Is Santa real?
When I discovered my son had googled this very question, I decided to take him to LaplandUK, the new ‘immersive theatre’ event in Windsor, where I heard a rumour that Santa was camping out.
I wasn’t sure quite what to expect at the ‘theatre’, billed as the UK’s home of Father Christmas in, er , Windsor. (‘He’s friends with the queen,’ I told my son.) I imagined it would be part funfair, part Santa’s grotto, but in fact, it was more creative than that. We had a fun day out where the kids got to help the elves make toys and teddies in Santa’s workshop and come over all British Bake-off with Mrs Claus and make gingerbread men in her kitchen.
There’s a skating rink, real reindeers and huskies to pet with the highlight being a private audience in Santa’s shack with the man himself. ‘I think he was real,’ said my son. ‘His beard moved when he talked.’ I think Charlie, at 10, was probably the upper age limit who would enjoy it, and it would be more suitable for younger children.
The whole ‘tour’ lasted around 90 minutes, with an hour and half in the middle where you got to go skating and eat and pet the beautiful huskies. (Be warned, the food is hideously expensive – three sandwiches and three bottles of water cost £27; eat lunch before you get there.) Your time with Santa is really quite magical and he knows everything about your child and his hobbies and pets, ‘so he must be real,’ said Charlie.
However, the visit was a little spoilt when they tried to flog you expensive photos at the end. We didn’t buy any. ‘The memories will last forever,’ I told my son. And you know what, I think they will.
For more information and to book tickets, visit laplanduk.co.uk