Last Wednesday my family and I visited the Christmas Village
in Gazi. As we were approaching Gazi, the brightly lit village looked like a real wonderland right in the middle of the city center. As we walked through the entrance my 2-year-old son was amazed, I could see the excitement and anticipation on his little face – he was finally going to meet Santa in person!
First, we hopped on the little train that takes visitors around the village, this was very exciting for my little one, especially since he has recently demonstrated an utter fascination for trains. Even though the village is set up in an industrial space–dating back to 1857, Gazi was actually the first coal gas factory in Greece–the result is actually very beautiful and festive. The cobbled alleys are lined with market stalls, selling everything from candy and accessories to toys and magic props!
Next stop, the Carousel. I don’t know why but this old-fashioned ride always makes me smile as it reminds me of Mary Poppins, one of my favorite movies of all time! Next, we went up in the air in the giant Ferris wheel where we got some absolutely stunning views of the city below. We also had fun in the bumper cars, the tube slide, and the mini roller coaster. There is also an ice skating rink, an indoor play area with bouncy toys, and a bunch of other funfair rides.
My son really enjoyed the badge-making workshop and was amazed to see his drawing turn into a Christmas badge right before his eyes. Well done to the ‘elves’ in charge of the workshop as they work really hard to spread the Christmas magic
The main reason we visited the village in the first place was to write and post a letter to Santa and of course meet him in person. We bought a Christmas postage stamp and wrote the letter–it was no surprise that my son asked for a big and a small train–and posted the letter in one of the red post boxes outside Santa’s headquarters.
I was really impressed by Santa’s headquarters so I can only imagine how my son must have felt! There was a big fireplace, a beautiful tree, and bags filled with gifts scattered all over the room. Santa was sat in his chair and my son reluctantly went near him; he reassured Santa he was a good boy and reminded him of the gifts he wanted for Christmas. As we walked out, my son informed me that Santa’s elves are hard at work to deliver his trains on time.
It was way past bed time so we sat down at one of the food stalls and had a quick bite to eat before heading home. I am already looking forward to visiting Santa’s Village again next year when my son will have grown and will be able to enjoy the variety of workshops and games designed for older kids.
The Christmas Village in Gazi will run until January 6, 2019 from 10:00 to 22:00 and tickets cost 6 euros each or 20 euros for a family of 4.