Disclosure: we were given free entry to the event and some vouchers for the purpose of this blog post.
Last week we were invited along to check out the launch event of SnowDome’s festive offering; Santa’s Winter Wonderland. With real snow to play in, a show to entertain you, and real life reindeer to meet, it was a great way to spend an evening.
We arrived just in time to hear the end of the welcome speech, and see the countdown to the doors opening for the first visitors – then it was time to pile in and enjoy the snow!
Georgie and Lydia were so excited to get to play in real snow, with lots of sledges to make Daddy pull them around on, and tubes to slide down slopes of all sizes. Lydia made snow angels – one of her favourite things to do in the snow – and she and Georgie both enjoyed throwing lots of the white stuff around.
The Christmas Snow Trail surrounds the SnowDome ice rink (although you can’t go skating as part of the Winter Wonderland experience) and so you can walk around the whole thing in a big circle. As well as the sledges and snow slides, there are fun displays and photo ops, as well as a musical area for kids to enjoy banging some drums and so on.
A wooden walkway surrounds much of the snowy area to make it easier to walk along for adults like me with a dodgy knee. Of course, the whole thing looks super festive with snow covered trees and huge Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling – it is cold but pretty!
The timings are pretty perfect as just as the girls were starting to get too chilled from playing in the snow, we heard the trumpets sound to call us into the wonderfully warm theatre for the Santa Show. Stripping off coats and soggy gloves we were quickly and efficiently seated by the staff, and the show began.
Santa appears into his “magical library” on the stage, and proceeds to sit and read “T’was the night before Christmas” to the audience… or at least he tries to! The poor man gets interrupted constantly and it kept the kids laughing all the way through – and the parents too! Scrooge makes an appearance, along with many other familiar faces from the festive period.
Once the show was over, we headed up the stairs to go and visit Santa’s Real Reindeer! This was definitely a highlight for the girls as they got to feed the alpacas and reindeer, and stroke a very cute bunny rabbit. Who knew Santa had pet bunnies – or ducks!? Or alpacas, come to that.
There were plenty of animals to see and they are clearly happy and well cared for. A few fun photo ops were also dotted around this area, and you can even get a peek into Santa’s toy workshop. Before heading out the exit, there’s an area where you can write a letter to Santa and post it into their special talking post box, too.
On your way out you can climb into Santa’s sleigh for one last photo op – this one available to purchase as a print or as a snow globe etc – we got a print as part of the review and it is a lovely reminder of our evening! Every child also gets a Thorntons chocolate treat, and you exit the experience right next to Starbucks so you can have a sit down and a hot drink before heading out into the cold winter air.
Santa’s Winter Wonderland is running until New Year’s Eve, and tickets are £13.95 on a “saver” day or £17.95 per person as standard, with under 2s going free. They are offering a wheelchair friendly experience, as well as relaxed sessions ideal for guests with special needs. The sessions last around 1 1/2 hours, with 30 minutes of snow play time at the beginning of each session.
We definitely recommend this experience, as long as your kids don’t get cold in 30 seconds! We found the timing pretty spot on as Georgie always gets cold first, and she was just starting to whinge a little as the trumpets sounded. It was our first visit to Santa’s Winter Wonderland at the SnowDome, and we really enjoyed it – thank you to the SnowDome team for the invite!
Check out a video of our evening…