Santa’s Wonderland is back in Adelaide again until Christmas Eve, after a popular debut last year.
So, what’s it like this year? It truly is a magical wonderland for kids – we think it’s even better than last year and more Christmassy too. They have truly outdone themselves with making it a Christmas paradise. Everywhere you look, there are amazing decorations. Plus there are ten popular floats from the Credit Union Christmas Pageant that are cleverly placed amongst the rides and all around the pavilion to add to the Christmas vibe.
Right from the start it’s clear this is going to be mega fun as the big red curtains are drawn and you walk through snow falling and see the beautiful giant Christmas tree at the entrance.
Ice Skating & Toboganning
The huge ice skating rink is a drawcard. Like last year it is surprisingly not really cold on the ice. The whole event is inside the pavilion so you don’t have to worry about the weather at all.
This year the addition of the blue kangaroo skating aides is such a great idea. Kids can use them to hold onto while learning to skate, or they can sit on them and be taken for a ride. There are also some Santa’s Helpers on the rink at all times, who can help or take little ones on a ride on a kangaroo if their parents are not confident skaters. We noticed that the ice skates are really new too and we found them quite easy to put on (Mr 9 did them all by himself).
TIPS FOR ICE SKATING
It’s cool when you first start so a long sleeve top and pants is a good idea, for protection as well. However, you won’t need thick jackets to stay warm unless you are one to really feel the cold. If your child is prone to falling when ice skating or is a beginner we would recommend gloves to keep hands warm and offer protection if they fall. Remember to tell them to put their hands into a fist if they fall. It’s worth bringing a spare change of clothes for the kids too, in case they get wet, as it wouldn’t be very comfortable doing the other activities if wet and cold.
For little ones, trainer velcro skates are available – just make sure they are wearing sneakers to be able to use them.
The tobogganing is a lot of fun. This year the toboggan slide is wider than last year and two people can slide down at the same time. There are barriers on each side for safety. This was very popular so at times there may be a bit of a line-up. See it in action in the video below.
Amusement Rides & Bouncy Castles
If your child loves rides, then they are going to LOVE this. There are rides galore and they are all included as part of your ticket price. The unlimited rides allow us to say “yes” to the constant requests for “ANOTHER” turn on the roller coaster, or toboggan, or bouncy castle, or… or….. or…! It is really nice to not spend the whole time saying “No” to expensive attractions.
These are the same rides you would normally pay about $6 to $8 per ride at The Show. You will easily make up for your ticket price if you go on a few rides over the 3 hours. Check out the selection of rides below. Most are probably suited to children under 10 years old – obviously this depends on your child. Don’t think that parents have to miss out though. Dads who were 6 ft tall were able to fit into the rollercoaster carts, sitting sideways with legs tucked in, while their children sat in the cart behind them, and they had a ball. The plane ride and tea cups are also fine for adults.
There are not one, but two mini roller coaster rides.
There is an aeroplane ride, a train ride, car ride, animal train ride, and tea cup ride, all pictured below.
Ride your very own reindeer in the Reindeer Corral. You propel yourself along, and adults can even have a turn.
PLUS there are 5 big bouncy castles and slides including this mega one below with balls – the Ice Wonderland Ball Pit! It was one of the most popular attractions for our Play & Go kids who visited it again and again. This was new this year and you’ll find it in the corner next to the toboggan.
You can visit Santa and have a photo with him – you can take your own photos or buy photo packages. When we visited, Santa wasn’t busy so we were able to have a quick visit, however on the weekends especially, it is advisable to book a time slot to avoid a line up.
There are several different activity ‘worlds’. Visit all the worlds along the activity trail and fill your Santa’s Wonderland bag with little goodies along the way.
Write a letter to Santa below and have a photo with Mrs Claus who sits on a beautiful throne.
Watch the live performances on the stage. There are roaming characters and the performers are very interactive and entertaining on the stage.
