Green Santa visit at one with nature!

All Present & Correct . . .

A new nature-friendly Christmas Santa visit has just been launched. A long time ago before Santa wore a red suit, his clothes were green, blending in with his surroundings and at one with nature. So Mother Nature & Father Christmas will team up to bring a greener approach to the festive season at this unique grotto event, at Crawfordsburn Country Park, near Bangor, County Down (5-7 December 10.30am to 5.00 pm).

Dreaming of a green Christmas; Pictured at the launch in Santa’s bespoke sleigh – L-R, Gill McNeill, McNeill Media, event organiser, with Nica the Lapland owl, Courage the Cash for Kids mascot, Green Santa with little Ashton Rea aged 2, Nikki Ardill, Manager & Head Warden, NIEA Crawfordsburn Country Park, Therese Maguire, Cash for Kids and The Owl Man with Trix the second Lapland owl.

The event is hosted by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and supported by Translink. Crawfordsburn Country Park Manager, Nikki Ardill commented:

“I love Father Christmas and it is a very special treat that he is visiting Crawfordsburn for a three-day fun-packed event”.

Each Santa visit must be pre-booked online through the Santa’s Red Letter Days site. At a cost of £15 per child the visit includes a small gift and two ‘selfies’ – one with our green-suited Santa & one with a real Lapland owl; a small make and take recycled craft and facepainting, plus the chance to decorate a Christmas biscuit to enjoy with a soft drink or to take home and hang from your tree! Children not visiting Santa get free admission.

Adults and guardians go free, however older children and big children alike are not forgotten as the environmental art team will help visitors craft a bespoke recycled decoration to take away for £3 with a donation of £1 per decoration going to Mission Christmas to help fund fun for others less fortunate this year.

As a special treat, Sunday 7 December also includes a free admission green Christmas fair. Exhibitors include local environmental and animal charities, sustainable gifts, upcycled and vintage stalls. Make and take workshops for bat & bird box construction, fat ball snacks for our feathered friends and festive print making by Seacourt Print Workshop will be available on Sunday (small donation to cover resources will apply to these activities).

Should you wish to leave your car at home, Translink will help keep your carbon footprint to a minimum and once you arrive at the event upon receipt of a valid train ticket you will receive a £2 discount off one entry to Santa’s Red Letter Day’s plus a free selection box will be given to each child travelling to the event by train. A free NIEA pickup service is available from Helen’s Bay Train Station to the Crawfordsburn Visitor centre from 10.00am to 4.30pm by contacting 028 91 853621.

Translink’s Lynda Shannon said: “Translink has a range of great value tickets including a third-off day return train tickets for travel after 9.30am as well as our Friends & Family discount ticket* to get you to Helen’s Bay Train Station with onward travel provided by NIEA to Crawfordsburn Country Park when you pre-book.”

From Monday 17 November the event will be promoted at Central Station, Belfast, using a special backdrop reminiscent of Sergeant Pepper, depicting the various landmarks on the way to Crawfordsburn and offering a free make and take craft experience to station visitors from 2.30 pm to 5.30pm on Thursday 20 November.

And don’t forget your green Santa
experience would not be complete without breathing in the great outdoors – follow a trail in the Crawfordsburn country park, in the woodlands, on the beach or a visit to the waterfall.

The event is an official Mission Christmas present drop-off point for Cash for Kids, from Monday 17 November to Friday 19 December. Individuals and organisations are invited to donate toys between these dates and Cash for Kids will collect and distribute all donations from the visitor centre in time for Christmas.

For further information and updates about visiting or exhibiting please phone 028 9073 0195 or visit the website: have 10 passes up for grabs! Enter free  HERE