Meeting Father Christmas at Over Farm
With Christmas now a fortnight away, it’s about the time to visit Father Christmas. This year, we were invited to see him at Over Farm, just outside Gloucester city centre. Over Farm have a fab shop, which I used to visit often before kids to browse, pick up some locally grown vegetables and (mainly) treat myself to something from their deli counter. A leisurely wander around a shop with kids just doesn’t happen now! Over Farm hold a variety of events throughout the year. “Frightmare” at Halloween is very popular with the kids that I teach, but a visit to see Father Christmas is much more our thing!
We started off by being greeted by elves as we climbed aboard a trailer being pulled by George the Tractor. We had a ride around the farm to Father Christmas’s grotto. Alvin the Elf entertained us on our journey. He lead us in a rendition of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” and checked if we were on the Nice List.
When we arrived, Tinsel the Elf led us through a secret tunnel to the door to Father Christmas’ grotto.
The good news was that Father Christmas was in his grotto, but he had fallen asleep. Apparently, this was due to eating too many mince pies. Now, my girls like the idea of visiting Father Christmas, but are less enthusiastic about the experience once they are there in front of the main man. I think the fact that he was “asleep” made them feel a little less worried about the experience.
We all sat down in benches in front of Father Christmas, and Tinsel encouraged everyone to shout in order to wake him up. Once he woke up, he told us a story about Henry the Tractor who lives on Over Farm, and helped out Father Christmas one Christmas Eve when he got stuck in the chimney. Afterwards we were able to go up together as a family and meet Father Christmas. We had our photo taken together and he gave the girls a token each to exchange for a toy in his workshop.
After the girls had chosen their toy, we were able to stroll back to the car, enjoying some of the other attractions on the farm as we did so. The girls were excited to see sheep, goats and donkeys, although one goat obviously felt that visitors were there to see it rather than Father Christmas.
The highlight for the girls was seeing Henry the Tractor from Father Christmas’s story. They enjoyed being able to sit on it and pretend they were farmers.
Father Christmas is at Over Farm at various dates in December – check the website for dates and times. It costs £11 for children and £7 for adults. Children under 2 are free but don’t receive a present unless you pay an additional £5. We enjoyed our visit to Over Farm as it was a little bit different to other Father Christmas experiences. It is perfect for children who love farms and tractors. It is also great for more nervous children as they get the time with Father Christmas, having a story, without having to get too close. Father Christmas looked really authentic. I am sure his beard was completely real and I would not be surprised to find out that he was the real deal.
The staff playing the elves were all friendly and really enthusiastic, and the girls enjoyed being able to choose their own presents. I would definitely consider returning to Over Farm next Christmas, and also checking out some of their other events.
Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the event at Over Farm in exchange for an honest review.