Tag: willy wonka and the chocolate factory

Kicking off Christmas with Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick…

So lets talk tradition particularly as we fast approach the festive season. As a family with two smalls we find we try and cram a lot in, particularly at Christmas time, to maximise the ‘magic years’. 

Fenwick Santa on the rooftop Jajo visit 2019

Jasmine is 9 now and I felt a little anxious today wondering how many more activities we can enjoy in the true spirit of Christmas.

Last year marked the first of Fenwick offering ‘Santa on the Rooftop’ visits and we were lucky enough to get tickets then so after a fabulous afternoon I knew I’d be keen to try and go again this year as we had really enjoyed it. Of course it can be a little worrying spending a lot of money and once you have had the ‘wow’ experience and you know what to expect does it really live up to your expectations year after year…? We have done a couple of Christmas activities which have been fab but upon our second visit we have been a little deflated as that new anticipation and excitement was gone and we all knew what was coming next – could Fenwick and Santa on the Rooftop still give us that WOW?

I know there was an issue with ticket launch this year and I had realised while in a doctors appointment that the tickets had already gone on sale and had a huge panic in the car park desperately trying to navigate the site (which wasn’t user friendly at all) on a mobile with depleting battery life and when I secured some tickets in my basket for 3rd November I felt a wave of relief!

I had, or course, forgotton about our snatched tickets until my reminder went off today and the excitement began to build as I danced around singing Christmas songs, much to the kid’s dismay as they had no clue what was going on (which I think can be a regular thing…).

I think you don’t realise how fast approaching Christmas is but with a quick ‘hey Google’ en route we were able to establish we have only 52 days until CHRISTMAS!!! Wow – I’m usually pretty organised but this year, well nope, and hearing it’s NEXT month and a mere 52 days away did give me a little bit of a panic!

Last year when we went it was crazy busy, Intu Eldon Square was heaving and we rushed to Fenwick after struggling to get parked.  Today was different and I definitely saw a difference in the footfall on the high street in general, maybe because it was a Sunday or maybe because the high street is just less busy each year.  It was so much quieter and more relaxed and while that ‘Christmas Buzz’ was lower key I think we enjoyed it more as we were able to browse and make our way to the experience entrance (which of course we knew where to go this year so were less stressed about missing our time slot).

We managed to have a few pictures at the entrance which signposted Santa on the Rooftop, which was much better and more grand this year, before we were swiftly greeted by our elf, who was expecting us and greeted us by name (great touch!).  Both of the children agreed afterwards that he was their favourite as he was funny and made a little fun out of Daddy or ‘D’ as he will now be referred to- which can only be hilarious for us all!

I don’t want to spoil the anticipation for those who are yet to visit but I will say that while it was a similar set up and layout it was scattered with different aspects and extra touches from last year and this made it just as good as last year, in fact I feel you got even more so maybe it was even better for 2019. The elves were all brilliant and the set up really well done and great quality – exactly what you’d expect from Fenwick.

I desperately want a Fenwick Steiff Willy Wonker, however at £85 I may need to set up a Just Giving page for donations to make it viable rather than cancelling our weekly food shop! I liked the limited edition Snowman from last year but I really LOVE this year, maybe if I stay on the good list (and Santa said I was on it…) I may just be lucky.

So back to traditions… I think that our Santa on the Rooftop visit is starting to be our activity of choice to ‘kick it all off’, particularly as it was varied and ‘extra’ – what more can they add next year I wonder…?

I’d definitely be interested in booking some of the other Fenwick activities and probably would have done the lunch with Santa this year but realised the Santa on the Roof Top experience was included with that after I had already secured tickets for the stand alone event. I do think that the roof top event offers good value and certainly feel we got our money’s worth. We would have liked to pair with a visit to see the newly unveiled Fenwick windows but were rushing home for our local fireworks event.

Jajo Fenwick on the Rooftop 2019

In just a few weeks we have our annual trip to The Tyne Theatre to see the Christmas Panto which is Aladdin, there are 74 of us going this year and the kids are already starting the ‘hey Google’ countdown questions which will fill me with fear as I need to prepare for Christmas while juggling everything else that is needed to be done as usual.

If you are more organised that me this year we can help with all of your Christmas shopping needs and have something for everyone here as we add goodies to our shiny new site daily (or in the middle of the night if the truth be known).

I’m looking for some new ideas of what to put in our Christmas Eve Boxes this year and I am going to see what gems I can find to add to our annual tradition there too, I do love to be a little ‘extra’ much to Mr G’s delight! I’ll add a post with some great finds and ideas to include all the family – I mean who doesn’t want a Christmas Eve treat?!?

Christmas is full of traditions for us Gilchrist’s from pantomimes and activities, to selecting new PJ’s and setting up for Santa arriving on Christmas Eve, and visiting Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick has certainly got things off to a great start!

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