Saturday, November 18, 2017

Santa's Cove at Liffey Valley ~ Magical Enough for the Price Tag?

Last night we were invited to Santa's Cove in Liffey Valley for their preview, it would have cost us €137.50 for 1 adult & 5 kids, which is an exceptional amount of money to spend on the run up to Christmas, so did we think it was worth it? Unfortunately no and here's why...

Teething Issues Aside: 

I completely understand as it was the first night that there would be teething problems so, always wanting to err on the side of fairness, I won't go into those issues. The Santa Cove experience starts with a play area with 3 bouncy castles, a slide and a corner with activities for younger children. The ball pit was held together with more duct tape than ball pit, which took me aback.

The sleigh ride is bespoke and quite fun, the kids loved it but at 2 minutes it's over quite fast. The boxes for the reindeer food fell apart even after fiddling with sellotape to try seal the bottom.

Having spoken with the owner it would seem families are supposed to spend 8 minutes in this room, it simply doesn't take that long so something else is needed perhaps a short story about Santa's reindeer from one of the elves would help.

The Elves:

The elves were warm & welcoming with the kids, genuinely lovely, and helped them make decorations by pressing coloured magic clay into Christmas shaped ornaments. It's great that they have a little bag here for each child so they can put their reindeer food and ornament in rather than have full hands.

The kids liked the hot chocolate and mince pies then it was onto the naughty/nice machines that were made especially for Santa's Cove. They were a a little off to be honest, as they had very loud robotic voices that frightened our 3 year old.

The smoke that these machines release really wasn't good for my 6 year old's chest as he wasn't well recently, he began coughing a lot so we went back to sit down, where we got the hot chocolate to wait for our Santa visit.

The Big Man: 

The Santa experience itself was disappointing to be honest, while he chatted to the kids it was an awkward and stilted conversation almost like he didn't really know what to say to them.

The girls (11) got a painting set as a Santa gift with two sets of stickers while the lads (3,6 &9) got cheap plastic cars that didn't work properly.  The boxes smelled like they had been stored in a musty warehouse for quite some time. They also got two sets of stickers each. As an extra gift Santa also gave the kids a packet of large playing cards, princesses for the girls & minions for the boys.

Tickets Prices: 

Tickets are priced at €25 for kids aged 1-13, free for babies under 12 months and €12.50 for adults at peak times, free adult places are available off peak. For that price you get everything including the hot chocolate, mince pies & a family photo with Santa.

It's more expensive than some of our favourite places such as Airfield, Causey Farm and Santa's Magical Trail. Unfortunately I don't think it had enough magic for those prices. Maybe a sing-along for the kids, games with the elves or a Santa letter writing station might add to the experience.

Let us know, what's your favourite Santa experience in Ireland? Be sure to check out our Facebook group Mums on the Run where we have full threads from the MOTR community about their favourites too! 

We were invited guests to 
Santa's Cove, we were not 
asked for coverage of this
event, nor paid for same. 
As ever none of the above would
ever influence my posting. 

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