Last week two excited little boys made their way to the place which always leaves them awestruck- Hamleys. An added buzz was in the air as they were aware they might be meeting Father Christmas. Trying to keep a promise of good behaviour with such levels of energy and wonder was a difficult one.We arrived at Hamleys to find three elves welcoming the children and getting them involved in fun and games. With name badges came more laughter as spelling was muddled and names confuddled, the boys were immediately at ease and happy to get involved.
A ‘conga’ to the back of the store and some Christmas dust saw the doors open into the party room now transformed into Santa’s Grotto. A table laid out for the 16 children the room accommodates, within moments tea was served- breaded chicken, burgers and chips as well as vegetarian options. With the energy created by the elves and the excitement of gazing around the room this was one of the few times the boys didn’t hoover up the contents of their plate.
Fed and watered the singing began, and it seems the singing was loud enough for the big man to hear and he entered the room and began chatting to the children (handily helped by the name badges), chatting to them about how much they’d grown since he last saw them, so the sense of awe and wonder grew.
The children were welcomed to sit around Father Christmas’ chair and listen to a tale, and then a game of Santa’s Footsteps followed. All this allowed the children a little interaction with the man himself, and for the elves to transform the table with craft activities. The crafts were pitched at two different age groups which worked perfectly, and Father Christmas walked around talking to each child in turn, and so engrossed in the crafts they didn’t notice children being moved away from the table to take turns at having their own chat with Father Christmas and being offered a fantastic goody bag.Because whilst every moment building up to it is about Father Christmas, the cost of a visit to Hamleys is a little more than we would usually pay, at £25. You do get a lot more interaction than other events, but for me I was grateful that I was wowed by the goody bag. Containing crayons and a colouring book, a reindeer decoration, a chocolate bar and the most gorgeous teddy bear. The price with three children might make me gasp, but the experience and a great goody bag does justify the price tag. And I admit to being a little bit happy inside when the boys decided their big sister and I could have their bears as we didn’t get to talk to Father Christmas (admittedly by the time we got home they had taken the teddies back!).
With time with say final goodbyes and collect a balloon, so the elves transported the children back to the front of the store.
As fast as an hour could pass, I went home with two little boys on cloud nine.
Disclosure: We were invited to Tea with Santa at Hamleys for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are our own.