The Santa Experience – What are you waiting for?!

Santa Experience

As Nip#1 is 4 (& a half!) now, Santa is a big thing this year so when I was invited into The Santa Experience in the Ilac Centre (above Dunnes Stores), I jumped at the opportunity!

Living in Dublin, we didn’t have too far to travel in fairness but we still managed to be 10 mins late – getting out the door with two youngins is a tough ask sometimes!!

When we got there, we met Tara immediately. We had a good chat, and Tara asked me to complete a short questionnaire with details about my girls – Name/Age/Teachers Name/Present for Christmas etc so Santa would know these when he speaks with the girls. Only issue was Nip#1 wants everything from Nick Jr ad’s and in particular, she wants a skate board. But she’s not getting that as she’s not ready for one (or maybe we’re not!) so I was kind of stumped for what to say. I ended up writing Real Construction & anything from Frozen which she loves).

Santa Experience – the reception area.

So in we went where we were greeted by a number of elves. They were busy getting us tea & coffee and there was a great selection of sandwiches & cakes to choose from. When I walked in, an elf was sitting beside Nip#1 chatting away asking questions while Nip#1 coloured in a picture. That elf – whose name I asked but have since forgotten – was excellent with our two nips.

Our Elf Names.

Our elf told us our ‘Elf Names‘ which was great fun – so for the next 35 days or so, The Goods will officially be known as:

  • Me = Jolly Toe-Bells
  • The Missus = Twinkle Angel-Pants
  • Nip#1 = Twinkle Peppermint
  • Nip#2 = Squeezy Superplum

Can you figure out your elf name? Have a look below and please please leave a comment below including it 🙂

Santa Experience
What’s your elf name?!

First stop – Santa’s Post Office.

Santa ExperienceWe were brought through very fast it has to be said. Let the excitement begin! Nip#1 was a bit shy going in but bit by bit she got into the spirit. The first room we where brought to was ‘Santa’s Post Office‘. Here we could see letters to Santa from children all over the world. There was a map of the world with lights to show us the route Santa would take on Christmas Eve. On the other wall, there was a list of countries with lights beside their name. The light would go on when a letter from that country arrived from a child there.  There were loads of letters in little cubby-holes for Santa (each cubby-hole represented a country & they were all in alphabetical order too).

I have to say, the elf behind the counter was absolutely brilliant. Full of energy with great acting, she was really really entertaining and she set the tone for me.

The Reindeer’s Stable.

Santa ExperienceOnce we said goodbye to Santa’s Post Office, we were brought to see the reindeers.

Nip#1 loved this part and even rubbed the reindeers nose. We saw Comet & Blizten and Dancer & Rudolph (& a baby Cupid) and the elf had us laughing with his stories about them and everything that happenes in the stables.

The Sleigh Room

This was the most entertaining part for me. The two elves here where deadly – especially the guy from Cork, he was excellent. Flashing lights, great stories from both elves, an energy ball which when touched by hand, produces the ‘Neo-cooley-ulium‘! Yep, that’s right, the ‘Neo-cooley-ulium‘ – brilliant!! (Basically this is what powers Santa’s sleigh in case you were wondering!!), a phone call from Santa & a check list by the elves prior to leaving for the North Pole. Nip#1 jumped into the sleigh with The Missus and she was ready to go & see Santa.

The North Pole

Santa ExperienceGreeted with a snow blizzard while still in the sleigh, we were brought into see an amazing North Pole. Christmas trees, Santa’s skies (which he uses in his spare time and to come and see us), Polar Bears, Penguins & even Squirrels were waiting for us. Thanks to the snow and polar bears, this room in particular made the whole Christmas feeling come alive for Nip#1. She knew what was next – the man himself!

Santa’s House
Santa Experience

Nip#1 eye’s nearly popped out of her head when she walked in and saw Santa sitting in the corner! Then went shy. It was very funny. She has also drawn a picture of Santa which the elves gave to him.

He spoke to the girls first (there was another family sitting to the left of us). He knew the girls names, & favourite shows etc from the form I’d completed earlier. All of which was mind blowing for her. Such innocence!

Santa’s room was dam impressive. Had a really warm effect. If you aren’t feeling the Christmas vibe just yet, you will after you leave this room! Fire burning, tree in the corner, a double bed and a big comfy couch directly opposite my long lost brother, Er, I mean Santa of course!!

Santa ExperienceBoth the girls got a great, age appropriate present which was brilliant. The Missus also got a present of make up from Paese Cosmetics which was a lovely touch. Jokingly I said to Santa ‘Where’s mine?!’ to which he replied ‘Don’t you worry, you’re getting a trip to the barbers!‘ – it’s fair to say he was pretty impressed with my beard….. if not a little bit intimidated !!!

Photo Keepsake.

The last room before you leave is where you can purchase the high quality large photo of you & your family with Santa. They cost €10 and are well worth it. The Nips were also given ‘Reindeer Food‘ to hang on the tree until Christmas Eve and then leave out for Santa to give to them. It’s a lovely way to leave and the kids were over the moon holding onto the presents Santa just gave them like their life depended on it!

