Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre

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The intu Trafford Centre grotto has returned for Christmas 2016 with a Polar Expedition themed attraction taking it's place in Barton Square for the festive period. We were delighted to be invited down to visit the grotto again and headed down to see Father Christmas and the Elves there.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

We can always rely on the intu Trafford Centre to offer a really immersive experience and this year is no different. From the instant we arrived the grotto Elves create the Christmas experience and this doesn't slip the whole time you are in there. The Experience takes place in 15 minute slots so we joined the queue for the 11:30 start and were immediately met by one of the Christmas Elves who chatted happily to the children about their wish lists and kept them beautifully entertained.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

From their you are taken into the reindeer stable where you meet another elf 'Sherry Trifle'. Families sit on benches and the children are encouraged to sit at the front for a better view. Sherry talks to everyone about the reindeer and introduces the newest member of the team, a very cute baby reindeer named Norbert who has a secret talent! From there you meet more elves and some very sweet animatronic animals. Each time you have to wait the Elves are there to help keep the children distracted. They were counting robins and finding out the names of the Polar Bear and his cubs which passed each short wait before the children even realise they're in a queue.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

The next section was a very effective Virtual Reality display which gives you the chance to 'meet' a few polar animals as they 'jump' on to the ice cap in front of you! Little E's mind was blown by this and he quickly had to retreat to Daddy's arms, it was very realistic and the children loved seeing the animals appear. 

After another snowy, festive display with a Husky that LM paid particular attention to it was time to meet the big guy himself. I always really enjoy meeting Father Christmas as the intu Trafford Centre as he always takes such a great interest in the children and you never feel rushed at all. Bud happily shared his list and LM found her voice and very quietly told him what she would like. She's never spoken to Father Christmas in any of our previous visits so this was a big step for her! Sadly Little E found it all a bit overwhelming and got a bit upset when he got too near Santa but, at almost 18 months old, sometimes things are just a little confusing! All of the Elves, and Father Christmas himself really looked the part and their costumes were great.

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

All three children were delighted by their gifts, Bud and LM received a small Playmobil set each. I was so pleased to see these as we love Playmobil in our house and they are such high quality toys. Little E received a picture book published by our friends over at Miles Kelly. At the end of your visit to Santa you will have a group photo taken and there is the opportunity to purchase these at the exit with prices starting from £5.We bought the print photo at £7, Little E's expression is rather hilarious so I'm saving it for future embarrassment!

Take a Polar Expedition at the intu Trafford Centre Santa Father Christmas Grotto Christmas 2016

We all had a lovely time at the intu Trafford Centre Polar Experience and we would really recommend it if you are looking to visit Father Christmas over the next few weeks. To find out more information and book tickets visit intu Trafford Centre.