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"Dont bother with Santa otherwise good.…"
The Father Christmas experience was awful. Over an hours wait outside with a quick walk through. 3 entertaining elves but the costume and accent of FC left my 7year old dd doubting. I wish we hadn't bothered with that bit.
The rest was pretty impressive - fire and water sculptures and light installations set to music. A lovely wishing tree and an old fashioned fairground which the children loved. Also there was an excellent court jester and there you can buy marshmallows and toast them over fire pits. A lovely idea but my children did not like the flavours of the posh marshmallows so ended up leaving most of it.
If it's not raining it's a lovely experience but I would not bother with the FC experience and I would bring my own marshmallows.
I would have given this 4 stars but I really thought the Santa experience was terribly organised and it detracted a lot from our enjoyment.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Great for something a bit different yet festive.…"
I took my three year old to Christmas ay kew, we also did the illuminated walk which we both enjoyed. It's great for something different to do as a family trip during the festive season.
You can use the festive market/ rides/ grotto without doing the illuminated trail also.
Santa's grotto is ok but you only see him as a group and not one at a time which I hadn't been expecting but they do make it special with a story line and some elves and the £3 you pay is not too steep.
Overall it's a lovely evening out with the family.Read moreLess
"Unusual Christmas activity that's fun for all the family…"
If you're looking for something festive to do that's a bit different, the Christmas celebrations after dark at Kew, which Mumsnet went along to review, are well worth checking out. The main event is an illuminated trail of light installations, which is lovely, and a very unique way to experience the gardens. Lots of the installations are interactive; kids can have a go at choreographing their own light/music display, and 'plant whisperers' perform little soundbites for them to listen to. The finale is quite spectacular; one of the smaller greenhouses has a huge neon flower suspended above a pool that reflects it, and then the Palm glasshouse is completely illuminated in flashing different colours, so that you can see the plants silhouetted on the sides.
For before/after there's a Christmas market, although this isn't up to much (same overpriced twee craft tat at every stall), plus a carousel, helter skelter and Santa's grotto. The shop has some nice potential gifts though.
Top tips - if you forget to bring a torch, no need to spend money on one of theirs; it's really not that dark (although good luck denying DC lightsabers/glow sticks etc)! And a hot chocolate/mulled wine or cider bought just beforehand really staves off getting cold for at least the first half. They say it takes an hour and a quarter to complete but we did it in about 45 minutes at quite a leisurely pace. At £38 for a family ticket it's not cheap, and members still have to pay, but it makes a nice change from being indoors like most Christmas events. Four stars (of Bethlehem).Read moreLess
3 people found this review helpful.