What is it about garden centres at this time of the year? I mean, I love a good garden centre, but at Christmas, they are brilliant. Masses of Christmas trees, fairy lights and millions of decorations… it makes me want to become a professional Christmas tree decorator.
On Sunday, we attended a special Breakfast with Santa at Wyevale Garden Centre in Leyland.
We had to walk through a veritable forest of Christmas trees, and past a display of Santa’s reindeer before getting to the restaurant.
Booking in advance was essential, and it was lovely to see our name on the table, and, more importantly, meant that the staff (the Christmas elves) also knew Ben’s name and age.
The tables were set out with crackers, chocolate coins and activities to keep small hands entertained.
After a really tasty breakfast, where both the adult and the child’s servings were well-judged, we had to look out for Father Christmas.
After a slightly awkward entry (asking, “Who’s here?” to a room full of slightly bemused families) Father Christmas went round and spoke to each child. There were only 6 families in total, which meant that he could spend some time talking to everyone, but it didn’t feel too rushed.
Tim took Samuel for a wander around the displays, attracting a lot of attention from other customers.
Then it was time to meet Father Christmas! Ben was first up, and, predictably, he got very shy – isn’t funny how children get really excited about meeting him but then almost get too overwhelmed? He loved his present which he chose, which was a racing car.
Immediately after his meeting with Santa, Ben got the chance to decorate a cookie. The whole morning was like this – well-planned activities with a well-judged sense of timing. Ben didn’t get bored at all.
The garden centre even had a mini-soft play inside, which Ben thought was brilliant.
We made sure we got a family photo with Father Christmas too.
This was a really lovely way to kick off our festive season this year, and was a brilliant thing to do as a family. At £9.99 per child, and £7.99 per adult, I thought the whole morning was really good value.
Disclosure: We were invited to attend Breakfast with Santa for the purposes of this review.