Festive Family Fun
This Festive period I decided to visit and review for you some awesome Family Fun days out, The three I will mention were all kindly gifted to us and Im sure you will have seen on my Instagram & Facebook pages but heres the full details and top tips for visiting may it be in the next few days or for 2020! Firstly, and this one is now sold out & finished and it does sell out very fast so make sure to give them a follow and watch for the release of tickets for next Christmas time and for other events because its a beautiful setting! Can you guess where it is? This one is in my home county the beautiful Helmingham Hall in Suffolk. They kindly invited us to their Illuminations and what a truly magical experience it was! Set in the grounds of the hall, they decorated the garden trail with lights and festive features that really lit up the way and it felt so serene and peaceful with music playing that complimented the lights.
My top tip for this is welly boots, It wasn’t muddy but it could be, and if your taking a pram like I did then beware there are some steps along the trail you may need a hand with but its easily accessible otherwise. At the beginning of the trail you are offered a complementary mulled wine in the courtyard before heading off up towards the magical fairy woods, this was Grace’s favourite spotting the fairies and toadstalls before reaching the most incredible walkway lit up all around you like a tunnel or scene from willy wonka! perfect spot for photos!
My favourite part is the open fires to toast marshmallows, you could buy smores kits for £2.50 along the trail at the courtyard and pit stop by the fires, you could also purchase your favourite festive drinks mines a baileys hot choc! And sausages! Top tip: take cash! No cards accepted although nothing was over priced at all, we bought a flashing wand for Grace which was just £3!
Tickets were only £10 an adult, £5 a child 5-15 years and under 5’s were free so a real nice afternoon/evening at a very reasonable price, it certainly got us into the festive spirit ready for our next two Festive Family days out.
For further details visit: https://www.helmingham.com/events/illuminated-garden-trail-2019/
Our Second Festive Family Day out bought us all the way to Surrey, Godstone to be exact to the very beautiful Godstone Farm who are hosting “Wiglets Christmas Adventure” this Nov/Dec. Godstone Farm isn’t far from Roberts family and our friends as we met and lived in Surrey/Sussex for 6 years So we were super excited to visit and review this event and pair it with catching up with our friends.
Now we arent wearing wellies but I would advise to seeing as its winter and a farm oh and the good old British weather being unpredictable as always.
When you arrive for your Christmas Adventure you are given a map with time frames to visit each little event and your Santa time slot, The farm is decorated with adorable festive features such as the scarecrows, bales and sheds all had santa, snowmen or gingerbread men on them (see pics) The Grotto was one of the best I have been to! You arrive for your time slot and are greeted by Elves who take you inside and play a little game with the children first, Grace was asked to help shrink a present in the elves magic machine so it would fit under the Christmas tree, I thought this was such a lovely way to get the children interacting and more relaxed for when they meet the big man!
Next we went to the reindeers stables, no real reindeers but it was very cute and there was a little photo set up to have your picture taken using props provided which was good fun! You can see those on my Instagram & Facebook. Then you walk round the corner to santas living room where the children get to tell santa what they would like, well actually santa already knows and talks to them about it because when you book online you submit a few details about childs wish list and hobbies so santa can personalise the visit! There is then a photo opportunity again before being led to Santas toy shop to choose your gift! The range of gifts was incredible from cuddly toys to skateboards and barbies, board games and craft sets.
We then left the Grotto and went to the photo booth to see and purchase our santa photo as a bauble which was £8 and worth it for the memory of Ivys first santa visit. We headed next to decorate gingerbread snowmen and make tree decorations which was lovely and something Grace really enjoyed.
Followed by playing on the ride on tractors and exploring a little of the farm and getting to pet the animals in the animal encounter.
We saw cows, sheep & piggies - petted rabbits and guinea pigs before checking out the soft play barn and enjoying a Hot chocolate & cake whilst Grace warmed up. Tip: They accept card payments Even for the baubles and photos.
We had the best few hours at Godstone and cannot wait to come back again in spring do the dinosaur trail and see more animals. Do check out their web for more details on Wiglets Christmas Adventure and future events, There is still availability for Christmas eve!
So for our final Festive Family day out we venture back East to Essex for Marsh Farms ‘Father Christmas Experience’
Wow! What a way to finish off our Adventures! Marsh Farm is known for its big events and pumpkin picking but now its epic winter wonderland. You check in and are given a bag per child for them to wear and keep all the goodies in they collect along the way. We headed to passport control where both Grace and Ivy were given passports and we sat with others on our time slot waiting to start the experience. The actors were brilliant! Really kept the children entertained before we were led to our first experience.
We all sat down and the elves did a humourous sketch about magic wands and believing in Christmas before handing each child their very own magic wand it was really special!
We then were led to the enchanted forest where the children used their magic to make it snow! There was a snow machine and it really did look pretty, as well as a giant polar bear the children got to touch and interact with. Throughout the experience the elves included personal details such as a childs name and hobby or what they would like for christmas out of the blue to get them feeling the magic.
Next we were led to Mrs Clauses cabin to help her fix Santas Scarf and using the wands to sing a song and bake a cake using Christmas magic! This was my favourite part the children then decorated gingerbread men before we headed off through a snowy tunnel to meet Father Christmas!
Whilst waiting for our names to be called to visit Father Christmas we had photo opportunities with the Elves and they interacted with all the Children which was so lovely. When called in we were greeted with the most realistic Father Christmas Ive seen in a vintage suit sitting on a small sofa, he asked Grace to help him with some magic, she used her wand to help him magic two little hearts in which he gave the girls for their build a bear they would go onto make next. He also gave mummy and daddy a bag of lovely fudge, before we had a photo taken and made our way to build a bear.
Grace built a white polar bear and chose a brown bear for Ivy, we stuffed them and added their hearts before letting Grace choose an outfit for hers ( she chose a frozen dress like Elsa) which was an extra £10 but so far we hadn’t spent a penny So we treated her. The Elf at the till handed us some tokens for Elfville to choose a toy, I thought the build a bear was our gift, but the children get more!
Elfville was so beautiful and the perfect spot for pictures there was beautiful fake snow everywhere that looked so realistic. Inside the shop there were an abundance of toys to choose with the tokens Grace chose a mermaid barbie and bath time ducks for Ivy. There was a letter writing station to write your wishlist and a postbox outside to send it. we then bought our santa photo as a photo block and went to post our letter before we left the tour and headed out. On the way out we went to visit Santas Sleigh which was huge! Honestly this whole experience must have taken some time and alot of effort because it was truly magical from start to finish its a must do! Well worth the travel from Suffolk.
Do check out their web page for remaining dates for 2019 https://www.marshfarm.co.uk/
and follow them on Instagram & Facebook for more exciting events! We have been invited back to review their new “let it snow” experience in January so keep watching my page for more information!
Thats a wrap!! Wow we have been so incredibly lucky to visit these three amazing venues and cannot recommend them enough for you! Top of my list to visit again & again to get into the Festive Spirit each year! Thank you so much for reading and I truly hope you have the best Chrsitmas & a happy New Year! ❤️
Other venues we have visited previously:
Easton Farm Park
- “christmas on the farm” very similar to that of Godstone farm for those local to Suffolk.
Tulleys Farm -
‘Santa Experience’ very similar to Marsh Farm Experience for those closer to West Sussex.