Elves Outside Marwell Hall (3)

The Magic of Christmas has arrived at Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is one of our favourite days out locally and we have enjoyed visits to the opening of their new Tropical House this year, as well as Isaac’s Zookeeper for a day birthday treat, so we were very excited to be invited along to their Christmas at Marwell event.

Set inside the zoo’s Grade 1 listed manor house, the Christmas at Marwell event sees you being treated to a visit to an enchanting Neverland-inspired world as well as being able to explore the zoo as part of your ticket on the day.

Marwell Hall

We were welcomed inside Marwell Hall by head elf, Jingle and his wife Belle who greeted the children by name as we headed inside.

Neverland

The room felt like you were walking into Neverland and the children were offered a scrummy biscuit and a glass of squash, whilst the adults were treated to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

Mince Pies

Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian loved the fact there was a large TV screen on the wall with a naughty list on it, featuring some of their favourite villain characters on it.

Naughty Lists

A simple touch of the screen then revealed another list – the good list and the kids were relieved to see their names on it!!!

Nice list

It was soon time to continue our journey and we were led down a festive corridor to find Mother Christmas.

Neverland

We found her in Pirate Cove and the children settled onto special cushions for an enchanting sensory reading of a tale inspired by Peter Pan.

Mother Christmas

With singing, dancing, puppets, fairy dust and audience participation, the kids were entranced by the story.

Pirate

We then ‘walked the plank’ into the mischievous elves workshop, where Eliza, Isaac and Sebby got to create their very own Christmas present bag to take home.

Painting a bag

With fabric pens and stickers to use, the kids got on with creating their perfect designs, with some taking more care than others.

Bags

We got around half an hour to complete our bags and for those that finished earlier, they were invited to write a letter to Father Christmas with their present wishlist and post it in the letterbox.

Letter to Santa

It was then time to go and meet the big man himself.

Sebby and Santa

Father Christmas greeted the kids by their name and sat them down next to him for a chat. He even asked if they were nice to each other and Isaac admitted that he wasn’t always, which made us all chuckle and resulted in Santa praising him for being honest.

Isaac and Santa

They all got an age related present each to take away, before posing for a professional photo by elf Flash and heading outside. Photo’s cost £7 each, or you can buy three for £15 which come in a presentation frame as well as a digital copy.

Father Christmas Marwell

The experience lasts around 60-80 minutes and is running until Friday 21st December 2018. Prices are: Babies (0 -12 months) – £7.50, toddlers (12- 36 months) – £15.50, children (3- 16 years) – £28.50, Adults (16+) – £25.50.

Wallaby

Guests who book onto daytime Christmas sessions (up to and including 3.30pm) will be able to explore the zoo as part of their ticket on the day. For guests who book onto evening Christmas sessions from 4pm, entry to the zoo is not included but they will receive a return ticket from the elves on arrival at the Hall to return to visit again by 17th March 2019.

Rica - Sloth

From endangered Amur tigers to majestic giraffes, Marwell is an 140-acre zoo which is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species.

Snow Leopard

The kids love seeing the animals, but also enjoy racing around the wide pathways, and testing their climbing skills in their numerous adventurous play areas.

Giraffe

If you are after a fun-filled day out on the run up to Christmas, then I can highly recommend Christmas at Marwell. The kids loved their presents, Eliza got a magic set, Isaac got a games set and Sebby a playdoh set and of course we enjoyed seeing the animals too.

Running

What is your favourite Christmas day out?

Christmas Stocking

Pre-Packed Christmas Stockings from Hawkin’s Bazaar

No time to stuff the perfect Christmas Stocking? Don’t panic, Hawkin’s Bazaar have already done it for you! Their pre-filled Christmas Stockings are crammed full of goodies, toys and games sure to delight the recipient and they come in several options including: Male Stocking – Adult Female Stocking – Female Boy Stocking – 14+ Girl Stocking – 14+ Boy Stocking – 8+ Girl Stocking – 8+ Boy Stocking – 3+ Girl Stocking – 3+ What’s more, their 2017 Christmas stockings guarantee a minimum of a £25 saving, with 50% off the price of the same items if they had been …

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Christmas

All the Magic of Christmas at Weymouth SeaLife Centre

This December we were invited to be guided through Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park’s festive forest by Weymouth’s jolly Elf, Bauble Jinglebell, to meet Father Christmas in his enchanting Christmas Cabin.

Father Christmas has travelled all the way from the North Pole to visit Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park, where he will be residing from now until Christmas Eve, giving each child he meets a special SEA LIFE gift.

After looking around the park and seeing all our favourite sea creatures we found the reindeer stables where we waited to be greeted by Elf, Bauble Jinglebell.

weymouth-sealife

The kids stayed quiet and posed for photo’s for all of a minute before they decided it would be a good idea to have a hay fight.

