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Things to do in New Hampshire: Santa's Village Jefferson, NH Tips & Review

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Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review

Santa's Village Tips & Review

We were recently invited to check out Santa's Village and share our experience with you. Santa's Village is a beloved New England theme park located in Jefferson, NH that draws both local and visiting families to experience its perpetual Christmas themed rides and entertainment.


We covered as much of the park as we could during our day-long visit, but unfortunately the day we visited lines were uncharacteristically long and our little guys couldn't stand in many of them. Not only is it a general issue for both our boys (who struggle with severe ADHD Combined Type and SPD), but our youngest has some issues with his muscles that makes standing and walking for long periods difficult at times. We requested the "Preferential Accessibility" option, but were told it was "not for children who simply don't want to wait in lines, just for kids with Autism". We addressed this below in the special notes.
I wish our experience had not been affected by this unfortunate situation as so much of it was positive, but we made the most of it and covered the park the best we could! 


Date VisitedAugust 10, 2015

Crowd Levelshigh (we were told it was actually far busier than some staff had ever seen it and that it was out of the norm for it to be that excessively busy) 

Age Range Appeallittle ones to adults, though we personally felt it was best suited for those under 11 or 12 


Special Note: Santa's Village does offer "Preferential Accessibility" according to its site for those with physical and developmental challenges that make standing in line difficult, but unfortunately when we requested it it was not extended to us despite explaining our situation and informing the staff member that we had had prior communications with PR before our visit regarding this specific feature. We have since been informed that this was due to a misunderstanding on the part of the staff member that told us it was meant solely for those diagnosed with Autism. If you or your family member has a physical or developmental challenge that makes standing in line difficult, please contact Santa's Village ahead of time to discuss "Preferential Accessibility" as well as discounted tickets for individuals who are blind, deaf, in a wheelchair or developmentally delayed. It is always sad to us when our little guys' challenges are overlooked simply because they don't have one of the more publicly understood diagnoses, but hopefully sharing our experience will prevent this from happening again in the future as it is continually our hope that we can assist in spreading awareness when possible.

We would also like to note that when we visited our bags were not checked nor were those around us. You always want to hope for the best, but we've been to a number of theme parks that do check prior to entering for security purposes and for some it's an annoyance, for others it adds a little sense of security. We wanted to share this in case this is something that could potentially affect your family's choice to visit.


Santa's Village Tips:

  • If visiting during a hot month take advantage of the shaded areas while resting. We found that there were a number of areas located in direct sunlight with areas to sit, but also a handful in the shade. If you can't find a place to sit in the shade in your immediate area walk a little further and you're almost guaranteed to find a nice cool spot!
  • Restaurants with seating get very full, but staff work hard to clean and turn over tables quickly. We were very surprised that we were able to find seating at one of the restaurants (Nick's Pizza Emporium) for lunch after only waiting 5 minutes or so. The staff that clean the tables are incredibly courteous and work hard to turn tables over quickly once they're no longer in use so that the next family can take a seat.
  • Nick's Pizza Emporium has gluten-free pizza, which is great if you don't eat wheat or can't eat wheat, but don't have to worry about possible cross-contamination. They do not guarantee that foods aren't cross-contaminated. The crust wasn't bad. A bit on the dryer side, but you can't complain too much when a theme park actually has wheat-free options aside from salad and disassembled burgers!
  • Crowds are not usually excessive from what we've been told, but if they are plan on a decent wait for rides. Staff at Santa's Village were generally very friendly from our experience, but we did find that they seemed a bit overwhelmed by the excessive crowds on the day we happened to visit. We were told by and overheard multiple staff members mention how much busier it was than usual and how incredibly long lines were becoming as a result. We definitely got the impression that staff were doing their best to keep lines moving, but that the crowds were excessive to the point lines were getting far larger than they normally did. We waited a solid 40 minutes for one ride, half of which was spent in direct sunlight. Again, from what we've been told this is not the norm, but something to be aware of if you have little ones that can't handle that kind of wait. It may be best to choose a non-peak day or month to avoid possible crowds of this nature.
  • If you have a wheat allergy there are some gluten-free options at a handful of the shops/restaurants, however, they cannot guarantee cross-contamination is avoided. As many of you know, I am allergic to wheat and avoid eating it whenever possible. However, I am not Celiac and it is not life-threatening if my food is slightly contaminated. While the gluten-free options are great for people in my position, we did notice that there was definitely cross-contamination (things like the same gloves being worn to pick up regular cookies and gluten-free cookie packaging) so that's something to consider if you have to be excessively careful.
  • Rides are definitely geared towards families with children. Unlike some other theme parks we've been to, many of the rides at Santa's Village were appropriate for young children, which was fantastic! 
  • Santa's Village is not totally flat, so keep that in mind if you have anyone that struggles with walking on inclines, declines or those in wheelchairs. While some areas are flat, there are a number of areas that are not, so keep this in mind if it will affect your visit. 
  • Family bathrooms galore! There are a number of bathrooms conveniently located throughout the park and in addition to the men's and women's they also have large family bathrooms and nursing rooms, which is fantastic.
  • Bring or wear your rashguard and swim trunks (shirts and shorts must be worn outside of the water park) if you plan to hit up HoHo H2O or Joy Ride Slides. You can change in the locker rooms near the water park, but we found it more convenient to change after than to change before. 


