Father Christmas at Tatton park

For the last two years we have been to visit Father Christmas at The Christmas Adventure, Stockeld Park.  This year we couldn’t get to Stockeld Park (I can’t drive till Christmas because of my c-section and we can’t all fit in one car) so I started to look for options closer to home.   I considered Bents as the Christmas displays are fantastic at Christmas and they even have reindeer . . . but I was disappointed that they don’t have a grotto and that actually Father Christmas walks around the garden centre meeting and greeting children – I rather thought that was lacking in magic somehow so continued my research!   After asking some fellow bloggers in the area I settled on the idea of going to see Father Christmas at Tatton Park – a few people said they’d either been or heard it was nice and it appealed to me as somewhere we could make a bit of a day of it.

Aunty Nic came with us and we set off to Tatton Park on Sunday morning – it’s about 25 minutes drive from our house (slightly more if your navigator isn’t concentrating and you miss a junction  . . . yes that would be me that was too busy chatting to my sister!)  When we arrived we were directed to the overflow car park (at a cost of £5 per car).  Ben and Chloe were both understandably very excited when they saw the adventure playground – it is enormous.  We explained they could play there later as we had something else to do first  . . . we then spent a good 20 minutes or so trying to actually find the farm where Father Christmas was!  What a dreadful lack of clear signage!!  This lead to a lot of unnecessary walking and meant that by the time we actually found the farm it was past lunch time and Chloe was starting to be quite tired.  (There’s a ‘land train’ which we could have got to the farm but we couldn’t find where to get on it – and in fairness once we saw it go past realised we’d have struggled to get Amy’s pram on anyway).
The long queue to see Father Christmas at Tatton Park

We paid our entrance fees – the best part of £30 for three adults and two children – I rather resent having to pay £6 per an adult, it’s not as though we’re getting a present from Father Christmas is it?  Anyway that’s by the by.  We joined the queue to see Father Christmas immediately knowing that the waiting time would only get longer!  The queue is through a marquee providing shelter from the elements and entertainment in the form of a ‘French’ clown.  We queued for approximately half an hour – which didn’t seem too bad really (aside from the fact that both kids were quite hungry).  They were both very patient – especially as we hadn’t really told them what they were waiting for.

Father Christmas at Tatton Park
Amy slept through her first meeting with
the big man!

When it came to our turn a friendly lady took us through a curtain into the grotto.  Chloe all but burst into tears and pulled backwards, she wouldn’t set foot in the room so just stayed in the doorway with Aunty Nic.  When Father Christmas asked Ben what his name was he announced “I’m Ben and I’m 4 and a quarter”.  He told him what presents he’d like (a remote control helicopter and some Lego), Chlo wouldn’t speak so between us we agreed that Chloe and Amy would probably like some surprises.  Father Christmas was lovely, he asked Ben what school he went to and such like and really took his time to chat to us, we didn’t feel at all rushed.  Ben & Amy had their photo taken (Chlo steadfastly refused to go anywhere near) and then all three children were given a present.

Presents from Santa at Tatton Park
We were impressed that the presents were age appropriate – Ben was thrilled
to get a lego type toy, Chloe a kit to make finger puppets and Amy a bath toy.
Ben was really excited to see some of Father Christmas’ reindeer!  He was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t one with a red nose so I explained that Rudolph had stayed in Lapland as he had lots of important jobs to do!
Reindeer at Tatton Park
Reindeer spotting!

Father Christmas done – next stop food.  Because it was now so far past lunch time we didn’t feel we could do anything else but succumb to the burger van that was parked within the farm area (Dave will never turn down a cheese burger anyway) – of course this wasn’t cheap so I shared a hot dog and chips with Ben and Chloe.  Poor Chlo wasn’t too impressed with the chickens that were wandering freely around the area – I think she was quite scared of them and also worried they would steal her food! She kept telling them to go away.

Once we had eaten we made our way back up into the courtyard so that Aunty Nic could treat them to a ride on the merry go round – this wasn’t something Chloe had done before and she was initially quite nervous but then warmed up to it and wanted to go straight back on after it had finished!
We finished off the afternoon in the adventure playground as promised.
Play area at Tatton Park (plus newborn baby in a Christmas pudding jumper!)
All in all we had a lovely (and very expensive) day out but I think will be going back to Stockeld Park next year!

*Read about more of our adventures here*

6 Comments

  1. December 4, 2013 / 2:00 pm

    Looks like you had a fab time, wonderful pictures, absolutely loving the christmas pud jumper!!! x

    • December 4, 2013 / 6:48 pm

      It's fab isn't it! It's from Tesco – a present from a friend 🙂

  2. December 4, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    lovely if not expensive trip to the grotto!! At least everyone had a lovely time. Super cool to have the reindeer there!

    • December 4, 2013 / 9:34 pm

      Yes the reindeer was a lovely touch x

  3. December 4, 2013 / 11:02 pm

    I still haven't decided where to take my little boy. This looks fab and that Christmas pud jumper is the cutest thing I've seen for a long time!

    • December 4, 2013 / 11:04 pm

      Its gorgeous isn't it! I'm making sure it gets as much wear as possible this month!

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