Meeting with Santa Claus bis

© T. Joly
Living in Ardennes, Santa Claus welcomes kids in his house and chats with them. Guided by witty elves, they also discover the preparations for Christmas. An unforgettable memory for children aged between two and six years.

[ Practical ]

Getting there
- By road
200 km from Paris on autoroute A4 and A34 then on N51 and D985 till Novion Porcien.
- By train
TGV from Paris Est to Reims and TER from Reims to Rethel. The journey takes 1 hour 30 mn.
Taxi from Rethel to Novion Porcien, 11 km away.
Maison du Père Noël
Route de Sery, 08270 Novion Porcien.
Open from December 1st to 24th.
Tours at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and during school holidays.
Tours for school groups at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm on the other days outside school holidays.
Booking required.
Entrance : €8,50
Information and bookings
Tel : 0324726950
Santa Claus does exist. Since thirteen years ago, hundred of kids had the possibility to meet him in the Champagne Ardennes region. This year, the emblematic character of the end of the year stays between Reims and Charleville-Mézières, in Novien Porcien, where he lives in a vast modern building that once housed a museum.

© T.Joly
 Tales and funny gossips
For an hour, kids are guided through the house by the elves who live and work with Santa Claus. Malicious and witty, they take them from room to room showing their tiny beds, performing songs, unveiling funny gossips about the other ones staying there and about the life of the household, and one of them, who is in love, also reveals his feelings.
During this visit, the elves also explain their work, leading their young guests in the workshop where are made wooden toys, in the dressmaking workshop and in the room where the letters sent to Santa Claus are dispatched, classified and archived. Kids particularly like the discovery of the machine producing beetroot candies.
But the highlight of the tour is of course the meeting with Santa Claus who chats with his young visitors for about fifteen minutes, disclosing secrets, telling them tales and talking about his childhood. It’s also the opportunity to see his private apartments, the walls of which are decorated with keys allowing him to get into houses without chimneys.

© T.Joly
 Excellent actors
Split by groups of thirty, kids really get into the story. They are captivated, amazed and attentive to what the elves and Santa Claus are saying. To such an extent, that you could hear a pin drop. It’s only when they get in front of the candy machine that they get excited and sometimes a bit unruly.
If the spell works so well it is for two reasons. First, the actors performing the diverse characters are excellent and credible in their role, adding to that pedagogy, humour and poetry. Secondly, the interior arrangement and decoration of the house are perfect and give the illusion to be in an enchanted world. The collection of knickknacks, objects and implements that are scattered among the rooms is by itself worth a visit for its originality, its beauty and its variety. It is like to wander around an antic shop.
Once the visit is over, “La Taverne des Lutins” waits for the gourmands. This reasonably priced little restaurant offers local specialties, typical Christmas drinks like hot wine and waffles with cloud’s milk, the kids’ favorite.

November 09, 2010
Thierry Joly