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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.

Review: The Magic Of Lapland UK

Yesterday we went to Lapland UK in Ascot. When I was asked to do a review for them last month I was so excited for the boys as I had seen a lot of reviews and photos last year and it looked absolutely magical! I love Christmas and try to make it as special as possible for Oscar and Archie every year like my parents did for me.

Oscar and Archie’s personalised invites from Father Christmas arrived in the post and we surprised them with them the night before, on Saturday night. Their elves delivered them and Oscar couldn’t believe he had been invited to Lapland by Father Christmas as Daddy read their letters to them. He was bouncing up and down with excitement!

Lapland UK opened on Saturday the 19th of November and closes on Christmas Eve 2016. The tours run from 9am-5pm. Tickets start at £65.50 per person and included in your ticket price is a personalised invitation to every child from Father Christmas by post, a child elf passport, all activities including ice skating, a personalised meeting with Father Christmas, a luxury gift from Father Christmas for every child over 12 months of age, a souvenir photograph with Father Christmas for each family and a Thank you card from Father Christmas for each child on Christmas morning. Tickets have sold like hot cakes so that avoid disappointment book quickly HERE.


We were booked on the 9am tour so left home after breakfast and as we were the first tour it was lovely and easy to park. We walked through the enchanted forest to the Elf check in where Oscar and Archie received their elf passports. The tour takes three and a half hours and on the back of your passport is the time that Father Christmas will be ready to see you. Oscar and Archie’s passports said 12.00 and Oscar kept asking me throughout the morning how long he had left until he would meet the big man himself.

We then went through the magical wooden doors into the most magical room where we were greeted by Sage the elf who really got the children’s imaginations going and then Echo the elf of nature. It was great that they managed to get across to the children how important nature is and how they must help to look after it. We were in the Husky group so after saying the Elves magical pass rhyme we were let through the magic door into Lapland.

Behind the door we were greeted by beautiful fir trees covered in snow and we followed the path all the way to the Toy factory. We met Whittle and Conker the elves and Wish the elf who watch over the small folk to make sure their wishes come true. The toy factory is amazing, it reminded me of the toy factory in the 1985 classic ‘Santa Claus The Movie’ which is my favourite Christmas film ever! With wooden toys spinning around on the ceiling, to the ornate furniture and elf tools it blew me away at the attention to detail and hugely surpassed my expectations. Oscar and Archie sat at the work benches and stuffed the cuddly reindeer and built wooden teddies. When they had finished Whittle the elf stamped their elf passports and we sung The Elf Song.



On we went through the enchanted forest to Mother Christmas’ kitchen where we met her elf cooks and the children got to decorate their own gingerbread man with icing and sweets. When they were finished all the children gathered around whilst Mother Christmas read them all a story. Again the room was decorated beautifully and all the children looked amazed. After the story it was 10.30 so we were given an hour and a half to explore the Elf Village before Father Christmas was ready to meet us.



We walked to the Elf Village and when we arrived there was so much to see and do. It was hard to believe we were actually in the UK, it looked exactly how I imagined Lapland would look. As a child it must be the most magical experience! The Elf Village has a restaurant, a cafe where we sat and had a cup of tea and a salt beef sandwich sitting on benches covered in furs to keep us warm. We then went to the Elf post office, Oscar wrote his letter to Father Christmas with Elva the postmistress who stamped their passports and changed up some money to elf jingles for Oscar to spend in Pixie Mixie’s elf sweet shop. The sweet shop was full of pick ‘n’ mix and Archie loved the smarties, which the elf behind the counter kindly gave him a few.


The Elf Emporium is full of beautiful decorations and gifts. I was surprised at how reasonably priced everything in there was. Usually when you go on a day out with a gift shop the prices are extortionate. I spotted a lovely Christmas plate and when I took it to the till I expected them to say it was £20 but it was only £9 and I love it!

Greg and Oscar went on the village pond ice rink. They both like ice skating and each Christmas we go to somewhere fun so they can skate. The scene was picturesque, everyone skating on the ice rink, snow falling off the snow covered trees and the log cabins in the village buzzing with excited children. A lot of children’s Christmas’ were made yesterday. After 20 minutes or so of skating we went and met the beautiful Husky dogs.


At 12.00 we met one of the Husky trainers by the bauble shop where you can make your own baubles and walked through the enchanted forest until we got to Father Christmas’ reindeer and his sleigh. Oscar couldn’t believe that all the presents can magically fit on one sleigh! Oscar then prepared his own magic reindeer food to keep and leave out on Christmas Eve.

