Location: Ascot, SL5 8BD, Berkshire, England
Value for money
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"Fantastic, Magical day out!…"
We were Greeted by cheery Elves and then onto the Elves forest before entering the snowy woodland towards the toy making cabin.
The whole 4 hours was packed with magical experiences for the children and had the added bonus of being able to ice skate on a real ice rink (was expecting clunky plastic) with the help of plastic penguins and lots of Elves making sure everyone was happy. There are so many things i could say about our day and not one of my comments would be negative. Meeting Santa and watching the childrens faces when he mentioned things personal to them was priceless.
Its like watching and participating in an interactive pantomime/theatre show. We ate before we arrived so didnt have to spend anything once inside and even though there are lots of tempting things we only spent 30.00 on the Santa photos at the end, so if you plan ahead there really is no need to blow lots of cash on eating in.
We had the best Xmas experience and felt that the entrance fee whilst high was worth it. 2 very happy children who's belief in Santa is now cemented for the next few years! Santa really is what you have imagined he should be even down to the voice and the way he holds his leather bound naughty and nice book!
A truly wonderful day.
Toilets exceptionally good for this type of event and lots of them.
Wear wellies or boots, not white foot wear! Its a bit muddy in the car park.
Our son is disabled but accessed everything, children were happily scooting around the ice rink in their wheelchairs.
The reindeer are on the last section so you only get to see them when you are on your way to see Santa so dont bother searching for them!
Eat before you arrive so you dont have to buy food/drinks inside.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"A Lovely Christmassy experience…"
I was beginning to think that with a youngest child who is almost 9 my Father Xmas days were over - but when I was offered a trip to Lapland UK she jumped at it. It's her (and my) fourth visit and something of a xmas tradition and I think, if anything it was better this year than ever. As always the inhabitants of Lapland UK - from elves to husky handlers - were all exceptionally friendly and welcoming, particularly to the children. We made two toys with the xmas elves including a xylophone which was a lovely new addition as everyone could then have a go at playing it. (NB every year my daughter yearns to keep the toy she has made - perhaps the second toy could be something they could keep next year?).
Then it was on to Mother Xmas' house to ice gingerbread men and have a lovely story time. The attention to detail in the cabins, costumes and setting are truly magical and while as an adult you are probably aware of your "time slot" - the process of moving you around is done with charm and in character so the children are completely immersed and enchanted. We were lucky with the weather - cold but dry - I'm not sure how much fun the next bit would have been in the rain - but we all had a fab time ice skating on the beautiful open air rink with a massive Xmas tree in the centre. We were two adults with three children so as well as penguins to push we also roped in a passing ice-elf to help with one of the 5 year olds which made it all much easier and the kids absolutely loved the skating. The food in the cafe and coffee stall was good quality - and we were glad of a sit down in the warm cafe before our santa meeting. There was a slight queue - about 15 -20 mins - to get to the waiting room for santa and a short wait after that - but they tried hard to make it easier, bringing round the - real - husky dogs much to the children's delight - as well as a life-size (not real) Rudolph to cuddle. We also took it in turn to queue while one of us took the children round the village. There are a few shops in the 'village' and the pick n mix sweetie place was a good new addition for a quick and cheapish treat to keep you going in the queue.
The highlight of the day was the visit to Santa. After " checking in" you are taken by an elf through an enchanted forest - yes it's not real snow but it honestly feels enchanted - it's beautifully lit, and there's an elf waiting to take your pic on a wonderful snowy bridge. (NB try and go early eve if you can the lights in the trees are glorious). Another beautiful log cabin for our Santa meeting and a proper conversation about the children's pets, hobbies, friends - all things only the real Santa would know. It was perfect for an 8 year old who was beginning to doubt. And then Santa gave them their present. And yes it was our 4th husky dog - but it was greeted with just as much joy and delight as all the others we have had from Santa at Lapland UK and is a lovely, well made toy (as you'd expect with all those elves....). All we need now is a husky sleigh and we're off.
On the way out you pass real reindeer and the sleigh and then it's photo collecting time. This is an additional expense - but again the quality is good. The Xmas shop is glorious but a bit too tempting for my lot so we don't linger. One addition this year was 'build-a-bear-style' outfits for the perennial husky which was a fun and not too expensive early Xmas gift.
Everyone who reviews Lapland UK mentions the expense. It is not a cheap family day out, but all the folks I chatted to in the queue to see Santa, or pick up skates etc said they thought it was worth it, in spite of the cost. It's an experience rather than a quick trip to the local grotto.
I also went with someone who had been to the real Lapland and said she found this far preferable to taking small children on a plane at the crack if dawn into truly freezing conditions with food they didn't like - which I thought was an interesting way to look at it.
