Meeting Father Christmas in Woodlands magical grotto
The other week, Amelie took a trip to Woodlands Adventure Park for meet Father Christmas. Heres what she thought of the experience..
Becoming a parent brings a whole new meaning to Christmas. From dressing your baby as a Christmas pudding, to embracing their performance in their first nativity. Children bring the magic to Christmas. Their excitement is infectious, and the prospect of the big FC coming down the chimney on Christmas eve, leaving them a pile of gifts gives us parents plenty of opportunity for ‘best behaviour bribery’ throughout the year.
Forward planning at Christmas is key. Whether getting ‘that’ gift they have been asking for for months or, more importantly (in my humble opinion) booking a slot at a Christmas Grotto.
I was surprised to learn that the Christmas Grotto concept started here in the UK (I assumed the idea had come across the pond from our American cousins). But no, in 1879, a department store in liverpool opened its very first ‘Christmas fairyland’ and the tradition spread across the globe.
This Christmas, Mummy didn’t have to do the planning. Woodlands Adventure Park came to the rescue!
This is the first year woodlands Adventure park have had a Christmas Grotto, and the idea of combining a trip to a grotto combined with a fun day out with our two thrill seekers was brilliant. We think they pulled out all the stops to make every step into the park a magical Christmas experience.
There is a fabulous Christmas scene to greet you in the entrance on arrival (plenty of photo opportunities). The walk to the grotto is lined with beautiful fairy lights and perfectly lit real Christmas trees.
We were directed into the grotto and were given the chance to write our lists (notes and pencils provided) to give to the big man. We entered into to a snow lined log cabin, a tardis of 9 magical rooms each with a different magical Christmas theme. We went from the snow scene to elves bedroom, into the post room (where you can decorate your letter to Santa) before entering Santa’s workshop. Throughout the experience the kids were awestruck, they particularly loved crawling through the magical tunnel to the toy factory .
The Grotto was a Christmas feast for the eyes and ears and every detail was perfect. Before going through to meet the big FC himself, we were serenaded by animated life size reindeer and given reindeer food to take home to leave out on Christmas eve.
At this point we were bursting with Christmas spirit, waiting for the knock on the door to tell us our time with the big man is here. Then it comes, the knock, and the door opens and there he stood in all his glory; Father Christmas, Santa, in the flesh! We knew it was him and so did the kids – his beard was REAL ! And very well kept too.
We had a wonderful time chatting to the big man with the kids, telling him about their good – ahem -behaviour and their Christmas wishes. Father Christmas already knows what they would like of course, and gives them a small gift each to keep them going before the big day. By the time we left, the kids were bursting with with excitement. After seeing the Big Man, a wonderful sleigh provided a perfect spot for a bit of gift opening and to take some family shots. The happy children then bounced off to enjoy soft play, death slides and high pitch fun. With a Christmas cookie for them and a hot drink for Mum and Dad energy levels are kept high.
We had a great day playing, laughing and dropping down death slides. Woodlands Adventure Park comes highly recommended for Christmas fun!
The Grotto is running until December 22nd , booking must be done online 24hours in advance at woodlandspark.com – Christmas Grotto bookings include entry into the park as well open between 10am and 5pm and access to all winter open rides and attractions.
About the author: Hailing from Brighton originally, Amelie Foster grew up in Exeter and embraces the city life especially it’s indie culture. Amelie worked as a youth worker and currently runs a help group for Mums who have suffered PND, she is colourful, creative, compassionate and is very active in the local community.
*Disclaimer: Woodlands gave us a free day out, opinions are all totally honest!Tags: Devon, family fun, father christmas, father christmas in devon, fun, santas grotto, theme park, woodlands