Gate 22 Station St,
Caulfield East VIC
It’s the most wonderful time of the time ♪♫♬…. That’s right, with less than 6 weeks until Christmas it is time to get your bells a ‘jinglin and your Santa hat on. What better way to kick off this time of year than with a visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom at Caulfield racecourse.
This was the first year that I attended this event, and I was attending with my two year old, a mum friend, and her five year old and we were all very excited to be going and to meet Santa!
On arrival we saw a big ferris wheel, some giant slides in the distance and a big white tent; the home of Santa’s Magical Kingdom. When first you walk inside the tent you can see that it’s Christmas time, but it was perhaps not as much Christmas overload as I was expecting. For example all the staff wore red tshirts with the slogan “Santa Rocks”, but if they were dressed as elves instead that would have really changed the vibe for me and really cemented the Christmas theming.
Inside the tent there is a lot to explore, but the main entertainment is definitely the carnival style rides, which you notice as soon as you walk in. I attempted to go on the cars ride (below) with my daughter but was told adults aren’t allowed to ride, and she was too nervous to ride alone, so that was a little disappointing.
The rides ranged from perfect for toddlers, through to a few faster ones for bigger kids. The most daring ride is the one you can see in the background there, spinning round and round.
For those too young or scared for the rides there were a few other activities to enjoy. You can jump onto a pirate ship with Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell and participate in some craft activities. The characters can be found either in the ship or roaming around for a photo op, so keep your eyes peeled. My daughter loves all things glue so making some foam Chrissy decorations was a hit for her.
We also had a go at decorating gingerbread men. You get a man, some frosting and a few lollies to stick on. I’m a bit of a gingerbread snob and I have to say it was delicious!!
Now one of the main attractions of the Kingdom is the Christmas Circus, hosted by Silvers Circus (you can read all about them here). Our show started with a few carols performed by Mrs Claus and Patti Newton before getting into the full swing of the circus. The set was initially quite Christmassy, but quickly lost the Christmassy touch and just went into regular circus acts. If your kids haven’t seen the circus before though, this will be a great little introduction for them. The show is included in the ticket price and is only half an hour long, so a great taster of the full blown Silvers experience.
All that adrenaline pumping after seeing the circus? You can take a stroll through the “snow” (bubbles) and feel liked you’re in the North Pole. Great photo opportunities in this part of the Kingdom too.
Lastly don’t forget to write Santa a letter in Mrs Claus land. She’ll be popping in and out for a meet and greet and some photos, but if she’s not there you can write a letter and explore the gingerbread house.
Now of course it wouldn’t be Santa’s Magical Kingdom without Santa now would it? If you’d like to meet Santa you certainly can, without the obligation to have a photo taken. Every child who meets Santa gets a gift too (an activity book). Somethings about this Santa set up worked well, others not so much.
- There were I think four (secret) Santa rooms running at the same time. Each one was behind a curtain and a door so children wouldn’t realise there were multiple Santas. In reality was this meant was that the line moved much faster.
- You exist from the different door to increase the magic and decrease the kids awareness of the multiple Santas
- The set ups were cute with pastel rainbow colours
What didn’t work…..
- As I mentioned above we attended with a two and five year old. The five year old was fine, as soon as she saw Santa she was happy. The two year old was very uncertain. Personally I think this was made worse by the lack of heads up for her. She couldn’t see Santa from a distance and watch cautiously for a little while as you would if the Santa set up was on display. Essentially once we were in the room with him (which was very small) she had no where to get her bearings and feel comfortable.
- The rooms were very hot (poor Santa!)
Other things worth knowing….
The Kingdom is all inclusive (other than food, drink and Santa photos). There are standard and VIP tickets available (VIP lets you queue jump for the rides). You can get the full prices for tickets here
There’s lots of parking around the racecourse, some free some paid.
The venue is pram and wheelchair friendly. In addition there are also baby changing facilities.
Overall, I think this event is best suited for kinder aged children through to upper primary, as my two year old just couldn’t get as much out of it as an older child. For future years I’d love to see the kingdom have a few more roaming Christmas characters, such as reindeers, gingerbread men, snowmen and Santa. The characters we saw included the trolls characters, Peter Pan characters, a blue snow queen and Mrs Claus (but she was hard to spot). Rudolf does make an appearance on five days at the Kingdom so I’d recommend booking one of those days if you can. More info can be found here
Hope you have a wonderful time at Santa’s Magical Kingdom and definitely make sure to allow time for the slide before your session ends….it is awesome!!