Back in December and right before Christmas we visited Longleat to see the Festival Of Light and to visit Santa on their Santa train. We visited last year and had such a lovely day out, but didn’t manage to fit everything in one visit. So this year we decided that we would go back and do the things we missed, and of course see Santa.
Booking was back in September and again was very busy, and slots were running out as soon as the booking lines opened. I was lucky and was sat at my desk when the e-mail came through to book! We were planning on visiting on the last weekend before Christmas, 23rd so we knew it was going to be busy, but also pretty Christmassy and exciting for the kids too.
When we first arrived we went straight to the River Cruise, last year we left this until the afternoon and when we turned up the queue was too long and late in the day, so missed it. This was on today’s list to do! It was lovely and quiet meaning the kids could run to each side of the boat to spot the seals in the water and they were hungry for the fish that you could purchase to throw over and feed them with! Although I reckon they are probably hungry all day!!
Next up for the very large castle playground, the kids did this last year but love it so much they had to do it again! This time though Sofia challenged herself to the drop slide…..she really struggled to get the courage to do it. But with the help of her friends company she managed it!
Next stop was to hold a snake and a bug! So scroll down if you don’t like snakes. This was a great experience for the kids, it isn’t every day you come across a huge snake to hold.
The parrot show, these were SO cute. They performed little tricks and they looked like they were quite happy to do them too.
After a go around the hippo ride, and the mirror maze it was out slot for the Santa Train. We had booked a 4pm train, this meant it was light enough to get the train out into the woods, but it got dark very quickly then. So the woods were dark when we arrived, and pitch black by the end of the Santa experience.
This year we also got a hot chocolate and mince pie as adults, I loved this touch and everything was lovely and warm.
Last year we nearly missed our Santa visit whilst having the kids face painted, so we queued straight up to see Santa in his log cabin. The kids could do some colouring whilst in the queue waiting, and the elves chatted to them when you got to the door.
Santa was fantastic, chatted to the kids and was very friendly. I loved how the cabin was decorated well and lovely and warm with a log burner!
We took the kids photo, but you can purchase one from Longleat as you can see in mine the kids didn’t know what camera to look at!!
The presents were a nice board game for them each, and mine were all happy with them.
Once the train arrived back with the next lot of people it was time for us to head back to Longleat. As it was dark by now the whole of Longleat was lit up, there are lanterns in the trees, through the paths that lead you down to the main attraction. Then you are greeted by the huge lanterns.
Follow the paths around, it is a one way system that you have to follow and we attended on a busy day, so there was a lot of people trying to get photos and see the lanterns.
This years theme was all about fairy tales, so the kids really enjoyed them as they could relate to them. They loved moving onto the next one and guessing what fairy tale it was.
By far our favourite one was The Little Mermaid, with a huge on the water with Ariel waving across to the prince on the boat!
Longleat Festival Of Light is a great event and coupled with our annual visit to see Santa too, it makes a great family Christmas day out.
Have a look at the video of our day out at Longleat too