It didn’t take long for the Elf to arrive and greet us in time for our 3.45pm timeslot and she introduced herself and led us through the magical forest, where she taught us a magic snow dance which made it snow.

weymouth-sealife

Playtime in the snow over, it was time to head inside to the log cabin to see Father Christmas himself, whom I have to admit is the most authentic I have seen in years.

He spoke gently, asked the kids lots questions of questions and made the two older ones believe he really does fly all over the world, teaching them about time zones and where he starts his journey.

weymouth-sealife-

They each came away with a small gift, before heading back into the park for some more fishy fun.

weymouth-sealife-

As our appointment was late in the day, we arrived at the park at 2pm, expecting to stay longer after we had seen Father Christmas but we were not aware that the park closed at 4pm so we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to, if you want to visit it is worth bearing this in mind.

Weymouth Sealife

The kids were all disappointed that Adventure Island and the advertised Christmas Craft Zone were both closed. They had been looking forward to colouring their own Christmas tree decorations and writing their letter to Father Christmas.

If you are feeling peckish after a visit to Father Christmas Festive Fayre is serving up sumptuous hot chocolate and Christmas gingerbread or a warming mulled cider and delicious mince pies. There’s something for everyone – whether you’ve been naughty or nice!

Weymouth Sealife

Tickets to see Father Christmas cost £7 per person on top of the entry price (£6 for Merlin Annual Pass holders) and can be booked here: visitsealife.com/weymouth/discover/events/meet-father-christmas-at-sea-life/

Giving Santa a Helping Hand with Stocking Filler Ideas

I have almost completed my Christmas shopping now so my attentions have turned to helping Santa decide what to put in the kids stockings. We set a strict budget at Christmas, as having 6 children can make it an expensive time and larger presents are always from us and smaller, inexpensive presents are sent to the big man to help pad out the kids stockings. I always find stocking fillers are more fun to buy and the kids are mostly happy with cheap and cheerful items that bottles of bubbles, hair accessories and toy cars but here are some ideas …

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A Magical Winter Wonderland with Christmas at Paultons Park

We have been going to Winter Wonderland at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, for a few years now and I will admit that last year we found it a little tired and dated – not that the kids cared.

This year we were invited back to see the changes Paultons Park had made after investing more than half a million pounds into its winter wonderland feature and boy, it has made such a difference.

You are given a specified time to arrive at the Grotto and are greeted by some friendly elves before heading inside for a magical adventure.

Uh Oh!! Rudolph has got tangled up in some twinkling Christmas lights and needs help getting back to the North Pole to help Santa deliver his presents.

christmas-at-paultons

We crept past some sleeping polar bears, saw some animatronic animals singing and dancing and bravely journeyed over an icy lake – but hurry before it cracks. Rudolf was there to offer encouragement in getting him home.

Christmas at Paultons

Finally we made it to the Toy Factory where Rudolph had decorated his stable in the lights he was tangled up in. We then headed inside to see that the workshop had been brought right up to date with large flat screen televisions showing incoming letters, preparing his journey and even footage of Santa himself reading the letters.

We were then ushered into see the big man himself, where he spoke to Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian by name and had a lovely long chat with them about their behaviour this year and what they wanted for Christmas.

Father Christmas Paultons Park

Instead of receiving a present handed out from Santa, we were directed outside to a covered area where we could buy our photo and the kids were presented by age related presents directly from the Toy Factory by the elves. As always the presents were well thought out and good quality.

Christmas at Paultons

Outside we got to meet Paultons new characters, Billy the mischievous elf, who took the kids little elves the kids were carrying to get up to some mischief with, as well as Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman.

The only area of Paultons Park that was open was the left hand side which contains Critter Creek, a 4D cinema showing the Christmas adventure film, Sleigh Ride, where Blitzen the reindeer and elf Bobo help Santa and save Christmas and of course the ever popular Peppa Pig World and it was all decorated beautifully with twinkling illuminations, seasonal music and a giant Christmas trees.

christmas-at-paultons

I love Peppa Pig World at this time of year as it is really quiet and we barely queued for anything all day. In fact we went on most rides at least twice.

peppa-pig-world

We also really enjoyed the new daily Christmas Shows, one where the kids were read Christmas stories and another one with songs and lots of dancing. Us adults also enjoyed a complimentary hot punch and a seasonal mince pie treat.

peppa-pig-world

We were at Paultons Park from 9.30am until gone 5pm and it was a fun-filled day out that we all enjoyed. Our only disappointment was that the Lost Kingdom was closed as Isaac wanted to go and see the dinosaurs.

For opening times and ticket prices, visit Paultonspark.co.uk, but hurry – timeslots are selling fast.

The Places We Will Go