Christmas is well and truly on it’s way, with schools finishing for the term and twinkling lights everywhere you turn. Whether you love or loathe it, there is no escaping it and I find it is much better to embrace the madness and go with the flow at this time of year. The boys are really excited and starting to understand more about Christmas, so I was so pleased when we were invited to check out Santa’s Grotto at Wyevale Garden Centre, Cadbury. The boys have never visited Santa before – until now they have been too young to truly understand. When I told them the good news they were really excited and could not wait to go. We put them in their best Christmas jumpers and headed off to meet the big man himself.
We went early on Saturday morning which was a great time – the boys were on top form, there was no traffic or hustle and bustle – the journey was entirely stress free. When we arrived at the garden centre it was very christmassy and festive and we headed inside. There were little footprints across the shopfloor that lead us to the grotto, which the boys loved following and helped to build the excitement. We were greeted at the grotto by an army of Santa’s helpers, who were chatty and cheerful and explained the process to us. The boys were so excited to plant their magic bean and were kept entertained whilst we waited our turn. The friendly elves talked to Ted and Arthur about christmas and even tried to help us stop Arthur running off every time he saw an opportunity.
It was soon time for us to go in and meet Father Christmas and we were lead into the grotto. The grotto itself is beautifully decorated with shiny presents and sparkly trees and we turned round to discover Santa sitting in his rocking chair by the fireplace. He was kind and jolly and spoke to the boys gently. They weren’t frightened by him at all, and Ted chatted with him confidently, confirming that he had sent a letter and asked for a yo-yo. Santa was enthusiastic and asked lots of questions which Ted answered with no hesitation. With Arthur being younger he was a little more unsure, but I was able to crouch down with them and answer for Arthur when he needed encouragement. An elf look away their pot with the magic bean and put it in a magic cupboard after Santa had sprinkled it with magic dust. The boys were each given a gift from Father Christmas and told they were on the ‘nice’ list this year. Phew!
When we came to leave and say goodbye to Santa he went into the magic cupboard and the boys gasped which they discovered they had turned into their own little mini christmas trees! When you leave the grotto there is another activity area for decorating the trees, and the boys helped themselves to tinsel, ribbon and streamers. They were so porud and couldn’t wait to take them home!
We spent this rest of the morning mooching around the garden centre, looking at the decorations and christmas gifts. It was a lovely way to spend a cold December morning!
A photograph was taken while we were in with Santa but there was no pressure to buy in any way, we just had a look at it on the monitor and decided that it wasn’t a keeper! You are allowed to take your own photos in there so I still had plenty of pictures to remember the occassion. It was a really cute event and worked perfectly for younger children who might feel overwhelmed at this time of year. It was very gentle and fun and we all really enjoyed it.
There are still slots available to visit santa at your local Wyevale Garden Centre, just pop over to the event page on their website for more details!
*DISCLAIMER* We were gifted our tickets to Santa’s grotto in return for a review, however all words, opinions and photographs are my own.