Tonight Neil and I took Chloe to see Santa. This was her first ever Santa visit and we both wanted to be there, so decided to put aside our differences for an hour to take Chloe together. We went to Santa's Enchanted forest trail at Donegore Garden Centre - it was fabulous (we went after dark to get the full effect). I'll walk you through the whole thing.
Basically when we got there we waited beside some live reindeer for Santa's Elf to come and get you. While we were waiting another elf came and stuck a sticker with Chloe's name and age on it - we figured out it was so that Santa knew the names and ages of the kids, lol.
When the elf called us we were taken into a big tent where they served mulled wine and cookies. Then Santa's 'helper' 'Barney the dinosaur' came to show us the way to the forest. So we were ushered out of the tent and into the forest. It was a sight to behold! Fir trees everywhere, covered in fairy lights from top to bottom. It is all arranged in a trail so you wind in and out of these trees and there are other lit up things like lifesize snowmen, etc. You pass donkeys and pigs and geese and ducks throughout the trail. There are elves giving out toasted marshmallows. Then you get to a 'junction' where another elf directs you down a specfic path (I presume because there is a number of Santa's). We only had a short wait and we went into the log cabin to see him.
This Santa was very good - he actually looked like a proper Santa Claus. Chloe was totally fascinated by him. She didn't cry, but just couldn't stop staring at him. He was very nice and gave Chloe a lovely book, some sunflower seeds to plant and an apple.
After you walk out of the cabin you go down another trail a bit and they are handing out sausages done on an open fire. And there were more animals and a Merry-go-round. Chloe went on the carousel (I sat beside her holding her). Then on your way out you see lambs and a tiny Shetland pony.
It really was an absolutely magical experience - and to complete the perfection it started to snow as we were walking out. It really did take me back to childhood I cannot wait to take Chloe there for years to come - especially when she will appreciate it. I videoed most of it and will upload one later.