We were very lucky to be invited back to Hamleys this year, and of course I jumped at the chance to take Z.
This year Z is that little bit more inquisitive, even walking through the arcade to get to Hamleys he was smiling at the tree and all the lights.
Once we got to Hamleys we were greeted by two of Santa’s elves. Who gave each child a name badge, this letting Santa call them by their name adding to the magic that Santa really does know everyone’s names. Of course Z wouldn’t wear his badge, but that didn’t stop both Santa and his elves knowing his name!
We all had to sing Rudolph the red nose reindeer walking up to the party room where I’m sure Z was singing in his own way, he was smiling and seemed quite excited to get into the room, as if he remembered from last year, which from an autism point for me is great as he knew what to expect!
Again, same as last year we had to use some magic elf dust to get into the room, meaning both the elves were interacting with the children which the children really enjoyed, could feel the excitement off them!
Whilst we waited on Santa there were a few arts and crafts to make, whilst everyone got to their seats Z had a bit of a run around, he looked at the tree, the decorations and noticed the huge cake on the ceiling! ( I have to admit it’s a pretty impressive cake!) The room is decorated with it’s Christmas tree and festive table cloth and it just makes it feel Christmasy.
This year he even helped to make a star, which is huge progress in itself!
When Santa arrived we missed him walk into the room as we were in the toilet! But when we came out Z noticed him.
Santa asked all the children to sit down and he read them a story, I love this as all the children sat ( even Z for a little while!) and listen in awe, this year it was the snowman and the snow dogs which was a pop out version so the children could see the pictures too. At this point Z noticed the gifts under the tree and done his best to open them.
After Santa had read them a story he played games, Santa’s footsteps and dancing snowmen, he was so fun, he interacted with each child, he made them all laugh and seeing those children smile was just fab. Come on how many times did you go to see the big man himself did he play games and call you by your name without even having to ask what it is. Bet you just sat on his lap told him what you wanted and had a lolly and was gone. How personal and exciting must that be to a child to play games and Santa calling you by your name!!
Z didn’t really join in this part it was starting to get a little too much, so he took himself to sit next to the tree with his iPad. We managed to get a picture with Santa and his iPad! Santa give him a lovely gift bag.
He then kept showing me the word store and stop, this was his way of saying let’s go.
As we were leaving the store we were given a cup to fill with sweets, this was a lovely little surprise as that meant Z was eating a lolly and wasn’t getting so distressed! Brilliant timing.
When we got home we had a look at what Santa gave us and what a lovely gift, there’s a hamleys bear, a tree decoration, a pack of colouring pencils and a book, and of course a cup of sweets!
At £19.99 I’d say that’s not as cheap as others for seeing Santa, but you get 45 minutes, so it’s no where near a rushed job! There’s no professional photo so you can have as many photos as you want if that’s individually or with siblings or even as a group. I think the contents in the bag would be equal to what you pay.
Z was treated the same as all the other children, the elves and Santa spoke to him like any other child which I love as so many people don’t ask him any thing else after he doesn’t answer the first question! Of corse Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and was taking to him about the words he had on his iPad.
You can book here to get a great meeting Santa experience.
Z may not speak, but he sure knows what to say at the correct time, as we were leaving this is what he was showing me. (And yea it was before he had his cup of sweets!)
‘They have all the best stuff at this store’.
So thank you Hamleys Cardiff for inviting us back this year!