Lapland UK involvement
Ever since working with Lapland UK in 2007 & 2008 to recruit and manage staff, implement logistics and take photographs to help launch their new venture to bring the home of Father Christmas to the UK I have been hooked. The only way to keep children’s hopes and wishes alive longer is to make the experience real, authentic and believable.
More than 85,000 people visited in the first two years of this project and our help and professionalism certainly attributed to this success. Lapland UK did this exceptionally well until others tried to copy this and bring down the name through ghastly copycat versions which attracted negative headlines all over the UK in 2008/9.
Mega Blaster World NERF Parties
The latest craze to hit the UK is a Dart Tag fun game better known as ‘Nerf’ and it has become as popular as Paintball was in the mid 1980’s. The Hop Farm invited me to stage this venture in a purpose built indoor arena from June 2014. It has become very, very popular throughout 2014 and has continued into 2015 and beyond. The venture has simply outgrown both The Hop Farm & Groombridge Place so are now running this unique themed event mobile February 2016.
This Freestyle NERF styled party is very unique without game restrictions which are not on offer anywhere in the UK. With inflatable bunkers which can fill sports halls and schools requesting it presence and this is an ongoing operation for all future parties and events.
As for the popularity of Nerf, we can only gauge this on the number of party enquiries and bookings we have had and this has been astounding. More than 300 Nerf parties have passed through our hands in just 30 months.
Santa’s Magical Kingdom
Santa’s Magical Kingdom was born in November 2009 at The Hop Farm and continued until December 2010 which was the brain child of Peter Bull and Barry MacGreggor. We were invited to help stage manage this project so I brought all my photography skills to promote the event along with my professional management to help staff with more than 90 people for a unique and entertaining experience which received rave reviews nationwide. More than 35,000 people came across the two years but only a change of ownership spelled a change of direction.
‘Father Christmas in Kent’
From November 2011, I decided to keep going with an independent Christmas offering keeping it solely to a special and unique visit to Father Christmas which is what Lapland UK did so very well and still do well. Children do get very excited about seeing such a special and generous person where all their wishes are directed at Christmas time so best not to short change them by offering something inferior or downmarket when it is time to see Father Christmas.
With this in mind we took ‘Father Christmas in Kent’ to Bedgebury in November 2011 and sold-out, to Tunbridge Wells Ice rink in November 2012 and sold-out, we returned to The Hop Farm in November 2013 & 2014 and sold-out 4 weeks prior to opening and last year we sold-out 8 weeks prior to opening with 10,000 people visiting our Father Christmas experience.
Our brand ‘Father Christmas in Kent’ is now known as a fantastic and authentic, value for money experience and where you must come and see Father Christmas and you even receive a free photograph rather than having to be harassed into buying one, a very special and unique offering which cannot be matched anywhere in the Southeast.
‘Father Christmas in Kent’ SOLD-OUT at Groombridge Place & Gardens in 2015 with tickets going on sale in mid-summer at a request of our customers! Last year (2016) Father Christmas visited Tunbridge Wells Ice-rink from December and SOLD-OUT 4 weeks before opening, hailed as an outstanding sucess, we are back for 2017 and beyond.
www.fatherchristmasinkent.co.uk – For our image Gallery Click Here
The Enchanted Kingdom
The Enchanted Kingdom was created in Easter 2010 at The Hop Farm and continued until autumn 2010 which was the again brain child of Peter Bull and Barry MacGreggor. I was again invited to help stage manage this project and also produce all the photography to help promote the event.
Over the Easter period and all through the summer of 2010 we saw record visitor numbers of up-to 3,000 to 5,000 people per day for a unique and entertaining event which received rave reviews in the press.
More than 100,000 people came to enjoy this magical event with Pirates galore, a galleon ship placed in a huge arena with 10 tons of golden sand where you could dig for treasure, enjoy the animatronics and win prizes followed by a visit to Captain Blackbeard in this treasure filled cave where you could have a professional image taken. Again a change of ownership spelled an end to a wonderful event for children.