Accessible Santa is a unique festive experience in the heart of Taunton, at Compass Wellbeing on the Belvedere Trading Estate. Accessible Santa is now in its 3rd year and is always hugely popular with families from across the county.
What makes Accessible Santa different? Many children and parents can find that meeting Santa is not always the fun and enjoyable experience it should be, the que, the limited time in getting seeing Santa and trying to get a photo, getting a toy the child didn’t want or ask for and of course the cost, at time that is already expensive. This together with some children being scared of meeting Santa or finding it all a bit too much means that the magical experience can be quite stressful, not something Santa or any parent or carer wants!
So we have had a chat to Santa and we are very lucky that he stays with us for the whole session, sitting there in his magical Winter Wonderland which has been created by the Compass Wellbeing elves from kind donations from local people and business’. Santa won’t be giving out any plastic toys but sweet treats instead and during the session there will be a range of crafts to do that you can take home too!
Justine Clayton, Activity Manager said,
“Each year our Accessible Santa experience has grown and word has spread, we had people coming from miles to enjoy it as what we put on is very different. As a parent myself I know how stressful it can be to take children to see Santa and how sometimes they find it a bit overwhelming and they don’t get much time with Santa or chance to get that all important photo. So our experience is about having fun together as a family, making crafts, playing festive games and of course having as much time with Santa as you want! He will be sitting in his Winter Wonderland throughout. Accessible for us also means affordable, which is why we work really hard to keep sessions at a reasonable price, our price has never gone up, it is still only £4 per child and parents/carers go free.
We are very proud of our Accessible Santa experience as it provides a very different to the usual Santa experience. We also have 3 Autistic friendly sessions available this year where there will be less people, no twinkling lights or music, to make it even more of a calming and fun experience. Last year I personally had the huge and emotional honour of a young autistic boy saying his first ever word to me while he was taking part in one of the crafting activities we had on, this is something I will never forget.
For the first time this year, after parents requesting it, we also have Stay and Play with Santa, this is our toddler and baby group, so Santa will be there throughout the sessions and will have some crafting as well as the usual Stay and Play fun.
Our café is open throughout all sessions and has a festive hot chocolate menu, as well as selling a range of snacks and light meals, you can also pay it forward where you can buy any item off the menu and gift it where we then give it in form of a voucher to our neighbours at the food bank, where they give them out to those they know would benefit the most.”
Accessible Santa starts on the 14th December and runs throughout on various dates to Monday 23rd December, bookings for both Accessible Santa and Stay and Play with Santa, can be made via, www.compasswellbeing.org.uk and go to ‘Book Online’ or call the Elves and the Compass team on 01823 475250. Spaces are selling fast so early booking is advisable.