Santa Experience

Hit or Miss?

Absolute Hit. As a parent, leaving I felt amazing. Warm, content and so happy for the girls. Nip#2 was just too young to understand what was happening but she was a happy camper all morning. Nip#1 really loved it albeit after a little ‘I’m too shy‘ moment at the very start. (She isn’t one bit shy normally – she does however play up to it when it suits her!). This however soon faded thankfully – cause it didn’t the year before!

Bookings & Parking.

Simply go to The Santa Experience website to book. Children are €10 and it’s €3 for the grown ups. To see the smile on your little ones faces during & when leaving, that’s chump-change!

As for parking, we parked in the Jervis Shopping Centre and strolled across Henry Street into the Ilac Centre and it’s above Dunnes Stores. You can also park in the Ilac Car Park which you can access from Parnell Street.

BTW – You don’t have to come to Dublin to enjoy this experience as it is also open in Cork & Limerick too.

Disclaimer – I did not receive any payment for this review nor was I asked to write one. However, all cost for entry & photos etc were waived & I’D LIKE TO SAY A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO TARA for the invite & to SAMANTHA FOR the intro.

Love linking up with ….

Reflections From Me
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
DIY Daddy Blog
3 Little Buttons

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks like a brilliant day! I can’t wait to take the toddler to see Santa this year, to see what she’ll make of it 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam x
    Bridie By The Sea would luv you to read…Creating A New Blog LookMy Profile

    1. Yeah it really was a great day out, really got us all in the Christmas mood for sure!! Hopefully your little one will love it! No probs, thanks for reading. Regards, Ross #DreamTeam

  2. Lucy At Home says:

    It looks lovely! My name would be Squidgey Sparkle-Toes! Hehe. I think attention to detail is the key in these things, and it certainly looks like they got it here. I like that there were lots of things to do before meeting Santa, to give the kids a chance to warm to it all and lose their nerves #DreamTeam

    1. Hey Squidgey Sparkle-Toes!! Your point about settling the kids to lose their nerves is spot on. Having an Elf come over to your table really helped the Nips. It also gave Mammy & Daddy the chance to have a cuppa! The attention to details was very good and actually got better as the trip moved on. Thanks for reading, regards, Ross #DreamTeam

  3. What a fantastic Christmas Experience We went to LaplandUK this year and it was quality too. A bit too far for us to visit but maybe next year! Xx Great Review #DreamTeam

    1. Would absolutely love to go to LaplandUK, it looks the business! Hopefully we will get to go some year soon. Glad you liked the review, thanks a million!. Cheers, Ross #DreamTeam

  4. Debbie says:

    This Santa experience looks and sounds wonderful. How things have changed since we were small! The post office sounds just perfect for convincing children just how real Santa is. I love the names, mine is Happy Pointy-Toes, which , I have a feeling, none of my family would argue with.

    It must have been a magical experience for the whole family and I would have been something I would have been over the moon to do when my children were small. And to be honest, I’d happily visit there without them, but I’m not sure that would be allowed!

    Thank you for linking up to the #MMBC
    Debbie would luv you to read…Coconut Shortbread RecipeMy Profile

    1. Hey Happy Pointy Toes – the names are great aren’t they?! Yeah the Post Office part really set the tone. Lights flashing from various countries where followed by letters flying down the shoot for the Elf to sort into the correct cubby-hole – right in front of the kids was brilliant. Things really have changed, I don’t think my kids will believe me when I tell them what we use to experience! It was a brilliant day. I’d go again no worries but without the kids, it might turn a few heads !!! Thanks Debs, Regards, Ross #MMBC

  5. Hello Jolly Toe-Bells! Nice to have you back 🙂
    It sounds like you all had a blast, what a top experience for the girls.
    Sending Christmas wishes to you all! Puddin Pointy Toes #MMBC

    1. Agh Puddin Pointy Toes, it’s been a while hehe 🙂 Thanks for having me back! It was a great day out, the nips loved it as did the parents! Christmas wishes to you and the rest of the Pointy Toes family 🙂 !!! #MMBC

  6. Nige says:

    Looks like you had a fab time I love Christmas Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    1. Agh we did Nige, it was a great day out. Excitement levels were at an all time high – and that was just me & The Missus haha. Will be back next week for sure!! #ThatFridayLinky Cheers, Ross

  7. Squidy McJingles here, to let you know that you have truly provided a memory of wonder and awe for you children, that will be cheriished for a lifetime. Now that is what the holidays are about! Bravo! #mg #bigpinklink

    1. Haha, the names are getting funnier & funnier – Squidy McJingles – that is class !!!! Well thank you very much, what a lovely way to phrase it. Love Christmas!! Thanks a million for reading & commenting. Regards, Ross #BigPinkLink

  8. Emily says:

    It looks like you had a great time! We’re going to see Santa on Sunday! Thanks for joining in with That Friday Linky #ThatFriday Linky
    Emily would luv you to read…That Friday LinkyMy Profile

    1. Yeah it was a great way to spend a few hours – enjoyment for both the kiddies & parents 🙂 No probs at all. Regards,
      Ross #TheFridayLinky

  9. Dadsense says:

    Looks like so much fun! The Wee Baby T is just 5 months old, so we will probably skip this year, can’t wait until he realizes what Christmas is!

