Cheltenham Rocks

Christmas at Cotswold Farm Park

'Twas a chilly Sunday afternoon in late November, and I was feeling overwhelmed rather than festive about the looming Christmas merriments. So, to shake myself into the Christmas spirit we went to visit Santa at Cotswold Farm Park. It’s been a few years since I’d been, so I was excited to see what had changed and especially how they did Christmas...

Online tickets for meeting Father Christmas at Cotswold Farm Park are £20 for 4-15-year olds (£7.50 for members) and £16 for 2 and 3-year-olds (£6.50 for members) and includes access to the Farm Park for the day. After booking we were then sent an online survey with questions such as hobbies, anything major that happened to them this year, their Christmas list etc. It was a nice touch and meant that Father Christmas had insider knowledge that added a bit of extra magic.

Our slot was booked for midday and we arrived with minutes to spare, so my two were frogmarched past the animals, play area, petting area, straight to Santa’s grotto. Their initial moaning of “I wanted to play on that swing/sit in a freezing sandpit etc” quickly stopped when they saw the door to Santa’s grotto that led to Santa’s ‘waiting room’. Mrs Claus greeted us and there were Christmas films playing, colouring set-up and nice places to sit and relax.

When it was our turn, one of Santa’s elves (named Spud) came to meet us and walk us to meet the big guy. A sweet little hut was set up with a fire on, and there he was! On arrival he was handed a little book with our information. Bertie was made-up to discover that Santa already knew he wanted to be a train driver! And Paloma was so happy to talk Harry Potter with him when he said he knew how much she loved it. They had a lovely chat with him, a photo (which you can later buy if you want), he then presented them each with a key to his secret workshop. The key opened a tiny door just big enough for them to squeeze through – thankfully they had a larger one for me.

In his workshop the children can choose a toy each and there is a really good selection. We ended up with a playdough and toy bug painting set. And just when we thought their Christmas adventure was nearing its close, they go through another door into a craft area where they can decorate a Christmas Eve box and are given “reindeer food” and other goodies inside.

The whole experience took about 45 mins and then we had the rest of the farm park to enjoy! After a close encounter with a chick, and look around some other animals, we spent some time doing indoor activities.

It was a very cold day, but I was impressed with the number of indoor things there were to do in the barns, we then braved the bouncy pillows for a quick 10 minutes before the tractor ride. There is also a Nativity to watch that features a baby donkey! And an Elf show that my two found hilarious.

It was the perfect Christmas day out!

Hannah, November 2018

Book tickets to visit Father Christmas at Cotswold Farm Park here