Everywhere you look there are Christmas decorations, gigantic Christmas trees and plenty of photo opportunities. You can take photos in Father Christmas’ sleigh, inside the clear domes, or with the Ice Queen who sits with the Polar Bears (yes, you are not imagining it – the bears do move their heads). You can also get up close to some of the floats from the Credit Union Christmas Pageant including old favourites Nipper and Nimble.
Look out for these gorgeous giant lit up baubles below. They are a great spot for a photo. Get someone to take a photo of you and the kids inside the bauble – the lighting is great.
Santa’s Wonderland is full of colour and sensory experiences. There is a lot happening all around you, very excited kids everywhere, loud Christmas carols playing, stage shows and a compere speaking on the microphone often. Please note: for children (and adults) who don’t cope well in high-sensory environments – this may be very overwhelming and probably not suitable.
This is a wonderland for children so as you can imagine there are lots of treats here including fairy floss, slushies, lollies, sno-cones, strawberries with chocolate and ice-cream, chips on a stick, Dagwood Dogs, pies & sausage rolls, fish & chips, burgers, cheese toasties, soft serves. There are tables and chairs to sit at, to eat or take a rest.
Side Show Activities Not Included in Your Ticket Price
We need to point out that there are also side show activities (like the Laughing Clowns) which are not included in your ticket price. They are dazzling to children so be prepared to divert attention or explain if you do not want to pay for these activities.
There is a show bag stand as well with some of the favourites you would normally get at The Royal Adelaide Show.
The three hours flew by so quickly and you really need the whole time to get through all the activities. Having said that it is plenty of time to do all the rides – we didn’t feel rushed. We spent quite a bit of time on the ice skating rink but you may prefer doing the rides more. Check out all the activities on offer above and have a little bit of a plan of what you want to do to make sure you don’t miss doing anything. We didn’t have to wait in line for long for any of the rides as there are so many to choose from (tobogganing was probably the longest line).
There are plenty of ‘Santa’s Helpers’ who interact with the kids and offer friendly help when little ones need, and are always up for a photo. The atmosphere is very festive with carols in the background and Christmas magic all around you. Led by MC Elf there are roaming fairies, elves and other fun characters who interact with the kids. This is an outing that will have children dazzled – they probably haven’t seen anything like it before, and are sure to remember the fun they have.
We love that just before the 3 hour session finishes there is the final ‘Christmas Parade’ and show on the stage, where Santa makes an appearance, does a quick song and then tells everyone to go home… it makes it relatively easy to bundle the kids away after that as everything is closed and you aren’t left to be dragging over-tired kids away from all the fun still happening. For parents dreading having to get their kids out of this magical place without resorting to bribery, this is a very well thought out and helpful way to do it!
Santa’s Wonderland has certainly upped the Christmas magic this year for Adelaide families to enjoy. They have packed in a lot of fun activities all under one roof and have created an experience that children and their parents will sure to have fond memories of.
“Best day EVER,” Hugh, 6 yrs
Ticket Cost for 3 hours:
Buy 4 or more tickets for $29.95 per person or $34.95 per person (plus booking fee). Children under 2 years old get free entry. All adults and children 2 years and above need an entry ticket.
There are no additional costs unless you choose to buy food, buy Santa’s photos/merchandise, showbags or play family carnival games.
RAA members get 15% off tickets to Santa’s Wonderland by pre-purchasing online HERE.
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 12pm | 1pm to 4pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 12pm | 1pm to 4pm | 5pm to 8pm
Photo packages are $29.95.
Be sure to arrive 30 minutes earlier so you are ready to enter when the session starts, to get the most out of your 3 hour session.
* * Play & Go SPECIAL OFFER – Selected 5pm Sessions * *
Play & Go followers have the opportunity to grab a last minute discount offer on a magical evening with the kids at Santa’s Wonderland on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th, Friday 22nd or Saturday 23rd at 5pm. Simply click the link below, pick one of the 5pm sessions on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday and enter the code ‘playgo’ at the checkout to save 10% off tickets.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Santa’s Wonderland website here.
What: Santa’s Wonderland – Christmas comes alive in Adelaide
When: Friday 8 December 2017 to Saturday 24 December 2017
Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville
Who: Christmas Fans!
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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