Last year we went to Christmas Island – The Santa Experience in Hidden Valley, Rathdrum, to visit Santa of course. Here’s how we got on and what to expect during your visit…
On arrival, we received vouchers for complimentary hot chocolates. It was freezing so they went down well next to a huge open fire, it’s was super cozy. Next we went in to get some photos on Santa’s sleigh taking by the elves free of charge. After that we let the big kid run wild in the playground. There is two big playgrounds, a couple of big slides and lots of fairies too.
Next, we went to see Mrs. Claus in one of Santa’s igloo’s who read stories to all the children in a beautiful little setup. She had every child’s attention in the igloo. You would not have heard a pin drop, she was brilliant! Everybody makes their very own Christmas ornament with the help of Santa’s elves too.
Once we finished with Mrs. Claus we followed the tunnel from the igloo into another igloo full of elves. The elves and Rudolf made all the daddies do silly dances and sing. Joe was mortified. It was a great laugh, the kids had a ball running and dancing around the tree.
We then departed Christmas Island onto Santa’s Sleigh Boat. Again the elves had were merry and had everyone sing as loud as they could to get the engine working. By now it was starting to get dark so we could see the thousands of lights lit up across Santa’s Island. It was very magical. The sleigh boat docked at the other side of the lake and we were guided towards Santa’s Grotto. A toasty little log cabin down the back of the valley.
When we went in to see Santa he knew the kid’s names, Kayla’s favourite colour and what she wanted for Christmas. Thankfully Santa doesn’t actually read my blog otherwise, I’d be on the naughty list.
Upon booking your experience with Christmas Island, you fill in a form with the kid’s names, ages and any little messages you may want Santa to tell the kids. Kayla got her warnings about eating her dinner and that she had to start cleaning her room (this never actually happened and he still left a shit load of presents for her).
The elves took loads of photo’s for us (no charge) and we spent almost ten minutes in with Santa. There was no rush like you would normally find after queuing for hours in some places. The kids both got brilliant presents that they actually played with. Frankie got a puzzle type ball thing that’s still going strong a year later and Kayla got a felt craft set easily worth a tenner.
We then headed to get something to eat. There were two food cabins selling fast food and sweet treats and an indoor and outdoor area to enjoy. In the marquee there was a big screen playing Christmas movies, colouring pages and loads of board games to enjoy.
Overall we had a brilliant day. It cost us just over €50 for the four of us. We brought snacks along too to keep to our budget too. We spent almost fours hours ‘on the island’ arriving at 2pm during the quieter period in November and we were completely entertained at all times. It’s one of the best organized Santa experiences we have ever been too. I would highly recommend Christmas Island if you’re planning a Christmas adventure this year. It really was a magical experience and I’d go back in a heartbeat!
Since writing this review Christmas Island has added an enchanting train ride and Santa’s mini golf, check out www.christmasisland.ie for more info.
We also reviewed Luggwoods – Santas Enchanted Forest.