We visit the version of Santa’s Grotto at Meadowhall every year but this year they really did it. Usually it’s a walk through experience and at the end the children meet santa, this year it’s totally immersive and more than a little theatrical.
When you arrive you’re greeted by a very excitable elf who entertains the children while explaining what they’re walking in to and teaching them a special Christmas ‘salute’. You then walk through to a winter wonderland where the little ones put on headphones and watch a little show about the Wish Gathering Elves. This is pretty magical, I have to say and I took a friend along with me who I think would agree. It’s so much for the kids but you can’t help but feel a little sparkly yourself.
Next you’re taken to a room to see the stars through a magical telescope where again you’re entertained by another elf who explains how wishes work and further instills than Christmassy glow. The people they have working there are all absolutely fantastic. I can’t imagine a better job to have at this time of year and (whether true or not) you really get the feeling they’re enjoying themselves. After the telescope there’s a ‘workshop’ where each child gets to create a ‘wish’ (a paper star on a string, covered with glitter) and one by one they’re taken to see Santa.
Milo (7) did not want to meet Santa because he didn’t know what his wish was and it was all a bit too much pressure but together they decided on a wish (a nice Christmas for his best friend – I almost melted in to a puddle of AWWW) and they all closed their eyes and wished together. This was super sweet but bear in mind it’s a pretty intense/intimate experience so if you have very little children/kids who spook easily I would maybe hold them. For the right kid this is just about a magic as it could get though. We then took some snaps, Milo got a book (he actually got 2.. I’m not sure why, maybe for his best friend? haha) and we were away.
One additional thing I did want to mention was that I took him with a female friend and when it came time to take the picture he said ‘shall we get one with the whole family?’ without skipping a beat. I’ve relayed that to a few people since our visit, to varying reactions. Most assume they thought we were sisters but either way I thought it was lovely. I’ve been places with the kids before and been asked ‘who’s Mum?’ which isn’t an issue for me personally but you know.. we could have both been Mum.
Just an extra little thing that stuck with me after we left. Overall it was a great experience and if you can get tickets (they’re crazy cheap – £6 per child, £3 per adult) it’s well worth your time!
*I was gifted this experience