Four Acorns on Santa’s Journey / Quatre graines de chêne sur les traces du Père Noël

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This weekend we were invited to go on Santa’s Journey, a Christmas experience running for the first time on the grounds of Djouce Golf Club, near Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Like every day in December, it all started with a surprise note in the Advent calendar, which read – 

JOURNEY – Let’s go on a journey with Santa!

Needless to say, this was greeted with joyful cheers.

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We were booked on the 14:30 train departing from North Pole Station. The acorns first received from the elf at the ticket office a certificate confirming they were on Santa’s Official Nice List.

They then passed the time until departure playing at the Clauso Meter, a colourful contraption near the platform designed to measure the amount of Christmas spirit.

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When the train finally trundled up the road/track to the platform, the train-mad acorns, namely Squirrel and Pebbles, couldn’t take their eyes off it.

We all climbed aboard and on we went on Santa’s Journey.

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The train took us past Santa’s airport and runway, Candy Cane Lane, the Elf Village and Reindeer Way, where two deer were resting on the grass. No sign of Rudolf though, and not for lack of searching!

In the bright winter sunshine, the journey looked perhaps less magical than it would by night, with fairy lights twinkling in the dark. But the conditions were ideal for taking photos.

Although the acorns really enjoyed the train ride, a few stops along the way, especially at the reindeer enclosure, would have been nice to break up the journey.

We soon alighted the train at the Elf Village, on our way to Santa’s Workshop.

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Meeting Santa

Three elves welcomed us into the large barn. Soon Santa himself came down from his study with a booming ‘Ho ho ho!’

Each family were called in turns to go and speak to the man in red himself. With his (real) grey beard and deep friendly voice, Santa appeared truer-than-life. Asking the acorns what they would like for Christmas, he acted as surprised as we were when Jedi said he wants tickets to Legoland

‘I don’t deliver live animals’, he calmly explained to Mermaid when she announced she’d like a puppy for Christmas. ‘You see, they would freeze to death flying at such a high altitude.’

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A photograph and a few presents later, we made our way to the Wonderland Lodge, after a quick stop at Santa’s Sleigh Wash for the obligatory picture on the sleigh.

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In Wonderland Lodge many old school games awaited the acorns. Squirrel got immediately started with the toy train track and Pebbles did some fossil excavation, while Mermaid and Jedi sat down side-by-side at a school desk to write their letters to Santa. With a Post Office on site, sending out the letters was easy!

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Taking the acorns out and into Mrs Claus’ Kitchen took some convincing. But it was even harder to get Squirrel off the Elf Rider. It was crashed that very morning by one of the elves, and the ever helpful Squirrel was keen on trying to fix it!

Read this / A lire  #9 - Christmas cookies / Biscuits de Noël

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Thus ended our afternoon on Santa’s Journey. See below for all practical information and booking details.

Visitor information

Ballinastoe Crossroads
Drumbawn
Roundwood
Co Wicklow
Email hello@santasjourney.ie

As Christmas approaches, Santa, with the help of his industrious elves and Mrs. Claus, have created a magical journey in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. This enchanted train journey, lasting approximately 30 minutes, sets off from North Pole Station past Santa’s Runway, Candy Cane Lane, Elf Village and more before joining Santa Claus in his workshop for an incredible show.

Santa’s Journey kicked off on 25th November and runs every weekend until 23rd December in the beautiful grounds of Djouce Golf Club, Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Tickets cost €12.50 for adults and €18 for children, which includes a free gift from Santa. Add €10 for a family photo with Santa. Online booking is available here

Disclosure: For the purpose of this review, we received complimentary tickets to Santa’s Journey and one professional photograph with Santa. All opinions are honest and my own.


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Ce weekend nous étions invités à prendre part au Voyage du Père Noël (Santa’s Journey). Cette expérience festive se tient pour la toute première fois au golf de Djouce, près de Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Comme tous les jours de décembre, tout a commencé par un message dans le calendrier de l’Avent :

VOYAGE : partons en voyage avec le père Noël !

Inutile de dire que l’annonce fut accueillie par des cris de joie.

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Nous avions réservé le train de 14h30 au départ de la gare du Pôle Nord. Les graines de chêne se virent d’abord décerner un certificat par la lutine du guichet, confirmant qu’ils étaient sur la Liste officielle des enfants sages.

En attendant le train, ils passèrent le temps au Clauso Meter, un engin multicolore conçu pour mesurer la quantité d’humeur festive dans l’air (voir photo de tête).

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Quand le petit train bleu s’approcha enfin du quai, Ecureuil et Caillou, tous deux mordus de chemins de fer sous toutes leurs formes, y compris les trains à pneus, ne pouvaient le lâcher des yeux.

Attention départ !

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Cahin-caha, le train passa près de l’Aéroport du Père Noël, par l’allée de la Guimauve, le village des Lutins, et même le chemin des Rennes, où deux chevreuils se reposaient sur l’herbe d’un enclos. Aucune trace de Rodolphe le renne au gros nez rouge, ce n’était pourtant pas faute de le chercher !

Sous le soleil hivernal, le voyage parut sans doute moins magique que de nuit, quand toutes les illuminations de Noël scintillent dans la pénombre. Mais les conditions étaient idéales pour prendre des photos ! 

