It is not every day that you arrive at a farm decorated with thousands of twinkling lights, meet Santa and his live deer Dancer and Prancer, or see an illuminated crib with a live cow and donkey, except of course when you visit Ireland’s Lapland at Glendeer Pet Farm.
Glendeer, located just outside Athlone off the M6 (Tuam/Monksland Exit 13, follow Drum signs ), is transformed into Ireland’s Lapland for the month of December with all facilities undercover. There are Christmas themed cabins with scenes like ‘The Night Before Christmas’, an animated snow scene, and Santa’s workshop, where the hard working elves are making the toys, and a real winter wonderland where children can run around as the snowflakes fall down around them. There is also an indoor play area with sand diggers and a slide to keep them entertained.
The animals love to take part, including the llama family, the greedy ostrich (mind your fingers ), Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, baby deer, goats, emu, donkeys, rabbits, puppies, and many more including the two new monkeys George and Gina. It is a very interactive experience as the children get to feed, pet, and even hold the animals which enjoy meeting and greeting all the visitors.
Ireland’s Lapland has something for everyone, young and old. The children get a little bag of food to feed the animals as they make their way over to see Santa, have a chat with him, and receive a gift, while the adults can treat themselves to fresh coffee/cappuccino and homemade snacks in the warm surroundings of the cosy coffee shop.
Don’t forget to bring along a camera so you can take plenty of pictures of your Lapland experience. This year Santa arrives by sleigh on Saturday December 4 at 5pm and will be at the farm every evening until December 23. Special rates are available for groups of 20 and over, catered for by appointment during the day.
Admission: Adults €7, children €15, including visit to Santa and gift.
Ireland’s Lapland is open Monday to Friday 5pm to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 7pm. There is no need to pre-book tickets, they can be purchased on arrival.
For more information or directions on Ireland’s Lapland at Glendeer Farm, Curryroe, Drum, Athlone, visit www.glendeer.com or call (090 ) 6437147.