White Mountains, NH: Santa’s Village

This summer when we were visiting the New England for our month-long visit, we visited the White Mountains for some days.  During this time we stopped at some of our old favorite spots and some new!  I’ll make several blog posts to cover all the various things we saw and did otherwise, it will be way too long.

Santa’s Village – Jefferson, NH

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As our kids were 8 & 10, we figured that this would probably be the last visit they’d have at this park until they bring their kids back.  Then again, now that my parents moved from Boston to New Hampshire, we’ll be closer to the park when we visit them.  If we ever get there during Christmas time we might be able to visit when they open for a period in the winter – we’ve never been during Christmas when living in Boston. But living abroad, we don’t get back too often and when we do, I am sure they’ll want to do other things like  Zip Lining and Whales Tale Water Park and Codzilla (which we didn’t do on our last days in Boston as we didn’t book tickets early enough – lesson learned!)

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We used to take them there when they we little so Soren remembers some things about the Christmas-themed amusement park but Maebh didn’t as she was only 2 the last time we visited Santa’s Village in 2012.

The kids did the Elfabet Game where they went around the park finding the various elves, punching in the letters and then later they got a pen and a certificate.

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They went on all the rides – some several times.

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Compare these two photos 🙂

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We spent some time in the water park area which they loved as kids – they built more slides which coincidentally was Soren’s first slide as a little boy with Papa.

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Here are two videos of Soren going down the slides over and over again …. he loves them!

When Soren was little he really loved the misters which made you cool on a really hot day so I knew he’d remember those 🙂

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And the flume ride with Nils was fun.

Overall our time at Santa’s Village was great!
TIP:  If you arrive within three hours of closing to purchase admission (6 pm in the summer is when they close), you’ll be issued a “Return Pass” to visit the park for another full day at no additional cost. Your “Return Pass” is non-transferable (photo identification is required when it is redeemed) but it will have an expiration date.  So that is perfect for those with small kids who nap – you can use the water park one afternoon and then come do the park the next day,  Storyland does the same thing…

Jefferson Mountain View Motel – Jefferson, NH

We made a change in our plans and decided to stay at a local motel nearby Santa’s Village on Wednesday night, so we could be at the park when it opens on Thursday morning.  Looking online we wanted to find a cheap hotel but wanted to ensure it had a pool.  Turned out we never even went into the pool as it rained and wasn’t that warm – oh well.   The hotel we chose was the JEFFERSON MOUNTAIN VIEW.

Well, it was super basic, no frills (like no hand soap even provided type place).  To me that is just a bit too cheap – I mean, who travels with hand soap?!  I get shampoo and conditioner – we brought that but a simple tiny bar of hand soap or a pump on the wall – that to me is a mandatory item along with toilet paper at a hotel/motel.  When you want cheap, near the park, this is your place.  We had unit #14.  It was fine enough for the ONE night.  Personally we’d never stay longer than one night here but for just around $100 this is what you get.   The staff was very nice!


If we were to return and need to stay for multiple nights, we would go to the Lantern Resort across from the park and has great entertainment for families, but we didn’t want to spend $165 for the 1 night so went with the cheaper option.   We were on a month long trip and our budget was being squeezed already – we still had a week in Maine and Boston to pay for, etc.  Of course, there are other options of hotels in the area and many families choose to stay in North Conway and drive for about 50 minutes each way.  But were were going there after this night 8 nights.  We were doing 4 nights at the Red Jacket Mountain Resort and then 4 nights in a friends condo at the Nordic Village Resort as return for allowing us to stay in our house in Dublin last year.

Covered Bridge & Swimming Holes and Waterfalls

Coming from my sister’s place in Maine, we drove up into Bethel, Maine then crossed Route 2 over into NH.  Along the way we stopped at a Sunday River Covered Bridge (Artist’s Covered Bridge) as that is just something that is so New England.  I’m sure with the fall foliage it would be gorgeous.  The kids would never see such a thing in Europe – they thought it was pretty cool.

Then we stopped at Frenchman’s Hole – an areas where you can jump swim along the rocks.  The drop is about 20-30 feet.  It’s recommend that brave wild swimmers take plunge.   For me it was far too dangerous and steep (I’m a bit of a wimp) and I was not interested at all for my two kids.  The kids and Nils took a walk to the far edge but I was not going over there to look.  Sorry just not interested.

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Up the other way was a more shallow area, which Soren walked in.  We were taking bets if he’d fall in or not 🙂

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We ended up going with friends to the falls in Jackson NH one afternoon which the kids could swim in shallow area and there were nice waterfalls, etc.   I will post about later so the kids did get to go into a natural water spot during this trip.  Diana’s Baths would be a great place us to go now the kids are older when we return to NH.

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