Three Unique Santa Experiences in Kildare
Are there more than three ‘Santa Experiences’ in Kildare? Of course there are! Have we ‘experienced’ them all? No, well not yet anyway. However we have discovered and experienced three very unique ones and this article hopes to inspire you to get out and about this Christmas. Lots of happy memory making follows:
- Santa’s Magical Trail at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy
- Santa’s Boat Tours with Athy Boat Tours
- Santa at Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm in Rathmuck, Kildare
1. Santa’s Magical Trail at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy
Santa’s Magical Trail at the luxury 4 Star family run Clanard Hotel in Athy, was indeed a magical experience. We started our evening colouring and sipping on hot chocolates and coffee while waiting for our name to be called to join the Santa’s elves on an interactive journey to meet him.
Smith enjoyed every minute, from petting the not so real reindeer’s to seeing the real deals in Santa’s Barn. We visited the elves bedroom, made cakes in the elves kitchen, and even prepared our own magic sparkling reindeer food. After that we posted a letter to Santa, and were happily greeted by the friendliest elves we could have ever expected to meet.
We met the lovely Mrs Claus who was very happy to have us visit. But of course the pièce de résistance was meeting the one and only Mr. Santa Claus himself.
After our experience we rounded the evening off with dinner in the Bailey’s Bar Bistro within the Clanard Hotel.
The website advises a duration of 75 minutes, but I’d definitely give you and your little ones two hours to enjoy the festive cheer. And add some more if you plan on dining afterwards. Depending on how busy the evening is, expect a little waiting time to visit Santa at the end of the trail. However the bonus is that there is no queuing, as your name will be called. Along with that there’s a play area for both toddlers and older children to burn off that extra excitement.
For more info, prices, packages, times and available dates visit: santasmagicaltrail.ie
To get a real feel of the Christmas spirit, this is the short video I shared on my social media last year.
2. Santa’s Boat Tours with Athy Boat Tours
Santa’s Boat Tours with Athy Boat Tours was a lovely experience, and a unique one. Mixing a Santa experience with gorgeous scenery and nature lessons ticked all the boxes for us.
Boarding the boat at the jetty in Athy that’s adjacent to the Courthouse, we were greeted by Santa’s ‘skipper’ elves. Once on board they helped prepared us for our experience ahead by arranging our life jackets and helping us fit them on. Once fitted we were given safety advice and shown where on the ‘Freedom on the Water’ passenger boat we could watch the world go by.
But before all that there was a very important person onboard who we just had to meet, and he wasn’t hard to spot.
Mr Claus greeted us with a warm smile, festive chat and had lots of gifts waiting for all the little believers.
With present in tow, it was time to either sit back and relax or stand outside and take in the scenery of the River Barrow. Our favourite parts were the nature lessons from Santa’s ‘skipper’ elves.
And luckily for us the weather held up and so there was plenty of fresh air, and nature opportunities. But I have to say it was comforting to step inside every now and then, especially when the teas, coffees, hot chocolates and treats were being served.
For more info, prices, times and available dates visit: athyboattours.ie
3. Santa at Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm in Rathmuck, Kildare
Santa at Kildare Farm Shop and Open Farm was actually the first Santa we went to see as a little family, Smith was nine months old at the time and the setting was just perfect for us all.
We wrapped up warm and took a leisurely stroll around and through the Open Farm before we made our way to Santa’s House.
There was a queue to visit Santa, and although quite long it did move quickly. As we shuffled along, we were greeted by happy elves and festive decoration before we entered Mr. Claus’ Home, which really did fit the scene. He sat happy to see us on a huge wooden throne surrounded by gifts and a strategically placed bench, that provided seating for all the family for that perfect festive family photo.
Santa at Kildare Farm Foods and Open Farm is free, and each child gets a gift for free. There’s a photograph service, which you pay for and which we availed of as a keepsake. After visiting Santa and the animals there’s also a Christmas Market on site, and the busy Tractor Café to dine in.
For more info, times and available dates visit: kildarefarmfoods.com
We’re looking forward to this year’s Santa adventure. Perhaps we’ll revisit one of these three unique experiences or maybe we’ll visit pastures new!
She's a mother, wife, dog and home owner, travel writer, creative, design and imagery driven, art and music lovin', sustainable living, coffee drinking Irish woman.
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