Dear Mummy, we were lucky enough to be invited to Marwell Zoo to see Father Christmas. It’s our second time enjoying Marwell’s Christmas Experience and the perfect opportunity to feel festive and see the animals.
We walked up to the lovely Marwell House and were ushered inside right on time and took a seat to enjoy the atmosphere. With a mince-pie and shortbread Christmas tree biscuits plus a glass of mulled wine for mummy and daddy and squash for us kids, it really was a lovely start to our adventure. This year the theme was Peter Pan, so the entrance room had been transformed with a London backdrop and a Peter Pan shadow flying above our heads, lots of trees and sign posts plus a big interactive screen showing the names of those on the naughty and nice lists, there were lots of panto-type baddies including Simon Cowell!
After a short wait and being well looked after by Mother Christmas and the helpers we were taken to another room full of Peter Pan props and characters, including Tick-Tock the crocodile! We were greeted by Tinkerbell and Mrs Claus in Pirate Cove. Once we were all settled (along benches for adults and tree stump cushions for us little ones) we were treated to some of the story of Peter Pan, with some puppets, songs, lighting and some awesome audience interaction too.
Once the story was finished Tinkerbell knocked on the magic door and a Pirate appeared to usher us through into the craft room, where we were given a printed cloth sack and lots of fabric pens and stickers so that they could decorate them. The room had been decorated with a big christmas tree with big Candy Canes (which daddy tried to eat) and a big warm fire backdrop. I had lots of fun colouring in my bag with help from my grandma, mummy and daddy. It really was a family effort though I think the adults got more carried away than I did. Once I was done I wrote a letter to Father Christmas and posted it with the help of a friendly elf called Tinsel who played games with me until it was time for me to see Santa.
When it was time for us to go through to see Father Christmas I were SO excited, I ran in to see him and he knew my name already I had no problem settling down on the stool and chatting to him about what I would like for Christmas though I was worried that he might not come if I woke to go to the bathroom. He said he would let me off as long as I went straight back to sleep. It was lovely to see him and even though he said he was busy he made lots of time for me. Even better still, I was given a beautifully wrapped gift which he helped me fit in the sack I had just made so I felt like Father Christmas too (it also made it easier to carry the present as I didn’t want to give it to mummy or daddy.
Flicker, the elf photographer, was on hand to snap some pictures and once we were done we went though to Father Christmas’s temporary control centre where we could see his route, plans and our pictures. There were a couple of options but Daddy opted for the £15 selection where we received prints of our favourite 3 pictures as well as a high-resolution photo sent to my daddy’s email address so we can share them with friends or family.
Once we had finished with Father Christmas we went for a walk around some of the enclosures on route for a lovely bit of lunch. Mummy and Daddy carried on our festive day with a roast turkey dinner at Cafe Graze, which looked tasty and I tucked into my favourite kids snack box with Sandwich, drink, crisps and fruit (mainly because I like the animal boxes they come in). After lunch I took daddy outside to play in the 2 play areas and then on to see the tropical house (I think because the adults were getting cold!) It was lovely to see the different animals there but even more so to see my favourite animals the Leopard and Cheetahs.
The Christmas at Marwell experience gives you full access to the zoo and play areas as well as meeting Father Christmas and his elves, but be quick, dates are selling out fast and there are various slots right up to the 21st December 2018! The experience lasts around 60-80 minutes and is well worth the ticket price of £25 per adult, £28.50 for children (3-16yrs) while toddlers and babies have cheaper entrance tickets.
Love Bella x
Disclosure: We were invited to Marwell Zoo in order to review their Christmas Experience, all thoughts and festive carol renditions are our own! (see the vlog)