Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham

A week ago H and I headed to North London as I had bought tickets for us to do a Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham.

Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham various sights

The Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham was a new one for us – and was a bargain at £10 each. I’ve been desperate to take H to White Hart Lane for a while now especially with all the changes.

Before she was born, Shaun and I would go almost every home game we could. My gentle brainwashing has ensured H is also a Tottenham supporter. This was a big deal for H as it could be the only time she got to see the ground. We can’t afford to go to games and they don’t have friendlies on over the summer any more thanks to the stadium works.

It’s about now I should point out I loved the 1983 film ‘Those Glory Glory Days‘ (affiliate link). It shows a love of Tottenham from a group of girls who sneak into White Hart Lane. They stay overnight to get tickets for the FA Cup Final while wandering around the ground. H has watched the film with me and also enjoyed it. We were travelling to York that evening so any ideas of hiding in the ground and staying overnight weren’t going to happen, mind.

Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham old ground

So what did the Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham involve?

We met in the club shop. The group before us had Chirpy, the Tottenham mascot leading them around, so we missed out. We went into the main building – and straight to the press room. H and I got our photo taken (I was sat in Poccettino’s chair) and I was too busy grinning to try and look like I was giving a serious press interview.

After that we had some views of the new stadium from the press area – you can see how it’s growing. It’s going to be enormous.. maybe we will get to a game when we’re back there.

Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham home dressing room

We headed down to the dressing rooms. The player shirts were there and of course everyone went for Harry Kane. H went to Aldeweireld’s instead, so we got a few good pictures as the Kane-Alli-Lloris section got quieter!

I was surprised at the size of the area – it’s quite small. I thought changing rooms would be much bigger, but then I guess all you do is get changed, don’t you?

Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham cool stuff

A quick walk up the tunnel and to the pitch side and I was happy. We got to sit in the seats the management take during a game (they’re heated too), and gaze out at the ground.

H was quite keen to take it all in. This is her team and she had finally made it to the ground. I pointed out where we used to sit behind the goal on the South Side – you can see Shaun and I in the background of most pictures when Paul Robinson scored a goal. It was great.

Then it was time to visit the big man. The whole point of doing the Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham. He was just up the tunnel and in his own little blue and white room. Father Christmas was blue and white too. You know what? He was flipping brilliant too. He asked H questions, got her talking about stuff and heck, even I told him what I’d like for Christmas… (Tottenham to do okay this season)

Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham meeting Santa

We must have spent a few minutes in there, he was fantastic. H got two presents as well – a Tottenham annual (which is good as we’d thought about getting one in the club shop but hadn’t) and a little teddy which she has cuddled every night.

After the Father Christmas Stadium tour at Tottenham we headed back out, past the Hall of Fame and to the main office. I grabbed one last photo with H before we headed back south of the river, but with happy memories in place. I’m happy as she has finally seen White Hart Lane before it’s demolished.

H is happy as, in her words, she said “Mummy, I don’t know if you saw, but I touched Harry Kane’s shirt. I’m NEVER washing my hand EVER AGAIN!!!” – and I felt a moment of proper pride, this is the start of hero worship. Ew.

The Father Christmas Stadium Tour at Tottenham cost just £10 each. We had a 45 minute mini tour, our guides were brilliant and gave us loads of facts and information. I’m pleased we did it. I just wish White Hart Lane would exist next Christmas as I fear H might be too old for it the year after!

PNP – Portable North Pole Video Message

Portable North Pole Video messages are back – the chance to get a personalised video from Santa! Well what are you waiting for?

Portable North Pole video

Portable North Pole video messages are brilliant! We’ve been provided with a promo code to try out the premium video as well as receive a personalised phone call from Santa, which isn’t working just yet but should be soon. You can also download the PNP App to view your video, again not yet available, hopefully soon.

H loved her Portable North Pole video – Santa said “hello H!” and her face lit up, we got a sort of gasp and she started to wave – and yet again Santa knew EVERYTHING she’d done and had the photos to prove it..  These of course are the things I’ve set up while she was distracted, watching tv – which were straightforward, quick and editable.

portable north pole video options

I was quite pleased to see you can edit the options, for example, the four names which are shown on books are in the area where other children have been good. I amended those to her friends names from school rather than Shaun and I and her cousins as it was a better fit on the video.

portable north pole video options

On completion we got an additional Portable North Pole video which has Santa delivering his presents on Christmas Eve. The video is marked that way in your account but not when you’re viewing it. Fortunately it was vague enough that it just looked like he was checking where we live rather than saying he was on his way – a big parent fail from me there!

portable north pole video options

Ultimately, it didn’t matter, H found it magical and was delighted Santa knew so much about her and had a little book which told them what she’d done. I’d recommend ordering it in the evening and showing your child the following day. You can add a few photos of key moments from the year, and get photos from your Facebook albums which was handy. I selected five photos in total, two from holidays, one family, one of H and one of a picture she drew which came at no extra cost.

The Portable North Pole video was available immediately and we’ve already watched it a few times. If you want to start that Christmas feeling early, I’d recommend PNP – it’s a big hit in this house! We haven’t ordered the video on DVD, which comes at an additional cost, and are happy to stream it.

We’ll report back once the phone call is available, that should be interesting..
Head on over to PNP – Portable North Pole to order yours!

If you place an order and fancy a 20% discount on any of the digital products in the PNP Store, using the code BLG20BKP will work – it’s valid until the 1st January 2014.

The premium Christmas Video costs £2.99

Portable North Pole video

We were provided with a promo code to try out the Portable North Pole video message service – all opinions are our own.

