Dear mummy, we were recently invited along to the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience at Winchester Science Centre in Hampshire. Being a brand new experience for Christmas 2017, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We’d heard a special portal had been discovered at the Science Centre which leads directly to the North Pole so packed our rucksack and headed off on a new adventure into the unknown.
We’ve been to the science centre many times before and love their themed events. My daddy especially likes the Star Wars days they hold there. The first time I saw a Stormtrooper was when I was one at the science centre. However this time Christmas magic ran through the educational exhibits and games. The centre makes a great educational day out for kids and adults and every time we come away with learning something new. We had plenty of time to explore before our timed 1 hour session with the elves started.
The Christmas Experience started downstairs where we joined a small group in the Elves’ Invention Studio. We met two of Santa’s Elves, one called ‘Mystique’ who’s character seemed a bit grumpy, we weren’t sure if this was intentional or sadly the result of too many sessions and ‘Inquisitive’ the science elf. They demonstrated lots of colourful experiments through a live science show. The children sat on cushions while the adults perched on chairs to watch the magic happen.
We enjoyed the dry ice experiments, creating white mist and making a cold self-inflating balloon, which grew bigger and bigger as it was passed around the room. With elf and safety on board, audience participation was included and children helped the elves change colours of various liquids from clear to green, red and blue in a clear test tubes baubles for their science themed Christmas tree. It was a wonderful educational workshop but went a little over my head at four years old. The finale included a huge flame which was met with a lot of excitement from children and adults alike.
Watch our video of the action and see for yourselves.
Following the Colours of Christmas science show, we were led through another door to Santa’s house! There were tables for everyone to sit around and we were given instructions on how to make our own snow globes, experimenting with making the liquid different colours.
We found this quite tricky and many of the other families on our table expected drastic colour however the result was less exciting however I did enjoy making the colourful snow globes. For those under 3, there was also the opportunity to make frames with different coloured film in them to change the colour of things when you look through them.
During the crafts, each family was invited up to see Santa one by one. We sang his favourite song, Jingle Bells in a group and he was happily singing along with everyone else. The atmosphere was fun and relaxed, however not very private as everyone could see us talking to Santa.
I received a little science themed goody bag to take home, along with the snow globe which we made. It was nice that the Colours of Christmas science theme ran right through to the gifts and I loved my special glasses which made rainbows dart out of the Christmas tree lights almost as if they were alive. My folks were also relieved not to get more toys ahead of Christmas!
Afterwards we headed to the ‘Reindeer Round-up in Space’ planetarium show which was highly interactive and children were encouraged to shout out and to join in with actions. I was the perfect age to join in and loved my first experience of a planetarium. With comfy seats set in position to allow us to look directly up into the dome we became completely immersed in the experience.
As soon as the show started it was ‘interrupted’ by one of Santa’s Elves who somehow managed to lose all of Santa’s Reindeer and needed help from the audience to find them while travelling through space. We visited each planet in our solar system to find them and it was very educational and fun.
I had lots of fun playing in the rest of the exhibits and soft play area after the Christmas experience. It was like a sensory overload with so much to see and do, I ran around like a headless chicken. It was nice to see my folks participate in challenges too. My favourite part was the Little Big Room which we spent lots of time in having fun on the funny floor and daddy made me laugh when he pretended to dance like in a music video.
The Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience is a good alternative to a traditional Santa’s Grotto – especially if your kids love science! But be quick the magic portal is only open until the 23rd December! Find out more about Winchester Science Centre’s Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience here.
Love Bella x
Disclosure: We were invited to Winchester Science Centre in order to conduct an honest review of their Christmas Experience.