I’m going to be totally honest, I had heard mixed reviews before going to this event. A few people had said it was magical and a few had that it seemed to not be value for money and were left feeling disappointed.
I obviously write a blog, which has reviews and I do read reviews too however I would never let another’s opinions on something affect my outlook on it. I really like to give everything a chance to form my own opinion on things and I was completely dumbfounded as why someone had told me it wasn’t great. I genuinely think it was one of the better events we had been to this year. The ticket was really cheap, as I mentioned in my last post about it this was because I already had an active membership for Woodhorn so I didn’t have to pay anything in addition to my ticket which made it even better value for money in my eyes.
When we arrived, parking was ample, we were a couple minutes late – I’d stupidly put it in my calender as quarter to the hour, but it was only a couple of minutes and the girl on the desk swiftly radioed through to the event staff to check if we could sneak in late. Fortunately it had only just began so she pointed out where to go and off we ran.
The pathway was lit with festoon bulb lighting which I adore anyway, the event was held in the hall where I’m sure their wedding receptions to take place. It’s a superbly renovated clean building with underfloor heating that we,as parents used to sitting on cold floors at playgroups, LOVED!
The scenery was magical, it was aesthetically the most pleasing event we’d been to. There was a dark backdrop of twinkly lights with a row of Christmas trees lined up perfectly decorated and lit with a middle parting where the big guy himself had a high backed old fashioned chair with vintage looking props scattered either side of him. Even the rugs that he and we were sitting on screamed authentic old school santa.
The santa himself was a credit to the event, he had a local accent which we loved. He built a quick rapport with our group so easily and with each child too asking their names and remembering them throughout the whole event.
The story he told was a recount of The Snowman, asking children to get involved with different parts of the story to make it a more immersive experience. He asked the children if anyone would like to help him build a snowman head, after another little one had built the body. Alden spoke up so proudly, Me?! Santa ushered him over and commented on his santa hat which you could see made my dude so proud and happy – they pretended to roll and place a head on the snowman and Alden returned to his seat proud as punch! I was so proud of him too.
It was only last year that he was still rather apprehensive by the idea of Santa and wouldn’t look a Santa character in the eye they spoke to him! Now he was having a pleasant conversation and getting up in front of a mini crowd like the complete opposite to previous years. The story sparked the children’s imagination and kept them interested throughout, you could see on their face the look of wonder and delight.
The story ended and Santa called up each child by name to have a little chat with and give them a gift. Alden and Heidi walked hand in hand to santa, [awwwwwww] and got their gift and ran back to us so happy! The gift was an Usborne Christmas Activity book.
After everyone had met Santa, there was time for some photo opportunities. Both the Santa and the Elf helping him were more than kind in taking pictures of us as a group.
I would definitely recommend this event. I’m pleased I did not go into it with low expectations from other people’s accounts of the event. I especially recommend the Under 5 session and on a weekday during term time if your little one is apprehensive when meeting Santa. The way that Santa speaks to each child and tells a story really sets the calming tone and children who maybe would’ve normally shied away seemed more confident in approaching and warmed to him much quicker than any other event we’ve been too.
We took a stroll around the museum after the event, which was truly nostalgic for me I remember visiting her a child too. We also had a little play in their park before heading home. I’m definitely going to look into booking this again next year because I was so impressed with the event. With memberships being just as cheap i’ll also be looking to renew mine in February when it runs out. It’s an inexpensive way to support a local treasure that is Woodhorn.