Blogmas 2017 - Day 14: Visiting the Big Man

For the last couple of years we have visited Father Christmas at Henry Street Garden Centre. It was local to us, and they host the real Father Christmas, so it's a pretty big deal.

Henry Street Father Christmas in 2016

We have also done other things which include the Big Man, such as the Santa Special at East Somerset Railway, and even a visit to see him in the BT Tower. However, we decide it was probably best to keep the number of Father Christmas visits as low as possible this year. Last year Charlotte was only 2 but she was very suspicious of multiple Father Christmases who all looked marginally different. I suspect the fact that her nursery at the time didn’t bother to get a slightly rotund old bloke in, but dressed a very slim, young, female, member of staff (who Charlotte knew very well), in an awfully cheap costume didn’t help matters much!

This year we were running low on free December weekends so decided to incorporate our Father Christmas visit into our Center Parcs holiday. This was an incredibly good shout. The whole “Santa’s Workshop” experience was lovely. The walkway up to the Workshop was filled with trees, singing reindeer and little sheds with various festive scenes and music.

Once at the entrance we didn't have to queue long, but we were able to watch the real reindeer whilst we waited.

Once inside we were greeted by a friendly elf who took a few details, and then an animatronic owl told us some stuff - I have no idea what, I was keeping an eye on the little ones to check they were ok. Again, there were a few Christmas scenes, and some play panels on the walls, before we were greeted by another elf.

This elf was also very lovely and chatted with us before we were let in to see Father Christmas. Charlotte edged in slowly but quite happily chatted away to him. I was carrying Benjamin, and he was equally comfortable babbling away to Father Christmas. The challenge came when we needed to sit down to have a photo. Benjamin was hysterical. He really didn't want to be that close to him, despite Father Christmas's best attempt to bribe him with a chocolate coin. I asked the elf helper to take a quick snap before I took a step back with Benjamin.

It was a bit of a shame because a printed photo was included in the ticket price. Although we didn't get one for Benjamin it did mean we were able to print one of Charlotte with Stu, and one of her with myself, without paying any extra.

The kids were very happy with their Father Christmas gifts (wooden bead set and a snuggly reindeer) so all in all, it could have been worse!