Portable North Pole – the Santa Sprint App

Portable North Pole is back for 2013 – and this year there’s also an app – Santa Sprint. We were given a code to give it a go.

Santa Sprint is a new game from the people behind Portable North Pole. I think we’re right on the borderline for this game and it’s something H will really enjoy very soon, but she isn’t quite there.

Santa Sprint

Santa Sprint

You need to complete each level by collecting all the various objects (and additional extras) then make your way to the stairs to progress to the next. There are several levels you can play, within each group. I’ve been playing in the library so far. This has been simple enough, but of course there are obstacles on the way – and this is where H got upset unfortunately! (she’s quite sensitive)

Santa Sprint

She was a bit upset about the ‘flame’ type characters which drain your energy levels (the area at the top where there’s a heart), which made her burst into tears! So I’ve taken it over and am finding it fun – and a break from Plants vs Zombies 2.

Santa Sprint 3

Santa Sprint is straightforward enough – and once you clear a floor you get a special treat from Santa (we’ve had a story which H enjoyed).

Santa Sprint

This part left me confused – H is only four, so having a Santa treat at the end isn’t something she’d benefit from if I’m playing the game. Maybe when she’s six or seven? Will she still believe in Santa then? (I hope so!)

At the end of each level, if you have enough coins you can update your clothes, magic, heat, agility and you have an option to buy double points.

You have three options for a Second Chance, and if you want any more then you guessed it – you have to buy them.

Santa Sprint

I found higher levels there was sometimes a delay in loading, but I put that down to my iPad Mini rather than the game – I have no other devices I can try it on, as it isn’t compatible with our first generation iPad.

Santa Sprint is fun, probably not one for younger kids, and has in-app purchases which I’ve switched off. 
You can buy it now at the App Store for £1.99.

We were sent a code to review Santa Sprint, all opinions are our own.

Painshill Park Santa 2012

Painshill Park Santa 2012

Tickets went on sale in mid-October and sold out in a couple of days – Santa in The Grotto at Painshill Park is quite the hit – and there’s been a lot of parents who’ve been with their children and found it magical.

We had our turn yesterday; a drive to Cobham and some lunch at Strada and some heavy rain (so make sure to have wellies with you and take umbrellas and waterproofs), and we got to Painshill Park for just after 5pm. It takes twenty minutes to walk from the entrance to The Grotto where there’s a large white tent serving refreshments, where your number is called. We gave ourselves a lot of time, mainly to allow for H being a bit slower than us, but also as we wanted to look in the shop.

This year we went a bit later than before – and felt as if there were less lights – not that it spoilt anything – just remember to take a torch!

On arriving at the holding tent we got ourselves some Mulled wine (priced at around £2.80ish, it’s cash-only there too) and waited our turn – which came around quickly. We had an activity book, mulled wine, scarves, hats, gloves and cameras to try to pack up – as well as getting H to Santa. (so take a small backpack – something you can put everything in that’ll keep it dry!).

The Grotto at night at Painshill Park

You can’t beat the Painshill Santa – he looks like a proper one too, and H was at ease immediately, telling him what she’d like for Christmas and how she’d been mostly good. This year, despite H being 3 I went for the 4-6 age range for presents, as we felt last year’s was a bit too young for her – which was a smart move as she got a fabulous pair of fairy wings which she’s so pleased with.

It started to rain again, much lighter so we made our way back – be aware, there’s no shelter (apart from the tent) so you’re going to get wet if rain is due. Luckily it didn’t take too long and once back at the entrance we could wait for a very short while.

With all the rain the car park was really muddy – so another one to look out for – but otherwise this was an amazing Santa trip yet again, wonderfully done, and a really fun afternoon too!

Painshill Park is in Cobham, their website is here, and throughout January you can go there on a Wednesday for free.

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Santa at Painshill Park

We’re regular visitors to the wonderful Painshill Park in Cobham, and for the first time yesterday we visited to take H to see Father Christmas.

Santa at Painshill Park

We got tickets for 4pm (the earliest you can go on a weekday), just as the sun was setting and the fairy lights were coming on – the park looked beautiful, and it’s definitely something worth experiencing at that time of day if the weather is good.

You enter the park the usual way, and take the disabled/step free route towards The Grotto which is signposted with random Santas along the way. A 20 minute walk when your little one is in a buggy is probably more like a 25-30 one when your toddler wants to walk – so leave plenty of time!

You get to a large tent next to the big lake, and wait your turn – you’re checked in with a number and an age appropriate card for the present, and there’s refreshments available (mulled wine!) – though these are at an extra cost.

We waited for a very short time (we were number 6), and took a short walk from the tent into the grotto, where Santa was waiting on his sleigh, shook H’s hand and asked all the right questions. H told him she wanted “a baby octopus” and looked a bit disappointed when she realised her present wasn’t one..

Actually, the only criticism I’d say was the present H got was really young for her – but she was happy with it, and actually, the Santa was excellent, so that far outweighs anything else.

The setting of The Grotto for Santa was fabulous – it looks gorgeous inside and isn’t too cold (it was a chilly night), though worth bearing in mind you can’t take buggies in there, as there’s five or six steps as you leave the grotto to get back onto the island – there is buggy storage outside the main tent though.

It was a lovely smoothly run experience (thank you elves!), also helped by H being given a present which had an activity book in it which she sat and coloured in while we waited. I would defintely come back next year, plus heading back to the car park (now with toddler in buggy as she wanted to open her present) in the dark with all the lights was lovely.

Highly recommended!