Action for Children Northern Ireland says it has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the demand for bookings at its Santa’s grotto to Larne this year.
The charity has stepped in to make sure Santa stops by for a free event on Thursday December 8 at St Anthony’s Primary School, before he returns to preparing for the big day.
Spaces to visit Santa, which must be booked in advance, are filling up and the organisation is urging anyone who wants to clinch one of the few remaining spaces to get in touch asap.
Action for Children’s Claire McKay explained: “This is a time of year when many families are feeling the pinch to their purses and we don’t want any children being left out.
“Everyone is welcome.
“We’re relying on the generosity of local businesses and hoping to have a few presents to raffle, some stalls for arts and craft activities and possibly a jumble sale stall. Each child will get a photograph with Santa and a small gift so there should be a lot of seasonal joy around on December 8.”
The idea has been such a hit that local organisations are dashing through the snow to offer their help for the event.
“The Salvation Army are going to provide some music and possibly the brass band!” Claire added.
“We have costumes from Frozen, and our Anna from Frozen will be singing songs from the musical.
“We will have face painting, crafts and raffles so it should be a truly magical event.
“We are extremely grateful for everyone who is getting involved to help.
“We are doing this because we want every child to experience the magic of Christmas.”
The grotto will be open from 1pm-3pm and from 3.30pm-5.30pm on December 8.
There is no charge for the children.
To book a visit to Santa, or if you are a local business wishing to donate, contact Claire on 02828276044 or email Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org.