Friday, 13 December 2019

Festive Tales With Father Christmas At Woodhorn Museum

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On Saturday we were invited along to Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, Northumberland to experience their Festive Tales with Father Christmas event and the children had such a lovely time. For those who don't know Woodhorn Museum is a former colliery based just outside of the former mining town of Ashington at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Country park in Northumberland - about half an hour north of Newcastle. Despite only living 20 minutes away I have never visited Woodhorn since I was a child and the children had never visited before so I had no idea what to expect. 

Festive Tales with Father Christmas costs £6.50 per child and includes a gift, which I think is really good value. Adults do not pay but they do need to either buy or use their annual membership which costs £7 per year - under 16s are free. Arriving at Woodhorn in the afternoon everywhere was lit up with hundreds of white twinkling fairy lights which looked magical. 

Father Christmas sitting telling festive tales with lots of Christmas trees


We made our way to the events building ready for our 2pm Festive Tales session, whilst waiting there was a large craft area with colouring sheets, festive word searches and puzzles to keep the children occupied. 

colouring whilst waiting to see Father Christmas at woodhorn

At 2pm an elf appeared and lead the children into a cosy room filled with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, snowflakes and Christmas decorations. Father Christmas was sitting at the front surrounded by Christmas trees and presents and welcomed the children to sit on a big rug on the floor in front of him. 

The children settled down on the rug in front of Father Christmas whilst the adults sat on chairs behind them. From the moment the children entered the room Father Christmas had them captivated with his tales, questions and humour. He started to tell the tale of The Polar Express as all the children listened in silence, taking in every word he said. With one child from the audience getting the first gift of Christmas. 

Children talking to father christmas and his elf at woodhorn

After the story, each child was invited forward to get a photo with Father Christmas, tell him what they would like for Christmas and get a wrapped gift from the elf. My two (aged 5&6) got Usborne Christmas activity books which have an RRP of £6.99 so it was a decent gift and the gifts are age-appropriate as older and younger children got different gifts. 




Festive Tales with Father Christmas lasted 30 minutes and the children - and us adults, all really enjoyed it. After Festive Tales, we decided to head to the cafe to warm up with hot chocolates and cake before exploring the rest of the museum. It was really interesting seeing the old colliery buildings and visiting coal town to see what life was like in this mining town. 

outdoor ice rink at woodhorn museum

The children also had great fun at the on-site park and watched on at the pit yard skating. We were offered tickets to enjoy The Pit Yard ice skating rink (£5 for adults and £4 for children) and children over 2 years of age can take part as long as they are accompanied by an adult. The ice rink was really popular when we visited with lots of families enjoying the rink, however my two were a bit unsure so we didn't try it this time. 

wooden rocking horse in playground at woodhorn

We had a really nice afternoon at Woodhorn Museum and the Festive Tales with Father Christmas was a big hit with all of us. At just £6.50 per child, I think it is really good value and such a lovely experience. There are still places available if you are looking to visit Father Christmas or for a festive experience, the whole family will enjoy. You could even make a day of it and visit Father Christmas, go Ice Skating and explore the museum. For a family of four (two adults and two children) to visit the museum, go ice skating and visit Father Christmas you are looking at around £45 for non-members or around £31 for members which I think for a Christmas day out is really good value as a lot of local places are charging crazy prices or have sold out for festive events. 

colliery wheels at the mine at woodhorn museum

Father Christmas will be at Woodhorn until Christmas Eve and you can find out more and book at https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk

Disclosure - I was invited to Woodhorn and received free entry for myself and my family, a voucher for the cafe, free ice skating and my children experienced Festive Tales with Father Christmas free of charge for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions are my own. 

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