Our first Santa on the Rooftop experience at Fenwick in Newcastle is one of the best family days we’ve had. It was thoroughly worthwhile. I have visited my fair share of festive grottos over the years as a new mum over 40. This one took seeing Santa to a whole new level.
Now Christmas always creeps up on us so quickly, so this year I was determined not to miss a trick but I’ve not had this much excitement since I secured festival tickets 20 years ago. Tickets were £12.50 a pop, so the Grinch at home wasn’t too impressed with how much I’d spent. As I said to him, it was cheaper than if I was to relive my long-lost festival days. There really is no rationing on Little C having fun in my book. On that wallet-challenging note, I’d been told in the run-up to our visit to expect the unexpected. Nothing prepared me for what might have been perimenopause setting in.
My tears and turbulent hormones were in full flow seeing Cyrus’s face light up at the sight of Santa’s little helpers, and thinking of how my mum would have reacted seeing it all. I had to grab a tissue from a friendly elf before we entered the elevator. As we stepped inside Santa’s warehouse, little C just gazed around in awe. We were surrounded by enough toys, decorations and festive fairylights to convert even the grumpiest Grinch.
Following Santa’s footprints from the lift and through the warehouse was a trail-blazing adventure for little legs. His eyes looked even twinklier that usual. Imaginative and immersive It is certainly clear that Fenwick does Christmas in style as the Santa on the Rooftop experience in both imaginative and immersive. As we entered into another room, we were encouraged to take an Elfie Selfie.
Mummy went a little crackers trying some of the wigs on. Little C found this amusing before he was distracted by another one of Santa’s helpers and a larger-than-life teddy bear. The next door took us out on to the rooftop with its beautiful views across the city. There were shimmering Christmas trees, a couple of vintage toy cars … and reindeer singing festive songs. Fenwick – you really have thought of everything.
This is the waiting area to see the Big Man himself. While mummy might have been in a position to receive coal as a child, good children can expect more than that. This is such an extraordinary part of the journey that little C started to cry when it was his turn to see Santa. He’d been quite happy elf-spotting in a car.
Since I’d paid up front, I was going to get my money’s worth and sit on Santa’s knee. Even if little legs decided that he didn’t want to. In the end, there was a magical ending with more mummy tears and Santa agreeing to bring little C an excavator for Christmas.
We were then taken through to the elves’ kitchen where cookie decoration was on the menu. Little legs ended up with two of them, having not grasped the concept that he had to decorate one before eating it. He meticulously applied multi-coloured icing and edible glitter to one under the watchful eye of a pixie.
Now Christmas is a time for indulgence, so the sweet treats and hot chocolate with marshmallows which came after this were delicious. The older visitors among us had to settle for some mulled wine and I’m not complaining being supplied with such sustenance. Just when you think it’s all over, you enter another room that’s complete with more Instagram props than you can point an iPhone at – I’ll not spoil it!
As you can imagine, a lot of organisation and a huge amount of hard work goes into making the Santa on the Rooftop experience a success at Fenwick. So a big thank you to everyone who made little C’s day. We will certainly be back!