My kids have always loved our local Wyevale (it’s the combination of cake and a soft play area). When Kate was small she called it the “Centre Garden” and the name has always stuck with our family. We always see the adverts for the Father Christmas experience – a chance to either eat breakfast or tea in the cafe, meet the big man himself, and the kids get to decorate a biscuit and get a present from Father Christmas, but we never made it there before. Last year however we had a terrible experience elsewhere where we booked tickets but it was over booked and we waited three hours outside in the cold and we never even got to see Father Christmas. So when I was offered the chance to take the family along to review Breakfast or Tea with Father Christmas I jumped at the chance – food included, indoors and guaranteed time with our red suited friend.
Today was the big day. We had kept it a secret from the children and only let them know when they were refusing to get dressed – sometimes you just need a ‘carrot’ to get them moving. We arrived at the cafe and were seated at a table. The staff were great, really friendly and polite and brilliant at chatting with the children. It was a really nice atmosphere. There were crackers for pulling and the kids had a biscuit to decorate and activity place mats to keep them entertained. We were were provided with tea and coffee, and drinks for the children and then the breakfast was bought out. We really enjoyed the food (parents had a choice of a full English breakfast or pastries and hot drinks – we had the breakfast and it was great).
After the food, and some shouting of his name Father Christmas appeared. He walked around and spoke to everyone on each table, having his picture taken with them. Kate was a little shy but Piran was happy to chat a little. Once he had been round to see everyone he sat in his chair and the each table was invited up to see him again and get their present and have more photos taken.
We had a lovely time and the kids definitely agreed that it had been brilliant. The gifts were good for this sort of thing and age appropriate. My only complaint would be that it would have been nice if the children had got a little more time to actually chat with Father Christmas – just the usual what do you want for Christmas and have you been good this year etc (I hate the word ‘good’ but you know what I mean. It’s tradition.) It was quite quick and more ‘ have you photo taken and off you go’ than I would have liked. That said I think that the whole experience was great fun, brilliantly organised (seamless in fact), the staff were dressed up and in the spirit and it was good value for money.
Disclaimer: I was invited along with my family to come and experience Breakfast or Tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centres in exchange for this post. What follows is my honest account of our visit.