Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Father Christmas at Hamleys Cardiff

We were recently invited to the launch of meeting Father Christmas at Hamleys in Cardiff. This was an offer we couldn't refuse as Hamleys is a fantastic place when you're a child so I knew Eva would love to meet the big man himself there. I'd also heard some very good reviews about the experience last year so I was keen to visit to see how it compares with others around Cardiff. 

Myself, husband, Eva and Ophelia all attended along with lots of my Welsh blogger friends and their families.

The experience started as soon as we walked through the store entrance. Much to Eva's amusement we were greeted by some Elves who handed the girls their name stickers and also had a chat with them about Santa and the grotto to build up their excitement. 

The Elves told us that in order to meet Santa (in the party room) we had to form a line and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer all the way to the back of the shop. This confused quite a lot of the shoppers although lots of them also joined in the merriment and sang along.

Once we got to the door we discovered it was locked. Luckily after a lot of shouting of the magic word and also sprinkling some magic dust, the door opened into the beautifully decorated, festive room.


There was a large Christmas tree, fireplace, Santa's chair, wreaths and other festive decor. The room is quite small but it's still lovely. You can't hear anything from the store whilst in there which I was very surprised and impressed at.





Before Santa arrived the kids were invited to decorate some cookies. Eva loved being able to do this. 



After that the main doors opened and Santa arrived much to everybody's excitement. I have to admit I was quite emotional and taken aback. He is the best Santa I have ever seen. He really looks like the real article. In fact he reminded me of the Santa in Miracle on 34th Street. He made an effort to go to all the children (even the babies) before settling into his armchair.


He spoke to the children before reading the classic story 'The night before Christmas'. Eva loved this part as she chatted to him for rather a long time. Santa then played some games with the children including elf, elf, reindeer (duck, duck, goose) and Father Christmas Footsteps. 

We were then split into two groups. One group sat at the table to write their Christmas lists whilst the other got to meet Santa individually. We had to help Eva write hers as she can't write yet but she still enjoyed this activity. She spoke with the elves and told them in great detail about all the things she was hoping to receive.



It was then our turn to meet Santa. We got quite a few minutes with him and it didn't feel rushed at all. The girls were absolutely mesmerised with him.






Even us blogging mummies managed a picture together. From left to right is Alina from We Made This Life, Leanne from A Slice of my life Wales, Cathryn from Cardiff Mummy Says and Alana from Baby Holiday.



Tickets cost £19.99 and can be purchased here, Booking. There are two age group sessions available, 2-5 years and 6-8 years. It's also worth mentioning that only one parent would be allowed into the room. 

The gift the girls received was lovely. It was a bag filled with a teddy, chocolate, small book and toy and also a balloon. 




We had a fantastic time. The Santa is wonderful. He's very good with children and really makes an effort to make everyone feel special. The elves were brilliant and very friendly.



I do think the price is expensive. If you only have to pay for one child then it's ok but I think if there were a few children to pay for then it could be a bit excessive for the experience. 

*Thank you to Hamleys for inviting us to the experience in exchange for our own honest opinion*
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23 comments

  1. Aww, this looks great. Love how everything is ready for Christmas. Lovely pictures with Santa, how cool is the fireplace too :)

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  2. Oh wow, this looks amazing! The photos are fab and it sounds like an amazing experience :)

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  3. Expensive yes, but it looks lovely. he really does look like the real deal!

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  4. That room is amazing and I saw your IG posts about your visit and must say Santa looks brilliant.

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  5. Oh how lovely! We looked into going to Hamleys for Santa last year but I was a bit put off by the price. It does look amazing though and much nicer than some of the dodgy ones we've seen in the past!

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  6. It looks like a great santa experience and it's lovely you got to ice cookies too x

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  7. How utterly delightful. Hamley's are so fab, you can always count of them. The children look so excited and thrilled. (Commented as Jen, am Janet Robertson-Peverley on FB)

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  8. What a lovely experience for the kiddies. Looks like Hamleys did a fab job :) x

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  9. Wow my kids would love this. Taking them to see Santa now.

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  10. Aww this looks lovely. Makes me miss being a kid at christmas! :) xx

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  11. That looks so much fun! I agree, it would be so difficult to refuse something like that :) x

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  12. He really does look like the real thing dosent he? I love the look of Hamley's!

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  13. Wow this sounds amazing! He really does like the Santa of Miracle on 34th street! x

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  14. This looks fab. I'd love to take Erin

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  15. It is pricey but it looks worth it for the magical experience. Children grow so quickly, you have to make the most of it.

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    1. I hadn't thought of it like that. You're right they do grow so quickly x

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  16. Ah what a great addition to Cardiff! I had no idea they had Hamley's there. I am so jelaous they didn't have this when I was younger. Looks like the most festive day out!

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  17. gotta love Hamleys. Your kids looked like they love it so much .x

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  18. What a fabulous experience for adults and kids alike. Plenty of activities to take part in. Well done Hamleys

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  19. Hamleys is a magical place for kids any time of year but more so at Christmas and looks like they haven't disappointed this year either. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time and i love that Eva was able to decorate some cookies for Father Christmas. £19.99 is a lot more expensive than other places but i guess you have to kind of expect that from a place like Hamleys xx

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  20. this looks like a good grotto - really well kitted out. But yes, it is a little pricey! x

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  21. Oh it looks and sounds awesome! Lovely photos too. xo

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  22. Aaaw that sounds magical and well worth the money x x

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