We’ve just completed out first Santa on the Rooftop experience at Fenwick in Newcastle and it was thoroughly worthwhile.
As a new mum over 40, I have certainly visited my fair share of festive grottos over the years, but this one took seeing Santa to a whole new level.
Christmas always creeps up on us so quickly and this year I was determined not to miss a trick. In fact I’ve not had this much excitement booking online for an event since I secured tickets for T In The Park 20 years ago.
The Grinch at home wasn’t too impressed with how much I’d spent, given that tickets were £12.50 a pop, but as I said to him, it was much cheaper than if I was to suddenly decide to relive my long-lost festival days. There really is no rationing on 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, but nothing prepared me for what might have been perimenopause setting in.
Seeing Cyrus’s face light up at the sight of Santa’s little helpers, my tears and turbulent hormones were in full flow and 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 so many toys, decorations and festive fairylights that it was enough to convert even the grumpiest Grinch. Following Santa’s footprints from the lift and through the warehouse was a real trail-blazing adventure for little legs whose eyes looked even twinklier that usual.
It is certainly clear that Fenwick does Christmas in style and the Santa experience is both imaginative and immersive. As we entered into another room, we were encouraged to take an Elfie Selfie and mummy went a little crackers trying some of the wigs on. Little C found this hugely 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, 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 and while mummy might have been in a position to receive coal as a child, good children like little C can expect a little bit 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 because he was quite happy elf-spotting in a car.
It was our turn to see Father Christmas and I’d paid up front, so 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. Having not quite grasped the concept that he had to decorate one before eating it, little legs ended up with two of them. He meticulously applied some multi-coloured icing and edible glitter to the one on the table, with a pixie to point him in the right direction.
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.
And 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 this experience a success year on year at Fenwick, so a big thank you to everyone who made little C’s day. We will certainly be back!