tl;dr: Santa’s Village – you’re doing it right. If you have young kid(s) this is a good place to bring them to let them burn through some energy.
This past weekend, my family and I took a small mini-vacation to North Conway New Hampshire. We drove up on Friday afternoon and back on Sunday evening. We booked a 2-night package at the Fox Ridge resort that included a visit to Santa’s Village, a children’s theme park.
Plan ahead and understand what you’re getting yourself into
I’ll stop here for a moment and describe the trip. It’s a long drive. Depending on where you’re coming from, this part can be EXHAUSTING if you don’t plan it right — you with any amount of kids, you’ll likely know what I’m talking about here. Santa’s Village is located in Jefferson, NH. Don’t know where that is? Neither did I. Check out this map to get a better idea. It’s far. Our hotel was in North Conway and it took us about an hour to get there.
When we got there and went inside, the first thing we did was rent a locker. You probably don’t want to be walking around carrying a backpack full of swimming clothes (there’s a water park on location), do you? It’s $5 ($10 bucks and you get $5 back when you return the key).
The kids are the demographic here
We started off by going on a few rides with my currently 4 year old daughter. One thing I noticed real quick was how attentive the staff was to the kids. On any of the faster rides, they all made sure the kids knew if they were too scared they could stop and get off. Thumbs up/down was the typical sign. Everyone was super nice.
Clean as a whistle
Another thing we noticed was how clean the park was. I don’t remember seeing a single piece of litter. Very impressive considering how many people are visiting throughout the day. I didn’t even notice anyone cleaning — it was almost like magic.
This one was noticed more by my wife than myself. She commented a couple times how nice the landscaping was and wondered how many people were on the team of landscapers that made the place look so nice. After her bringing it up I took a look myself and agreed everything looked nice. We stopped for lunch and hit up a building with several offerings like sandwiches and wraps. While the woman was preparing my wrap we talked about how my visit was going and how much fun my daughter was having. Then she mentioned quickly that she also does the landscaping. I mentioned this to my wife afterwards and she refuses to believe she does it on her own – the place is huge. I should have asked her how many other people besides her also work on the landscaping but I didn’t think of that until after we had already left. Later on just as the park was about to close down for the night (they close early in the evening – around 6pm), I returned to the locker to grab my backpack and return the key when I noticed someone working on the flowers just outside the small building. Sure enough; it was the nice lady at lunch. I felt the need to interrupt her to let her know that she was amazing.
Santa is all-year here
As the name of the place suggests, Christmas is an on-going theme here. The rides, the food, the buildings, even the music. Everything. Is. Christmas. I wouldn’t suggest visiting if you’re sick of the Christmas themed music by the end of December. I was sick of the music after a few hours. The buildings and snacks are all related to Christmas too.