Finally we made it to a wooden lodge where we told the Elf at the desk who we were then sat and waited for a few minutes until we were collected by another Elf to walk to Father Christmas’ lodge. We met other elves and children along the way and finally made it to the lodge. The Elf went inside and we could here Father Christmas talking about Oscar and Archie through the door. Oscar was bursting with excitement and the look on his little face made my day. Both Oscar and Archie then knocked on the big wooden door and in we went.


Father Christmas was sitting in his chair with his giant good list book. A fire was burning behind him and a beautiful Christmas tree stood in the corner. Before your visit you fill in information online so Father Christmas knows things about your children. He said to Oscar that he heard he had been busy playing the piano and Archie had been watching Teletubbies and that Oscar’s best friend Oliver was also on the good list. Oscar looked at him in utter amazement that he knew so much about them. We had a photo taken with Father Christmas and one photo is included in your ticket price, others you can buy at an extra charge.

Father Christmas then gave the boys a beautiful Husky soft toy each that has Lapland Uk embossed on his foot. This is a soft toy that can be kept for years to come to remind them of their magical adventure. They were also given a copy of the Lapland book, ‘The Untold Story Of Father Christmas’. This is a magical extra and only costs £10 (RRP £18.99) and Father Christmas will then give it to your child/children. It is a beautiful book, with lovely pictures and is a heart-warming tale to be enjoyed as a tradition each Christmas.

Other magical extras that you can purchase before your visit is the wooden construction Teddy Bear kit that they built in the toy factory and the reindeer that you can pick up at the end. Both of these are £25. You can also purchase the Elf Jingles which is the currency at Lapland UK but if you don’t you can pick some up at Elf check in and the Elf post office.

After we left Father Christmas we walked back through the enchanted forest and collected our photograph and there is also a shop where you can purchase different outfits for your new Husky and also pick up anything you may have ordered.

Overall Lapland UK was the most amazing day and has made this Christmas the best yet. The magic of Lapland UK is absolutely fantastic and exceeded all expectations. Just seeing the boys faces has made my Christmas already. Oscar can’t believe how lucky he is to have been. We will going back next year! So book your tickets today and experience the real magic of Christmas. Here is a video of our amazing and magical day!

 

Disclaimer: We were given tickets for the four of us to go to Lapland UK for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own and it is just so amazing!

Experiencing The Real Magic Of Christmas At LaplandUk

Yesterday I danced around the kitchen as we got our booking confirmation that we were off to LaplandUK. I absolutely love Christmas and love to make it as special as possible for the boys. I had the best Christmas’ as a child and love watching the boys faces light up when the ‘fairy’ brings the Christmas tree and the look of amazement on their little faces when they meet Father Christmas. This year will be the best yet as we have been invited along to LaplandUK for the day which will be full of Christmas magic!

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LaplandUK began in 2007, when husband and wife team Mike and Alison Battle frustrated with the UK Christmas offering available to their 4 young sons, developed the original and innovative idea of recreating Father Christmas’ mythical Arctic homeland here in the UK. I have looked at trips to Lapland before and the cost is eye watering but now there really is no need to fly all that way when LaplandUK which is only in Ascot offers the most magical Christmas experience for children (and adults), one that they will never forget.

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Elf Passports are waiting for children personally invited by Father Christmas to be stamped along a 3.5 hour mystical immersive journey where small folk make toys, decorate gingerbread with Mother Christmas, go ice skating, meet huskies and reindeer, write letters at the Elves post office and finally enjoy a personalised meeting with Father Christmas in his snowy woodland home. I cannot wait to see the boys faces! I think if I had gone somewhere like this as a child I would have burst with excitement.

Tickets start at £65.50 each and your ticket price includes a personalised invitation to your child from Father Christmas by post, a child elf passport, all activities including ice skating, a personalised meeting with Father Christmas, a luxury gift from Father Christmas for every child over 12 months of age, a souvenir photograph with Father Christmas for each family and a Thank you card from Father Christmas for each child on Christmas morning.

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I am absolutely buzzing and I am counting down the days until we go!

LaplandUK is already open it opened on Saturday 19th November and closes on Christmas Eve 2016. Tours will depart from 9.00am – 5.00pm. Book online now to avoid disappointment! The tickets are selling out fast!

Lapland reindeer