My daughters and I recently attended Willows Activity Farm Santa Spectacular. This is an annual event run in the week’s prior to Christmas at Willows Activity Farm. If you’ve never heard of the farm see my review here.

This is my review on the Christmas event, based on my own personal experience.

Willows Activity Farm Santa Spectacular Review

What is it?

The Willows Activity Farm Santa Spectacular is a full day out of festive fun for all the family.

It runs from November 22-December 24 2017. They are open from 10.00am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm), on some days they will be open from 9am ( 9, 10, 16, 17, 21-24 Dec).

Whats included?

This is the list of all the activities based on the 2017 event:

  • Meet Santa and receive a golden key – after which children can choose one of the hundreds of gifts. Piled from floor to ceiling to take home in the Toy Shop.
  • Create-a-Cuddle workshop – children can make their own reindeer cuddly toy to take home along with a naming certificate and special gift box.
  • Attend Elf Academy – learn some of the basics on becoming one of Santa’s elves. Including how to tiptoe like an Elf and the important letters of the Elf-a-bet.
  • Watch a 3D film – pop your glasses on and take off on a 3D adventure with Santa in a 3D film.
  • Watch a Christmas show – including Christmas Storytime, our Elf Sing-a-Long and special Nativity performances featuring farmyard animals.
  • Write a letter to Santa – pop it in our post box to receive a free reply delivered to your home.
  • Iceskate – Glide around the synthetic ice rink with ice skates available to fit all sizes.
  • Tristan the Runaway Tractor – take a ride around the festive wood.
  • Animals – Meet Mischka, Santa’s reindeer and all the other Farmyard animals.

There is also an Elf Passport to complete, a chance to take part in Snowball Shootout,  Festive Funfair Rides, Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground™ and soft play.

How much is it?

Prices vary across the event, getting more expensive the closer you get to Christmas. Check specific days for prices, but they come in around £35 for children and £20 for adults. Under 2s are free as long as they’re not joining in meeting Santa and the cuddle workshop.

Best Bits

We really loved this event, and thought it was truly magical. It made for a really wonderful day for the whole family.

We enjoyed all of the activities but our two favourites were:

  • Meeting Santa – I have never been to a more beautiful and festive Santa’s grotto before. Our santa was excellent and professional. My daughter was a little scared of him, but he was so patient and kind to her it really made her day. The children getting to choose their own gifts was a nice touch as the gifts then felt extra special.
  • Create-a-cuddle workshop – My daughter was over the moon to get her hands on her own reindeer, choosing the reindeer’s heart was a great touch.

The thing that really shone out for me across the day was how professional and friendly the staff were at Willows Activity Farm. Everyone you come in contact with is pleasant, helpful and happy, which made our day that touch more special.

What could be better?

The ice skating was great fun for my toddler, but as an adult I found it almost impossible to stand up on. I have been ice skating on real ice many times and I found this synthetic floor to be far more slippery. In the end I went on with just my socks on so I could at least push round my daughter without falling over.


As you can see from my review, we really loved this event at the farm. At first I was a little bit put off by the price, but after attending I now think it was actually good value. You can access to all the activities, the children get to take home a gift from Santa, a stuffed reindeer and reindeer food and you also get a letter back from Santa.

The Santa’s grotto was so magical I want to go back again next year, it will absolutely be my go to for a Santa visit come 2018.

I am an avid comper and have been since I was eighteen years old. At this time of year there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of competitions to enter. Many advertisers run advent style competitions which you can enter every day. I’ve gone through and listed the best advent toy competitions for us mums to enter this year.

If I find any more I’ll be updating the post with the links (please feel free to comment any you also have spotted). Otherwise good luck with all your entries. Do let me know if you win anything!

Advent Toy Competitions

In The Night Garden Live

1st – 24th December

Select the day and be treated to videos, games and prizes.

Little Tikes

1st – 12th December

Daily prizes from the Little Tikes range of toys.

Sylvanian Families Twitter

Daily Sylvanian Family prizes.


1st – 24th December

Select the day and enter to win prizes.

Brio Uk Twitter

1st – 12th December

Daily prizes from the Brio range of toys.

What’s on 4 Little Ones

1st – 24th December

Select the day and be treated to videos, games and prizes.

Cartoon Network

1st – 24th December

Daily prizes available to enter.

Frog Bikes

1st – 24th December

Daily prizes available to enter.

Activity Toys Direct Facebook

1st – 24th December

Facebook enter for daily prizes.

Babies R Us Facebook

1st – 24th December

Facebook entry for daily prizes.

John Adams Twitter

1st – 24th December

Twitter daily tweet entries.

Toby Toymaster Twitter

1st – 12th December

Daily twitter competition.

KNEX UK Facebook

1st – 12th December

Daily Facebook competition.

Aquabeads Twitter

1st – 25th December

Daily twitter competition.

Orchard Toys Facebook

1st – 24th December

Facebook enter for daily prizes.


1st – 24th December

Click the date to enter for daily prizes.

Advent calendars are one of the best traditions to count down to Christmas with the kids. See my full list of other Christmas traditions you can try at home; Making Memorable Moments.

There are so many different advent calendars on the market this year. Gone are the days when you can only buy a chocolate calendar in the shops, even though we still love them.

Whatever your child is interested in there is plenty of choice.
Some of the best alternative advent calendars on the market for children are:

Kids Toy Advent Calendars

Happy Land – £25.99

Each door hides a fun Happy Land surprise.

Playmobil Advent Calendar – £19.99

There are a few themes of calendar available including Jewel Thief Police, Christmas On The Farm, Dress Up Party, Royal Ice Skating Trip and Pirate Treasure Island.

Lego City Advent Calendar – £19

24 different items, including 6 mini figures.

Lego Friends Advent Calendar – £18

24 items from the Lego Friends range.

Peppa Pig – Asda £25

12 Peppa Pig characters and 12 accessories.

Paw Patrol – £24.99

17 Paw Patrol figures and 7 accessories.

Early Learning Centre Big City Advent Calendar – £25

18 x vehicles, 3 sets of figures, 3 x road signs.

VTech Toot Toot Advent Calendar – £24

24 fun play pieces including a cute Toot-Toot Animals Reindeer and baby, Christmas decorations and more.

Thomas and Friends Advent Calendar – £35

Includes 24 minis and some special Christmas gifts.

Wow Toys Advent Calendar – £15

A new town themed toy everyday, matching the numbers with the fold down play scene.

Kids Craft Advent Calendars

Crayola Christmas Countdown – £19.99

Lots of Crayola items to get crafty.

Smiggle Advent Calendar – £25

All limited edition Smiggle items.

Early Learning Centre Soft Stuff Advent Calendar – £25

Includes 6 tubs of dough and 18 accessories.

Alternative Food Advent Calendars

Kellogg’s Selection Pack – £4 (Tesco)






Pringles – £7.99 B&M stores

Contains 12 tubs of Pringles for the 12 days of Christmas.

Organix Goodies Advent Calendar – £3.75 (plus postage)

Ideal for toddlers if you don’t want them having chocolate, inlcuding Gingerbread men and Alphabet biscuits.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This blog has been verified by Rise: Re0e23f21e459024cf242337a86714278