Santa’s Farm is can be found in the County Down countryside, nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Mourne mountains. It’s situated between Castlewellan and Newcastle, a stone’s throw from the quaint little village of Maghera.
On arrival, our first sight was a giant sleigh, aglow with twinkling fairy lights, that rendered our previously raucous backseat crew momentarily speechless. (We always know we’re onto a winner when the kids go quiet.)
Despite there being a frosty bite to the evening air, our woolly hat-wearing brood insisted on a quick clamber over the sleigh before heading inside.
On such a crisp, cold evening there was nothing lovelier than being greeted with a steaming cup of coffee and a mince pie. The kids sat on little toadstools joyously scribbling their Santa lists between excited gulps of juice and nibbles of a biscuit (or 5).
The presence of our hosts, Mr Elf and Frozen’s Princess Anna sealed the deal for my children; I believe that had we left after writing our Santa letters, my children would have been content.
But there lies the magic. That’s only the beginning, the tip of a great big helping of glorious, imaginative festive fun.
Santa’s Farm has a story to tell, there are mischievous elves to spot and they have a rather unique way of posting letters to Father Christmas! Our host, Mr. Elf, did read someone’s name from the naughty list that happened to be the same as mine. What a coincidence!
The kids got to make little snowmen at the Elf’s Workshop before being invited to meet some friendly animals who were clearly enjoying the attention. What impressed me was how clean and well cared for the animals appeared. It is obvious that animal welfare is a priority and isn’t put second to entertainment or profit. It was also here that I met my latest comedy inspiration – Betty and Bambi the goats. Betty was a lively, slightly rebellious goat, while Bambi had a drier sense of humour and spent his time watching on unfazed as Betty attempted to climb the gate for laughs.
No visit to Santa’s farm would be complete without a visit to the main man himself who takes centre stage in the cosiest cabin I’ve ever been in. Our children received thoughtful, lovely presents tailored to their respective ages and (on telling Mr. Elf the word we’d made by finding all the hidden letters during our visit) they got sweets too.
One of the many delightful things about Santa’s Farm is that you book a slot for your visit, which means only a set number of people are there at the same time, regardless of what day you go on. It’s a breath of fresh air from braving some of the other popular Christmas attractions at busy times when the sheer crowds often put me off. You get to enjoy your visit and take your time, all the while being catered to by the attentive and welcoming hosts.
Santa’s Farm is a perfect blend of countryside charm and festive magic. The kids will love it and you’ll probably love it too. It is enchanting and believable; so much of that is because this place is run by a local family who have kids of their own and know exactly what it takes to put the biggest festive grins on the littlest faces. They’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to make sure you have an amazing time and an amazing time we did have.
Thank you so much Santa’s Farm – we will be back!
Santa’s Farm are on Facebook and Instagram, where you will find details on how to book your visit.