Wednesday 7 December 2016

...days out: a spot of shopping & a visit to Santa at intu Merry Hill

A couple of weekends ago, we headed to intu Merry Hill to do a spot of Christmas shopping and to stop by and see the man in red, Santa Claus himself, in his special grotto.

For you see, intu's grotto aims to be a different kind of experience, where you don't simply meet Father Christmas, but little ones get to enjoy some reindeer games with his elves first, making snow and using Lapland magic (I have been sworn to secrecy so can't tell you any more....!).

Here's what you can expect: Santa’s Grotto at intu Merry Hill has been created to offer something really different this year. Upon arrival, you are greeted by one of Santa’s elves and inducted into the secret reindeer clan. You’ll be given your very own reindeer antlers, and the all-important passport containing the magical Christmas chant.

Once inside the reindeer stables you will be treated to an entertaining magic performance from two of Santa’s very special elves, Trixie and Tweedy, together with their baby Reindeer, Skidda.

Look out too, for extra elf and reindeer fun all around you; especially those reindeer - wind bubbles!

The elves aren’t the only ones with magic in their fingertips this year either, even Santa has a trick up his sleeve for each child, resulting in a magic token for the free, exciting gift at the end of your visit.

After your own special meeting with Santa, each family will be able to buy a souvenir photo, browse the extra magic tricks at the exit and even take home some of the magic they have just seen. This whole experience takes around 20 minutes and is a really different idea and great value too - can't wait to go along to this when we are doing some Christmas shopping soon!

All children over the age of 18 months will receive a Playmobil gift from Santa's workshop - younger ones will have something more age appropriate. 

As for our visit?

Ethan really enjoyed the elf entertainment and got involved with the other children, before they were called in one by one to go and see Santa.

Santa himself was a jolly fellow and when we came out, an elf gave Ethan a choice of Playmobil toys (worth around £2-3 each) - he chose a pirate and hasn't stopped playing with it since.

It was fun for the children and offered good value for an experience which lasts around 20 minutes in total. Because the Santa experience is unlike many other grottos, no photos inside are allowed - but I think you can tell from these photos just how much Ethan enjoyed it. 

Dates and tickets: the grotto can be found in the lower mall near Quest, now until Christmas Eve, and ticket prices are £6.50 for children, £1 for adults or a family ticket at £12.50 (2 Adults, 2 Children). Tickets can be bought direct at the grotto or online if you want to be sure of your day and time - see the website for further time slot information.

Don't forget to check out my complete guide to where to see Santa across the Midlands.

* Thank you to intu Merry Hill for the complimentary visit - all opinions our own

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