This year is our third year going to the Marsh Farm Father Christmas Experience. I’ve said it from the very first time we went, it’s our favourite grotto! So naturally we were very excited for this year too.
We were booked for the first Father Christmas Experience of the day. We arrived early all dressed in our Christmas jumpers. It felt very odd being festive during the middle of November though.
At the entrance we were handed drawstring bags. A great new addition to the experience for carrying around various items that are collected along your journey to the North Pole. The schedule for feeding animals and the magic show, plus a map was also handed to us.
This year the Passport Control had been moved to further inside Marsh Farm, near the carousel fair ground ride. I actually thought that the walk through Marsh Farm didn’t feel very Christmassy compared to the previous two years. There was a lack of elf presence at the entrance and decorations on the farm. During their Halloween event it was heavily decorated but it didn’t really have that this day.
Once you got to the Passport Control the nutcracker soldiers were waiting, the elves handed out the passports and Christmas decorations were everywhere. I love how the rooms are decorated with wooden logs, very authentic of Lapland or the North Pole.
There’s a short wait before the fun begins, a few of the elves kept us entertained and got us in the festive spirit making the wait go much quicker. These elves became our tour guides for the experience, a nice personal touch. I think their names were Cookie and Tinsel.
Thinking back, there were seven sections to the Father Christmas experience. Our first stop was the Elf Academy. One thing to note on the experience is that it really doesn’t matter if you are first to go into each room or last, there’s plenty of space for everyone and you can also see wherever too. Marsh Farm have definitely got the right number for each experience that allows it to not feel crowded.
In the Elf Academy you are entertained by two elves. They really get the audience involved and perform a little comedy sketch. The girls were laughing their heads off. Even P3 got involved. Each child was also given their own wand to help create magic throughout the experience.
There’s a short walk through tall hay bales to the next section of the Father Christmas Experience. We were lead by Cookie Elf and Tinsel Elf who made the stages really enjoyable for all ages.
We entered into the next barn to see the Snow Fairies. Last year this housed a giant polar bear that amazed the girls. We actually hadn’t done our research ahead of the event so was completely surprised by the beautiful aerial acrobat fairy. She was spinning on a hoop and it was mesmerising.
As part of the Snow Fairies Show, the children helped them to make it snow. So as we exited the barn, we were greeted by a winter wonderland. The girls were in shock. I think everything looks better sprinkled with snow, do you?
As the experience is a timed experience, you are definitely ushered through. Not quickly but they do like to keep you moving, so this below photo of the winter wonderland was the best I could get before we headed to Mother Christmas’ kitchen.
I think this part of the Father Christmas Experience is one of my favourites (not counting meeting Father Christmas obviously) as the girls can get hands on. Mother Christmas sings a really catchy song, which you can hear in my video from our day out right at the bottom of this blog post. It’s such a good song! She asks for audience help to create a yummy treat in the kitchen.
The children are then sent to their own gingerbread man to decorate. Complete with little pots of icing and sweets. I love the little photo above of P2 sneaking a sweet whilst she was decorating. Last year the adults were offered a shortbread, this didn’t happen this year and my tummy was rumbling so I was a little sad. Poor me!
Obviously the girls wanted to eat their freshly decorated gingerbread men straight away. After finishing in Mother Christmas’ Kitchen you are lead through a really cute snow tunnel and into Father Christmas’ grotto. There’s lots of seating available and the elves keep you entertained with Christmas songs.
I didn’t manage to get a photo of the grotto waiting area as literally as soon as we had sat down, we were called in to meet FC. We were first! I was even doing an Instastories as our names were called! There are other elves that direct you into the grotto.
All of the girls were really excited to see Father Christmas. Even P3 who usually gets very nervous had told us how excited she was and that she was going to tell him what she wanted. We held our breaths for that. I still think it was very weird to see Father Christmas in the middle of November but the girls were definitely not bothered.
As you can imagine, shyness kicked in for P3 and she huddled into Hubby as the other two got comfy with Father Christmas. I love how he knows who is who and what they want for Christmas. It’s a really professional and authentic visit to Father Christmas. He takes his time with each child and we never feel rushed at all.
P3 really didn’t want to speak to Father Christmas and when it came to the photo she started to cry. FC was very patient with her as we encouraged him to just take the photo. As you can see, she wasn’t happy about the photo but at least she was actually in it.
During the visit to see Father Christmas, he gives one of the adults a box of fudge. I think this is a really good gesture considering the cost for the experience. It gets the adults involved just as much as the children. He also gives the children a little heart to place inside the bear he is gifting to them in the Make A Bear area.
The Make A Bear area is where you can start getting some grumpy children. They see the outfits and automatically want them, obviously. We stood our ground though as the outfits are quite expensive. The girls stuffed their bears and another elf gave them each a Snowie.
A Snowie is “money” to be spent in the toy shop. Each child is allowed to take home one gift. There’s a great range of things to choose from and for all ages. P1 and P2 both picked little makeup sets and P3 picked a battery car track. I also went next door to order our photos.
This years Father Christmas Experience is nearly booked up, so I’d highly recommend booking your visit quickly. We always have such a pleasurable journey at Christmas time. The tickets are costly but they are worth every single hard earned penny. If you are a member you get your tickets cheaper too.
I filmed our experience so that you could get a real feel for the adventure we had. I hope you enjoy it!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.