It’s great to try new things, but it’s also lovely at this time of year to have little traditions. This tradition was one that started inadvertently, back in 2010 when we brought a two-year-old and three-month-old to see Santa at a local mini-farm. The following year our three-year-old and one-year-old suggested it again, and so it has been every year. They’ve never seen Santa anywhere else, and we are happy out with that. I blogged about our 2012 visit HERE.
A lot of the “Santa Experiences” (What now, where are the grottos of my youth?) seem to offer an hour and half of Santa and elf stuff and a gift and you have to book in September, for about €20 per child.
At Kia-Ora Mini Farm, just outside Gorey, for €16 for a child and €7 for each accompanying adult you get the Santa visit (they even take card payments now, hurray), the kids get to pick their own toy which is worth €8-€10 by my estimate, adults get a mulled wine or tea/coffee and a muffin or slice of Christmas cake, and the kids get a small hot chocolate (no marshmallows to my crew’s dismay) and a mini-muffin. You don’t have to book in advance, just turn up and pay at the counter in the cafe which is Christmassed to the max, with lots of Santas, lights and decorations. Magical.
We’ve never had to queue very long, but there are lovely scenes and on the queue where you can snoop at Santa’s post office, toy room and bedroom.
You get a private audience with a very friendly Santa and Mrs Claus, and you take whatever photos you like, the kdis choose their own present and when it’s all done you get to explore the farm like you would on a non-Christmas themed day.
Here’s how we spent our afternoon after meeting Santa:
On Go-Karts (even I had a go)
And trikes, checking out the animals
riding in the fire engine singing Christmas songs…
Digging with real diggers (listen to that diesel engine)
And getting Christmassy (even though it’s only November)
It’s easy to see when we go back why Kia-Ora is such a favourite with our kids, there’s so much to do, and even though they go during the year the place is so well decorated that they are blown away when they arrive, there are lights and Santas EVERYWHERE. We usually go early afternoon so haven’t been there to enjoy the full effect of the light show, but I’ve heard good thing about it too.
I wasn’t asked review Kia-Ora Farm and we paid our entry fees, I’m always happy to support local businesses that are so family-friendly. Gorey Town has just invested in some fabulous new Christmas Lights for our town so if you’re down this way be sure to check them out.