Disclosure: we were given free entry to Hatton for the purpose of this post.
On Saturday we headed down to Hatton Adventure World to check out this year’s Enchanted Christmas Kingdom programme. We took Sophie, one of the girls’ best friends, with us, and the three of them had a whale of a time exploring everywhere and enjoying all the different festive activities.
We’ve put together a little video of our day:
We started off by heading into the Farmyard and Guinea Pig Village, where everything was decorated with Christmas splendour, down to baby socks for guinea pig stockings. The guinea pigs were snuggling up together underneath their very own Christmas tree, complete with fairy lights. The girls loved seeing the donkeys in the barn, and all of the different animals, especially some piglets and a baby lamb!
Georgie was very brave – we went to Festive Scales & Tails and all three girls stroked the snake, and Georgie held it on her own, which see really enjoyed. The snake was called Nagini but is considerably better tempered than the one in the Harry Potter stories!
We enjoyed a walk around, hunting reindeer signs for the “Reindeer Quest” – you get a sheet to fill in when you arrive and there are 9 reindeers around Hatton, each with a different name and number. The girls had a great time spotting them and Georgie read the Reindeer names out so I could write them on the sheet. On the way out we handed over our completed sheets and the girls got chocolate snowmen as a reward!
In the Arts & Crafts marquee, the girls enjoyed making christmas cards, decorations, and writing letters to Santa, which we posted later on in the special Hatton Christmas Letter postbox. We popped our address on, and with a bit of luck (i.e. my handwriting being legible), the girls will be getting a reply from Santa in the post!
Once our cards were left to dry a bit and our letters all written, the girls burned off a bit of energy running around outside on the swings, climbing frame and slide, until it was time to go up to Santa’s Grotto.
The girls were extremely excited to go and see the Guy in Red, and loved seeing his reindeer and toy factory in the waiting line for the Grotto. The Grotto has timed entry which cuts down on really huge queues, and there are five doors at the end of the line with elves making sure only one door is open at a time, and no way to peek in from the line, too – it is very well managed for a steady moving queue. There are lots of Christmas decorations to enjoy on the way to visiting Santa, even a pond with real water in it, and life size penguins to “aww” at.
Before visiting Santa, we filled in slips for each of the girls with their names, ages, interests and what they were likely to ask Santa for. This was then handed to Santa who had a quick read before we headed into the room, which was beautifully decorated. This system works brilliantly, because he was able to greet them by name (he did an excellent job of working out which girl was which – presumably by age), and had advance knowledge of their ages and names which he worked into the conversation.
As they each spoke to him to tell him what they wanted for Christmas, he was able to understand their shy whispers thanks to the clues on our slips, which was definitely needed for Georgie’s – although the concept of a cat keyring was very confusing to him! Lydia was very happy sitting next to him chatting away about Lego though, she is very excited about “graduating” from Duplo to her very own Lego this Christmas.
After checking that the girls names weren’t on the naughty list, and getting the girls to tap 3 times on his Naughty or Nice book, he opened it up to reveal 3 magic keys which the girls could take to his toyshop to swap for a toy if their choice!
They had a great selection of toys for all ages, and Lydia was absolutely delighted with her super special treasure (jewellery!) chest, with Georgie opting for a pack of hair accessories which she promptly used to do half a dozen toy’s hair with when we got home later on.
After our visit with Santa, we headed for lunch at Snorty’s restaurant, which was delicious, and then spent some time enjoying the fun fair rides – two of which have been relocated to closer to the entrance of the park – before heading into the Theatre to watch Zoobee’s Christmas Cracker Show which had the adults and children laughing and wowed by the magic tricks. Of course, we spent some time in the soft play area too before heading home tired and happy – Lydia was fast asleep in the car on the way home.
As you can probably tell, the girls enjoyed themselves very much at Hatton. All the Christmas activities were well organised, there is a great Christmas Market there too where we bought one or two things on our way out, and the Santa experience was really lovely. He was great with the children, we got to take our own photos, and the girls really enjoyed being able to choose their own toy.
We highly recommend the Hatton Enchanted Christmas Kingdom!