With Christmas fast approaching we took the chance to take some time out as a family and enjoy a Christmas experience at our local Wyvale garden centre. Wyvale offer the chance to have Breakfast or Tea with that very special man in a red suit and with it being Little 3's first Christmas and possibly one of the last where Little 1 will wholeheartedly believe in Father Christmas the date was set and we looked forward to the event excitedly.
On arrival we were seated in a special cordoned off area where the tables were laid with red cloths, napkins and crackers as well as a Christmas themed activity sheet for the Little ones, the girls were delighted to find a name sticker for them too.
We chose to have tea with Santa (but you can have breakfast with him if you prefer). The Little ones had the choice of a hot childrens meal (you know the kind of thing sausages, chicken goujons, fish bites etc, with mash or chips and peas or beans) or a 'picnic' from the childrens counter (usually a choice of sandwiches, crisps, fruit, yogurt etc) both with unlimited squash. The girls had chosen (you have to state your chosen meals when booking) sausage, mash and beans. Shortly after seating the meals came out and it was quite a plateful but the girls did their best only leaving one mound of potato each!
At least one paying adult has to accompany the children and there was a choice of two options for Daddy and I, either a tea/coffee and cake option or a full tea, we chose the full tea, it arrived on a little stand, a turkey, stuffing, cranberry and lettuce sandwich each (vegetarian option available too), a christmas flavour scone complete with pots of jam and cream as well as a mince pie and tea/coffee. Daddy and I were completely stuffed, we had to save our mince pies for later.
When most of us had finished eating it was time for the guest of honour and the 'elves' told the children a little story of where he lived and that they needed to call for him loudly. Santa appeared to the sound of bells in a lovely red suit looking very much like the real thing. He walked around the tables introducing himself and asking the children if they were having a good time and whether they had been good this year. Little 3 who had never seen this magical figure before was totally and utterly amazed sat there in his highchair mouth open wide staring at the strange man.
Santa took his seat nearby and the Little ones were excited to take their turn to go up and meet him properly.
To keep all the children occupied while they waited their turn colouring resumed and each child was given a cookie to decorate with icing and chocolate drops, even Little 3 was given one although he proceeded to consume the chocolate drops (his first taste of chocolate) while daddy did the icing!
It was soon our turn to sit with Santa, he chatted to the children and posed for pictures then the girls were allowed to chose their christmas gift from a selection of toys in 2 large tubs. Little 1 chose a plaster of paris butterfly painting kit and Little 2 made a beeline for a little doll with various outfits to dress her in (she had wanted one for ages). The whole event lasted about 90 minutes ending with the Little ones being given a bag of chocolate coins each to take home too.
Breakfast or tea with Santa can be booked at a Wyvale near you online here and runs from now until Christmas eve but be quick, spaces are limited and sell out fast. It really is good value for money with the children's experience £9.99 (meal, cookie decorating, activity sheet, gift and a treat) and the adult full meal and drink £7.99 or £3.99 for a cake/pastry and drink mini option.
Thanks to the team at Wyvale Gloucester we had a lovely tea with Santa experience and we would do it again next year.
N.B We received Complementary tickets to attend the event but all views and opinions are our own honest thoughts.