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Recommend a good grotto please.

(8 Posts)
Ilikepinkwine Wed 21-Sep-11 19:06:10

Harrods Grotto is usually great but I have failed to get tickets. They still have some left for weekdays in November but failed to send out booking emails to so many customers and have disappointed a lot of people. I can't seem to find a link to Selfridges so where else is good? Is the Westfield doing one? We live in the South-West but our pre-Christmas Saturday in London won't be the same without a grotto.

HugeGrant Wed 21-Sep-11 22:00:18

What about Hamleys? I think they have one (not been myself though)...

ThePumpkinKing Thu 22-Sep-11 08:54:52

Selfridges booking hasn't opened yet, but they are O.K. We've been there for the last two years, mainly so we could do Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park on the same day.

There is a Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland, and you can take your own photos, or their elf will take them for you using your own camera or theirs. The Father Christmas is free (and better than the Selfridges one IMO), you can pay for their prints if you want to but they don't push them.

Westfield can be a bit 'modern' I think, it just didn't seem Christmassy.

We're doing Harrods this year, but as you have probably guessed, we usually end up trying a few grin.

worldgonecrazy Thu 22-Sep-11 09:03:55

At what age do you think that children can begin to appreciate the qualities of a Christmas grotto. I wanted to do Harrods this year but OH thought our DD is too young (she will be 23 months).

supergreenuk Thu 22-Sep-11 09:10:59

I don't think they fully understand Christmas until they are 3 IMO but I'm still taking my DD. I dont think it matters unless it will upset them. After all it's a family experience and I enjoy getting in the spirit with my family and making memories.

ThePumpkinKing Thu 22-Sep-11 09:17:32

I don't think children ever really appreciate the qualities of a grotto (unless you are paying £xxx's to go to a fancy Lapland one).

When they're babies it's all for the parents (photos to send to relatives etc.) and when they're a bit older they know it's not the 'real' Father Christmas, they just want to do something Christmassy.

Occasionally a very sincere 'Santa' has set them thinking, but it was the actor rather than the grotto in those cases, so it's a bit hit and miss. The most convincing Santa we ever saw was the free one at Winter Wonderland, but there was no grotto as such, he was just sitting on an elevated platform (or a bandstand one year).

The worst one was at Lakeside. He was about 19, with an Essex twang and brown hair very visible under his cheap wig grin.

worldgonecrazy Thu 22-Sep-11 09:35:46

Whilst I'm picking brains over Father Christmas visits, are there any where the children are actually allowed to sit on Santa's knee or are they all those ones where a child has to sit on a chair next to Santa. Last year I had to sit on Santa's knee with DD on my knee for the photo so it was a bit of a balancing act. At least it was a proper Father Christmas in a green cloak!

DoubleDegreeStudent Fri 23-Sep-11 11:37:03

Pumpkin when I was tiny my mum took my sister and me to a National Trust property who did old fashioned Christmas days with a Father Christmas. We took him a box of chocolates and he looked very touched and said "well, nobody has EVER done that for me before, thank you very much!" and my four year old sister glared at him and said "we did it last year too".

My mum had to have a chat with her after that in case she ruined it for a friend we were with. She just explained that because he was so busy FC sometimes had to get people to dress up and help him, but you never knew if it would be the real one so you always had to pretend it was or his helpers would get upset.

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