Meet Santa at the Chill Factore ManchesterOn Saturday we headed off to the Chill Factore - Manchester's huge, indoor snow venue - for something that is rapidly becoming something of a family tradition for us. We were booked in to see Santa and play in the snow!
Bud was extremely excited as he remembered our trip to see Santa last year (you can read my post here - Snow Play and Santa at the Chill Factore) when we had some special one on one time as LM was too small to play in the snow. Another reason for the high excitement levels was that Bud was going to be playing in the Snow Park with Ian for the first time on this visit. He loved the idea of sledging, tubing and luging with his Daddy! LM and I were booked in for Snow Play in Mini Moose Land (read what I thought of it last time here - Mini Moose Land at Chill Factore).
We arrived just in time for our 12noon booking and were able to pick up our clothing hire very quickly (additional charge applies). I was really pleased to see that Chill Factore have added toddler snow suits to their range for hire, it was great to make sure that we could dress LM up in a padded Dare2Be snow suit instead of her usual all in one. Previously the smallest hire clothes available were age 3-4 so having snow suits from 12-18 months upwards is a great addition.
Bud and Ian then headed off to sledge while LM and I headed for a coffee. We did take some time to watch their fun from the balcony which looks out over the snow but my heart was in my mouth evey time Bud came down the hill on his own so we left them to it! Bud had the time of his life and pronounced it 'the most fun ever'. He had red, rosy cheeks from all the fun and his enjoyment was clear.
We then queued up to see Santa. Our booking was for 1pm and we were there just before. It was very busy and we ended up queuing for around fifty minutes. This wasn't too bad as there were plenty of toys and activities out for the children to enjoy and Bud and Little Miss enjoyed colouring and playing in the Wendy House.
The actual Santa experience was quite similar to last year, you walk through a beautifully lit tree arch, escorted by one of Santa's Elves and then head out into the grotto in Mini Moose Land. A special knock, taught by the elves, admits you in to see Santa. Bud enjoyed seeing Santa and telling him about his list but I felt that last year's was better, this one didn't find it as easy to talk to the children as in previous years. Both children received a gift and there was a photo opportunity and then time for LM and I to play in the snow. The gifts were an animal art set for Bud and a bath toy for LM. Both of them were very pleased.
You can't take your own photos with Santa and, as I said last year, I do find it difficult to justify a minimum cost of £11 for a photo of your children with Santa on top of the charge to visit in the first place. This year, as last, I wasn't taken by the quality of the photo so we didn't buy.
Mini Moose Land was lots of fun as usual, I did find the snow to be much deeper this time, presumably it's the snow that was displaced by the grotto's location in there. LM struggled at times to walk in it though, as her legs are so little! All of the usual soft play toys, the little sledging/tubing hill and slides are available too.
We had a lovely time at Chill Factore, as always and I'm sure we will be back for more snow fun soon. The children were really delighted to see a very special guest making an appearance this weekend and we couldn't resist grabbing a photo with Peppa Pig.
To visit Santa at Chill Factore please check out their Christmas page. Prices start at 2 for £15. Children aged 4 and over have an hour in the Snow Park included in their visit, while the under 4s have thirty minutes in Mini Moose Land.
We visited Santa as the guests of Chill Factore.