DS is 2.6 years older than DD. We went to see FC st Lakeside when he was 3yo, then Burnham-onCrouch Santa Train (he seemed to accept two FC) Then at DealCastle when he was 4yo (DD 18 months) Alderley Edge when he was 5yo (DD 2.6) Bluewater Winter Wonderland when he was 6yo(DD 3.6)
After that they didn't really bother that much.
When DS was in Yr3 at School there was a FC at the School Fayre (member of staff) , DS was at the present he was given (it was more suited to a girl TBH) because "FC can see I'm a boy" (This was years before the gender neutral toys)
He regifted it to DD , and that , as they say , was that, he didn't go for FC any more even though it was one of the Elves who gave him his gift.
We've never really done FC visits as the FCs are often tacky and awful, but we are very lucky to have a wonderful Christmas experience nearby with a character that is utterly amazing and my kids still want to go every year even now they're teens.
My eldest still wanted to go last year at 10 and I expect will still want to go this year. We'll go anyway as littlest is only 6. They always want to go to the same one - I'd like a change but they weren't happy the year I booked something different!
Neither have ever thought the FC was real, though - they know it is someone dressed up but they like the fun of it.
We went to Lapland in 2015 for 3 days to see Father Christmas and nothing after that compared 😳 my DDs were 5&7 So we haven't been to see Santa since but they know that the Santa's they see out and about at fetes or shopping centres etc are the real Santa's helpers as he's so busy in Lapland and the run up to the big day. They just don't want to see anybody but the real guy now!
I dread this DD was 8 last Christmas and wasn’t incredibly keen on seeing Santa, she still went though. She’ll go again this year, but it will definitely be the last year she believes I think. Thank God i’m pregnant & can keep going for another 8/9 years!!