How to find a great Santa’s Grotto near me.
Forget your hunt for the best toy, if you’re really aiming for the most magical Christmas then the hunt is on to find the best Santa’s grotto in your area. The man in red might be making a list, and checking it twice, but you should be too. Let’s take a sneak peek at what you should be looking for in a Santa’s grotto, but more importantly, how to find one that fits the bill near you.
Santa’s Grotto Near Me – What to Look For?
There’s nothing that quite spells out the start of the magic of the festive season for children like the twinkling lights, awe and wonder of a Santa’s grotto. However, conversely, nothing else quite spells out “bah humbug” like one that’s poorly done, with a rushed experience, and that costs a fortune. It will be worse still if it begins to shatter their belief in the Big Man himself. So, what should you be looking for?
• Age Appropriate: Some grottos are more suited to a particular age range than others. Check that you can specify the age of the children to ensure an age-appropriate gift. You don’t want an awkward tantrum when your 2 year old can’t play with the gift that's too sophisticated for his age group.
• Authenticity: Whilst very young children are likely to be mesmerised with animatronic polar bears, for older children it may just add to the disbelief. To create a magical experience with older children we thoroughly recommend visiting after dark when twinkling lights help to immerse them in to the experience.
• Customised Experience: Do check carefully how your chosen grotto ‘works’ the visit itself. For many, the children will be visiting Santa in a group. This isn’t as magical, and doesn’t work for children who are shyer and may stand back. Instead, check if sibling groups are seen individually. Also check whether you can submit the names, ages, and even ‘likes’ of the children.
• Overall Experience: The moments in the grotto are magical, but they are usually just that - moments. There’s not a huge amount to talk about once your little one has surprised you by requesting a guitar, when you thought they wanted a train, and by establishing that they will confirm their spot on the nice list if they stop pulling their sister’s hair. So what else is included? A winter walk? Fairground rides? Meeting huskies? Children will remember a Santa’s visit more if it’s wrapped up in a package of Christmassy experience.
• Value for Money: Whilst the children are caught up in the magic, the adults are usually fail to suspend belief when they see the ticket prices. Whilst cheaper options are usually available at shopping malls and garden centres, day out locations may offer a longer experience. See if you can find out roughly the value of the gift as well so that you aren’t left feeling fleeced when your little one receives a toy more suitable for a cracker than a stocking.
• Timing: Believe it or not, many popular grottos will have already sold out having opened their bookings in September or October. However, don’t despair. Plenty of grottos still offer a ‘drop in’ system, and there are still many places with room to book. Also, call up, as there are always cancellations.
• Reviews: Lastly, do pop online and see if you can read any reviews of your short-listed grottos. Here you should be able to tell whether visitors felt rushed, what the value for money was, and how magical the experience felt.
Santa’s Grottos Near Me – How to Find the Best Ones
Of course, you can simply type ‘Santa’s Grotto near me’ in to Google and, as long as your location preferences are on, then you’ll get a nice ready-made short-list which you can check against the above criteria. However, if you really want to find the best ones we also suggest the following:
• Check Your Favourite Day Out Venues: If you have a favourite castle, farm or adventure park you may like to see what their grotto is like. For children, seeing a familiar place granted a magical visit from Santa, it can be awe-inspiring. If you have an annual pass you may also find you get priority booking as well as discounts.
• Or Consider Somewhere Totally New: Alternatively, it may be more realistic and believable for your child if you visit somewhere totally new to them. Use a search function such as Day Out With The Kids to find somewhere a little further afield from your normal stomping ground. Don’t worry about the longer journey – you’ll be amazed at what the prospect of visiting Santa will do to the ‘I’m bored’ chants.
• Visit the National Trust: If you’d like to visit a traditional grotto which is affordable, and in a beautiful setting, then check out the wide range of grotto choices at National Trust venues. The settings themselves are usually impressive, and Santa will give a small traditional gift.
• Make a Weekend of it: If you’d like to experience a different part of the UK and really create a magical feel, then Santa’s grottos at theme parks have impressive stay and play options, such as the Legoland Santa Sleepover, or the delightfully immersive Winter Wonderland stay at Centre Parcs.
• For the Added Wow Factor: If you want a grotto visit which is akin to visiting Lapland itself, then for a theatrically immersive experience Lapland UK offers something authentic and unique. The prices may be eye-watering, but this is no average Santa’s grotto.
Even non-believers can find themselves suddenly lost in the magic once more when faced with an authentic looking Santa. For children to believe they just had their very own audience with the real deal, they’ll anticipate the big day all the more. For parents, the magic comes in seeing their wide eyes and wonder. So make sure everyone is on the Nice List and get booking a Santa’s grotto for your children.