‘Tis the season and all that! Christmas time has taken on a real special meaning in the Chambers’ household since the two smallies arrived. And this year is the first year that Aidan gets the concept of Santa. He’s still a small bit sketchy on all the details but he knows who the big man in the red suit with the beard is and more importantly he knows that he brings presents. We visited Santa’s Magical Trail Athy this year and it was fab.
So last Sunday we made our annual pilgrimage to visit the man himself and this year we tried somewhere different.
The kind folks at Santa’s Magical Trail in the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy welcomed myself, Daddy Chambers, Aidan and Sarah last weekend and I must admit we had a brilliant afternoon.
All week Aidan was well aware he was visiting Santa’s ‘house’ and when the time came to finally leave for Santa’s Magical Trail Athy, he was hyped up to the hilt. When we arrived we had to register/check in, while Aidan had great craic playing with the giant Connect Four game. Before we embarked on the trail we had a family photo taken, which was all lovely apart from myself of course, who, once again, was pulling an awful demented looking face!
Anyway, on to the trail; the best bit. We were guided by the elves the whole way through and I must say they were hilarious. They really acted the maggot and the kids lapped it up. First up we visited the elves’ workshop and then we paid a visit to Mrs Claus, before heading off to meet Lazy Bones the Elf in his bedroom. Aidan, at this point, decided it would be a great idea to tuck himself up in one of the elves’ beds and bid his fellow trailblazers night, night!
One of the real highlights for Aidan was helping the elves make reindeer food and himself and Sarah even got to bring a bag home so we can leave it out on Christmas Eve.
Our next stop was into a room with a big wishing tree, where Aidan got to make a wish and hang it on the tree in the hope that Santa spots it on time.
At this point we put our coats back on and another elf whizzed up in a very festive golf buggy and took us for a spin. The golf buggy made Aidan’s afternoon. His blonde tresses were blowing wild in the wind and he was in his element.
After a short spin we had a wee walk up a mysterious corridor and at the end we met a small petting farm with alpacas, poor unfortunate turkeys, donkeys, ponies and of course some reindeer. Sarah was particularly taken with the alpacas! Amazed even.
After the pet farm we were escorted to another room where we all got to throw snowballs at each other and in general have a bit of a laugh but a few minutes later when an elf called Sarah and Aidan to tell them Santa wanted to see them, the latter almost wet himself with excitement. Actually, considering he is still in nappies, he probably did wet himself with excitement!
I really thought Aidan would lose the plot when he saw Santa and although at first he wasn’t sure, he was hugging him by the time we left. Santa was just brilliant and his softly spoken ways really put the kids at ease. Sarah wasn’t as easily convinced of him as her brother was but she was really brave about sitting beside Santa from the comfort of her daddy’s arms!
Of course we tried to get the perfect family shot of us all with the big man but Aidan had a bit of a coughing fit in the middle of it and the rest of us weren’t even looking at the camera! But that just seems to be par for the course every year!
After we finished up with Santa our carriage (golf buggy) was outside waiting for us as we were whisked back to base where we were all met by Snow White, who served us up some hot chocolate and marshmallows. And that was the end of the trail.
We’ve only ever visited three Santa experiences, all in Kildare, but this was hands down the best. The Santa’s Magical Trail Athy was over an hour long and there was loads to keep Aidan entertained. He loved it. The elves were amazing, while Santa himself was a big hit.
To top off our evening we headed to the bar for dinner, which again was very child friendly. Perhaps that was the best part for me as it meant I didn’t have to cook!
Thanks a million to Mary Fennin, the brainchild behind Santa’s Magical Trail, for having us! It really was magical.
So folks if you’re yet to visit the man with the beard this year come see Daddy Chambers in Newbridge! Only kidding! Seriously though you won’t be disappointed by Santa’s Magical Trail Athy.