A visit to Santa has changed so much since I was a young ‘un. It used to be a very long queue that snaked its way across the floor of Clery’s in Dublin. A hop up on Santa’s knee for all of about 35 seconds and you were packed off with a wrapped present. These days a visit to Santa isn’t really just a visit anymore. It’s an ‘experience’. So last year we decided to go the whole hog and experience it!
Causey Farm in Athlone was our place of choice, purely because that’s where the cousins were going. It’s a real farm that is transformed for a month (Nov 29th – Dec 23rd) into a complete Christmas grotto, both inside and out.
The farm sheds all have different themes including Santa’s House, Mrs. Claus kitchen, the elves toy workshop and of course the stable in Bethlehem with 3 wise men. The idea is that you move from from one shed to the next, with seven different venues in total. Comfie and practical footwear essential!
We met Mary and Joseph and many animals along the way. We…(ie the adults) had mulled wine and mince pies and the kids were told about old time Christmas traditions, like lighting a candle for welcoming people to your house. We saw Mrs. Claus making her Christmas pudding and the finale was Santa arriving down the chimney. Needless to say the kids loved that, in fact, they loved the whole thing! It was a real hit from beginning to end.
So we’re giving Causey Farm the big thumbs up. However it’s expensive at €22 per child and €14 per adult. But if you are looking for the ‘experience’, this is it. It’s great and worth the money.
A few good-to-know tips…
- Book well in advance as slots fill up fast in December
- It’s all pretty much outdoors so wrap yourself and the kids up well
- Arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled start time
- There’s loads to see so allow time to get around all areas. The tour is 1.5 hrs
- There are 7 different venues to visit and it can be wet so wear appropriate boots/shoes
- Buy the photo at the end, (if you’ve any money left), to hold on to the memory