Last weekend we were very kindly invited to Blakemeres Christmas Winter Woodland to visit Santa as a ‘PR visit’.
The experience began with being greeted by an elf who sprinkled their magic to make us all Christmas elves for the day so that we were able to enter the magical woodland. The elves led us through the forest meeting and greeting a range of magical characters along the way who told us their Christmas story, danced and sang- ‘spreading Christmas cheer!’.
Each time a new elf came to lead us to the next section in the woodland, which the children enjoyed as they met so many talented elves!
The mission from becoming an Elf was to make lots of Christmas magical dust so that we could find Santa, so at each point along the woodland trail, the bag of magic dust filled with christmas magic.
Until the final section where there was so much magic that Father Christmas arrived through a puff of smoke!
Each child then got to have a meet and greet with Father Christmas, giving ample photo opportunities, he then gave each of the children a brown bag with a toy in that they were not allowed to peek in until we arrived at our next destination of Mrs Clause’s workshop.
The Mrs Clause’s workshop was the perfect place to warm up a little and the children met Mrs Clause and her elves. She told the children they were allowed to open their bags, which revealed a beautiful husky dog teddy that needed to be finished- and now that the children were elves they could be toy makers themselves!
They each had a bag of stuffing to stuff their animal and went up to the front of the workshop with Mrs Clause to fill a heart with love and Christmas cheer to add into their dogs before they were sealed up.
We were then led through to the final part of the experience which was a little woodland village, where you can get marshmallows for toasting, hot chocolates and other refreshments. The children could then go on to have their photos taken with a number of beautiful birds of prey where the handler explained all about the birds to the children, and he really was a lovely man.
The children had a go wood whittling- although us grown ups did have to take over otherwise it would of taken them all night! They created their own magical wand and there was also a face painting station. All finished off with an outdoor mini faux ice rink that they could have a little skate around on.
The price of the tickets is £30 per child, so it’s a little more expensive than your usual grotto experience, but it’s not your typical Santa meet and greet. The Christmas Woodland is a whole morning or afternoon adventure with lots of sections to it, so overall I would definitely say its worth that extra bit of money. The toy was a high quality toy that will can be kept for a long time without the worry of it breaking like normal plastic ‘tat’. The children loved it and so I am sure they will be asking to go again next year!
My only point would be to make sure you wrap up warm, its a mainly outdoor experience, and our toes got a little cold as we didn’t double sock in the wellies! Have Fun! And if you do visit please let us know what you thought too!