See Santa in Dorset(2 Posts)
I don't know how many of you remember the Santa grotto from Poole Park Railway a few years ago? They had real reindeer and turkeys and it was a really nice experience and good value present and goody bag. Then they went to Upton Country Park for a few years, still really good value and a great time. I thought that they were there again and then saw that the Upton Country Park event is being run by the Council instead this year although it looks similar style and pricing. I've been digging and have some really good news that the original guy with reindeer, etc. is going to be at Plowmans Garden Centre, West Parley this year. We are definitely going there. Just wanted to warn anyone against going to the Council run one.
We went to Plowmans Christmas Grotto at the weekend as we thought it would be less busy to go early. Lovely sunshine and a great experience. It is so much better than Upton was last year, there is a walkway with loads of nice things to look at and then we went through a tunnel outside to see the animals. The nice railway guy was an elf and very amusing. The other elves were very friendly and we were laughing all the time. We saw some beautiful baby piglets, turkeys and a reindeer with it's gorgeous baby. They were having a nap at the time but lovely to see a baby reindeer and they are there all the time, not just for a few hours one weekend.
We then went into the grotto and there was the usual range of really good quality presents. My littlest one wasn't sure what he wanted and the elf was great helping him decide. Santa was very jolly and it didn't seem at all rushed. We took our own photos and the elf took a group shot for us - no rip off photo fees and instant results. It was nice that the toy was unwrapped as the kids wanted to play with them as soon as they could.
The biggest surprise was when we came out of the grotto though. You really have to see it to believe it - the "tunnel" was through a giant teddy bear!! Kids loved it and more photos which are really unique. We then went back through the garden centre to a hatchway where a charming young girl elf talked with us and gave us our goody bags. Again exceptionally good value - lots of sweets and an activity book for the kids and something nice for the adults too.
We ended our session in the café for a lovely cuppa and delicious cakes.
Can't recommend this highly enough - get along if you can. We had a brilliant time and laughed all the way. Even better - no booking, no rush and free parking!!
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