    1. Yeah it really was. Think I got more of a kick out of it that the Nips! But they really loved it. 5 months might be a bit too young but next year will be a different ball game altogether for the parents as much as for baba! Thanks for reading. Regards, Ross (BTW ‘The Wee Baby T’ what a class way to name your baba, so cool!).

  10. haha the names are so funny, I love your wife name! I was trying to figure out what ‘S’ is? Looks like a fab place to visit and made me happy reading it. My name is Cookie Sugarplum (if you didn’t know I write under a pseudonym and Mackenzie is my surname, so Kylie is my actual first name). Thanks so much for linking up with #mg, so nice to have your back! Sending Christmas wishes your you, your gorgeous wife and thsoe cute kiddies of yours xx

    1. Yeah, we had a great laugh working our Elf names out. Nip #2 can’t talk yet but Nip#1 thought they were so funny & silly. ‘Silly Daddy’ she’d keep saying!! Hang on now – so I’ve been calling you by your surname all this time!?! Whoops, sorry Kylie! I actually think Mackenzie for a first name is so cool & different!! But Cookie Sugarplum is pretty cool too! No probs on linking up, I love your linky. Big Irish Christmas wishes right back at you & your family MacKenzie, er I mean Kylie hehe 🙂 #mg

  11. I need to be called Squidgey Monkey-Bun now!
    It looked like you all had a brilliant time and that family photo with Santa is just perfect! #MMBC

    1. Hey Lianne, or should I say ‘Squidgey Monkey-Bun’ (in fairness, that is a pretty cool Elf name!). Absolutely brilliant time was had, we really enjoyed it and the photo at the end was a great memory to take home. Thanks for reading. Regards, Ross #MMBC

  12. yvonne says:

    This sounds fantastic and something my two would absolutely love! #MMBC
    yvonne would luv you to read…Christmas German Tradition: St NikolausMy Profile

    1. It really was a great day out for the Nips (& us if I’m honest!). Thanks for reading. Regards, Ross #MMBC

  13. Mother of 3 says:

    Puddin’ Sugarplum! Sounds like a fun time… my boys are beyond wanting to meet Santa (even though they claim to still believe).
    Mother of 3 would luv you to read…Art Project #55– Swirl Painted OrnametsMy Profile

    1. Haha, can’t blame them really, I still ‘believed’ for a good 3 or 4 years after I found all of ‘Santa’s toys’ in the top press in my parents bedroom a few weeks before the big day!!! Thanks for reading Puddin’ Sugarplum 🙂 Regards, Jolly Toe-Bells (Ross!)

  14. It looks like you had an amazing time. The North Pole looks magical!

    Sending Christmas wishes, Bubbles Sparkley Toes :o)

    #MMBC
    Catherine @ Story Snug would luv you to read…Story Snug Advent: E is for Elmer’s ChristmasMy Profile

    1. Thank you Bubbles Sparkley Toes 🙂 (The Elf names are class aren’t they?!). The whole tour was great being honest. The Nips loved it but as a grown up boy, I absolutely loved it!!! Thanks a million for reading & commenting, regards, Ross #MMBC

  15. It does look very authentic and much better than the grottos I remember going into as a child! I must look up some local ones to take my kids to. Sarah (Elvis Pointy-Toes) #mg
    Sarah Stockley would luv you to read…The Magical Lantern FestivalMy Profile

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking when we were there. It’s so far removed from my childhood memories of the local shop with Santa at back in a tiny grotto covered with endless amounts of cotton wool roll 🙂 It was great for the Nips, eyes where popping out everywhere! Thanks ‘Elvis Pointy-Toes’ haha (love the Elf names!). Jolly Toe-Bells !!!! #mg

  16. Wow this sounds so impressive and such an experience? The Santa visits of my childhood have definitely come a long way from queueing up through a busy store for a 30 second wave and a colouring book! Looks like you’ve had an amazing time. It’s so magical with little ones isn’t it? Nice work Jolly Toe-Bells!

    Signing off
    Happy Superplum (apparently). 😉

    1. It was class Happy Superplum 🙂 hehe. And it got better every time you entered the next room. Long que, 1 or 2 Qs (usually ‘Have you been a good boy?’ & ‘What did you ask from Santa?’), a gammy photo & tacky present is exactly what I remember from my time so I agree, it’s very different today which is a beautiful thing for the Nips. Glad you like the review, chat soon Happy Superplum, Jolly Toe-Bells 🙂 !!!!

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