Fatherhood: Family Days Out – Christmas at Legoland Windsor
With the big day fast approaching, and a trip to see Father Christmas still not ticked-off our seasonal ‘to do’ list, my wife came across an interesting new option last week. It seemed to fulfil all the criteria: a fun day out, a chance to meet the big man and do some other Christmassy stuff, plus it took place at one of our favourite locations.
And so we found ourselves at Legoland Windsor to experience their “Christmas Event”. And boy oh boy were we glad that we did.
With over a week still to experience it, and having had a fantastic time, I thought it was only fair that I tell you guys about our trip – in case any of you are near enough to try it out yourself.
Now first things first, I’ll be honest: it certainly isn’t the cheapest way to meet Father Christmas, with tickets (booking essential!) costing about two thirds of the regular Legoland entry cost. But short of hopping on a plane to Lapland, I’d lay bets that it’s one of the best ways to do it, so your money is certainly well spent.
As well as entry to the park, and unlimited rides on the 13 or 14 rides that they have deemed Winter-friendly, every entry ticket includes an audience with the big fella, gifts for every child (good ones too – I’d estimate at least £10 of Lego each), hot drinks for the grown-ups and a number of Christmassy activities in the Elf tent. Activities included letters to Santa, Christmas card colouring, tree decoration-building and gingerbread biscuit-decorating.
The rides were all suitably festive (and the queues fantastically short!) and the park was open from 11am to 7.45, so it was easy to get your money’s worth.
The only area I was disappointed to see closed was miniland. But with only a portion of the park open, and winter repairs to carry out, it makes sense that they want to keep you to certain areas.
The visit to see Father Christmas was easily the highlight. After some less-than impressive encounters in previous years at other locations, I was delighted to see Legoland treating the experience with the magic it deserves.
The meeting happens beside the castle of the Knight’s Kingdom, in a small log cabin surrounded (presumably to distract visiting children from the fact there were 4 or 5 cabins!) by literally hundred of snowy Christmas trees. You are escorted to the cabin (through a maze of trees) by your designated elf helper, before heading inside to meet the main man.
Santa himself was a delight to behold. You can see photos below, but needless to say he looked every bit the spitting image of the Santa we all know and love, and he treated the children brilliantly.
Freddie spent most of the encounter staring in awe, but Robert more than made up for it by telling Santa exactly what they wanted, before listing a startling number of instances where he had displayed his ‘nice’ credentials – including the time he “tidied the entire bedroom without even being asked by a grown-up”. I almost burst with pride :)
Having had the requisite photos taken, we went back out into the cold winter air with two VERY happy children. Appointments with Santa need to be booked online at the point of purchase, so you can plan the rest of your day around it, and don’t need to waste hours queuing.
All that remained was a quick trip to the (massive) lego shop for some last-minute stocking fillers before driving home to start inspecting our goodies and discuss which bits were our favourites.
As you can probably tell by now, the entire family had a really delightful day – I can highly recommend it to anybody, young or old alike.
Here’s a few more photos, to give you a feel of the place. But the best way to experience it is to take a trip there yourself. Tell Father Christmas I said hi!