One of our favourite places to visit for a day trip as a family is without a doubt, West Midland Safari Park. So when I was asked to bring the family along to experience their Santa Safari, it was an immediate, “Yes, I would love to!”
When you have five year old twin girls who completely and totally believe in Santa it’s quite simply magical. They also love animals so to be able to drive through the Safari first and see all the awesome animals before going on to meet Santa. Well, it’s a recipe for a perfect day.
We live about a two hour drive away so we were up early and arrived just as the gates were opening. Driving up to the entrance, that Christmas feeling was immediate as the entrance was decorated brilliantly, and it instantly puts a smile on your face. R and M’s faces were just fantastic because the magic of Christmas is so real to them.
While waiting in the queue to start our drive through, all the area had been beautifully decorated with Christmas scenes getting the girls even more excited as they spotted snowmen, penguins and many others.
The highlights of the Safari for us was definitely these animals (pictured below). On previous occasions they were either asleep or inside so to see them play fighting was a big thrill.
The big cats are always amazing to see, such powerful creatures, and to see them wandering around so close to the car is truly an amazing experience. I was quite convinced at one point a lioness was looking straight at me. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photograph that actually it was more interested in a bird, as the picture shows!
One other moment that was very exciting was a camel just stood in the middle of the road, not at all perturbed by our car, and it wasn’t going to move until it was ready! Being so close to the car, I actually never realised how big they are. They are seriously big animals!
We parked the car and made our way down to where we could start our Santa Safari. We had been given a Santa Safari checklist for the girls which had eight activities on to complete. Of course this included that all important trip to the North Pole to see Santa.
Once inside the whole area was beautifully set up as a perfect Christmas scene and the first thing the girls wanted to do was to find out what the secret elf wave was. They found an elf who showed them the secret wave, but made them promise not to show anybody, especially mum and dad!
We then went off to find Santa’s outdoor sleigh to have our picture taken sitting in it. The girls loved this and pretended they were going to drive the sleigh with all the presents behind them! The setting was absolutely perfect.
Our visit to Santa was booked for 1pm, so we had just enough time to see the sea lion festive show. There were two elves in charge of the sea lions and the girls didn’t take their eyes off the show. Watching the sea lions doing lots of tricks is a must see, especially when they jump so high out of the water to touch the decoration for the top of the tree or touch the baubles hanging high above the pool. Truly amazing to watch.
Now if was off to the main event to travel to the North Pole and visit Santa in his grotto. We made our way through to where the reindeers were waiting to take us to see Santa. This was so well done. The walls started to move as the reindeers pulled us through on the sleigh we were riding and the girls I think actually thought they were moving.
We then went through the North Pole walk through which had plenty to look at. We arrived at a point where an elf was waiting to take us to see Santa. It was only a short wait and the girls were taken to a door, asked to knock the door to make sure Santa was ready to see them and in they went. For me it’s one of the most magical moments in life. Why? Because they believe. You simply can’t buy these moments. It always brings a tear of joy to my eye. Their little faces lit up like Christmas trees and they quickly walked up to Santa and sat down next to him. Santa was excellent, asking both R and M what they would like for Christmas, and I just loved the way they spoke so clearly and knew exactly what they wanted. They were a credit to us with their politeness.
We had a photo taken with Santa, and I never at any point felt rushed. It was very relaxed and the girls were given lots of time.
When our visit to Santa was over we walked into the elves workshop where the girls got to pick a present. The selection of toys were of exceptional quality and variety to suit children of all ages. R picked a cuddly dog which she has called Fred and M picked a cuddly cat which she called Hannah.
Our Santa Safari checklist was nearly done. There were just two more things to do. The first one was to visit Mrs Claus’s kitchen for a drink and big cookie for the girls and mince pies for us. The mince pies I have to say were to die for! They were so yummy, mine was gone in two bites. The girls loved the cookies too devouring them very quickly.
I have over the years visited Santa at many grottos, but this is without a doubt the best ever. It has imagination and brings to life the magic of Christmas. R and M definitely came away thinking they had visited Santa at the North Pole, actually I think I did a bit too, haha!
If you are looking for a very special way to get your children in the spirit of Christmas, this is the place go. Santa Safari at West Midland Safari Park is awesome, fantastic and a brilliant day out. We loved it and I guarantee you will too. Check it out here.
In return for this review I was gifted a family ticket to West Midland Safari Park Santa Safari. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.