Santa’s Post Office – Sheffield

We decided to kick off the run-in to Christmas by visiting the free (yes, free!) Santa’s Post Office, in Sheffield City Centre (Barkers Pool).

Santa’s Post Office Location

For non Sheffield locals, Barkers Pool is about a 5-10 minute walk from the train station right in the city centre, very close to the Crucible and Lyceum theatres. As you can see the outside of Santa’s Post Office is beautifully decorated and not easy to miss!!

What happens inside Santa’s Post Office?

Inside, the children can write a letter to Santa (or parents can do it!). The letter gets put in a post box and magically ends up in Lapland!


Spoiler alert: Then an adult goes to the magical elf and gets a letter from Santa to give to their child at an appropriate time. You might want the elves or another adult to keep your child occupied whilst you get the letter!!

We went last year (2017) and Santa’s Post Office was quite small. However, Santa’s Post Office has expanded and so there should be enough space to write a letter and not feel rushed or squashed! For 2018, there is also a buggy park inside!

All, it will take about half an hour to an hour to do the letter. You get a good quota of stickers to decorate the letter which leaves enough time to enjoy the other things in Sheffield City Centre.

As you can tell, Santa’s Post Office is wonderfully decorated and once you go in, you’ll really feel in the Christmas spirit!

What about the rest of Sheffield?

If you’re travelling from afar, you’ll want to spend more time in Sheffield than just this. However, there is a Christmas Market with possibly the largest Santa’s Grotto you have seen. There is also a Christmas Trail, which you can read about here and you can play “Find the Elephant” at the Winter Gardens (that is my made-up game!)

Santa's Post Office

For more information about all the other events in Sheffield, check out the “Alive after Five” website –

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Why do I blog??

It is a slightly strange thing to do – to write about places you go and life as a parent. So, why do I blog?? Well, having recently “come out” as a blogger to my work colleagues, it felt like a perfect piece to actually write about.

Rewind back to early 2014, Heidi was 9 months old and her mum and I had just separated. Obviously heartbreaking in so many different ways.  I worked full time during the week and so I was fortunate to have Heidi all weekend at the time. It was like being a parent for the first time once again, everything was different, everything was new, all with a backdrop of great sadness and uncertainty.

However, we started going out and about, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with my parents. We got more confident and as time progressed, trips to the local park turned into trips to playgroups, which then turned into trips to local attractions. We took hundreds of photos and had a great time.


That great time, however, stopped every Sunday at 7pm when I dropped Heidi back with her mum. I’m not ashamed to say that Sunday evenings were spent crying and crying until there were no more tears. The drive back was awful and I used to lay on my bed looking through the photos that I had taken and reminisce.

Our first time to the seaside

However, it came to a point where enough was enough and I wanted, no, needed, to do something productive. It came about from 2 reasons:

  • I wanted to have a diary to show Heidi all the brilliant places we had been to over the years so we could look back at it together when she was old enough to understand
  • If I could help just one parent who wanted to take their child out but didn’t know where to go, or wanted to read about other parenting problems, then I needed to help

This additional focus was somewhat misdirected at first – I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t have a Twitter or Facebook page for example, but that didn’t matter, I enjoyed what I was doing. It turned the tears into smiles and my online diary was growing.

At the Scarborough Spa – one of our favourites

As I have being blogging for a couple of years now, I have got a bit better at certain things. However, in no way am I as good as some of the bigger bloggers out there. However, I am still working full time, I am still a single parent and obviously those things come first. I only blog because I want to do it and it is fun.

I have got to know some other bloggers quite well, as well as some of the attractions that I write about and that community is a really positive aspect of it all. Once, I even got stopped once at Oakwell Hall by someone and that was a rather cool and unexpected experience to say the least!!

Fathers Day 2016

As a result, if you are reading this, and you’re going through a particularly difficult spell, my advice would be to do something different that you enjoy to create a “happy place” in your life. It doesn’t have to be blogging, it could be a sport, it could photography, charity work, anything.

By doing something positive, it helps alleviate some of the pain that comes with life. It will never make it disappear, but it will make it better.

We’ll be on one of these soon!!

As for my situation, I am still a single dad, but I am planning our first overseas holiday together. Life is still tough, but it does get easier. I don’t think that I would have got to this stage without my therapy – blogging! Hopefully that answers the question of “Why do I blog??”

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Odeon Luxe Leeds-Bradford

I was invited to the official opening of the Odeon Luxe Leeds-Bradford to watch “Murder on the Orient Express” in absolute luxury. I did keep more than half an eye as to how the venue would be suitable for a family evening out.

View from the back row

The cinema itself is the first Odeon in England to have the “Luxe” treatment, with reclining seats, extending footrests and tables for each seat. One of the benefits of this is the extra legroom meaning that if little ones (or big ones!) have drunk too much, they can get out without the entire row having to stand up to let them out!

One thing we didn’t realise until the end of the film is that the seat arms move up. As such. it is possible to have a family hug in the spacious seats and still get all cosy!

Yummy nachos!

The venue is quite isolated in terms of other attractions (there is only a curry house next door). However, there is an excellent snack bar/restaurant on site serving traditional snacks such as nachos, pizzas and hot dogs. Above and below are a few pictures of the food that we were given to sample!

Of course, there are other snacks available including child-focused slushy machines and the cinema favourite, popcorn! I can confirm that it is a challenge to eat a box of popcorn during a film. However. they do taste just as nice the following day!!


The facilities are top notch, including the toilets, as the venue has been rebuilt. If you’re still at the stage of taking your children to the toilet, there is plenty of space and more importantly, very clean.

All in all, it is really good to see a national brand invest in the region. The venue really raises the bar in terms of what is expected of the cinema experience and is perfect for an evening night out for all the family.

For more information about what’s on and special offers at the Odeon Luxe, go to:

Full disclosure: I received 2 tickets to the film/event for the purposes of this review. However, no influence has been made as to the content.

To read more of my blog, please feel free to:

“Like” me on Facebook (it will make me happy!!)

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