Santa's Village Walk-Through

As we mentioned above, we weren't able to hit up a number of rides in the park, but we did our best to cover the majority of the park for you guys to give you a fairly comprehensive look at everything Santa's Village has to offer!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
We arrived at the park within an hour of opening and we were placed in the far end of the overflow parking because it was so busy! As you can see, the overflow parking lot is quite large.
Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This is the cute entryway to Santa's Village. There are several corridors through which you can pass to gain admission and get our tickets.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
These were the admission rates as of our visit. As we mentioned above, there are special discounted tickets for those with certain disabilities who meet certain criteria. Contact Santa's Village for more info!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This cute Jingle Bell Railroad Crossing is one of many in the park as the Jingle Bell Railroad travels around the circumference of much of the park.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
If you need to rent a stroller, Lil Sleighs are conveniently located near the entrance next to the North Bowl--bathrooms galore!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
North Bowl is also located near the entrance, which is fantastic if you take a long road trip like we did to get here! They have women's, men's, family bathrooms and rooms for nursing--a fantastic touch.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Connected to the North Bowl is Elf University where little ones can grab special tags and participate in a fun Elfabet game, collecting letter hole punches throughout the park and earning and little something special if they collect all of them.
Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Elf University and the Elfabet game were a great addition to the park. Our kids loved collecting as many of the letters as they could! Unfortunately, they weren't able to walk far enough to get all of them, but I believe they got 20 out of 26.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Elf University is truly adorable on the inside and looks like an old fashion schoolhouse. 

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This was the first letter elf we came across! For little ones with low muscle tone it can be difficult to use the hole punches, so Dad stepped in to offer some extra muscle.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Here's a cute explanation of game along with clues about where the elves are.
Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Jolly Lolly Candy Store is near the same circle by the entrance and offers a variety of different sugary treats.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
In addition to all of the rides and shops, Santa's Village offers cute entertainment as well. Jack Frost was super entertaining and mischievous!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
With so many fun Christmas-y things around the park it's easy to take advantage of all the photo ops with little guys! We did find that some of them had lines of families waiting for their chances to take shots, but generally it was easy to snap a few pics then move on to the next ride.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Again, plenty of entertainment around the park!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
The Skyway Sleigh Monorail is super neat and covers a large area of the park from above! We wanted to take a ride on it, but by the time we reached it (it's at the far end of the park) the line was too long, but it looked super fun and relaxing!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Here's the cute Post Office and another elfabet elf!
Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Our guys were so excited every time they saw one of the elves! Our guys worked out a cute system where our oldest pulled down the levers and our youngest held his ticket in place, since it was too hard for him to do on his own. Teamwork! <3

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Here's our youngest having a Rocky-esque moment after getting yet another letter!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
As we mentioned in the tips, there are a number of nice shaded areas to rest in if you look. The park in general is super clean and very picturesque.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
The Great Humbug Adventure was the first ride we did! Guests ride through a Humbug infested mansion and try to shoot as many as possible with little laser guns. The boys loved it!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
The little details everywhere really complete the experience. We found the street signs super fun!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Can't have a partridge without a pear tree!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Frosty's Homemade Ice Cream offered a number of frozen treats, which were perfect for this hot summer day. Love that it's on Sugar Plum Ave!

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Partybration Place was a cute indoor room for hosting parties! It looked very sweet.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
The Polar Theater had a fun little theater, concession stand, bathrooms and guest services around the other side. This is where you go if you need to request Preferential Accessibility.

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
We didn't do any of the shows because we weren't there when nay of them were starting and we wanted to get through as much of the park as possible, but other families with little ones seemed to really enjoy them!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
We peeked our heads into the North Pole Workshop and it was actually really neat. Kids could go in and make gifts ranging in price and variety from sand art to custom lip glosses.

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Burger Meister was one of several larger restaurants scattered throughout the park.
Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review

Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Seriously, how cute are these elves?
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Peppermint Twist was a cute ride that our oldest did very well on and that our youngest slightly warmed up to--we were so proud of them both!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Reindeer Rendezvous may have been one of the most magical moments for our boys. Even though our youngest was anxious, he loved seeing the reindeer in person and both boys fed them snacks!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
A place for each of Santa's reindeer and each of Santa's reindeer in their place. ;) 

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
These guys were super friendly and definitely working it to try to get us to feed them a snack--it worked!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This was about as close as our youngest went on his own, but given how anxious he is around large animals it was actually great!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Our older guy was super brave and loved feeding these guys apples!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Look at all those friendly guys!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Fruit Loup's was a cute snack stand that had fresh fruit and veggie dippers, pretzels, etc. Always great to see health alternatives!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Christmas Ferris Wheel was elevated above a lot of the rest of the park and looked as though it would have offered an amazing view! Unfortunately, they made an announcement when we got in line and began filling only half of the cars, so we had to move on given the length of the line. Next time perhaps!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
St. Nicholas Chapel was super pretty! We didn't go inside because our guys were anxious to get to the next ride, but it looked like a very peaceful place to stop.


