We were very lucky to be invited * to meet Santa at Hamleys toy store in Cardiff this weekend. 
I was a little nervous about taking Z, Z in a busy store in the middle of the day on an autumn international day. I agreed and I’m glad I did. 
We were greeted by some elves as we went into the store ( and a few other local bloggers!) the elves had name stickers for the children. Z liked the elf with the bubbles! 
To head into the party room at the back of the store, we all walked singing Rudolph the red nose reindeer. 

Had to say some magic words before we could enter the room! Z wasn’t impressed with having to say magic words and attempted to open the doors by himself. 

Once inside we were greeted with two lovely decorated tree, santas chair, an electric fire and a table.
There was a place for each child, a cookie and some icing pens. Think Z had fun eating the icing off his cookie! 

When Santa landed the children sang jingle bells and in Santa walked! He was a lovely friendly Santa. He asked the children some questions and they all sat and listened to him read a story. 
The group was then split into two groups where some children met Santa and some wrote their Christmas lists. 
They have two groups suitable for ages 2-8 but can be split 2-5 and 6-8. I’m not sure how much of it Z understood, but the elves were very good with him. They spoke to him and asked him questions, they included him which was nice. They weren’t phased when he attempted to run about and open the fire  (maybe an elf should guard that!). At one point think it may have gotten too much for him, as it’s a small room and there were lots of people. Normally there’s only one parent allowed, I can see the negatives in if it’s a child’s first time meeting Santa then two parents would want to be involved, but for space one parent is enough. He took to hiding under the table and looking at the nice sparkly floor. 
He came around and took his Christmas list to Santa. I really liked the fact that Z was allowed to sit on santa’s knee! Santa spoke to Z think Z may have just babbled away to him but he didn’t run away! 

Santa you may need a little help with reading that!

At this point Z had had enough and was heading to the door. He was very lucky to revive a gift bag off Santa. He done very well and lasted 45 minutes. 
I liked the fact that it’s aimed at small numbers, this is great for Z, he gets to join in what he feels he can do. 
To see Santa at Hamleys it’s £19.99, at first I thought it would be a little expensive, if I had more than one child it would be. I spent around that last year to see Santa and it was a disaster, I really enjoyed meeting Santa this year, a much more positive experience! Z was calm enough not to run away we even managed a few photos. We didn’t feel rushed at all. In Z’s bag, he had a book, a teddy, a chocolate bar and a new decoration for the tree, so I think it would be worth the money. 
Thank you to Hamleys Cardiff for having us.
* we were gifted this visit for review purposes. 

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