THE Magic of Christmas has returned to Chobham Adventure Farm, and it’s the perfect way to indulge in festive spirit.

Following on from last year’s success, the Yuletide extravaganza is back. It offers an engaging and interactive two-hour experience, as children learn how to become an official elf helper and keep the magic of Christmas alive.

Because elves are a creative bunch, this includes a special salute, some songs, a dance – as well as decorating gingerbread men with Mother Christmas, learning cracker jokes with teacher elf, sending festive postcards with postie elf, assisting inventor elf with his latest Christmas machine, preparing reindeer food and getting into a snowball fight.

By the end of your tour, culminating with a personal meeting with Santa Claus himself, only a stone-cold Grinch would not be feeling a warm glow of festive spirit. And the children will have earned a certificate signed by head elf Tinsel Glitterbottom and Santa (plus a hoof print from Rudolph).

It’s a proper experience, one that draws everyone in, adults and children alike: whether it’s making things, singing songs, stroking reindeer or throwing snowballs. Each room is properly decked out to represent each inhabitant, and on our trip round we enjoyed spotting all the jokes amid the festive decorations – “Be wary of yellow snow” is one of the mottos in teacher elf’s classroom.

My five-year-old son Luke loved finding out our elf names (I’m Curly Peach-Pants, for all future elvish communications), and took full advantage to pelt me with the fake snowballs towards the end of our visit. Although it was really the adults who ran wild at this point, ganging up on the out-numbered elves.

After chatting with Santa, Luke also enjoyed making his own teddy bear, which was his to take away along with the gingerbread man, the official elf helper certificate and reindeer food. As well as gifts for mummy and daddy, for no one leaves empty-handed. You can take your own pictures as you go along, as well as buy an official picture of you all with Santa, with the option to have it as a snow globe or Christmas tree ornament.

The whole experience has been well thought out to ensure enjoyment for all, a true festive treat.

And have no doubt of Santa’s special powers. When he found out my son is a Charlton Athletic supporter (it’s a long-standing family tradition, rather than parental cruelty), the big man in the red suit immediately rattled off the name of the Addick’s star striker, saying Lyle Taylor was definitely on the nice list.

I was impressed that he wasn’t thrown by a reference to a Championship side, instead of one of the Premier’s glamour clubs. Shaking my hand as we left, Santa added he hoped I was pleased with the early festive present he’d delivered for all Charlton fans, in the shape of new owners for the club. It certainly did feel as if Christmas had come early at the Valley.

Proof, if any were needed, that the big man has magic powers. And that The Magic of Christmas experience offers something for everyone, children and adults alike.

Tickets for The Magic of Christmas experience cost £42.50 peak and £32.50 off-peak and include the guided tour, festive activities and visit to Santa, as well as entrance to the Adventure Farm play areas. Place are available to book up each day until 2pm on 24 December. For more details, visit