Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The best Santa photo experience in Sydney!

It's that time of year, when the stores are decorated with beautiful trees and baubles, and Santa is available for your little one to have photos with.  The Santa photo is one of my favourite Christmas traditions, and let me tell you, not all Santa photo experiences were created equal!

This year, the kids and I, along with Anorina from Samelia's Mum and her cherubs, braved the two hour train trip to visit Santa at his home away from home at the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney.  The QVB Swarovski Christmas tree is a sight to behold...it stands a whopping 24 metres tall, and is covered in 60,000 twinkling lights, and 144,000 Swarovksi crystals! It's absolutely stunning, and definitely worth the trip alone.  This year, the QVB has made the experience even more beautiful, by adding SNOW! Yes, snow!  At the stroke of midday, snow began to fall from the top of the dome, enchanting everyone that stood beneath. The kids raised their hands high in the air, ready to catch the flakes. It really was magical...I may have gotten teary.
Then, it was time to meet Santa. Not just any Santa...this Santa has a real beard, and he really is jolly!  The Toy Solider led the way into the Swarovski Crystal Garden that housed Santa's throne, and he welcomed the kids with opened arms. Eme was a little nervous at first, but it didn't take long for Santa to gain her confidence.
Santa chatted with Eme...asking her if she'd been a good girl this year, and what she'd like for Christmas. She was quiet, and thoughtful...careful not to ask for too much. Her only request...a girl game for the PS3 (I guess she's sick of playing Rugby League Live 2!).
The Swarovski Crystal Garden is just stunning...from the crystals dangling from the roof of the cave like icicles, to the pastel foliage and twinkling lights; every where you turn, there is something beautiful to see.
Seth instantly fell in love with Santa's two Samoyed dogs...sitting obediently by his side. Seth dug his hand deep in Oscar's fur, and wouldn't let go. The dogs were so incredibly soft and gentle, and Seth would have liked to have taken one home.
Seth relayed Andrew's message that he'd like a 5m boat, capable of going out into the open water. Santa, being ever so wise, suggested perhaps that's something that Daddy can purchase for himself (burn! lol). Seth then asked for a Big Nate book for Christmas. One book...that's it!  Santa said he'd speak to his elves in the North Pole library and see what he could do. I'm pretty sure Seth will get what he asked for. ;-)
Everyone smiled for the photos...even the dogs! Have you ever seen more beautiful pups??  Look at the genuine smile on Santa. He really was lovely.
At the end of the photo session, I asked the Nutcracker's Toy Soldier and Ballerina to pop in the photo too, and they were more than happy to oblige.
...and here's the official photo! Isn't it just beautiful. I'm thrilled with this year's photo. Not only did the photo turn out great, the kids had a wonderful experience with Santa, and that has made all the difference. He was friendly, happy, genuinely interested in talking to and engaging with the kids...and had a real beard!
I can't recommend the QVB Swarovski Crystal Garden highly enough for your Santa photo experience.

Santa will be in residence until Monday, 24 December 2012. Click here for Santa's visiting hours, and photo packages. If you'd like to experience the snow at the QVB, please check the times here.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend Santa's arrival at the QVB Swarovski Crystal Garden, and was provided with a photo package. I was not obligated to blog about this event, and no money changed hands. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

Please note: The pups were only there for the launch day...sorry to disappoint.

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