Top tips would be give yourself plenty of time - it takes a good 2 1/2- 3 hours to get round - but it is lovely when it's dark. If you're worried about additional costs avoid meal times - and just have a drink and your free gingerbread man in the village, and maybe do pick n mix rather than the xmas shop! Take lots of pics with all the elves and reindeer if you don't want to pay for the Santa photo. Wrap up warm and don't forget gloves for the ice rink. But if you want a Lapland experience without having to get on a plane - do go.Read moreLess
"Customer Care Is Shambles,Save your time and money…"
Having numerous problems trying to book tickets for our family we have been met with the worst customer service. It seems money grabbing and expensive before you even start.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Nicely done, great for children of believing age but worth the money??…"
Visited yesterday with much anticipation not least because of the cost!!! My son is 16 but we all love Christmas and after a heartbreakingly bad year I decided to splash the cash for a lovely festive family day out,
Well it's not a day out but 3/4 hours max and the leg cabins are great and for children of believing age making the toys and gingerbread men is great!
However overall I was disappointed with the village area - I can't help but think given the price of tickets and the volume of people there (equals income!!) that they could have splashed out on a few more fairy lights, a bit more fake snow on the ground, a few tables to sit at (other than in the restaurant) and more than one husky dog being shown round - not enough for the amount of people!!
The restaurant food by 6 pm I think had looked more appetising and as others have said all adds to the cost!!
I realise as it's busy it needs to be scheduled and organised but a family in front of us for the queue for Santa had a poorly child and were asking to be let through early - with no one else queuing! This was dealt with very badly, somebody from customer services came out and suggested they sit in the restaurant as it was warm, they said they'd already done that and options presented were being escorted off site without seeing Santa or waiting!! For a family friendly attraction circumstances like a sick child cannot be rare and I felt they could have offered some flexibility despite how busy Santa is!!!
The best bit definitely seeing Santa but overall as a lover of christmas and all that goes with it, given the ideal setting they have potential to do much more with this and I can't help but think you could pay much less and go to a nice garden centre or even center parcs for the weekend given the cost!!
I'm sorry if I sound obsessed by the cost but it is prohibitive to many families and I feel could either be cheaper or if it stays at current price could be either better or smaller groups!!!Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"Extremely expensive but the children did love it.…"
I must start off by saying that the scenery really is beautiful and you get a real sense of magic as you wander around. My children had an absolutely amazing time.
However, my main criticism is the cost. I noted that with 75 children plus mums and dads paying up to £70 each on the day that we went, meticulously timed to ensure that another group of 70+ children were ready to enter every half an hour. This place really is about making money and a lot of it! Cupcakes and drinks for a family of 4 cost me over £30 and a captive audience we were. I was still processing £3 for a cupcake when brought at bulk would be £1, when I discovered that you are not allowed out of the village until a specified time. We went ice skating but then aside from going into the shops there is not much else to do which meant for us another trip to the restaurant and another £20 spent to occupy our time.
Aside from the ice skating, the children make toys, however they are reusable and I could feel the urgency of getting it back to the elves so that they could prepare again for the next group. They also make gingerbread, which they do get to keep.
The ice skating was lovely, but exceptionally busy. The husky dogs were a lovely addition. There are beautiful snowy trees everywhere and as I mentioned it is beautiful. If it were raining, I would be concerned that there would be little to do once you had completed your activities as the ice rink is open air. Although there are the shops and restaurant - see a theme here?
For me, while I may not sound like it, I am glad that I took my children as for them it brought the magic of Christmas to life. But as a parent, while I appreciate it is a theatrical experience I do feel that it is very overpriced. I would be happy to pay that for my children but I do think that it should be far less for adults. I am sure the response of LaplandUK would be something along the lines of 'we charge as you take a space' or 'we charge to keep the prices down for children'. However when you consider that you only receive a husky dog and ginger bread man I really do feel that it is a big money making machine. To put it into perspective we could go to Disneyland Paris for a long weekend in January for the cost of Lapland Uk.Read moreLess
"Great new venue and superb Xmas experience - but not cheap…"
I'm something of a Lapland UK veteran - this was my third visit though my first to this new location (it used to be in Kent) and I loved it. It's a beautiful forest, remote but still handy for main roads and the Lapland they have created is truly magical.
The formula remains the same - lots of interactions with elves in an expertly created Lapland environment - think snowy pathways and lots of Xmas trees - toy making with elves (teddies and pinocchio this year and a warning to the children that they can't keep them which helped!) and gingerbread making with Mrs Claus (which they can eat).
It was the first time we'd been able to take proper advantage of the ice rink - which certainly seemed like real ice and was really beautiful and Xmassy with a massive Xmas tree in the middle. Even my twin niece and nephew who are just 4 were able to have a go with the help of "penguins" and fab skates with two blades, and they really loved it.
We met (and hugged) a large reindeer (not real) and saw some real reindeer and huskies. But the highlight as always was meeting Santa who was exactly how Santa should be and knew all about all three of the children I took as well as having intel on their siblings and friends. After a lovely visit with him they got the same husky they got last year which for an adult might be a disappointment but which only seemed to add to their total and utter joy.
As always the only real catch with this lovely experience is the cost - it is expensive and for once you don't mind paying that much for the children as they get so much out of it, but you almost feel the adults should cost less. But if you've ever flirted with the idea of heading out to Lapland, this is as good as it gets without getting on a plane.
