Santa’s Village, The Christmas Time Theme Park, is a gem of New Hampshire. I highly recommend this amusement park as a fabulous family day trip for children of various ages. We attended with five children (ages 3 to 7) and everyone had an incredible time!
Santa’s Village is an amusement park where the magic of Christmas is alive and well, even in the summer heat.
Getting To The Park
Since we live on the Seacoast, we elected to spend the night and arrive at Santa’s Village when it opened the next day. Furthermore the town of Jefferson (and surrounding towns) offer plenty of budget-friendly lodging. The drive (about a 2.5 hour trip from Portsmouth) is picturesque and filled with glimpses of wildlife. Family-friendly stops, like scenic rest areas and homemade ice cream shoppes, frame the route.
Visiting The Reindeer
Santa’s Village offers meticulously groomed grounds featuring tall shade trees. In addition my toddlers easily navigated the paved pathways and I imagine strollers or wheelchairs would as well (though there are inclines).
As we approached the reindeer barn, my kids stopped short. The children stared in awe as Santa Claus himself greeted them! Santa Claus held their hands and also asked (and learned) their names. He didn’t miss a beat when they immediately asked how their “elf on a shelf” was doing. That, folks, is a serious Santa Claus.
If you’re a child, seeing (and touching) a real reindeer is pretty fabulous.
Our family officially crossed “feed Santa’s reindeer a carrot” off our bucket list.
The friendly reindeer and barn are fabulous. Obviously Santa’s VIPs the reindeer receive expert care. In addition, reindeer caretakers are a wealth of information…and carrots.
Fabulous Park Staff and Rides
Next, we made our way to The Chimney Drop ride. Surprisingly, Santa strapped into his seat right next to my kiddos! An amusement ride WITH Santa rates right up there with seeing a unicorn. Yet, in this instance, Mom has the pictures to prove it! Now my kids are convinced that The Chimney Drop is what it must feel like when Santa goes down our chimney on Christmas Eve.
Much to her delight, my youngest child (age 3) was tall enough to ride unassisted like her older siblings. The general well-being of park guests and the focus on safety is unprecedented. As a result, on some rides, young ones may need to be accompanied by an adult, unlike this special Chimney Drop ride. We were pleasantly surprised at how many rides we could enjoy as a family.
While it was hard to say goodbye to Santa, we couldn’t wait to spend the remainder of the day touring the park.
Call me unprepared but I was flabbergasted to see a built in Water Park! Trust me, the water park isn’t a dorky one, either. HoHoH2O boasts a splash pad, multiple water slides, and a lagoon style wading pool with play structure that one would expect to see only in a bona fide water park. I was again struck by Santa’s Village’s attention to safety, as friendly and attentive lifeguards adorned the area. I can’t think of a better way to cool off on a hot day. Our children splashed and laughed for nearly two hours.
Something for Kids of Every Age
It impressed me how each of my five children found their own niche at Santa’s Village. From ages 3 to 40 (wink wink, husband!), all my kids had a great time!
Since my youngest (age 3) can be a “daredevil”, I was glad there were so many awesome ride options available for younger children. She still talks about the HoHoH2O water park! The lagoon wading pool was interactive, and perfect for her.
Since my 4 year old is not a daredevil she adored the more traditional rides like The Reindeer Carousel. The park staff explained she could signal them (with a thumbs down) if a ride made her fearful. The Elf University was one of the highlights of her day. My daughter raced to punch her card with ninja precision, each time she spotted an elf. A completed punch card will earn a free pencil (but they are generous with the pencils even if your child doesn’t spot all the elves!). Thus, all the pencils in the world would not have brought her the joy she found earning one by visiting each elf.
Each of my two 6 year olds, a boy and a girl, gleefully drove an antique car. In addition they had a spectacular time in the bumper car attraction. They gushed over their interactions with Santa, and marveled to visit him at his house within the park. At Burger Meister Food Court they devoured their kids’ meals. Kid’s meals are plated on a free Frisbee. Two thumbs up!
Most of all my oldest (age 7) really enjoyed the reindeer barns. As a result, she could have spent all day there. I don’t know many times she went on the Yule Log Flume, I lost count at four. The Yule Log Flume, just kept getting better. Ultimately she was smitten with the water slides at HoHoH2O. The lines were short (unlike a busy a water park) and went really fast.
Ready for a Silent Night
Finally our visit came to a close. Since our was day filled with vibrant excitement and all good things, my kids were exhausted. This was fine with me, I was ready for a “Silent Night”. We can’t wait to go back for another visit to Santa’s Village.