Whether I am in Melbourne, or in Dublin, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a trip to see Father Christmas. It’s always be one of my favourite things to do at Christmas time – whether I was a child, adult with no kids, or an adult with kids.
The Santa experience is pretty much the same thing world over. You go in, see the man with the white beard and the red suit, either burst with excitement, or burst into tears (whatever mood you’re feeling that year), have your chat, get your photo, get your present, wave goodbye and then you’re done.
While this is, usually, a fun experience there can be a painful element associated with it (besides the astronomical price, if you’re living in Australia). The pain comes in the form of the waiting time to see Santa.
Thank goodness things have improved and you no longer have to spend hours in line waiting to see Santa. Now you can go to you preferred Santa, buy a ticket and come back at an allocated time.
The problem is, this system doesn’t always work. Some days, you can’t see Santa for at least a couple of hours, sometimes it’s longer (so you have to put in some time wandering around wherever you are) – if you’re lucky! If you’re one of the unlucky ones, even if you have turned up with hours to spare, if it is a busy day, you can miss out on the experience altogether, and you have to try your luck another day.
I don’t understand why in this day and age, there is no option to pre-book and pay online. Hopefully that is something that will be sorted for next year! But don’t let that put you off because it’s an experience – be it magical or somewhat traumatising.
Today, we had our annual family visit to Santa. Our preferred Santas are the ones in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre and the Powerscourt Centre.
When we turned up to Santa’s Grotto at Stephen’s Green, we were told the next available appointment was in three hours time. We decided to try our luck with Father Christmas’ Workshop at Powerscourt, as when the same thing happened last year, we found there was no waiting time at that one. We were in luck again this year. When we walked to the ticket booth at the Powerscourt one there was no-one there, we were seen to straight away.
I don’t know why not many people know about this Santa (he, his helpers and the whole experience is great), but the fact that many people don’t seem to know about it means there’s no great wait time (usually) – which is a massive advantage in my books.
We paid €15 per child (although the website says it’s €18 per child). That included a photo with Santa, a present and we were also allowed to take as many personal photos and video as we wanted.
What I love about this Santa (besides the fact that he didn’t make me wait) was the fact that a portion of the fee goes to the Dublin Simon Community.
This Santa is only available on weekends, and doesn’t usually open for business until 12pm. You can find out more about Father Christmas’ Workshop at Powerscourtther here.
If you do want to go into town for your Santa experience the other two Santa experiences that I have never been disappointed by are:
Santa’s Grotto at Stephen’s Green (packages range from €9 – €20)
Santa’s Grotto at Arnotts (it’s a €5 donation – 100% of the donation goes to the Laura Lynn foundation. At an added cost, you can also purchase professional photos of your visit and gifts).
Wherever you go for your Santa Experience, enjoy it! Great memories come of this and that’s what Christmas is all about.