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Blogmas Day 13: Willows Activity Farm Santa Spectacular

On Tuesday morning we went to Willows Activity Farm in London Colney, St Albans as they are running their annual Santa Spectacular. If you have read my blog before you will know that we absolutely love Willows Activity farm and it is somewhere we have been visiting since Oscar was little. We are so lucky that we only live 15 minutes from the farm and visit at least five or six times a year.

Their Santa Spectacular is always amazing and a real fun filled magical day out for the whole family. What I love about Willows is the ticket price is what you pay, there are no hidden extras. Every activity, ride and experience is included in your entry fee. Archie always gets so excited when I say we are going to Willows, he absolutely loves it. We met my friend and her daughter at the farm at 10am when it opened and got our Santa Spectacular visitor guide, our Elf passport, animal feed, and three tokens. One for meeting Father Christmas, one for decorating a gingerbread man and one for making a cuddly toy. You also get given a free child return visit voucher to use in the new year between 5th of January to 15th February and the 25th March to the 29th March. We will making use of that for sure.

We decided to go and visit Father Christmas first before the farm got really busy. You walk through lots of decorations; from the Polar Express to Santa’s Sleigh, the decorations are beautiful. There is also a lovely spot on a log under lots of lights which is perfect for a photo. We went in to see Father Christmas, he was really lovely chatting to the children and in exchange for their token he gave them each a magic key to get into Santa’s toy shop. I love this idea so much, so instead of Father Christmas giving them a gift, the children can pick anything they want from his toy shop. It was absolutely full of toys, there were so many to choose from. Eventually Archie picked a Doctor’s kit. You can then also purchase your photo that you had taken with Father Christmas.

We then went to watch the 3D movie which was great. The gingerbread decorating was also in the same barn so we did that as well. It was nice to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of tea whilst the children iced and decorated their gingerbread men. You can also purchase snacks in the barn as well.

We walked back to the Farmyard and fed all of the animals and got to see the Reindeer. Archie always loves the Farmyard and last time we were there the piglets had been born and he couldn’t believe how much they had grown.

Next to the Farmyard is the Create-A-Cuddle Worskshop where you exchange your token and are given a empty bear, stuffing, pick a coloured heart, a birth certificate and a lovely bag for your bear to go in. We stuffed our teddy and put in the heart and then zipped him up. Archie has taken him to bed ever since, its a really lovely teddy.

We walked across the farm to where Tristan the Tractor is as he was ready to take us on a Festive Wood Ride. As we got on the tractor each child can choose some bells and throughout the ride he plays Christmas songs and Archie sang along and shook the bells. On the ride you can see the sheep, cows and pigs as well as festive scenes set around the route.

We headed to the Peter Rabbit adventure playground as the kids always love it. It is such a fantastic play area and Archie loves all of the interactive games and musical instruments. Mr Tod’s Lair is another great Peter Rabbit attraction that opened at Easter and for any little Peter Rabbit fan is great fun.

We went into Woolly Jumpers and got some lunch and a drink and then Archie and his friend played in the soft play. The soft play at the farm is huge and has different areas for different ages. I often come here in the Winter months, even on a rainy day as you can use the soft play and the Farmyard is covered too in the barn.

We went to go on the ice-skating but missed the time slot whilst we were having lunch. I think on the weekend it is open longer. We finished our day by going on the rides and then headed home to get Oscar from school.

We had a lovely day and you really do get so much for your entry price as well as picking a great gift from Santa’s toy shop. The prices for  the 15th-24th December 2018 is £22 for an adult, £38 per child, senior £21, under 2 paying (so they can take part in all the activities) £22.50 and disabled child with free carer £25 and a disabled adult is £12.50. You can save £2 off of those prices by booking online beforehand. It really is such an amazing Christmassy day out for the whole family to enjoy!

We were gifted the tickets to Willows Activity Farm Santa Spectacular event and had a wonderful time!

My Top 5 Places to Visit At Christmas With Kids In The UK

I love Christmas and over the last couple of years we have been to some fantastic places with the boys over the Christmas period. Some are our family Christmas traditions and others places we just love to go to as they are so magical. Here are my top 5 places we have been to so far….

1. Lapland UK

Lapland UK is so amazing! We went two Christmases ago and I was blown away. It is magical from start to finish and other then real snow I imagine it’s just as magical as Lapland itself. It’s quite pricey but in my opinion I would pay it time and time again. We had the most magical family day out and the boys, especially Oscar as he was 7 couldn’t believe it. You come away full of Christmas spirit!

2. Harrod’s Christmas Grotto.

We have been visiting Harrod’s Christmas Grotto since Oscar’s first Christmas. I eagerly await my booking email every year and book up straight away. It’s a Christmas tradition in our house as it’s the same Grotto I visited as a child too. Each year is so different with a different theme and decorations and the boys love it! We always buy the Harrod’s Christmas bear for our tree afterwards then have dinner together. It’s nice to have a special Christmas tradition as a family. You have to pay a deposit (this year was £20 a child) when booking the Grotto but get it straight back on your Harrod’s reward card afterwards to spend in store, we use it to buy more Christmas decorations. I booked our slot last month and can’t wait to go!

