Tuesday, July 23

Win a Family Pass to Santa's Village!

Located in Bracebridge, Ontario (about a 90 minute drive from our place) and now in its 58th magical season, Santa's Village is the jolly guy's summer home, halfway between the equator and the North Pole.

We first took the girls when Frannie was two and Maggie only two months (Frannie met Dora that year!), and then again the following summer when they were three and one. We took a few years off before returning this week, but it didn't take long for me to remember just why I love it so much as a family destination. (Psst...read on to the end for your chance to win your own family pass!)

Here are some highlights from our visit to the park:

Free elf hats on arrival




Riding the train with Grandma



Ringing the bell at Santa's chapel




Mommy with her "angels"




Feeding the reindeer ($1 for a cone full of feed)




Seeing Santa, of course!
(Frannie asked for Star Wars toys, and Maggie asked for an iPod, to which Santa replied: "I'm just a toymaker! That sounds like something that needs a family conversation!")




Out on the water on Santa's Summer Sleigh (you have to go this year if you want to see the legendary Captain Ricky, who will be retiring at the end of the season).







Bi-Plane Ride (Our kids could do all rides by themselves)




Colouring the Crayola wall (yes, you're allowed to colour on the wall...MUCH different than at home!)




Enjoying the playground action on Elves' Island




Decorating a gingerbread cookie (we did this at the end of the day)




Five year old Maggie says her favourite parts were: the rollercoaster (very fun for small kids), seeing Santa, and feeding the reindeer.

Seven year old Frannie says: feeding the reindeer and farm animals, decorating the gingerbread cookie, and going on the boat ride.

My favourite things about the park (from a parent perspective) are that it's clean, the staff seems very positive and helpful, and it's just the perfect size for kids this age (not a ton of walking or an overwhelming amount of activities).

I can definitely say that Monday was great in terms of crowds and lines, though I realize that not every family has the luxury of going such places during the week.While my parents were part of our complimentary group, they would have been free anyway as Monday is also grandparents day...one grandparent gets in free with every paid admission!

We certainly didn't do it all: we could have checked out a musical performance in the theatre (I'm sure their performers are very talented, but none with the name recognition that Dora had five years ago!), and skipped the spray n play beach and splash pad. Because we have a pool at home, we wanted to spend as much time as possible on rides and other activities, but the splash pad has tripled in size this year and is a great way to cool off on a hot day!

For older children, keep in mind the attached Sportsland (free admission, pay-as-you-play) has tons of activities for the eleven and up set, and there's also a campground.

More information and deals can be found on their website.

So...wouldn't you love to take your family to Santa's Village? I have a family pass for four to give away (for the 2013 season), and all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know which aspect of Santa's Village you - or your child(ren) - would be most excited about. Bonus entries for following/liking This Mom Loves and Santa's Village on Twitter/Facebook. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: We were provided with free admission for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.

34 comments:

Mary said...

Our kids love Santa's village and so do I! My favourite part is meeting Santa of course:) I also love all of the shade at the park, it's great on a hot day!

Mo said...

My kids would go nuts for the train and boat rides!

Mo said...

My kids would go nuts for the train and boat rides!

Darlene Schuller said...

We would be looking forward to the reindeer aside from Santa himself!

bobbi said...

I would love to see the kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas this year.

charity konrath said...

santa's roller coaster

Jennifer L. said...

I think we'd most look forwarding to feeding the reindeer.

kmfhee said...

My kids would love feeding the reindeer!

Sweet Panda said...

We would be most looking forward to seeing Santa and try out the Santa's roller coaster

bobbi said...

Have the kids make gingerbread man cookies

kimmer76 said...

Hi Kate! Nice to meet you yesterday. I think our kids would be most excited for the rides.

Beth Rosell said...

I'm looking forward to feeding the animals.

bula said...

Seeing Santa, swan paddle boats and the splash pad.

Shelley Young said...

My girls are SO fascinated with Santa Claus and his reindeer I know that they`d be over the moon excited to go see them; anything beyond that would be icing on the cake for them :)

Bailey Dexter said...

My grandkids would love the train ride!

michelle tremblett said...

My kids love boats, I am sure they would love boat ride :)

Colleen said...

Santas Village is so much fun. My kids always loved that trip. They used to do the reindeer coaster about 20 times and always enjoyed Captain Ricky.

Jen McGill said...

My 2 kids would go crazy for the boat rides!! and meeting santa too of course

Mystika Faith said...

My kids and I most look forward to camping at Santa's Village.

Kady said...

The boat ride!

Anonymous said...

the campground across the road is AWESOME. There is so much more to do at the campground and Sarah and Kevin (the camp managers) make you feel like your one of the family. Also Santa's Whispering pines campground was voted number 1 in Muskoka for the last 2 years. And it shows. Great job guys.

Frances said...

My son loves Santa's village and now a new splash pad = AWESOME!

Sinead McIlwain said...

Loved going there as a child! Would love to share the experience with our children:-)

Mary Jane HErlihey said...

I think I'd love to take my grandchildren! They would enjoy the whole thing!

Adriana F said...

Decorating gingerbread would be my kids favorite part

Adriana F said...

Decorating gingerbread would be my kids favorite part

pam t said...

I remember as a kid feeding the reindeer and I would love to give my niece and nephew the opportunity

stevebee said...

feeding the reindeer and seeing santa is the best

Judy said...

They'd love it all (because we love love love Christmas around here - in fact just had a little Chirstmas in July party, but the best part would be seeing Santa at his summer home!

mellena said...

I have never been to Santa's Village,i am from Nova Scotia and now while we are in Ontario I would love to see it with my children after reading about it and seeing the pictures it looks like so much fun.

SUZANNE OUELLET said...

This place is on our bucket list, we have had a very difficult year due to an illness in the family and would love to visit Santa's village before our children are too old. Our children are 8, 6 & 5. There's not one thing that I think the kids wouldn't enjoy about this place. It looks completely geared for this age group :-)

Wendy said...

Whew I have now found where to leave a comment on your blog :)
I have two boys and one boy now 7, we were able to get to Santa's Village 2 yrs. ago, he so loved it. Our other boy is only 2 yrs old at this time, so they are five years apart. We are waiting for our 2 yr old to get older as we can not afford to take the boys more than once. We would love a chance to win this contest :) Thank you for allowing me to leave a comment. Wendy

andie said...

abrennan09@hotmail.com
My kid would love SV - they've never been somewhere like that. We tend to have a lot of staycations so this would be awesome.

Julie said...

Those elf hats are adorable! I want to go, just so my kiddos can wear those. Plus the whole theme park sounds like so much fun!
Thanks for the contest :D