Sunday, 1 December 2013

NRM York, Santa's Steam Adventure .... A Review

I have written, often and with exasperation, about the family adoration of all things steam engine. But this weekend, on yet another trip to the National Rail Museum in York, The Boy's engine related excitement was (very nearly) eclipsed by the news we were also going on the NRM's Santa's Steam Adventure.

Santa? And steam engines? The Boy, whose annual Christmas film of choice is and always has been The Polar Express, was practically beside himself with joy.... but not so beside himself he didn't insist on a visit to the Great Hall and a peek at his favourite steam engines when we arrived. *rolls eyes*

North Yorkshire Pole SignEventually we found ourselves at the gateway of North Yorkshire Pole and Santa's Steam Adventure where a part of the museum, engines and rolling stock have been transformed into a little winter wonderland.

This is The Boy's review:

It was a brilliant adventure. I liked the game, collecting all the envelopes and putting them in the post box for Santa.

The Boy meeting SantaAnd I liked the snuggling down on the train because it was like a moving bed. And I liked meeting Santa and I liked singing Jingle Bells. But getting a present was the best bit. And going on the Santa Special train.

I told Santa I wanted a Sonic Screwdriver for Christmas. And a train.

I liked all the Christmas decorations everywhere, and the lights and the Christmas trees.

I'm still wondering why he'd want yet another sonic screwdriver (of which he has three) OR a train (when he has, literally, hundreds) but he clearly enjoyed himself and that's the important bit.

And now the rest of this review is for parental eyes only. Shhhhh......

The Boy and a stuffed reindeer Santa's Steam Adventure through the North Yorkshire Pole is led by the NRM's resident Explainers and the assembled children and parents are taken through a festive and festooned corridor of engines, carriages and other railway memorabilia towards a short steam engine ride to meet Santa

It beats the elves bells out of the usual queuing in a department store, believe me.

NRM Santa's Steam AdventureThere's games to play and once on the train ... pulled by a small engine called Teddy and not, as The Boy, really, rather hoped The Mallard ..... there's songs to sing, jingle bells to ring, puzzles to play and lots of excited shouting from the children (and, yes, the parents) for Santa in a carriage kitted out with cushions, warm blankets and decorated with snowflakes.

Christmas-at-the-National-Railway-Museum-YorkThen the big moment and the Big Man arrived and, just for a moment, even I wondered if it was really him.

Only a moment though. Obviously. *Cough*

He asked each child in turn to come and tell him what they wanted for Christmas, he didn't rush or hurry them, and then handed them their gifts. If he wasn't the actual Santa, he did a very good impression.

And as I am usually of the opinion that most Santas' grottos have been so named to reflect the grotty gifts they hand out in them, it was a pleasant surprise to find that the ones from Santa's carriage were good value, nicely chosen and something worth having.

The Boy was so agog the whole time he even forgot that he was on a steam train. And that's no mean achievement.

So not only did The Boy enjoy himself, I did too. I even, and tell not a soul, felt a festive tingle of seasonal anticipation. ME! And I never feel festive until the 26th of December..... *tuts at self*

The Boy and Santa
The Boy and the actual Santa. Probably.

Santa's Steam Adventure is open each weekend until December 18th when it then stays open until Christmas Eve. Check details and ticket prices on the National Railway Museum website.

Disclaimer: We were invited to review Santa's Steam Adventure by the NRM. All words, images and opinions are our own work. 

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