Santas Barn – East of England Showground

Written by mummybird. Posted in 365, Days Out

Yesterday we took the children to Santas Barn in Peterborough at the East of England Showground. The children were really excited about going and we were looking forward to seeing what was on offer, its the first year Santas Barn has been open and I only heard about it from someone through Facebook. We booked the day before and I had a chat with the man who runs in and it sounded like the perfect experience. Its run by parents so the main aim is for children to have fun with no queuing to see Santa. You book your time slot and arrive an hour earlier so the children can play and when your time comes round you head over to the winter wonderland walk and an elf takes you through to see Santa.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundWhen we arrived at the barn and checked in the children went off to play, there is around 7 different inflatables for the children to play on and in the middle there are smaller inflatables and a soft play area for younger children. Adults are encouraged to go on all the inflatables to play with the children which my two loved. Its all indoors and is cold inside so you will need to wrap up warm, I would recommend layers for the children because they do get hot running around and will slowly take the layers off.

Santasbarn peterborough, east of england showgroundThere is an area where you can get hot drinks and snacks but thats up to you if you buy them, you can take your own food and drinks in which we think is nice. Even though we did have a hot chocolate each when we were in there to help warm us up. There is a heated seating area which we found just before we left, I wish we had discovered that at the beginning because it was lovely and warm in there. Little Bird found it and loved it in there, he ended up taking off his coat and sitting in there in his t-shirt.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundInside there are pool tables, a bubble machine, giant connect four games, table football and a few other games you can play with the children. I love the idea of this place because it means the children can have fun whilst waiting to see Santa. Little Bird has ASD and queuing is an absolute nightmare with him so this was his dream place to go and see Santa.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundThere is an elf art factory inside Santas Barn where children can make xmas tree decorations, xmas cards or reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve. The children spent ages in the elf factory and they could make as much as they liked which was lovely as they got lots of things to bring home and hang on the tree.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundWe booked to go into the snow globe which is an extra £6 and you get a group photograph taken in there. The children loved it inside the snow globe, they were throwing snow around and with the help from the blowers we all got covered. When we got home snow was falling out of everywhere and the kitchen floor was covered. Mr M woke up this morning and had something stuck in this throat, when he coughed he was surprised to see abit of the snow from this globe. So be prepared it gets everywhere. Its really good fun though and we would recommend you do it.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundWhen our time came we made our way over to the winter wonderland walk where we were greeted by an elf who chatted to the children before we headed off on our journey. The elf walks you around the paths and through the woods until you arrive at Santas house. There is a few photo opportunities along the way and it was lovely that the elf took some group photos for us.

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundSanta was really good and had loads of time to talk to the children, he did not rush them and let us take as many photos as we wanted. The presents were delivered by the elf through the window and given out to the children and the adults. Yes the adults get a present too!!

santas barn peterborough east of england showgroundThe childrens thoughts on Santas Barn

We were in Santas Barn for a total of 3 hours, the children loved it and had a brilliant time. They loved the inflatables and the games that were on offer. They enjoyed making lots of nice gifts at the elf art factory and they all enjoyed the snow globe. When we left all the children said they had a good time and asked if they could go back the next day for some more fun. It was definitely a better way to see Santa the no queuing was a hit with everyone. The children were excited when they got their presents but not all the children where happy with what they got. I will explain more below.

The Adults thoughts on Santas Barn

We thought this was a lovely place to take the children too, I had not seen any photos of it before I went and I was pleasantly surprised by it all.  The children loved it and it was good to see them having such a good time. We did however think that it was over priced, for a child to go in it cost £15.50 each and an adult £8.50. The presents did not reflect in the price of what we paid for each child even though they got to use all the inflatables. If I am completely honest I could of bought the gifts from the local pound shop. The children were a bit disappointed because when they got their gifts home and made them they all fell to bits within hours. It was a shame because they loved the day and enjoyed seeing Santa. I would of preferred to not pay for the adults to go in and not have received a present as it was not worth the £8.50. Once again our present cost about £1.

The inflatables are really good and the games are good, there was lots of characters walking around that the children could have a photo with which was nice and its a great idea about not queuing to see Santa but we did think the price needs to be reduced because I think it will put off alot of other families which would be a shame. Would we go again??? I am not sure, the children want to but the price will definitely put me off.

santas barn peterborough east of england showground

Disclaimer we were not paid for this review, we bought the tickets ourselves. I decided to write about it because when we decided to go there was no pictures or information on the internet about it and I thought other parents would like to see it before they decide if they want to spend all that money.

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Comments (4)

  • Karen mcfarling


    I was put off from going because tears ago we went to the nec Birmingham to the same kind of thing and I was disappointed our presents were from the pound shop. I am off to dobbies Peterborough for tea with santa we went to the Easter breakfast and that was good


  • John Mace


    What a lovely piece by The Birds here- thank you so much for taking the time to write this and what lovely pictures too! I would like to add a note to the price here as we feel that this needs to be made a little clearer- The price includes the whole time not just the gift- the gifts are a token gift to be taken away at the end of the day, the breakdown of the ticket includes- full (unlimited) use of all inflatables and games for the hour that you are in with us- please keep in mind at this point that at fetes and fairs this would be up to £2.50 per child for five minutes and the children would be limited to pick one or if they are lucky two to play on here they can go on as many times as they wish for as long as they like. A game of table football can be 50p to £1 ago, the arts and crafts items are up to £1.50 each etc and a go on the go kart at a fete or fair in places can cost up to £4 per child for five minutes or so many goes around a track so we have taken this into consideration when planning the the pricing structure- The adult ticket is also for the use of the items and for a token gift at the end of the visit, as ‘Mummy Bird’ mentioned we encourage all grown ups to use the inflatables also- not just with the children but to also to become children again- Us grown ups get forgotten about at Christmas yet we deal day to day with the stresses and strains of life and forget that we too can have fun and we must remember that Christmas is about the whole family not just the children. So go on – Jump in :)


    • mummybird


      Sadly we didn’t get to go on go karts as they were not working :( . The children still had a good time though. We did enjoy it but I was just giving you an honest opinion from a parents point of view. I have spoken to a few other parents and they feel the same as me about it being over priced. I think if the price was less for children and adults didn’t get a gift and paid less it would be a bigger hit. Maybe its something to think about for next year. I understand the price of a child going on a bouncy castle at a fair but not sure you can calculate that for this lay out and usage. Just my honest opinion.


  • Mummy Matters


    Great review, Santas Barn looks brilliant and after reading the comments I cam see both sides of the argument but as a parent of four children the price would put us off too. I get that its about more than ‘the present’ but we all know to children its all about the present and seeing Santa. At a push we would probably pay up to £10 per child but nothing more.
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