It’s a strange thing, finding yourself chatting to Santa over milk and cookies, in June. However, if you’re four years old, it’s the best thing ever!
A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to spend the day at Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire having been invited to visit the park and experience all that the Village has to offer.
We set off on Friday afternoon for the three hour drive north from Boston to Jefferson. Once off the highway, the drive through the mountains is beautiful and we made good time to our Motel, just a stone’s throw from Santa’s Village itself.
Excited children refused to sleep, so we were all a little slow to rise the next morning. But, I can highly recommend breakfast at the Water Wheel Breakfast and Gift House. Huge pancakes, fabulous home fries and a great atmosphere perked everyone up and we were ready for a fun day at Santa’s Village! [No compensation received for this shout-out, we just loved it! If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot before a busy day at Santa’s Village, check it out :)]
Our breakfast stop also gave me the opportunity to get my new Instax camera out (thanks Santa!) to start capturing the special moments of our day. I’m loving the retro feel of these images. And, there is something to be said for catching the moment in a single shot. Instead of taking a dozen digital images, hoping for that one perfect photo!
We arrived at Santa’s Village to be greeted by Jim and Amelia, a lovely way to start our day, making us feel very welcomed. What followed was a day full of fun and laughter; roller coasters and swings and antique cars; elves and reindeer and Santa.
Exploring Santa’s Village
Our first stop was at the Elf University to pick up our Elf Game cards. Elfs A-Z are dotted around the park waiting to be found. The kids punched their game card at each elf, returning the cards at the end of the day for a prize. It’s such a great idea for making sure you see as much of the village as possible :)
As you walk around the village you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, in a good way! There is an alpine village feel to the design and with the Snowball Mall, Jinglebell Junction, Nutcracker Sweets, Santa’s Playground, St Nicholas Chapel and a beautiful Nativity scene, plus a host of other cute shops and food outlets (Polar Espresso made me smile!), you really get caught up in the festive spirit!
I loved the giant ruler, what a wonderful way to record the changes over the years. I hope we manage to get this photo again in years to come.
We had a long list of rides that we particularly wanted to try out, but we were determined to do every ride in the village! By the end of the day we had managed to do all but a few :)
The big question, where to begin? We ended up doing a full loop of the village before rushing back for another go on our favourites!
After a quick swing on a reindeer, the boys tried out the Bumper Cars and the Little Drummer Boy and Himalaya rides.
The boys had never driven bumper cars before, so that was entertaining to watch! The Himalaya ride, a simple circular coaster, had them screaming as they sped past. And, the 7yo is happy in anything that spins.
The SS Peppermint Twist was a hit with the 7yo too, as was the new Poogee’s Penguin Spin Coaster. My husband isn’t such a fan of the spinning, but he bravely tried these out too!
Talking a walk to the other side of the village we tried out the Reindeer Carousel (a big hit with the wee girl). Then, after fortifying ourselves with pizza, we took in the Antique Cars. My husband and I enjoyed being driven around by the three, one steering and two pressing the gas! The boy then had a go on the Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree swings which they enjoyed, despite the rain!
We checked out the HoHoH20 Water Park and the rain didn’t stop all three kids getting themselves even wetter in the spray jets. Just goes to show, kids really don’t care if it’s raining! We would have loved to be able to try out the slides and flumes, but that will have to wait for another time. I’m putting in an order for sunshine for our next trip :)
After a few spins on Rudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster it was time to head back across the village to check out the Yule Log Flume. This had been at the top of the 10yo’s wish-list! However, the rain was well and truly coming down at that point so we took in a show at the Polar Theater on our way past. Singing Christmas Trees and a cool 3D film gave us a much needed opportunity to sit down!
The 10yo was not disappointed with this ride and went on it several times. However, his rain poncho (these were kindly passed out to guests by village staff as soon as the rain started) kept him remarkably dry!
There were several rides that definitely made our favourites list, we returned to them over the day and the kids are still talking about them!
The sedate sleigh ride through the tree tops on the Skyway Sleigh Monorail was a hit with all of us. As a family of five there aren’t many rides that we can go on as a five, so when we can share an experience it’s lovely.
A surprise hit was the You Tubing. The boys LOVED this and I wish we’d had more time to do this one again. It will be top of the list when we next visit! The wee girl enjoyed pretending to go on it while we waited for the boys…!
I had been looking forward to the views from the Christmas Ferris Wheel, and they were fabulous. But, I have to say, it is quite high… The boys took great delight in my insistence that they sat still and didn’t rock the car, at all, when we were at the top!
The wee girl had been talking about feeding the reindeer for the whole week before we visited, so the Reindeer Rendezvous was a must-do. Unsurprisingly, she loved it! In fact, we all loved it. The reindeer were beautiful and feeding them was a wonderful experience.
And lastly, the Chimney Drop. What can I say? This was THE winner for the boys. I lost count of the number of times they went on this! And, my husband’s expression when he joined them? Just brilliant :)
While at Santa’s Village you can meet Santa in his home, always a magical experience for young children and one we wouldn’t have missed. As part of #SantasSquad we were given the opportunity to finish our day with a visit to Santa, joining him for cookies and milk and a lovely chat.
We were also thrilled to meet Christian, grandson of Normand and Cecile Dubois who opened the park in 1953. Santa’s Village is a family business that has been bringing joy to families ever since it opened. It was clear from talking to Christian how important this is to the family, and that seeing children enjoy the magic of Santa’s Village is at the heart of what they do. I loved hearing about the history of the park, especially the story of the deer that jumped out in front of the Dubois’ car and started the whole thing! Seeing deer crossing the road gave Norman the idea that New Hampshire would make a good home for Santa and his reindeers :)
Then, as if the day could get any better, Santa asked the boys if they would like to go on the Chimney Drop with him! Watching the children walk along, chatting to Santa was a magical experience for my husband and I. And, watching the boys on the Chimney Drop with Santa is not something I’ll forget in a hurry.
It may have been a dull, and ultimately rainy, day but the village has such a wonderful atmosphere. Even in June, in the rain, it felt Christmassy. With sleighs, igloos, reindeer, candy canes and Christmas music, you can’t help but feel festive. My photos do not do it justice. The grey light washed the vibrant reds and greens out, and I took far fewer photos that I normally would. But, I can just imagine it all lit up at Christmas time. I’m already planning a return trip in the winter!
Santa’s Village have annual events at Halloween and New Years Eve, and you can check out details of these on their website. But, any day would be a good day to visit!
Like all amusement parks there are height and safety restrictions on the rides and I would recommend downloading the Santa’s Village App before you go. This has details of every ride, and any restrictions. Very handy to check before you get to a ride, avoiding potential disappointment!
We loved our day at Santa’s Village. There were plenty of fast/high/spinney rides to keep our ten year old happy. Our seven year old was thrilled to have finally reached the 48 inch height requirement and just loved going on rides by himself! And the four year old? Well she found the whole experience magical. She loved the elves, the little houses, the sleigh ride and meeting Santa. Her expression throughout the day was the best thing ever.
We will DEFINITELY visit again soon!
**We were given free entry to Santa’s Village for the purposes of this review, but all thoughts, words and opinions are our own.**