play cafe, which at least meant they children were entertained whilst we waited for food and a table.
We we were told that the queues for Santa died down in the late afternoon, so we avoided the temptation to dive right in and went to look around the masses of other attractions; starting with Minchska the gorgeous Huskie dog who you can meet and greet (we were happy to watch and not queue). Also, Peter Rabbit, adored by two year old Nancy; we went on the nearby tea-cup rides whilst the queue to died down and dived in at the end for a quick cuddle and a photo.
Any of Willows Farms Elves with walkie-talkies were happy to check on queue times if asked. There was no queue for the ‘make-a-cuddle’ workshop, where the children happily stuffed large reindeer soft toys to take home. We explained to our children that reindeer don’t wear clothes in order to avoid the additional expense of a superhero or princess outfit for our three Rudolphs. At the back of the workshop is an area where you can write to Santa, complete with colouring pens and lots of items for sticking. The children were delighted to meet a friendly Elf called Berry in the workshop who told the children that she knew the Elf that has been living our house since the beginning of December, and that we should watch out for her sock-hiding antics. Florence and Nancy later saw Berry take to the stage in the Elf Academy where she got all the children up out of their seats and jumping around in the little theatre at Willows Farm. Amelia meanwhile went to discover the snowball shoot-out; another area where Willow’s Farm had been cleverly transformed for the festive season.
It is worth arriving early for a seat at the Nativity Play, set in a real Barn amongst real animals. The children were given various costumes just before the performance started so they could take part. The story was beautifully narrated and our show starred a visit from triplet Christmas lambs born on the farm that very morning.
When we finally got to the see the man himself, the queue was just outside the barn door, but moved inside pretty quickly. Once inside there are intricate Christmas scenes all along the way to entertain the little ones during the queue, including a friendly juggler at one point. We were ushered in to see Santa by his elves, and he was his usual warm and jovial self, with plenty of time to chat with the children about their hopes for the contents of their Christmas stockings. Photos aren’t allowed, but can be purchased fro the elves later on. Santa then presented the children with a key to his toy shop where there were masses of toys for the children to choose from.
There was so much more on offer at the farm a full day could easily be packed full of festive fun. A Christmas themed tractor ride, a 3D film sleigh ride, plenty of indoor and outdoor play space, name the reindeer and spot the elf trails, and of course lots of farm animals.
Those that have visited Willows Farm before will know that it is not a cheap day out. However, you can be reassured that they have delivered Christmas festivities to perfection. Your Mini Travellers will return home happy, with hearts-warmed, and arms filled with toys!
You can read other reviews of Willows Farm here and here
NB: We received complimentary tickets to Willows Farm, but all our opinions are our own.
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