Last Sunday we spent the morning at the Dublin Visitor Centre Christmas Experience on a vintage Christmas bus for a magical journey around Dublin’s Fair City. The Dublin Visitor Centre invited us on board their Chrismified double decker bus on O’Connell street for a sing-along and storytelling with Santa and here’s how we got on…
We chose to go early in the morning so we had a quiet slot with only three other families on board. Elvis, a musician read us all a little story, an Elf gave everyone Christmas hats and before we knew it we were on our merry way around Dublin City having a little sing song. Santa appears ten minutes into your vintage bus ride, fully suited right down to his big black boots. He had a great sense of humor, having the craic with the adults and engaging with each and every child on board. We sang more songs, the kids told Santa what they were hoping for this Christmas and Santa told the kids he’ll see what he could do, there were no promises – I really liked that. He spoke of the naughty and nice list and we were back singing again.
Santa sat right beside me and Frankie so I struggled to get photos of him aboard the bus – he was there I swear!. We were on it for just over forty minutes. The bus went up around Trinity College after that I couldn’t tell you where we went as we were constantly entertained, if we weren’t chatting with Santa we were clapping and singing along with Elvis on his guitar. There were some photo opportunities with the help of some elves once the vintage bus parked up on O’Connell Street and then they whisked us away in to a little room in the Dublin Visitor Centre for some gingerbread men decorating.
The gingerbread men were made of some rubbery clay like material and the kids coloured them in parked on the cutest little benches. Whilst they were all happily decorating Santa appeared once again with presents (Cadburys selection boxes). He signed their gingerbread men, we got lots of pictures and he had an individual chat with each child. It was all very lovely and relaxed.
The website states the Dublin Visitor Centre Christmas Experience is designed for children aged 3-7, and I’d have to disagree. The toddler loved the sing-song, the colouring, and the chocolate treats but he doesn’t get the whole Santa thing and still had a ball and I’d higher the seven up to believing as I know some eight or nine-year-olds who would love the Dublin Visitor Centre Christmas Experience. Santa was very engaging and jolly, he was pretty much a part of the whole experience. Elvis the musician guy on the bus was great with the kids and remembered each of the children’s names which I thought was really lovely. The experience is advertised as approx. 90 minutes, ours was about 75 minutes – it was a Sunday morning so there was no traffic. I loved that it was not rushed in any way, it was a very enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere and the kids loved it. In fact, when we left the Dublin Visitor Centre the toddler pointed up in the buses direction and shouted ‘more‘.
Would I recommend it? 100%. Would I do it again? Without a doubt. Is it worth €35 for a family ticket (2 + 2)? Technically there is no discount buying a family ticket as an adult goes free with a paying child but yes it’s worth every penny. If you are looking for something to do with the kids in the city centre this week check it out as the Christmas Experience finishes up on Thursday afternoon! For more info see The Dublin Visitor Centres website.
We received a complimentary family pass to the Dublin Visitor Centre Christmas Experience. I was not obliged to write a blog post on our experience but we had such a wonderful morning I wanted to share it.