Have you seen two happier looking kids? My little dudes couldn’t even pretend to play it cool when they met Father Christmas in the Santa 5D experience at Westfield Stratford in December.
The last time we came to visit Santa at Westfield, we were whisked away on a train by some crazy elves. I remember the Babe Papa describing the whole thing as ‘surreal’.
The 2014 experience found Santa’s lodge just hopping distance from the main building. Inside the lodge, we were ushered past a wall of candy into a mini theatre to watch a sweet animation about an Elf preparing for Christmas — complete with wind effects and audience participation.
When it was time to see Santa, the boys were on their best behaviour and I was impressed with their ‘starter presents’ – thoughtful and age-appropriate book gifts. We also picked up a Christmas tree bauble photo souvenir that we can hang for years to come.
Afterwards my 5-year-old said, ‘Santa is my favourite person in the world, apart from my family’… and the 8-year-old agreed. Thanks to Westfield for that extra touch of magic this Christmas.
Another highlight of our holiday was visiting the Winterville fair in Victoria Park.
Winterville was a bit like Hyde Park Winter Wonderland had a smaller, hipper, East London sister. There were a few less rides and a few more beards and while it lacked some of the razzle dazzle of the latter’s giant wheel and Bavarian chalets, it had a much more festival vibe. And there were plenty of family friendly attractions, late night sights, and tasty street food to sink your teeth into.
On opening night, we enjoyed wandering around checking out the ice skating and the funky movers at the roller disco. And we tucked into absolutely delicious pizzas by Voodoo Rays from Dalston.
Our favourite moments were grooving in the stunning Spiegeltent to live music by The Dimmocks playing everything from Rihanna to Human League on guitars and ukulele. Let’s hope they bring Winterville back for 2015.
Christmas is such an amazing time in the city and I’m always a little sad when all the lights and decorations come down. But there’s still plenty of winter fun in London to be had this month: don’t forget to have a look at our London Kids Weekend Scoop for details of the Winter Lights Weekend in Canary Wharf and last chance outings to Skate at Somerset House or to see the illuminated rabbits and Christmas market at Southbank Centre Winter Festival.
And in my 15 Things to Look Forward to in 2015 preview, you’ll find details of the Vault Festival that opens this month and the Frozen Pop-Up Experience in February that’s certain to stir up a song in the hearts of your little Elsas, Annas and Kristoffs.
What were your favourite Christmas activities?
Disclosure: We received a free visit and gift voucher from Westfield and press tickets to Winterville. All opinions expressed are strictly from Babes about Town.