The countdown to Christmas is on at Willows Activity Farm this winter as the family attraction near St Albans launches its Santa Spectacular event on Saturday, November 23.

Visitors can walk in a winter wonderland as they head to meet Santa Claus for a special one-to-one meeting in his Grotto before the main man hands them a golden key to his toy shop with thousands of toys for little ones to choose from.

New for 2019 is the launch of the sleigh show, featuring the Lapland elves Berry and Twig. The woodland fairy and ballerina will also be providing festive fun for all the family in their performances throughout the event.

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A must-do activity is the Create-a-Cuddle workshop, where children can choose from a range of adorable soft toy bears to make, cuddle and take home – all at no extra cost.

Kevin McIllmurray, General Manager at Willows Activity Farm, said: “Christmas is, without doubt, the highlight of our events programme at Willows.

“We have a jam-packed schedule of activities throughout the Spectacular. As well as the main attraction of meeting Santa, there is also the opportunity for our younger guests to write to him – and look forward to a reply sent to their home.

“We have plenty of arts and crafts for children to enjoy where they can also make their own biodegradable reindeer dust to scatter on Christmas Eve to guide the reindeers to their home. And on top of that every child can decorate a Christmassy gingerbread character.”

Willows’ animals will also be dashing to greet guests, with Santa’s reindeer Silver, Ivy, Holly and Eve, and Mischka the Alaskan malamute featuring daily.

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And resident CBeebies character Peter Rabbit will be holding meet-and-greets and seasonal shows every day with Lily Bobtail. A special present for this year’s visitors is the appearance of Benjamin Bunny, who will join his friends on weekends and Christmas Eve.

Festive tractor rides through the woods, a new synthetic ice rink, and a 3D Christmas short film will add to the merry atmosphere. And children will be able to treasure the day with an elf passport to stamp as they make their way around the various attractions.

Willows Activity Farm, Coursers Road, St Albans, Saturday, November 23, to Tuesday, December 24. Details: 0333 331 2060