NH Notes: Visiting Santa in the North Country

(This continues a series of posts from our trip to New Hampshire at the end of August, as part of our material for those who stay with us at the McCartySeasons Condo in Bartlett, NH. You can follow our condo on the web and on Twitter @mccartyseasons and Facebook/McCartySeasonscondo. This note will also be posted to the Blog as well for the condo)

So we have been gracing you with notes from our trip to New Hampshire over the past few weeks in an effort to add updated material to the blog. Much of the material was added from 2013 to late 2014. Things change though so let’s put another note up “on the board” so to speak. Today, let’s take a visit to see Santa!

Our family has visited Santa’s Village more over the past year than its “competitor” Storyland mainly because this park appeals to a somewhat older crowd (meaning 6-8yr olds vs 4-6). Let’s face it…my kids are getting older and this is what happens. In fact, we took a recent trip to Canobie lake in Salem, NH and my soon to be 9 year old rode on Cannonball – basically, her eyes are now open to even more aggressive and exciting rides! Conversely, Storyland may be “over” for her in terms of excitement. The twins are also moving up the spectrum as well though they are not quite giving up on Storyland yet! Santa’s Village has just moved into the “sweet spot” for the trio overall so to speak. As for our most recent trip to Santa’s Village, it was truly “sweet” and perhaps our best one yet!

Before going into our day, let me share with you the conditions for a perfect day (i.e. A realistic view) at an amusement park.

  1. Lines that move quickly and operators who keep people moving quickly in these lines (i.e. Keep the phone users moving in the line instead of slowing it down)
  2. Food that tastes good and is not stale like it had been sitting around for hours before I picked it up
  3. Kids under control of their parents and not running around causing a stir with others
  4. Options to relax that allow everyone to calm down for 15 minutes and take a breath
  5. Operators who are not grouchy and willing to help when needed.
  7. A park that has options for all weather (water options in the summer, warmer options when it gets cold).
  8. Wifi or data service that works (and not for reading the web but rather contact between parties and to track kids).

I am sure there are some others that I have forgotten and could not think of but these are the big one’s and can help in giving you an idea on where we are coming from with this note.

Quick Description

So if you have never been to Santa’s Village, here are some notable links to consider: 

They also have an app (which is pretty good though I am having issues linking to it at the moment). It shows you a map of the park and helps with finding the “elves” as well (kids get a prize if they find each Elf in the park).

So how was our day?

Tale of Two Perfect cities?

Have you ever had a situation, experience or something similar where everything just happened to fall into place? Well, this was our day at Santa’s Village. We hit each ride when the lines were low to ok, we hit the gingerbread house when it was empty and everything else in between lacked the hassle that normally comes from a busy day at an amusement park. In a word, it was a “perfect” day at the park. As for the two “perfect cities?” Well this place has a water park in addition to the regular rides and the day went very well!

Here is why

  • We started by doing the normal tactic of “going to the back of the park when it opens” that is employed each time we visit (and are on time). This allowed us to hit the sleigh, the bumper cars, the Great Humbug Adventure and the Yule Log Flume with little to no line (and we rode the last ride four times in a row and the like still did not climb)
  • We were fortunate to avoid the packs! Given the drive (Jefferson is an hour from the Conway area and 2-3 hours from Boston), you tend to see larger groups at this place and when you see one, go the other way! Avoid them at all costs because they are the groups that take a small like to a long line! All day we happened to be one step ahead of these groups which made our day more enjoyable!
  • We brought a lunch! We always bring lunch to this place for 2 reasons; first the kids don’t really like the food (Pizza is ok) and second, if you have your own lunch, there is no waiting in lines to buy the product. Thus more time for the rides in the park. This can amount to 20-25 minutes in some cases if you eat around lunchtime. One more thing…the picnic area is usually quiet and this allows for everyone to relax and reload energy levels. 
  • Don’t wait in line to take a pic! There are plenty of photo ops throughout the park and there is no point in waiting behind a group or two to take a photo. That is time waisting! Just come back later and take advantage of the many other photo points. We did this and avoided the larger groups that had many kids! A “Quick pic” means more time to do other things!
  • Waiting till the afternoon for the waterpark! This was more by accident that we did this but we waited till after 2pm to his the water park. It was a hot day and most hit that end of the park earlier so by the afternoon, the crowd was  moving the other way. Also, in a note from a few years ago, we mentioned that the water was frigid and unswimable! Not anymore. Oh, did I mention that I even road the water slide down? It was my first in at least 20 years!

  • Take advantage of openings! So what does this mean? In short, if your plan is to do “A” but “B” is open, go to B! It is like the picture mention above. Ultimately be flexible and that flexibility had us getting on a ton of rides in a very short amount of time (Log flume 4x in a row for example). 

In Summary

In short, our day was great at Santa’s Village. Everything seemed to fall into place and while I realize this is a rarity at any park, I can only hope for similar experiences in the future! The kids had fun. My wife had fun and I got a gingerbread cookie! (And had fun)

Thanks for reading as always!



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