Read this / A lire  Of coloured clays and green lentils / En terre d'argiles colorées et de lentilles vertes

Bien qu’ils aient apprécié le circuit en train, les graines de chêne auraient bien aimé s’arrêter en route une fois ou deux, notamment à l’enclos des “rennes”.

Tout le monde descendit au village des Lutins, avant d’aller voir le père Noël dans son atelier.

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A la rencontre du père Noël

Trois lutines nous accueillirent à l’entrée de l’atelier. Bientôt le père Noël descendit de son bureau avec un “Ho ho ho” tonitruant.

Chaque famille fut appelée tour à tour à la rencontre du bonhomme en rouge. Avec sa barbe grise (authentique) et sa grosse voix chaleureuse, le père Noël paraissait plus vrai que nature. Quand il demanda aux graines de chêne ce qu’ils voudraient pour Noël, il prétendit être aussi surpris que nous quand Jedi déclara qu’il aimerait des billets pour Legoland !

“Je ne livre pas d’animaux vivants,” expliqua-t-il calmement à Sirène quand elle annonça vouloir un chien pour Noël. “Tu comprends, ils mourraient de froid de voler à si haute altitude.”

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Une photo et quelques cadeaux plus tard, nous nous sommes dirigés vers le Logis de Madame Noël, après une brève pause au Traînomatique du Père Noël pour l’inévitable photo de famille sur le traîneau rouge.

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Chez Madame Noël, de nombreux jeux traditionnels attendaient les graines de chêne. Sans attendre, Caillou commença à jouer avec le circuit de trains en bois et Ecureuil s’essaya à la recherche de fossiles dans le bac à sable, pendant que Sirène et Jedi s’asseyaient côte-à-côte à un vieux bureau d’école pour rédiger leurs lettres au père Noël.

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Il fallut plusieurs minutes avant que les graines de chêne aillent à la rencontre de Madame Noël dans sa cuisine. Mais faire descendre Ecureuil du scooter Elf Rider s’avéra encore plus difficile. Le matin même, un des lutins l’avait fait sortir de la route et Ecureuil, toujours prêt à se rendre utile, voulait essayer de le réparer !

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Ainsi se termina notre après-midi sur les traces du père Noël. Pour tous renseignements pratiques, veuillez lire ci-dessous.

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Informations pratiques

Santa’s Journey
Ballinastoe Crossroads
Drumbawn
RoundwoodCo Wicklow
Email hello@santasjourney.ie

Le voyage du Père Noël a ouvert ses portes le 25 novembre et se poursuit tous les weekends de décembre jusqu’au 23 décembre sur le splendide Djouce Golf Club, près de Roundwood, au pied des monts de Wicklow.

Le prix des billets est de 12,50 € par adulte et 18 € par enfant, y compris un cadeau gratuit du père Noël. Comptez 10 € pour une photo officielle avec le père Noël. Réservation en ligne disponible ici

 

Divulgation : pour les besoins de ce retour d’expérience, nous avons reçu gratuitement des billets pour Santa’s Journey et une photo professionnelle avec le père Noël. Toutes les opinions exprimées sont personnelles et honnêtes, et n’engagent que moi.

 

 Country Kids Two Tiny Hands    ethannevelyn.com   

9 Responses to “Four Acorns on Santa’s Journey / Quatre graines de chêne sur les traces du Père Noël

  • Your train ride to see Santa looks like great fun. Santa looked very jolly and how sensible not to advise live animals for Xmas! #countrykids

  • What an amazing activity for you all to enjoy, the kids look enthralled by the train ride and the whole Christmassy feeling. It’s a shame there weren’t any stops along the journey, I’m sure meeting the reindeer would’ve been a hit. It’s great there’s a chance to write to Santa as well, that really keeps the magic alive.

    Thanks for sharing the fun with me on #CountryKids.

  • What a fantastic experience for you all! It looked like a really lovely day. We din’t really have a lot of “visiting Santa” over here and I think my three miss that part of the build up to Christmas #countrykids

  • Looks great fun lots of fab things to do with the kids I need to take my little one soon! Mandy xxx #explorerkids

  • I love his answer to the not being able to deliver puppies I am so remembering this as I am sure we will get that question at some point. What a great experience #CountryKids

  • Santa’s Journey looks amazing – they have really put a lot of effort into it by the sounds of things and it seems very magical even in the day. I think that is a great price too, especially with present. I love your advent idea. I must try that. #countrykids

  • What a great family Christmas adventure. We want to go on a train trip next year and are looking forward to booking something from Santa #CountryKids

  • The Santa experience looks great with so many fun things to do as well for the kids. Love the decorated train and props x #CountryKids

  • I think in my own opioion it was not wort it. The train ride was probably the worst thing about it. The girls on the train were probably the most boring people in the world .My bum was about to fall off from the amount of bumps there was on the journey. My family and I were not very happy with the people that were physicaly on top of us on the train .There was five of us on the train then three really tall people just pused Us at the very edge Of The train . And that wasn’t even the end of it when we went to see Santa it was not great it was to short and not exciting. And meeting the elf’s had no conversation with them at tall. And PS well NOT WORT IT. I am a young boy and this is my reply.

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