Thanks to Hamleys for inviting us along
That moment when your three and a half year old sees Father Christmas walk through the door and his eyes light up and his whole face smiles so much you can feel the magic and excitement in the air. I just want to bottle that feeling and keep it forever.
I took my three children – Little Miss E age almost eight, Little Man, 6, and Littlest Boy I, 3½ – to meet the man in red at Hamleys Cardiff this evening, along with a host of other local parent bloggers, to celebrate the launch of their 2017 Meet Father Christmas experience. And it was wonderful! As in previous years the magic started as soon as we entered the door to the toy shop, which is situated on the ground floor of St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff. We were greeted by two happy and bubbly elves who had us all singing Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer as we walked across the shop floor and to the party room. We used a bit of magic to open the doors and entered the wonderfully festive room with trees, decorations and a festive table ready for a Christmas craft activity involving stickers and shiny paper which meant all three of my children could have a go.
There was much excitement as he burst through the door and spent time chatting to all the children. Father Christmas at Hamleys Cardiff is everything you would want. His red and white suit is such high quality; his beard is real; his round smiling face is kind and wise. He looks like the real deal.
The elves then got all the children sat on the floor while Santa read a pop-up version of The Snowman and the Snowdog, the beautiful Christmas classic by Raymond Briggs. We’ve been to Hamleys three years running now and this is one of my favourite parts. How special for Santa to read you a story!
It was then time for party games – Musical Snowmen and Santa’s Footsteps. Father Christmas was such a good sport with the children, really making them laugh. He even made us parents join in with a game too much to the delight of the youngsters.
All of the children then got time to meet Father Christmas individually or in sibling groups. Parents are welcome to take as many photos as you like. There’s no ‘official’ printed out photo and therefore no additional cost. Those waiting could write their Christmas lists for Father Christmas.
Each child was given a goodie bag and as always the quality of gifts was exceptional including a Hamleys Bear, a Father Christmas tree decoration, a pack of colouring pencils, and an I Met Father Christmas at Hamleys hardback storybook, all in a special Hamleys Christmas bag.
It has become tradition at the Hamleys Father Christmas bloggers launch for Father Christmas to have his photo taken with the mummies. And this year was no different. From left to right – Debbie of An Organised Mess; Lianne of Anklebiters Adventures; Ayse of Arepops; Father Christmas; Cathryn of Cardiff Mummy Says; Alina of We Made This Life; Charlotte of Welsh Mummy Blogs; and Kelly of Kelly Allen Writer. Lucky Father Christmas!
As the children got ready to leave the room there was one more surprise. The elves gave them all a paper cup and the children were told they could fill it with sweets from the amazing pick’n’mix display, housed in a red London bus display unit. You can imagine how well this went down with the children. It also meant we could usher them out through the store without too many demands for toys!
At £19.99 the Hamleys I Met Father Christmas is one of the more expensive options. But it offers great value for money with a full 45 minutes of Christmas fun and games and with the retail value of the goodie bag alone pretty much matching the cost.
It’s such a magical experience, where all the children feel special. Name labels given out by the elves mean FC can address them personally; and they get proper quality time with him rather than feeling rushed in and rushed out. Once again, we loved it!
I Met Father Christmas at Hamleys Cardiff is open on Saturdays and Sundays 25th and 26th November; 2nd and 3rd 9th and 10th; and 16th to 24th December. See the website for more information.
Also on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December there will be all kinds of Elf on the Shelf fun including storytelling selfies arts and crafts and other elf-tastic events. See the website for details.
The team at Hamleys Cardiff have offered one lucky Cardiff Mummy Says reader the chance to take their children to meet Father Christmas for free! The prize includes tickets for up to three children plus two accompanying adults for the full Hamleys Meet Father Christmas experience.
For a chance to win leave the answer to this simple question on the Hamleys Meet Father Christmas post on Cardiff Mummy Says. Closing date for entries is Sunday 26th November at 11.59pm.
Q. What book did Father Christmas read to the children when we met him at Hamleys?
Terms and conditions:
- There is one prize, consisting of a family ticket (up to three children and two accompanying adults) to meet Father Christmas at Hamleys Cardiff.
- There is no alternative prize.
- The prize valid for any Meet Father Christmas session at Hamleys subject to availability
- Closing date for entries is Sunday 26th November 2017, 11.59pm.
- Entrants must be 18 years or over.
- To enter, leave your answer to the above question in the comments section of the Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys ticket giveaway post on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.
- The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries submitted before the closing date. The winner will be informed with a reply to their Facebook comment and a direct Facebook message letting them know they have won. All reasonable attempts will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted by 11.59pm on Thursday 30th November the prize will be forfeited and offered to another eligible entrant.
- Please see the Hamleys website for full terms and conditions for meeting Father Christmas.
- Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. Any new terms and conditions will be published here.
- Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to end this promotion at any time and without notice.
- Cardiff Mummy Says cannot be held responsible for the failure of third party organisations to provide the prize, or for loss, damage or non-arrival of the prizes.
- Relatives of Cathryn Scott, author of Cardiff Mummy Says, may not enter the giveaway.
- Employees or relatives of those employed by Hamleys may not enter this giveaway.
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.