In the interests of research I canvassed my fellow parents while waiting for Santa and all said that though it was v expensive they were really glad they'd come and would come again. For me, my youngest ( now proud owner of two toy huskies) is nearly 8 - I really hope I've got at least one more year at Lapland UK in 2014.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"Magical for children and adults…"
Surpassed all expectations. Truly magical experience.Read moreLess
"Not cheap but a lovely Christmassy thing to do with kids…"
This was my second visit to Lapland UK as a guest - this time I took dd2 -now 6 and as youngest of 3 already beginning to waver in her belief in Santa - and my twin niece and nephew aged 3. The A2 traffic jam did us no favours so we had a slightly curtailed visit but Lapland UK went out of their way to make sure we were able to experience everything - from making teddies in Santa's elves' workroom (be warned -
you don't get to keep these, they go to children who've asked Santa for ateddy) to icing gingerbread with Mother Christmas (you do get to eat these). The square with Rudolph characters, sweets, coffees, post office and lovely cafe is next, with an ice rink (one of those fake ones but still skateable) with lots of "penguins" to hold on to.
The food is good and well-priced (though it does all add up for a family) and the huskies and reindeer and well-trained and enthusiastic elves make it a magical experience. Although the snow is not real - dd2: "it's magic of course" - it all looks suitably narnia- esque and the final trip through the forest with twinkly lights, and "snow" covered Xmas trees, accompanied by an elf who is as excited as the children to be going to Santa's house is just lovely.
Amazingly Santa knows things about your child that only you (and he) could know - of course he does, it's special Lapland UK magic - so this is great for children starting to waver in their belief, as well as those who are already convinced (like me). The toy you get is a good quality husky and has immediately replaced all other teddies in dd2's bed - no mean feat.
The only downside - as last time - is the cost. This is not a cheap day out, as well as the entry price and the lunch, there's a shop in the village square which sells lots of lovely things but not much that's cheap, and the photo with Santa also costs extra. But if you're the sort who has always hankered to go to the real Lapland - then it's certainly cheaper and a heck of a lot easier than that. Or if, like me, you just love all things Christmas (and this is the last of your children left who still believes in Santa) - then it might feel worth it for you too.Read moreLess
4 people found this review helpful.
"I visited Lapland UK last Saturday along with our 3…"
I visited Lapland UK last Saturday along with our 3 children, Ellie (12) Sam (3) and baby Scarlett (10 Months) as part of a press trip and we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon.
This is much more than a meet Santa experience, Lapland UK has been set up to replicate its Finnish sister, offering visitors a real Christmas treat and the only thing missing is real snow. The 4 hour tour is just long enough and the personal meeting with Santa is really special. All the children were caught up in the magic, even my 12 year old who is arguably too old for such an activity has asked if we can go back.
Children are given the opportunity to help Santa's elves in the toy factory (who incidentally were brilliant and had my children grinning from ear to ear), to make teddy bears - followed by decorating gingerbread with Mrs Christmas; each activity held in wooden cabins that you are led to through a snowy forest walkway and which were laid out perfectly.
A short break gives you the opportunity to get some refreshments in central square, browse the Christmas shop, meet real huskies and even enjoy some ice skating.
Of course the highlight of the day is the personal meeting with Santa; this is really magical and I can't fault the attention to detail here. Santa awaits your visit in his log cabin hidden in the seemingly deep forest. An enthusiastic elf leads the way getting the children even more excited and the meeting doesn't disappoint. Santa revealing his inside knowledge of the children's likes and interests (details taken prior to the visit) is a really nice touch and their gift of a beautiful husky toy is high quality and we all left on a high and full of Christmas spirit.
There is no hiding from the fact that tickets are pricey and don't include parking or any refreshments. And if the question is; is it good value for money? I would have to say I think it is overpriced. I don't want to take anything away from the experience though, it is a great day out and has given us a lovely Christmas memory to treasure.Read moreLess
5 people found this review helpful.
"Forget some bloke in a red suit, this is as…"
Forget some bloke in a red suit, this is as close as you get to the real deal with my 7 and 5 now completely and utterly convinced believers! It's not just about meeting Father Christmas it is about the whole experience.
The magic starts with posted invites from Father Christmas to ask your children to help him make some toys in time for Christmas. You meet the elves who are charming and very enthusiastic, quickly having your children under the Christmas spell. And of course it's the staff that makes this a great experience. The children help the elves make toys then they move on to make gingerbread men with Mrs Christmas.
There is a small ice rink complete with "penguins"; for the children to glide along - helpful if like me you can't/won't ice skate. There is time to write a letter to Santa and have something to eat before walking into the snow lined magical forest.
Proir to visiting you complete a form with info on the kids friends and hobbies , so as Santa mentions their friends they are hooked. They get just about the right time with him and receive a present of a cute husky puppy - soft toy that is !
Then onto to meet the real reindeer and play in Santa's sledge. Then home...; just mind the ubiquitous gift shop! Truly Christmas magic.Read moreLess
6 people found this review helpful.