Now that December has arrived, our focus has very much turned to Christmas and Daniel, in particular, is so excited. Today Chris got the Christmas boxes down from the loft and the boys are enjoying playing with their Playmobil nativity scene and other Christmas toys.
We kicked off Christmas 2014 last Saturday, however, despite the fact it was still only November. This was because we used our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to visit Longleat with some friends. It was our first trip to Longleat in nearly ten years and the first time we had ever been at Christmas.
We began our Longleat experience with the obligatory drive through the safari. The children absolutely loved this – especially the monkeys! We were also fortunate enough to have a lioness walk right in front of our car.
After a quick break for lunch, we then hopped on board the Santa express steam train and were whisked off to visit Santa in his woodland grotto. All the children received lovely gifts from Santa and he was very friendly and chatty with us all. When I booked, I had to give details of all the children’s names and ages so this meant that they each received an appropriate present which had been labelled with their name.
Later in the afternoon we visited Longleat House which was full of pantomime characters including Captain Hook, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Scrooge. All were lovely and were willing to pose for photographs with the children.
As the afternoon got darker, the fantastic Festival of Light began with hundreds of giant Chinese lanterns being lit up. These were really magical and the children loved wandering around seeing them all. They were particularly impressed with the Chinese dragon made out of plates and other crockery that breathed out smoke as it moved its head from side to side.
One of the other highlights of the day at Longleat was the huge ‘singing’ Christmas Tree. At certain times during the day you can gather around the Christmas tree to sing or dance to Christmas carols and other favourite Christmas tunes. It was so lovely watching the children dance at the foot of the tree.
A day at Longleat was a wonderful start to the festive season and one I think the boys will remember for a long time.