Dear Mummy, sleigh bells ring are you listening? It may only be November but I’m already dreaming of Christmas! It seems everyone is in need of some festive cheer at the moment.
It’s around this time that I sit down and write my Christmas wish list to Father Christmas. High up on my agenda this year was seeing him again at LaplandUK, but unfortunately due to limited big folk jingles and my invite getting lost in the North Pole we aren’t visiting the elf village sadly. However, all was not lost as we caught wind that LaplandUK was opening a Wishing Store pop-up shop in Bracknell at The Lexicon Shopping Centre. I couldn’t wait to see some of my favourite elves and the wonderful Wishing Tree Store in all it’s glory.
The new shop is brilliant and it transported me briefly to the doors of LaplandUK by giving me a glimpse of what the full experience is like. Inside it has market carts selling Christmas decorations and LaplandUK merchandise. At the back of the store the immersive experience takes place. There were elf characters milling around in their wonderful elven clothes. Even Santa needs an income these days and £5 a ticket seemed reasonable for a wonderful magical storytelling and memory-making experience. I was greeted by Wish, the beautiful Christmas elf responsible for looking after our wishes, and she guided us into an open space with little tree stumps under the canopy of a large wishing tree. I loved the twinkly jam-jar lights hanging from its branches.
Elf Wish read us a story about another elf called Conker, who I’ve met before on my visit to LaplandUK back in 2018. However other members of the public can watch and hear what is going on and there’s nothing stopping them from ducking under the roped off area. It was a tad busy and it might have been nice to see an elf organising us so the big folk didn’t block the view and those with tickets got to fully enjoy the moment. We were engrossed for a good 10 minutes listening to a stories. Each child was given a goody bag, which included an activity book, pencil and LaplandUK character sticker sheet afterwards.
We also had the opportunity to write a letter to Father Christmas. I sat at one of the old-fashioned writing desks, tongue out in concentration, to complete the task with a little help from Scribble another friendly elf. LaplandUK themed paper and pencils were provided and the elves chatted away to us. I then sealed the envelope down with a magic stamp and posted it in the wishing post box with a kiss. Writing a letter to Father Christmas helps keeps the magic alive.
We could have wandered around in the store for ages, browsing at all the wonderful LaplandUK gifts (some of the characters might be lost on people that haven’t visited LaplandUK before though). We’ve been fortunate to visit LaplandUK for the past few years and the magic always brings excitement and reflection. Have I been good enough?! During this store experience you don’t get to meet the Big Man himself (he’s far too busy in November) but it leaves it open to seeing him at LaplandUK or indeed anywhere he chooses to visit.
The Wishing Store experience is £5 per child and accompanying adults are free, it’s definitely great value for money and a great way to kick off the festive season. Visiting the shop is free and the experience lasts for around 30 minutes.
Love Bella x
Disclosure: We paid for our experience to The LaplandUK Wishing Store and wanted to share this cool christmas activity with you. Fancy seeing more? Then click on our previous Lapland UK posts.