The silly season is well and truly upon us and with nothing but sleigh bells and Santa on their minds it seemed necessary to indulge my kids’ Christmas spirit with a visit to the Sydney Santa Spectacular at Rosehill Gardens, on until 27 December.
The kids could see a glimpse of fairground rides before we even entered so less than two minutes after we stepped inside, Denny (my super tall 6.5yo) was already lined up for boarding the first high-flying ride. Bursting with delight, she maintained throughout the day that that first experience was her favourite!
We rode the horses on the merry-go round, spotted Cinderella, took several turns inside the Fun House (Noah’s definite highlight), spun inside a giant pink teacup, flew an aeroplane, threw some hoops, and all before lunch! There are plenty of food options on site, namely burgers and chips and the like and $5 Fairy Floss which grabbed my children’s immediate attention! I brought a packed lunch from home and was pleased to find more than a few empty tables and chairs to accommodate my brood, though with so much to see and do they weren’t sitting down for long!
The outside rides and fairground games (the latter you have to pay for) are just the beginning, with two additional inside arenas full of festive fun. We first ventured into Santa’s Kingdom where the littles got their arts and crafts on with some painting, met some elves on the shelves, rode in a cute bumblebee ride, decorated cookies and bounced in a jumping castle.
Upon hearing that there was an ice rink, we quickly crossed over to the Winter Wonderland arena, walking through a spectacular forest of brightly decorated Christmas trees. This was one of my personal favourite elements of the whole experience as I am a sucker for the decorations, sparkle and colour of Christmas. At nearly every turn throughout our fabulous day there were Christmas trees uniquely adorned in different colour ways and motifs.
The whole place was also alive with the sound of Buble, as festive hits from Silent Night to Merry Christmas filled the air with holiday tidings!
We rode in Santa’s sleigh, took a pew on some special Christmas thrones, participated in an interactive fairy tale storytelling which blended the magic of Tinkerbell’s Pixie Hollow with the magic of the North Pole and its jolly resident! We saw Santa but didn’t opt to pay for one of the photo packages on this occasion, though we did get a cute selfie with Mrs Claus!
We ended our day on the ice, though it took a while as we tried on skate after skate figuring out the right size for the kids! They grabbed a penguin each and took off across the slippery rink, which unlike other ice skating experiences was not the coat and gloves ordeal I was expecting, though falling over on it did prove pretty chilly! The lovely elves were on hand to help my littles as I had to remain grounded with the littlest Hine and watch from the sidelines.
Once back in the car I asked the kids what their favourite bits of the day had been and unable to pick just one they listed nearly everything we’d done. Though Denny’s top three were the ice skating, cookie decorating and the fairy story, while Noah’s were the merry-go round, throwing darts at balloons at one fairground stand and the Fun House!
We packed so much into the 3 hours we were there, and while we missed out on having a go on the Toboggan Slides in the Winter Wonderland we certainly had an unforgettable experience. Christmas is such a magical time of year and the Sydney Santa Spectacular combines all the fun, magic and enchantment of Christmas into one incredible experience.
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What you need to know:
What: Sydney Santa Spectacular
Where: Rosehill Gardens, James Ruse Dr, Rosehill, NSW 2142
When: 7-27 December 2018
Cost: $50pp, $45 concessions, $180 family ticket, children under two are free
Entry Times: There are different entry times available to book depending on whether you’d prefer a morning or afternoon/evening session – you can choose from the options once you’ve selected your preferred day.
Parking: There is free parking onsite – attendants will direct you once you arrive.
Facilities: Toilets are located near the food stands and just before the entry to the indoor sections of the event.
Free v Paid: The majority of the activities, including ice skating, and all rides are free. For penguin hire on the ice you will need to pay an additional $5/child, you can buy food or drink at the event, amusement games range from $2 to $10, the Santa photography package offers a range of payment options and of course there is a range of toys and merchandise available to buy at the event.
Cash: My advice is to bring cash with you as none of the stalls accept card payments and you don’t want to be stung with withdrawal charges at the ATMs on site.
Prams: There were plenty of prams inside the event, mine included with everything easily accessible with a pair of wheels in tow!