When it comes to arranging days out for the children I like to try to make sure that it is full of adventure. With Christmas approaching, there are many different ways to entertain the children, with visiting Santa on the top of everyone’s list. However, instead of just popping along to shopping mall Santa I want the children to have an experience. The new Chessington Winter’s Tail experience offers visitors the opportunity to say hello to Father Christmas whilst enjoying a selection of activities and shows.
Chessington Winter’s Tail
Running between the 26th November and the 2nd January the Chessington Winter’s Tail boasts Father Christmas’ festive grotto, The Elves’ Kitchen, Christmas Pandamonium Live Show, plus amazing animals, ensuring all have a wild Christmas at Chessington.
With the promise of some festive fun I popped the three children into the car on Saturday morning (sadly Mr. Boo had to work) and headed over to Chessington World of Adventures. As I drove along I was trying to convince the children to tell Santa that they didn’t need any presents this year, instead, they’d like to make sure that Mummy gets a purple handbag but they weren’t having any of it (spoilsports!).
As we arrived the children were handed a map for what was available during the Chessington Winter’s Tail and were slightly disappointed to see that none of the main rides were available. Hocus Pocus Hall was the only ‘ride’ that was open during the event, however, there was still plenty to keep us occupied.
Father Christmas’ Grotto
One of our first stops was to take a walk through the Elves magical woodland to see Father Christmas in his grotto. The woodland walk isn’t suited to the average pushchair so there is a buggy park available. Luckily I had brought our iCandy Peach All Terrain pushchair with which was more than suited to the uneven ground of bark chippings. Greeted by some friendly elves the children were asked their names and how old they were before we walked through the woodland to the grotto.
Once inside we were greeted by a jolly Father Christmas who was very happy and excited to see the children. Commenting on how much they had grown and asked them what it was they wanted for Christmas. With promises of being good throughout December and details of what to leave out on Christmas Eve the children were very happy to chat to Father Christmas. The children were then given a gift each, including little Piglet before posing for a photo with Father Christmas, which could then be purchased for £10 from the Elves.
It was then time to say goodbye to Father Christmas and venture back out into the magical woodland with the Elves. Stopping for a quick Organix treat for the children, before we viewed our Father Christmas photos and headed out passed the reindeer. There were times available throughout the day to have your photo taken with a reindeer but neither Roo or Tigger seemed keen on this idea.
The Elves’ Kitchen
One of the Christmas activities available was held in the Elves’ Kitchen – decorate your own Christmas cookie. Held in a large marque, there was plenty of tables, piping gel and cookies to choose from. With the added bonus of some Elf karaoke going on at the same time which the children were encouraged to join in with.
Whilst Roo careful decorated her snowman cookie, Tigger decided that decorating was overrated and opted to just munch on his cookie instead. I can’t say I blame him as they did look rather delicious!
Christmas Pandamonium Live Show
Having visited Chessington World of Adventures earlier in the year the children were excited to see the Pandamonium Live Show. Given a Christmas twist, you are invited to sit down and enjoy a magical story of a girl who would love for her two panda toys to become real. For just one day the Christmas magical turns the toys into real Pandas. Join her as she discovers just how hard it is to look after pandas and the mayhem that they cause.
Trail of the Kings
Looking to stretch our legs we wandered around the Trail of the Kings, to find the Tiger and Gorillas especially close to view. With the tiger pacing up and down, Tigger decided to pace along with him until he stopped and stared at him. After that, he decided that we needed to go look at the other animals.
At the heart of the Chessington Winter’s Tail is the Wild Wood which lies in front of the Hocus Pocus Hall. With different animal showings throughout the day. We managed to see two owls up close and personal which were truly fascinating.
The children also spotted the giant Gruffalo statue which they just had to have the photo taken in front of. We can’t wait to see how the Gruffalo will be featured at Chessington next year.
With our love of penguins, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Penguin Bay. We were fortunate enough to catch the Penguin talk and feeding session which enabled us to learn some interesting facts about the Penguins that are housed at Chessington.
Sea Life Centre
You would think that living near a Sea Life Centre would put us off visiting another one, however, it was one of the places that the children requested whilst we were in the car driving to Chessington.
There is something about watching the sea creatures swim around that is so calming and peaceful. With a good portion of our time taken in the underwater tunnel where we could all get a great view of the sea world.
Boo Roo and Tigger Too’s thoughts…
Whilst the children were disappointed that there were no rides open, it did mean that we were able to focus on the different Christmas activities and visit the shows, animals etc. Our visit to Father Christmas’ Grotto was simply wonderful and I could tell that Chessington had put a lot of thought into the experience for the children.
If you are looking for something different from just a generic visit Santa trip, then Chessington is well worth a visit.
Tickets for Chessington Winter’s Tail are priced at £20 each (£16 for Merlin Annual Pass Holders) and are available to book online from Chessington World of Adventures.
Disclosure: We received entry to Chessington Winter’s Tail FOC for the purpose of review