3. Santa Spectacular – Willow’s Activity Farm, London Colney, St Albans

Willows Activity Farm is such a great day out in general with so much to see and do. But at Christmas it’s amazing! The Grotto is fantastic and when you visit Father Christmas you get a key to his toy shop where you can choose whatever toy you like. There is also ice skating and you can meet their husky dog. Here’s my post from our visit to the farm last Christmas. It runs from 21st November – 24th December 2018 and costs from £30 a child, £19.50 Under 2s, £14 an Adult, £13.15 Seniors, £25 Disabled child & free carer and £12.50 Disabled adult + free carer. It really is a fantastic day out for everyone!

4. Santa’s Sleepover At Alton Towers

We love Alton Tower’s and had a weekend away there staying in the enchanted village back in April. At Christmas Alton Tower’s put on their Santa’s Sleepover. Within the package you get an overnight stay in our amazing accommodation, a unique visit to Santa (experience dependent on accommodation), their fun-filled Pantomime, Alice in Wonderland , A festive evening meal, a delicious buffet breakfast, One day Waterpark tickets, One day Theme Park tickets with selected rides and attractions including CBeebies Land, evening entertainment including character meet & greets, shows, a Christmas cinema and a farewell from Santa Claus! Plus 9 holes of crazy Extraordinary Golf.

5. Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hogwarts In The Snow

I love the Warner Bros Studio Tour and luckily for us its only ten minutes down the road from us. We have been four or five times now but no time is as magical as Hogwarts In The Snow. The Great Hall is set up for a Christmas Feast, snow falls as you walk outside and we usually go in November and it really gets you into the Christmas spirit. This year it is running from the 17th of November through to the 27th of January 2019. For any Harry Potter fan this is not to be missed! It is beyond magical!

Another fun event to go to with the kids is visiting the #holidaysarecoming Coca Cola Christmas Truck. Every year they realise tour dates and we went and saw it at a local supermarket. The staff make it a really fun event for the kids and we got a free downloadable photo.

February Frolics At Willows Activity Farm

Willows Activity Farm is our local farm to visit and over the years we have visited the farm lots of times, we love it there! Yesterday we went to Willows for the day and they had a jam packed full programme of fun activities for their ‘February Frolics’ half term extravaganza that is running from the 13th to the 21st February.

We arrived at Willows at 11am and the boys went on some of the rides and the JCB young drivers soon and then we went into the art and craft tent and made a sheep out of cotton wool and a paper plate. There are lots of different arts and crafts to choose from and as it was a cold day it was nice to sit inside in the warm.


When we arrived each child is given a ‘Bo Peep’s Lost Sheep’ quiz and when you walk around the farm the answers to the questions are dotted around the farm and once completed every child wins a prize. Oscar really enjoyed this and learnt lots of new interesting facts about sheep and lambs.

Inside we got some lunch and a drink and the boys went into the Woolly Jumpers Indoor play barn and had so much fun. The inside soft play area is really big with fun slides and different things for them to do inside. I love the soft play area at Willows and it is great if the weather is bad to bring Oscar and Archie to the farm and go on the soft play then go in the barn to feed the animals. Even if it is raining it is still a great day out.

After soft play we went into the animal barn and fed the animals and Oscar held a guinea pig. Oscar was very excited about the baby calf that was only a few days old and there is also some baby goats too. Willows also has a temporary lambing marquee which I was really looking forward to seeing. Last year, hundreds of little lambs were born at Willows including twins and some triplets, and this year the numbers are expected to be just as high! Tuck the Shepherd was keeping a very close watch on the flock and gives bottle feeding demonstrations throughout the day. Whilst we were at the farm at 1.30pm one of the sheep gave birth to a single lamb which was amazing for the children to see such a young lamb. There were another two sheep that had had their lambs in the early hours of the Monday morning. I was told it was normal for sheep to have their babies at night so getting to see it during the day was quite rare. You might also get to see this if you go to the farm this half term as there are around 20 sheep due to give birth before Sunday!



We also took a ride on Tristan the runaway tractor, went on the bouncy castles and trampolines and walked around all of the animals. Families can also join in with a sing-a-long in Woolly’s Showtime Theatre and see the Bo Beep puppet show! Tickets are 

Adult Child Under 2’s Member
£13.50 £14.50 FREE FREE

Here is the full programme:

February Frolics Programme

Next up there will be the Easter Eggstravaganza which will be running from the 19th to the 28th March. It is great fun, we went last Easter Sunday and there was so much to do. The Easter Bunny will be visiting every day, there’s an Easter Egg and Bunny Hunt with free chocolate treats for the kids,  Pig Racing and Goat Milking, family shows, adventure play, funfair rides, Tristan the Runaway Tractor and plenty of farmyard animals in our outdoor pens and our under cover animal barn.

There is also something VERY exciting coming to Willows on the 2nd April 2016! A major new themed Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground will be opening. It will feature new play areas centred on the much-loved stars of the animated CBeebies series ‘Peter Rabbit’. Oscar loves Peter Rabbit and when he saw the signs around Willows yesterday got very excited and we can’t wait to come back and see it. 2016 marks 150 years of Beatrix Potter and this is a fabulous way to ensure her most famous creation, Peter Rabbit will be enjoyed for generations to come. This will also be the start of the Holiday Hop event.

Peter Rabbit Hop Along Holiday