“A truly magical experience for little ones.”
We haven’t visited Sacrewell for a while despite its close proximity to us; I think as its being undergoing a bit of a revamp. When L was born, I had an annual pass and spent a good chunk of my maternity leave lugging L through the play barn chasing after H!
So when we were invited to come along and try their new ‘Christmas Experience’, we jumped at the chance. On arrival, we received a lovely welcome and were given our Father Christmas tickets and tractor ride wrist bands. First stop was the big man himself. A short walk past the goats, new improved outdoor play area, we came to the drive up to the old farmhouse.
The walk up was pretty, with stars hanging from the trees and there was a real Christmassy feel. The Farmhouse is adorned with sparkly lights and surrounded by Christmas trees, but the main attraction is Father Christmas’ amazing sleigh. If you pose on the sleigh and use the hashtag ‘Sacrewell Christmas’ you are entered into a prize draw to win a family annual pass!
The entrance hall to the farmhouse is lined with twinkling lights, christmas trees and gorgeous animals (reindeers, penguins, polar bears). Mrs Claus greeted us as we entered and talks to all the children ensuring the excitement builds. She then helps each child make a bag of reindeer food, and explains how you put it out on Christmas Eve.
Its then time to enter into Father Christmas’ room. The open fire is lit, there is a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and homemade mince pies for adults, creating a homely feel. Father Christmas is sat next to the fire with a stool either side for children. He was such a genuine man, and made such an effort to engage with each child; asking their names and what they would like for Christmas, etc. Each child/family then has the opportunity to have their photo taken with Father Christmas (which are purchasable for an extra cost). After each child has sat with Father Christmas, he then holds out a bag which holds the ‘magic key’.
H and L both got a key, and after leaving Father Christmas they discovered it opened a very special door indeed. The key opened the Elves Workshop! H and L thought this was just fantastic, and even better that they were then able to choose their own toy (from a good selection). H chose a bug excavation kit and L, a puppet elephant now named ‘Ellie’.
Upon leaving the Elves Workshop, there is a table set out for writing letters to Father Christmas with beautiful headed paper and an array of coloured envelopes. We chose to bring ours home to do as H and L are still a bit young and need quite a lot of help. Next up was our tractor ride. This was a nice little amble through the grounds of the farm and into neighbouring Riverford. H and L both enjoyed looking at the scenery and were quite chatty about what they were seeing.
One of the main attractions of the farm, particularly in the winter is the ‘Playbarn’. It can turn what could be a wet, cold trip out to somewhere were you can warm up and have a cup of tea. H and L have been to the play barn quite a few times and wasted no time in running straight in. After lunch we came out for a walk and found a new obstacle course which they both loved (as well as Mummy and Daddy!), we then took a walk to the outdoor play area and to see some of the animals. Despite their pleads to stay a bit longer, we were all farmed out and headed home for a rest.
All in all, a truly magical Christmas experience for H and L and I would recommend it to other parents. The play barn is fantastic, however, my only criticism would be that there were fewer animals to pet/feed than on previous visits and I think children enjoy this aspect of the farm. BUT, that said, Sacrewell are doing a great job of bringing the farm up to speed!
Price: Adult £7.00, Child £12.50, Under 2 £5. This is for the peak periods (weekends and the week before Christmas) and includes the Christmas experience.
Disclaimer: We were fortunate to have been gifted a Christmas Experience at Sacrewell; however, I have carried out the review independently, all thoughts and opinions are my own.