Wednesday, 30 December 2020

It's SANTAAA!!! (Or it was!)

 Hi All!

Well we are back home again. A little gutted as the very day we left about 2 inches of snow fell on the NW of the UK and the kids could have made a snowman! It wasn't very clear on where it was going to fall otherwise we probably would have stayed but hey ho! There is a small chance we will see some tomorrow. Weather charts are looking pretty epic for it to stay cold for at least the next week too so maybe there will be further chances down the line. 

Now ... 2 weeks ago (feels like months now!) we took a visit to Keydell garden centre in Waterlooville to see santa. I had heard via the facebook grapevine that this place was pretty amazing and put on quite a show in terms of wintery scenes and lights too. And boy they didn't disappoint!!

I looked at their site in early October - before my birthday! Just to see when they were going to put tickets up for sale. Good job I did as when I looked not only were they up for sale already but there were only a few spaces left! WOW!! So we booked immediately for Tuesday the 15th at 5pm. this would give us enough time to pick the kids up from school and make the 40 minute journey there. We had to be there 15 minutes before our allotted time so we chose to leave early to look around the centre before our santa time. 

I picked the girls up from school, walked home, made them take a pee and left straight away. They had snacks in the car to eat on the way. Half way Jess started complaining of feeling sick. This was not a good thing!So we had her open the windows and got a carrier bag out just in case! The windy country roads were clearly not good for her so we opted for the motorway on the way back!Added an extra 10 mins or so to the journey but better than a pukey child! Thankfully we arrived and she hadn't been sick so we were able to start enjoying the garden centre within 20 minutes or so when he tummy had settled. 

This place had set it's self high standards just from the entrance alone! Loads of pretty lights everywhere!! The indoor garden part of the centre was a pretty standard affair and there Christmas section was ok but quite bare. Apparently they sell tons of stuff and are very popular so we were somewhat late to the party here. Thankfully we hadn't come for this though! 

We qu-ed for about 10 mins to get in the gate where we had out tickets checked and then there was another qu-ing area that had light up displays that you could look at before going into santa. It was very small and I was feeling very disappointed that I had paid extra for this winter walk that was only around a small circle of displays! I was hoping santa made up for this!

After qu-ing for another 10 minutes or so it was finally our turn to got in and see the big man! 

Santa's grotto was amazing! It had 2 Christmas trees in there all lit and decorated and a fake - but good - fireplace that had stockings hanging over it. And in the corner big man himself in a posh chair and with a large desk. He had a big book and was writing in it the names of the children when we entered. He had a globe, a pile of books, and a large key on his desk. He really looked the part! No fake outfit that didn't look real either. 

Isn't his chair awesome?!!

He was very friendly and just how you would imagine him. He asked the girls if they had been good this year but that he knew that you couldn't always be good. So he was happy with mostly good! Top marks that man! Removes a bit of naughty or nice pressure there. He asked what they wanted and if they were going to be home or staying with someone else for Christmas. We told him we would be away so he explained how that if there was no chimney he had some magic powder that could let him in. Not sure Jess was buying that mind lol! He explained about how he had made the woodland walk and how we should enjoy it on our way to his workshop where the girls could choose a present each at the end of the walk. One of the elves on the way in had given them each a token to hand into the shop to exchange for their presents. They also gave the girls goodie bags each with colouring books in. Half way round the walk another elf popped up and gave the girls a free Christmas bauble bauble each to put into their bags! So many freebies! Before we left santa we had a photographer take our photo in the grotto. I wish we had more photos of the fireplace and trees. There was bags of presents every where too. It was in a wooden chalet and really felt like the real thing! Such a lovely atmosphere! Here we are ... Don't we sport the twenty twenty look well!

A kind lady elf then showed is out the door and to turn right into the woodland walk. So we hadn't missed it after all! And here the treat really begins.! Display after display after display of amazing woodland and varied Christmas themes! I don't know how I can condense these pictures down for this post but i'll try!!

So that was our trip through the lights both inside and out! The girls chose the below toys from santas toy shop. Sophie the tea set and Jess the doll.

On the way home we stopped at the local McDonalds for tea! It was gone 6pm and we wouldn't be home til 7pm and then by the time we would have cooked then got kids in bed it would have been mad late! So we opted for the easy route! So a good day was had by all! I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to go but book early!!! That's it for this update. Sorry for the heavy laden-ness of photos! If that is even a word lol. Until next time! Keep looking and keep calm in this mad world!! Lots of love X

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