Christmas: All aboard the Dudley canal Santa boat

I love Christmas. 

I'm pretty sure, especially as I have a December birthday and am small in stature, I should have been an elf.

So having kids for me is just one great big excuse to go Christmas crazy for the whole of December. 

OK, who am I kidding. November too.

So for the past 5 years of having children at Christmas, I have sought out different things to do.

Over the years we've had some disappointments.

We booked a Santa train once.

It literally travelled what felt like a hundred yards, with spectacular views of peoples back gardens and finished off with a very skinny, polyester covered Santa.

Luckily it was LL's first Christmas, so whilst it was disappointing for a very excited first year mummy, she doesn't remember a thing.

We've also had our fair share of wonderful memories including a trip to the Drayton Manor Magical Christmas and the Snowdome winter wonderland.

This year I stumbled across the Dudley canal trust Santa boat where you can see Santa in his underground grotto.

And I'm so so glad I booked.

I think little LBs face says it all. 

All three sat like this the whole way round.

Total wonderment and awe.

Captivated and mesmerised.

The trip was a surprise after school on Friday.

We got home and the elves had left us a map to follow to get us to the 'X' spot. 

They told us to dress up warm and we headed out into the darkening night for our 45 minute journey.

We arrived 30 minutes before our boat trip to give us time to book in.

The children were given a special £2 voucher each from Santa to spend in the gift shop so they took great delight in browsing all of the goodies, which very handily were all priced up at either £1 or £2.

BB got himself 2 little dinosaurs and LL got some light up bracelets and sweeties.

We then grabbed a hard hat each and boarded the long open air boat.

Christmas songs were playing loudly on the boat to get us all in the spirit.

We had a guide on the boat who spoke on a microphone to keep us updated and entertained throughout.

The audience were encouraged to get involved with singing, answering questions for a Christmas quiz and telling Christmas jokes.

She told the children they had to look out for signs and tell her which way to go to see Santa so we didn't end up at Merry hill!

We travelled through magical twinkly light lit tunnels.

To an illuminated limestone cavern where a Panto was performed for us all.

Little red riding hood.

Then it was onwards to try and find Santa again.

Literally every way we chose to look, left, right, above us, there was something lit up for us to see.

And then at the end of another tunnel, an underground grotto was in front of us.

Santa was sleeping so we all had to shout to wake him.

And what a good Santa he was! 

As was his very lively, mischievous elf.

The whole cave was decked out with toys.

And Santa boarded the boat to talk to each and every child, pose for photo's and give them all a gift each.

The elf was brilliant at keeping everyone else entertained whilst Santa got around.

And the presents were fab. A lovely stuffed teddy each for LB & BB and a monkey tree game for LL. No cheap tat here!

We then headed back through the tunnels and onto dry land.

The children were full of it. Couldn't stop talking about each and every second so we went up to the cafe for a hot chocolate to warm us up and to talk about all of the magical things we saw.

The whole trip was an hour long and cost us £43.50 for all 5 of us, which I think is a fantastic price!!!

This is now going to be a yearly tradition for us for sure and we can't wait to come back again year in year out for more Christmas magic.

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  1. Wow, this looks like an adventure! #WhateverTheWeather

  2. Oh wow, this looks amazing!! Wish they had something like that in my part of the world! Definitely sounds better than the train ride! Merry Christmas #coolmumclub

  3. Oh wow that is SERIOUSLY cool! Love stuff like this. Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub & Merry Christmas! x

  4. What an awesome way to meet santa, so unusual and fun for the kids. It's great that they were each treated to money for the gift shop to save them from pestering you for something. It sounds like they had really thought out their plan for the journey to make it perfect. It's amazing how much effort they've put in to decorate the tunnels. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids and supporting it throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you all.

  5. That looks like something my son and OH would love, my son is December born too, going to pin this for next year! #CountryKids

  6. Wow that's such an amazing way to go and see Santa. So creative. I think all the little added extras are so thoughtful too and definitely make it worth the money. What a brilliant place to visit. Thank you so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather this year and supporting our linky! We really love reading about your family adventures. I hope we see you again next year. Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas! xx

  7. What an amazing trip to see Santa - wish there was something like this where we lived as I'm sure my children would love it (and hubby and I have lots of fond memories of narrowboat holidays which would make it special for us too!) I love the look on LB's face in that first photo - the excitement and joy is just wonderful to see. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas :-)

  8. It sounds like an amazing trip to see Santa! That sweet little face really does say it all, so happy and in awe of everything! Fantastic that there was so much to see, even a little pantomine, that must have been a nice extra. I love it when you get a really good Santa too, that what makes it really magical I think. Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather this year, I've loved reading your posts and seeing your lovely photos. Have an amazing New Year! :) xx


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