It was back at the start of November that Xscape Milton Keynes announced that they would be doing a number of free activities for children this Christmas including a free visit to see Santa Claus. We were pleased but slightly sceptical about how it would work and how good it would be. You had to book the tickets online for a time and day you wanted and got a confirmation email. Since then there has been one technical problem, many people who booked for 18th Dec were sent an email asking them to re-book – we were one of those and so re-booked for 17th Dec. And so I took my 3 year old son along to Xscape for 4.15pm – the time that we had booked on that date. We were ticked off a list by one of Santa’s helpers and then waited in line. I was expecting loads of people to be there but there wasn’t. The big man in red came along a bit late but when we arrived we weren’t disappointed. My son and I were absolutely convinced he was the real Santa. He was sat in a big throne and spent a few minutes chatting to my son and he was absolutely lovely. We were then able to take a photo and Santa did a brilliant ‘Ho, ho, ho’ for the picture. My little boy was then able to choose a present from about five different ones on a table. They included a make your own stocking set, a loop and loom bracelet maker, a drawing set and a Hello Kitty felt creation set. My son chose a very simple stationary set as he’s been desperate to have a pencil sharpener for some time – I know, he’s easily pleased. Watch the video below and then scroll down for more information.
Had I have taken my 16 month old as well there weren’t really any gifts suitable for under 2s – that would be my only criticism. That said it is free, and for what it is we were really impressed. Even if you have a baby or a young toddler it’s a really great opportunity to have their photo taken for free with a wonderful Santa. So… if you have booked tickets already then I suggest you do go, particularly if this is your only visit to Santa. If you haven’t booked then there’s a couple of things you can do. Download the ‘Xscape Christmas’ app. It would appear you can still book tickets on some days using that (correct as of 10.30pm 17/12 – apologies if they’ve gone when you read this). OR just turn up on the day. There’s no guarantee you’ll get to see Santa so don’t make any promises to the kids in advance, but apparently lots of people who have booked in advance aren’t turning up. That was the case when we went – so it’s worth a try if you’re in the area. He’s there between 12pm and 6pm every day up to and including Christmas Eve. There are a couple of other free things there – kids and adults can watch a virtual reality sleigh ride sitting in a ‘sleigh’ – the sleigh doesn’t move. It’s only one at a time. It’s ok BUT we did get free virtual reality goggles to take home afterwards which was good. Kids can also go a couple of craft activities as well.
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I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.
After your tip back in November I booked too and funnily enough also went today. I heartily agree with you that Santa was brilliant. So warm with the children and had my four in raptures. If you want a faff free trip to see a really lovely Santa I’d definitely recommend it!
This Father Christmas really is lovely! Went to see him the other day with my two girls – we hadn’t booked, but the lady was nice and sneakily let us in anyway. My 4 year old especially loved Santa… the look on her little face! He was unlike the other Santas. He had a good chat instead of just a quick Merry Christmas. The gift was also brilliant. My eldest chose a snowflake stationary set (like Elsa from Frozen!) and my youngest picked a Trace and Draw; nice and arty. Afterwards we got delicious free lollies and did the VR Sleigh Ride. Here are some quotes from my kids. Youngest – ‘I felt like I was flying on the world!’. Eldest – ‘I saw some ELVES!’. There was also some arts and crafts, but what surprised me most was that everything was free. Definitely most recommended activity of the year! 😀
Hi Annabel, thank you so much for commenting. So pleased you had a great time! We really enjoyed it too. I’ll let Xscape know and hopefully they’ll continue to put on some really good free activities for children, Laura