Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Enchanted Christmas House – Freddie's 1st Santa visit didn't quite go to plan!

The Enchanted Christmas House is located in the London Art House in Islington. This magical wonderland offers children from 18months to 9 years + a festive treat to remember.

Our visit was booked for 10.30 and Freddie was very excited to be meeting Father Christmas to ask him for a “choo choo twain and tea pot” but when he actually came face to face with the man in red it was a different story...

Once you arrive you are taken through to the Garden of Winter Wonder, an area full of Christmas trees and fairy lights with various areas for imaginative play including; a puppet theatre, a mini bouncy castle, the seaside, karaoke, drums and an area with lots of role play toys such as a dolls house, cooker, .....
Freddie could have spent hours here! Video here: Snow not included!

The show begins on a small stage and offers a theatrical experience from here on with a host of Christmassy characters from Mrs Christmas, Father Christmas and his elves to Aladdin and a rubber duck! These characters and more appear from time to time throughout the rest of the journey.

The first room we were taken to was the Elves Workshop where Freddie made a Christmas tree and other festive decorations, at one point a large white rabbit entered the room and Freddie was for the first time ever not scared of a person in a furry suit! He enjoyed the renditions of Sleeping Bunnies especially when the giant bunny went to sleep right next to him!

Soon we were off to the Gingerbread kitchen, a wonderfully decorated room with enormous sweets and candies adorning the ceilings and walls. Freddie just had to decorate two gingerbread men with coloured icing, balls and sweets and half way through this was summoned to Santa...

We shot down the stairs with Mrs Claus and as we arrived Freddie stopped in his tracks, Santa sat in a wonderful grotto surrounded by lots of presents and snow but Freddie froze. All of his words had disappeared and he wouldn’t go within 4 feet of Father Christmas! Father Christmas took it all in his stride and chatted away and gave an early pressie to Freddie. His first meeting with Santa was a memorable one even if it didn’t go according to plan!

Back to the Gingerbread Kitchen for a few more songs and fun and then we ventured off to Aladdin’s Cave singing a “walking, running, hopping, stopping” song along the way.  Freddie began to loosen up and sing and hop along too... However, in Aladdin’s cave he spied the Duplo and that was it! He did join in the treasure hunt briefly but the theatrical experience had left the building for him as his second favourite toy was on offer! Every other child in the room joined in the fun as Aladdin summoned up a variety of characters by rubbing his lamp...

So to the finale and a mini stage show featuring all the characters from the day along with some new characters with songs, dancing and lots of audience participation which our little chap thoroughly enjoyed along with every other child!

After 2 1/2 hours of fun everyone was offered some food which included meatballs, pasta, houmos, carrot sticks,  pitta bread, very yummy cakes, chocolate and satsumas with a variety of drinks including water, juices, tea, coffee and a mulled wine which was actually rather good!

The venue is ideal for an enchanted festive treat with each room wonderfully decorated. The staff were very friendly and attentive and the acting was good too.

We had a great time but now for the crunch, a ticket will set you back £49 per person with a family of four ticket costing £159 (a saving of £37) and under 18 months go free. Is it worth it? There are certainly a lot of hands needed to make the event work so I can see where the cost goes and £49 for the little ones is definitely worth its ticket price – the question is whether the price tag is justified for the adults, probably not and so I would suggest to get more for your money go take a couple of kids along with one adult rather than a couple of adults to a child.

Since writing this the Enchanted House people are offering half price tickets to adults of for 3rd and 4th December...

Cost aside the whole experience was fantastic for children and every child in the place had a wonderful time. Freddie fell asleep on the way home clinging to his present from Father Christmas the whole way...

For more details and dates visit The Enchanted ChristmasHouse website.

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