Santa’s Wonderland – what you need to know:

12th Dec 2016

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After all the hype and build up we were all pretty excited to get to Santa’s Wonderland on Friday night. Upon arriving the first thing that got me was the fact it was smaller and not as spectacular as I was expecting, I’m not telling you this to turn you off, just to warn you as I was a bit stunned at the first impression. Once we were into everything we didn’t even notice the lack of decorations from the roof and honestly if it was any bigger we wouldn’t have been able to fit everything in, so please don’t worry if you have the same first impression that I did.

Once inside it will be hard to decide what to do first, there’s an array of Christmas themed activities, carnival rides and displays and if you’re kids are like ours they will be very excited and eager to run to the closest attraction!

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We started with Jumping Castles to burn off the initial energy and excitement! Throughout our time the kids went on 2 jumping castles and a giant blow up slide, 4 rides (and that wasn’t all of them!!), rode mechanical reindeer, looked at pageant floats and had photo’s on Nimble – this was a child hood dream of mine, so I’m not sure if they were quite as excited as me, but they certainly thought it was pretty cool! They wrote and posted a letter to Santa, sat with a Snow Queen & Mrs Christmas, went Ice Skating, tobogganing and ran in and out of the snow machine plus filled their good bags with bits and pieces to take home.

We had kids ranging from 4 through to 13 in our group and it is definitely more suited to the younger ones. Our 11 did enjoy the ice-skating and tobogganing and the fact the venue was not huge made it easy enough to leave her doing that while we did things with the younger kids. The 13 year old didn’t really get a lot out of it, but that’s not to say other kids of the same age wouldn’t. The 4 through to 9 year olds all had a ball, the rides were all small enough for them to go on unattended and all accommodated adults too so older kids could certainly go on them if they wanted to.

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The Ice Skating was fun for all, the younger ones needed to wear skates that went over their shoes, so they will need covered shoes to have these on. We took gloves but they didn’t end up wearing them, they were not needed for warmth, but I would’ve been more confident if the younger ones had worn them to give their hands some protection when they fell. The venue was quite warm and it’s all completely inside so no need to worry what the weather is doing. We did not need warm clothes at all for the Snow sections. Miss 4 did end up with a fairly wet bum from the ice skating, but because it was warm inside it wasn’t necessary to change her clothes. The “Snowplay” was just a snow machine blowing on to the kids, so again no need for warm clothes or a change of clothes.

There are a number of sideshows that are not included in the price, so either be prepared to spend some extra or tell your kids up front that they can’t do everything. There are also some showbags and novelties that can be purchased.

There is food and drinks available such as sandwiches and hot chips etc., but we ate dinner on the way and I took a couple of snacks and bottles of water for the kids. We did buy some fairy floss as a treat, but that was the only thing we needed to buy there. Fairy Floss was $5 you could also get popcorn and Gingerbread men for $4 each and bottles of soft drink or water were around $5 each.

We didn’t have to line up long at all for any of the rides, but we did notice the line ups for Santa Photos were fairly lengthy and heard the wait to get photos was even longer.

Along the activity trail there are things like colouring in and bauble decorating – whilst these are fun to do at the time, we found we were just running out of time to get everything in, so I would recommend collecting these to take and do at home later.

Towards the end of the session there is a parade ending in Christmas characters and Santa appearing on stage, this is a lovely finale, but please make sure you allow for this and don’t leave rides or activities until the last minute. We noticed some rides were shutting down during this time too, so leaving them until close to the end could result in disappointment.

Toilets are located in the back right hand corner of the building if you are standing in the entry facing in.

Parking is available in the Showgrounds for $8, if it’s in the evening most of the street parking in the area is ok to use after 5pm. Please check this though as different days and times may adjust this information.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Santa’s Wonderland, the kids had a ball and as a parent I thought it was good value for everything that was included, the space was a good size and not spaced out and open so you felt like you had to hold on to kids permanently. There was also plenty of room for prams if you have little ones.

Thank you Santa’s Wonderland, we are now officially in the Christmas Spirit!

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