If the thoughts of queueing for hours on end to see some jaded Santa in a jam-packed, stuffy shopping centre brings you out in a flaming rash, fear not. Breathe. This year, you can take your kiddie winkles to see Santa on the Forest Train, an altogether more enjoyable, effortless and relaxing affair.
Fed up with the city, this year Santa has relocated his workshop to the green surroundings of Avondale Forest Park in Rathdrum, County Wicklow.
With departures on Toots the Train starting on Thursday 27th November, experience the winter wonderland as The Forest Train rides through the breath-taking mature forest park.
Along the way your kids will get a laugh out of Noodle, the lazy elf who's having a spot of bother getting to work on time. Apparently, he's lost his magic dust.
When the train reaches its secret destination deep in the forest, Noodle will lead all the families into the workshop. The rest of the elves are very busy making and testing toys and singing as they work. The Elf Floor Manager will greet all of the children. There will be plenty of songs, stories and toys to test.
From his office, overlooking the workshop floor, Santa will call each family in to see him individually. He will be working in his office at his very cluttered desk and checking his big book where he knows something about everyone, young and old! After meeting with Santa every child will receive a wooden themed gift and can get a special photo taken with the big man in red.
Between magical train rides, stories music and more, there's also a Christmas Market that will be held in the rustic stone barn at Avondale, hosting a range of food, beverage, craft and gift stalls that the whole family can enjoy.
Only 40 minutes from the Dundrum Town Centre, The Forest Train is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 27th November from 10am to 7pm, until Christmas Eve (Wednesday 24th December) from 10am until 1pm as that's when the elves and Santa have to get the reindeers ready to start his journey around the globe delivering presents to all the children of the world.
Tickets cost €15 per child and €10 per adult, with all children under 1 year at €5, and can be booked at www.theforesttrain.ie. Like The Forest Train on Facebook and follow on Twitter @AvondaleTrain for all the latest news.