I have written a few posts about Breakfast with Santa across the North East, but until last weekend I didn’t really know what they entailed. Wyevale Garden Centre Gosforth got in touch with us because they read my round up post, and invited us to breakfast with Santa, so we took them up on their offer and went along last Saturday.
Santa is clearly an early riser as all of the breakfasts are scheduled for 9am, so getting there was a bit of a struggle for someone like me who is always running late, but for once we arrived bright and early and on time. We headed to the cafe where we were given a really warm welcome by Mrs Claus who showed us to our table, which was looking very festive, set up with crackers and Christmas decorations.
Each of the kids‘ place settings had a gingerbread man which they could decorate with icing, sprinkles and mini marshmallows. My children have inherited my sense of self restraint and so the gingerbread men were beheaded within seconds of them sitting down and gone within about 3 minutes of us arriving. Although the kids enjoyed making them, I probably would have preferred if they’d been brought out after the breakfast as there was a little bit of waiting time for Santa.
The staff were really attentive, we'd just sat down when they offered us mams a hot drink and the kids a squash. Next came our breakfasts. We’d ordered in advance when we booked and our choices were brought over to the table within about 10 minutes of arriving. The kid's Breakfast with Santa experience cost £10 each and included a four piece breakfast, the gingerbread decorating, meeting Santa a present. The cost for the adults was either £4.50 for a breakfast bap or £8 for a full English. I have never knowingly chosen a smaller food option, and have at times questioned waiters as to whether they think a meal will fill me - I know I even make myself cringe, so naturally I was going with the full English. Our breakfast was really tasty. As it included a hot drink too I think it was pretty good value, especially considering that it was a Christmas event.
Eating breakfast took us to about 9:45 and then there was a bit of downtime at the table where our kids got a little bit bored. We were sat really close to the present table and it was a bit of a struggle to keep them from running around and throwing themselves at it. You could almost see the internal fight in their eyes, "Yes Mammy is right, I should wait to meet Santa, I should sit and colour in....BUT LOOK AT THOSE PRESENTS. RUN TO THEM" or something like that I imagine. I wish that we’d confiscated the Gingerbread men to bring them back out at this point to keep them entertained. There were activity sheets on the table though, and it was only about 10 minutes from finishing breakfast until the next activity so I’m sure it wouldn't be an issue for most children.
At about 10am Mrs Claus got all the children together to call for Santa. After a few hollers we heard the tinkle of bells which announced the arrival of Santa who walked around all of the tables saying a quick hello and letting the kids know that they would be called to the grotto soon to have a proper chat with him.
The grotto was a little area in the cafe with seats. Mrs Claus called up groups of families up to queue to see Santa. I think two families were called up at a time, so there wasn’t too long to wait whilst you were standing. There were quite a few people there though, so if you were called up last to queue it might be hard to entertain the kids when what they really want to do is reel off the Argos catalogue of Christmas gifts to Santa. It might be a good idea to keep the activity sheet until this point in case it did take a while.
Santa was very sweet, asking us whether our house had a chimney and explaining to my puzzled three year old how he would get in with his magic key in our chimney-less house. At the end he told the kids to pick a present from the gift table. It was the moment they’d been waiting for all morning, and my little boy headed straight for the dinosaur figures. I was mega impressed with the presents on offer. They were much bigger than ones I’ve seen at other Santa’s grottos. Last year we went to the most beautiful Santa's grotto, but the present for the kids was an unwrapped box of Malteasers, and one child in our group was dairy-free so it was a bit of a nightmare. Not at Wyevale Gosforth though. There must have been 10-15 toys to choose from, and with a little bit of encouragement from me, my little girl picked a wooden push along pirate toy. The standard of the toys made the event excellent value. We spotted her wooden toy on sale for £10 in the garden centre on the way out, so I think it was a great gift selection that it was included when our whole experience including the food had been £10.
Breakfast with Santa finished at about 10:20am but if you’d been called up to see Santa later than us it would have gone on longer. We looked around the garden centre for a bit afterwards. Wyevale Garden Centre Gosforth have gone all out decorating for Christmas and there is a huge snowy animal scene in the main entrance with moving polar bears, penguins and elves. Even if you don’t fancy breakfast (or afternoon tea, you can read fellow blogger Newcastle Family Life's review of this here) with Santa then Wyevale Garden Centre Gosforth have got FREE weekend events on weekends with visits from Santa, princesses, super heros and crafts for the kids.
Full listings of the FREE events are here. No need to book as they are all drop in activities. If you are getting a real tree it would make a nice place to visit to make an event of it. Availability for Breakfast is limited but there are still tickets available for weekday mornings, tickets available here.
How does this compare to any Breakfast with Santa events that you’ve been to?
Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets to the event but all views are my own.