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Have I mentioned that I LOVE Santa? I think I probably have. I always start with the best intentions – just one or two grottos… but then I can’t control myself. We’re seeing 5 Santa’s this year. I know I’ll have to limit myself next year, or the twins will start to realise that something fishy is going on, but they don’t really get it this year. They keep asking when we’re going to see Santa again… and who am I to disappoint them at Christmas??
Bluewater Santa’s Grotto was number 2 on our list of 2018 Santas.
We went to the Bluewater Santa’s Grotto in 2016 – the twin’s first Christmas – and, really, they were too young for it. They didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t take part in the activities. But this year is different. So we went back.
The grotto looks lovely from the outside. As soon as you see it, you can believe you’re walking up to Santa’s home.
We were greeted at the door by a guy in a fabulous coat. I’m not really sure what he was supposed to be, because he didn’t look like an elf. I wish I’d taken a photo, because the coat really was fabulous. He was sweet to the twins – Jack was very proud when he said he liked his Christmas jumper.
We went on November 23rd, so it wasn’t busy all, being a school day. We actually got to go in 10 minutes early. The door was opened by a very cheerful elf, who gave us 3D glasses and put on a little animated film about Santa. If I’m honest, I have no idea what happened in that film. I didn’t really watch it. I was too busy watching the look on Jack’s face. Alice was a bit less impressed (like she is about everything), but Jack thought it was amazing. Even if he did look a bit daft in the reindeer hat and glasses!
After the film, we were taken through to the next room, where we met Mrs Claus and her helper, Sprout. They helped us make magic reindeer food, which both of the twins enjoyed. The older kids will love doing it on their own, but Jack and Alice were happy just helping. It would have been better if they’d had chairs for them to sit on, or stools to stand on, because they were a bit too short to really get involved, but they still had a great time. Jack even stole an extra reindeer “nose”. He’d already stuck two on his reindeer food bag, and he revealed a third tucked in his pocket when we got back to the car. Apparently, toddlers like tiny little pompoms. Who knew?
They have a talking reindeer!
Yep. Seriously. A big, mechanical talking reindeer. And I don’t just mean that it says a few stock phrases. There is someone controlling what that reindeer says. I wasn’t expecting that, so it made me jump when the reindeer started talking to Jack like they were old friends. Another vote for the Christmas jumper (it was this one from Asda, by the way).
Then we had our photo taken in Santa’s sleigh… Excuse the terrible quality of this photo. I paid an extra £1 on top of the cost of the photo prints to be able to download a digital copy, and these are the full size photos. I’m glad it only cost me £1. At least it’s not big enough or good enough quality for you to see how awful I looked (#nomakeup #badhairday).
Obviously, Alice hated having her photo taken
She wouldn’t be Alice, if she didn’t. But at least she wasn’t screaming.
Then it was time to meet Santa!
The twins were nervous and refused to say anything. At least, until Alice spotted a big box with an A on it and declared “Big A for Alice!” – she’s such a clever clogs. She loved the pictures of toys on the wall. It really did look lovely in there. Santa didn’t seem to mind that the twins didn’t want to talk to him. He asked all the right questions and basically had a conversation with them, without them saying anything in return.
And we got the photo! I definitely look more excited than the twins, but at least they weren’t crying!
Jack and Alice each got a very lovely plush reindeer toy and they love them. I prefer these to more plastic clutter. Who doesn’t love a cuddly toy??
All in all, I really enjoyed the Bluewater Santa’s Grotto. My mum came with us (no photos, I’m afraid – she would actually kill me) and she was impressed, too. The twins came out asking when they could see Santa again – even Alice! – So Bluewater gets a 10/10 from me!