FESTIVE family fun got under way at Clacton Pier with a special new Breakfast with Santa event.

The Christmas event was held in the pier’s new Discovery Bay adventure play area, which has been built as part of the landmark’s £4million overhaul.

It is the first time for more than five years that Christmas activities are being put on for youngsters at the attraction and they are proving very popular.

Children enjoyed breakfast, a host of entertainment provided by James Magic, and a visit to Father Christmas in his purpose-built grotto, which was decorated throughout.

There was also the opportunity to enjoy the soft play area for as long as desired.

The event will continue each weekend until December 23.

Nigel Brown, the pier’s communications manager, said the aim was to stage a family fun activity with a visit to Santa as the centrepiece.

“The grotto cost £15,000 but was well worth it as the feedback we got was that it had the wow factor,” he said.

“There was an area for children to do some colouring and write a Christmas list until it was their turn to see the main man.

“Staff got into the spirit by dressing up and there was also a visit from Sidney Seagull, the Pier’s mascot.”

After school weekday events will be staged from 3.30pm to 6.30pm through to Friday, December 21.

Children eat free and can visit Santa’s grotto with every paid entry to Discovery Bay.

Spaces for Breakfast with Santa are still available. For details, go to clactonpier.co.uk.