Tag Archives: harry potter tour

My Top 5 Places to Visit At Christmas With Kids In The UK

I love Christmas and over the last couple of years we have been to some fantastic places with the boys over the Christmas period. Some are our family Christmas traditions and others places we just love to go to as they are so magical. Here are my top 5 places we have been to so far….

1. Lapland UK

Lapland UK is so amazing! We went two Christmases ago and I was blown away. It is magical from start to finish and other then real snow I imagine it’s just as magical as Lapland itself. It’s quite pricey but in my opinion I would pay it time and time again. We had the most magical family day out and the boys, especially Oscar as he was 7 couldn’t believe it. You come away full of Christmas spirit!

2. Harrod’s Christmas Grotto.

We have been visiting Harrod’s Christmas Grotto since Oscar’s first Christmas. I eagerly await my booking email every year and book up straight away. It’s a Christmas tradition in our house as it’s the same Grotto I visited as a child too. Each year is so different with a different theme and decorations and the boys love it! We always buy the Harrod’s Christmas bear for our tree afterwards then have dinner together. It’s nice to have a special Christmas tradition as a family. You have to pay a deposit (this year was £20 a child) when booking the Grotto but get it straight back on your Harrod’s reward card afterwards to spend in store, we use it to buy more Christmas decorations. I booked our slot last month and can’t wait to go!

3. Santa Spectacular – Willow’s Activity Farm, London Colney, St Albans

Willows Activity Farm is such a great day out in general with so much to see and do. But at Christmas it’s amazing! The Grotto is fantastic and when you visit Father Christmas you get a key to his toy shop where you can choose whatever toy you like. There is also ice skating and you can meet their husky dog. Here’s my post from our visit to the farm last Christmas. It runs from 21st November – 24th December 2018 and costs from £30 a child, £19.50 Under 2s, £14 an Adult, £13.15 Seniors, £25 Disabled child & free carer and £12.50 Disabled adult + free carer. It really is a fantastic day out for everyone!

4. Santa’s Sleepover At Alton Towers

We love Alton Tower’s and had a weekend away there staying in the enchanted village back in April. At Christmas Alton Tower’s put on their Santa’s Sleepover. Within the package you get an overnight stay in our amazing accommodation, a unique visit to Santa (experience dependent on accommodation), their fun-filled Pantomime, Alice in Wonderland , A festive evening meal, a delicious buffet breakfast, One day Waterpark tickets, One day Theme Park tickets with selected rides and attractions including CBeebies Land, evening entertainment including character meet & greets, shows, a Christmas cinema and a farewell from Santa Claus! Plus 9 holes of crazy Extraordinary Golf.

5. Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hogwarts In The Snow

I love the Warner Bros Studio Tour and luckily for us its only ten minutes down the road from us. We have been four or five times now but no time is as magical as Hogwarts In The Snow. The Great Hall is set up for a Christmas Feast, snow falls as you walk outside and we usually go in November and it really gets you into the Christmas spirit. This year it is running from the 17th of November through to the 27th of January 2019. For any Harry Potter fan this is not to be missed! It is beyond magical!

Another fun event to go to with the kids is visiting the #holidaysarecoming Coca Cola Christmas Truck. Every year they realise tour dates and we went and saw it at a local supermarket. The staff make it a really fun event for the kids and we got a free downloadable photo.

Warner Brothers, The Making Of Harry Potter Studio Tour #SweetsAndTreats

On Thursday after school Oscar had a real treat as we were invited to the preview of the new ‘Sweets and Treats’ feature for the Summer at Warner Brothers studio tour in Watford. Oscar has watched one of the Harry Potter films in preparation for our visit and loved it. One of his friends at school is really in to Harry Potter and Oscar has been asking for a magic wand since he saw his friends one at his house a few weeks ago.

I have read all the Harry Potter books and going to see the making of the films brought me right back to my childhood when the books were first realised. When we arrived we went into the gift store which is amazing, it is full if great memorabilia and Oscar got his Harry Potter wand he had been asking for for weeks. The wand cost £25 but is a replica in a display box and he absolutely loves it.

We went into the tour where you watch a short film about how the books became the films and then we went through to the cinema where we again watched Daniel Radcliffe tell us about what exactly went into making these incredible films. At the end he walks through the door to the great hall and the screen rises and the door to the great hall is in front of us. Oscar couldn’t believe his eyes, it was magical. We went into the great hall which was quite a surreal experience and we were shown how the talented ladies made all of the Sweets and Treats that are props in the film. You wouldn’t believe that they weren’t edible they looked good enough to eat! From Monday 20th July until Sunday 6th September you will be able to see this for yourselves. Butterbeer ice-cream will be available to purchase from their new baklot cafe and that is not to be missed as it tasted amazing! We had some nibbles and Oscar enjoyed his cake pop and ice-cream and we continued around the rest of the tour.

Even if you haven’t read the books or watched the films it is absolutely amazing to learn exactly how much went into making the films. It is absolutely incredible! Amazingly during production graphic designers had the task to design over 120 different sweet treats for the Weasley twins shop and some of the original sketches can be seen in the art department section  of the tour. The tables in the great hall will be lined with props from the Hogwart’s feasts. Chocolate desserts of all kinds were on the tables and nearly all of them are made out of intricately painted resin. Although some edible pieces were baked such as the chocolate phoenix cake that you can see in the Goblet of Fire film and the exact cake has survived over seven years in storage and is out on display for you to see.

We had a fantastic time and enjoyed a cup of butterbeer and went on the Hogwart’s express. It is an amazing day out, so magical and exciting not only for the children but the adult’s too.

Oscar also flew on a broomstick and we brought the USB of the video for £25 which you can see below.

Disclaimer: We were given free entry into the making of Harry Potter for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are completely honest and my own!

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