Whether you are a fan of Christmas or not, chances are you won’t be able to avoid all the festive events and general good cheer adorning all the streets and shop fronts. I happen to love the month of Yuletide, but I think it is fair to say that Christmas is really a time for children (and big kids). There are so many events happening and so much on offer during the month of December that it can be difficult to choose where to take your little elves in the run up to the big day. So why not go for the less obvious choice?
Last weekend Pip, hubby and I spent a magical day at a garden centre. Who’d have thought eh?
Garden centres have long been firm favourites with families looking for a casual day out. Most have both indoor and outdoor areas packed with a whole manner of household and gardening goods. This can include everything from plants to pots to pets! Christmas is an especially nice time to visit with Christmas trees on show, decorations adorning every corner and most importantly of all: a grotto.
Chessington Garden Centre is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy Sunday offering everything from household appliances, toys and games, garden design and maintenance to fun water features, a wildlife centre and food and confectionary. Whatever you need, this garden centre has it.
Completely free to enter, you can pop by for just a browse and a spot of lunch in their fabulous Sedum Restaurant and there is even a pet-friendly seating area and another section dedicated to families! The food is delicious and the cake stand will drive those with a sweet-tooth totally barmy.
During the festive period, the centre really goes to town and I have to say that the display was the best I have seen. Forget Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, you don’t have to trudge through any mud to enjoy your mulled wine here!
We spent some time browsing through the general stalls and decorations before taking in all the lovely twinkly lights and fibre optic fun. Pip particularly enjoyed the LED experience!
Then of course came my absolute favourite – the Christmas village scene. The Lemax range includes a fantastic array of tiny Christmas village pieces including the Victorian Ferris Wheel and the beautiful Christmas Clock Tower.
After a lovely lunch we headed outside and stumbled across Santa’s Frozen Winter Wonderland Grotto. Children under 12 months go free and it’s £3.50 for adults. Not bad really. For that price you get entry into a truly magical winter walk-through which starts with an animated video of Rocket the Reindeer, followed by a journey through Alice’s Christmas Wonderland, Narnia and Disney’s Frozen. I was truly amazed by the sheer detail that had gone into all the lights and decorations – no expense was spared.
The wonderland culminated with a visit to see Santa (and yet another photo opportunity) who was giving out age-appropriate presents of an unusually high quality. Pip received a lovely giant set of plastic keys that he could jangle and chew on to his hearts content.
I have to say that this was the best Christmas Winter Wonderland I have ever been to and kids of all ages will absolutely love it! So don’t be a Scrooge this winter – head to your local garden centre and get in the festive spirit!