Have Yourself A merry Little #WillowsChristmas!

Along with a gaggle of blogging families including, one of my faves, Carolynne from Mummy Endeavours, my Mum, the children and I headed off to Willows Farm in St Albans last weekend to feast our eyes on their Santa’s Spectacular. Now Hertfordshire is a fair old way from us now we’re in Norfolk, a 2 hour drive minimum but… We used to go there a lot when we lived in London and we love it so we knew it would be worth it.

I say this every year but Willows Farm just gets better and better with every year. They change like a chameleon with each seasonal celebration and move from Easter through to Halloween (with lots of other lovely celebrations on the way) arriving with their pinnacle for Christmas in late November. And they go ALL out!

The programme of events included all the normal activities but is bumped up for a festive treat something amazing! Tickets get a bit pricier for this event but… I have had a look at all the different options and even at the peak price I can hand on heart say that the day out, with all the treats in store, is worth every single penny.

Once you’ve seen Santa at Willows, been given a key to his toy shop and chosen a substantial gift to take away with you, you won’t want to visit any other grotto but besides the visit to Father Christmas there’s so much more that comes with the all inclusive entry price (please not adults have a substantially reduced ticket).

Us visiting the big man with the Mummy Endeavours gang!
Us visiting the big man with the Mummy Endeavours gang!

Aside from seeing father Christmas what can you expect from the Santa’s Spectacular at Willows Farm?

Create A Cuddle where children can make their own husky dog (again you get to take this toy home with you), Meet a real life husky dog (we forgot but carolynne and her brood said it was super sweet), collect all the reindeer names on a trail and get a box of raindeer glitter food on your way out (love this), write a letter to Father Christmas, post it in the post box and get a FREE reply (we did this and we can’t wait to get our post), make some cool crat items with everything you need on hand to do so), see the NEW 3D Film Sleigh Ride (this was excellent), Farmyard Animals & Santa’s Reindeer (so so sweet), Snowball Shootout without getting wet (there’s so much to do in the whole day that in 7 hours we still didn’t do it all unfortunately), Festive Wood Ride (we love the tractor and at Christmas it’s magical), Nativity Story with animals (my children’s school aren’t doing one this year so I was so pleased that Florence took part even thoguh Jimmy just wanted to watch), visit the Magical Ice Rink (it’s synthetic ice but perfect for tiny ones as they can ACTUALLY do it), go to the Elf School and learn the Elf-abet (the two elves were fabulous and seemed to be having SO much fun themselves that it was hard for everyone else not to too), Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn (the perfect place to warm up with a yummy lunch and let them play), Festive Funfair Rides (excellent as always) and Acres of under cover adventure play (the new Peter Rabbit area is IMMENSE and I’m only sorry we didn’t make it there earlier in the day as it was dark and nearly closing by the time we’d done everything else and had time).

So you see… There is SO much to do making it absolutely worth every penny. I think the most visual way I can show you is to watch my YouTube video of the whole day condensed into 5 minutes. Look at the happy faces on all the children!

I’m sure you can see how much we love it at Willows and we will be back for sure! Highly, highly recommend and not just for christmas either (although it IS the best time of the year) because Willows make it special for every occasion be it lambing, their potato shindig, their Easter Eggstravaganza and for halloween when you get to pick a pumpkin… A GREAT day out!

Top 10 tips for a day at Willows Farm:

  1. The food is lovely at Willows and quite reasonably priced. We ate paninis with crisps and hot chocolate for 4 of us and it came to around £30 but you could easily take a picnic as there’s plenty of spaces to sit and enjoy it.
  2. Wear wellies as it can be muddy in places and wrap up warm.
  3. Remember to take socks and trousers for the soft play and drop slides.
  4. Arrive for opening and plan to stay until close. There’s enough to keep you busy the whole day so make the most of it.
  5. Don’t assume it’s only for a certain age, they cater for everyone from babes in arms to grown up kids like me!
  6. Choose the things you definitely want to do and do them first so that you don’t run out of time like we did!
  7. Visit Father Christmas at lunch time as the queue dies down considerably!
  8. Have your lunch in Wooly Jumpers soft play after Father Christmas and not over a traditional lunch time to ensure you get a seat.
  9. Park near to the entrance (if you arrive early this won’t be a problem) then on your way home it will be quick to get in the car and on the road.
  10. Take a camera, you don’t want to miss those smiles!

And talking of cameras… Here are my fave pics from our day at Willows!

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We were invited as guests to the Willows farm Santa Spectacular.