 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This was definitely one of the largest statue nativities we had ever seen!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
If you visit Santa's Village make sure you stop at this unassuming little cabin for a lovely souvenir!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This kind gentleman makes each visitor his/her own custom-sized ring made from a reindeer shoe nail!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
This was super cute and complimentary to boot!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Their finished rings!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Sugar 'n' Spice Bake Shop had a variety of cookies (including gluten-free) and other baked goods. The boys actually got yummy smelling gingerbread men here and decorated them before eating them! Such a cute idea. I had a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that was fairly good. Dad grabbed some coffee, which he said wasn't bad!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Santa's Home was a popular spot filled with families waiting to have a little visit and photo with Santa. 

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Snowball Mall had some really cute Christmas and Santa's Village themed merchandise. We grabbed some pins and a few other little things as souvenirs! 

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Mini Doe-Nut Factory smelled really yummy!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
If you have little guys already talking about someday having their licenses (yes, our oldest started this around 5) this is a great ride! Kids get to drive antique cars on tracks around a really adorable course.

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
You even get to go through a cute car wash complete with bubbles!



 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Dasher's Delights had some quick food options, frozen treats and drinks. We grabbed a slushie and a soft serve ice cream here for the boys. Prices were on par with what you'd expect at a theme park.

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Red Hot Racers were just around the back of the Village Fire Department--a ride we definitely suggest!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Red Hot Racers was a super fun raft race down a long shoot. As you can see, our boys loved it! We were so proud of both of them for giving it a go--especially our youngest.
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
HoHo H2O is one half of the water park at Santa's Village. There are two main areas, this area, which has a number of water features and the Joy Ride Slides--a series of 3 larger water slides. 

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
HoHo H2O was very cute, though pretty crowded during our visit. I was told that it tends to fill up more in the afternoon, which is when we happened to get there. It can be hard to keep an eye on kids as they make their way through this maze of an area when it's this busy, so I strongly suggest planning on going along with them if they're young enough you wouldn't let them go into a pool alone at home or a bit anxious in general. There were a handful of bigger kids who took the opportunity to pick on our boys while they were waiting in lines for slides, so it's definitely best to keep a watchful eye.

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Thankfully there's just about everything you could possibly need right next to the water park!

 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was a cute ride. It didn't go too high or too fast, which was nice. Our oldest loved it and our youngest warmed up towards the end!
 Santa's Village Jefferson NH Family Travel Tips & Review
They finally got the swing of it! ;) 


Final Thoughts on Santa's Village

All in all the boys really enjoyed their time at Santa's Village! The park was incredibly clean and well-kept and the staff were very friendly. It's definitely a great park if you have younger kids or kids that aren't comfortable on some of the bigger, more action-packed rides in other parks. I do think getting the Preferential Accessibility option would have made a huge difference for us given the lengths of the lines, so that's definitely worth keeping in mind. If you love Christmas and you plan to head to the New England area it is worth considering a visit here. Surrounded by the White Mountains, it's a very cool area in general!

It was unfortunate that the crowds were so much heavier that day than usual because I think we would have been able to experience some of the other rides the kids wanted to go on, which looked like a lot of fun! I really do hope Santa's Village retrains their staff on the criteria for Preferential Accessibility so that other families don't feel discriminated against like we did. It can be very hard when your child faces a less publicly accepted or understood diagnosis as you often encounter the same type of thing we did here. 

We hope our review and tips on visiting Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH are helpful to anyone considering a visit! Please feel free to ask any questions you may still have in the comments below.

Have you been to Santa's Village?


Note: All photos in this post (unless otherwise indicated) are the properly of FamilyADHD.com. Use of these images without permission and/or compensation is forbidden.

7 comments:

  1. Looks like such a fun place. I have never heard of it before!

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  2. Looks like you had a great time.

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  3. This is the cutest idea for a theme park. Looks like a great day out!

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  4. I've never heard of this place, but now I want to visit! It looks like such a fun place for the whole family.

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  5. That looks like sooo much fun! Cute photos!

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  6. Looks like a Christmas wonderland! Love that the strollers are sleighs. :) Sorry that you had issues with them accommodating your kiddos. Lines can definitely be a challenge for any kids (and even some adults).

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  7. How magical! Our family would love a visit! Adding to our bucket list!

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