Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

Meeting Santa at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

This year we planned a special trip to visit Santa with Mini and her two cousins who are 4 and 2. We went with my Sister in law and had a girls trip out. We chose to visit Santa and his reindeers at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge in Staffordshire.

The girls had finished school for the year and were very excited to meet Santa and pass on their requests. Our journey from home was about an hour’s drive and we took plenty of snacks to keep them occupied. The lodge is in a quite remote area and isn’t sign posted at all, our sat nav took us to the wrong end of the lane first but quickly found it once we had turned around.

When we arrived at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge we booked in at the Elf Lodge who explained the different things that we could do and the times. I think a map or handout with the times on would have been handy. The girls wanted to feed the reindeers first so we purchased three cups of moss at £1 each, which I thought could have been included with admission given we had paid £103 for our group of five.

The reindeers at Blithbury were beautiful and were happy to receive the moss from the children in return for some gentle stroking, they were so soft. We spent time talking to the reindeers and finding out their names. There were reindeers of different sizes and ages and some with some very impressive antlers. The ground was quite wet and muddy in places, if we visit again we will definitely take welly boots for the children.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

Next it was our time to visit Santa, this is the only part of the visit that a time needs to be booked in advance for, the rest of the visit is flexible around seeing Santa. At our time we were invited by two elves to go into Elf School. They entertained the children with stories and songs whilst we waited for other elves to call the children by name to visit Santa.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

When we were called the elf led us into a small wooden hut to meet Santa. The three girls were all mesmerised as he talked to them about what they were going to leave him as a snack on Christmas Eve. Prior to our visit we had been asked to provide information for each child about what they had done well at school, names, ages, and what they wanted to ask from Santa. I was therefore really disappointed that Santa didn’t discuss any of this information with the children, he didn’t even ask them their names. It all just felt a little tired as though Santa had lost a bit of his magic sparkle at that point in the day and just wanted to get through the visits. The children still loved meeting him though and were happy to smile for a group photo afterwards.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

The children were then led into Santa’s toy shop by an elf and were invited to select their own present. I did like this idea and there were lots of different gifts to choose from. Mini and her eldest cousin both picked a princess jewellery gift set, and her youngest cousin chose a bug play-doh set, with the help of mummy. The gifts weren’t particularly of a high quality but the children did enjoy choosing their own.

After our visit to Santa we went to decorate a gingerbread man, each of the children were given one biscuit along with a tube of icing and a sweet to decorate. An elf came and demonstrated some patterns that they could make. The decorating was finished quite quickly and the girls moved swiftly onto the eating stage.

By this time there was an story time session starting, led by an elf next to the fire. The children gathered round to listen to the story whilst sat on little log stools.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

It had started to turn dark by this point and we remarked how magical the place looked in the dusk all lit up. We went to say goodnight to the reindeers on our way back towards the entrance.

There was an opportunity to pay extra for a reindeer ride, but at £7.50 per sledge for two children we didn’t feel this was good value for a 5 minute ride along a concrete path.

Before we left we visited the few shops on site and the girls went into the cute wooden hut where they could write a letter or draw a picture for Santa and post in into the post box for him.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge

We also found that the girls had a certificate for completing elf school waiting for them at one of the shops, however we only found this out by accident and hadn’t been told by anyone that they were waiting to be collected.

Overall we did enjoy our experience at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge and seeing the reindeer up close was a special treat. The three girls all seemed to enjoy their visit too, in total we were there for around 2 hours. However I do feel that for the price Blithbury are charging they need to work on improving the quality of the experience in some areas.

For full information and up to date ticket prices please visit the main website for Blithbury Reindeer Lodge here.

Recommendations to see Santa in the West Midlands

These other lovely bloggers shared their favourite places to visit Santa in the West Midlands.

Sarah at Boo, Roo and Tiger Too recommends a festive day out at Drayton Manor Theme Park. 

Sinead enjoyed a day out with her small at the Severn Valley Railway.

Rebecca at Here Come the Girls visited Hatton Country World. Mini was due to go on a Rainbow trip to Hatton but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the snow, definitely one to plan to do next year.  Rebecca also visited The Polar Express in Telford, we weren’t organised enough to get tickets before it sold out so another one for us to do next year too.

Beth at Twinderelmo recommends a trip to see Santa at West Midlands Safari Park or Rays Farm near Bridgnorth.

Christmas fun at Warwick Castle: Story time with Santa

The first weekend of December hit and I was excited to get into the Christmas spirit with some family fun. We decided to use our Merlin Annual Passes to visit Warwick Castle, we’d visited earlier in the year to see the jousting and were looking forward to the Castle looking festive and wintery.

As soon as we arrived we headed straight to the Great Hall to meet an elf to get our tickets to see Santa. This is included in the ticket price but a time slot is needed to be booked, we were there at 10.45am and the next available slot was 1pm so definitely a good idea to get your ticket as soon as you arrive.

First we decided to explore the Great Hall and the indoors of the castle. It was hard not to admire the huge Christmas tree in the hall which was beautifully decorated. We then looked around the rest of the rooms in the Castle which had been suitably dressed for the Christmas season.

We then made our way outside to the Princess Tower to collect another timed ticket for an interactive show for later that afternoon.  Next Mini wanted to explore the Kingsmaker exhibition, which takes you down beneath the Castle to experience different roles from knights to Castle maids. We had fun dressing up in the costumes available and pretend fighting.

After lunch it was time to visit Santa. At our time slot, we were invited in to see Mrs Claus within the state rooms of Warwick Castle. It was lovely to see the children sitting captivated as Mrs Claus read them a poem and talked to them about the importance of being kind and considerate of others.

We were then invited into another room where we were joined with Santa Claus, I must say his outfit was very authentic looking. Santa read the children a story and led them in a song of Jingle Bells. Children were then able to have their photo taken with Santa individually, which was charged extra afterwards. Mini wasn’t that fussed about a photo, she was more interested in passing on her present requests.

Whispering what she’d like Santa to bring her

The whole experience lasted around 15 minutes and was definitely a take on the more traditional side of Christmas. The children all did seem to enjoy it, although, I cant help but feel that the Santa was a little bit odd and didn’t really seem to engage with the children that well. The children didn’t receive a gift either which I felt was a little disappointing.

From seeing Santa it was time to head to the Princess Tower. This is a lovely interactive show where children get the chance of saving a trapped Prince from a painting. The show is fun, the however it is virtually the same story, with a minimal winter twist, that we’d on an earlier visit. It would have been nice to see a different story, still fun though all the same.

After both of the shows we then had plenty of time to explore the Castle grounds, and climb the towers. Luckily it was a clear day and we had great views from the top. We even stopped by the falconry show for a short while to watch the display.

We had fun exploring the horrible histories maze before deciding it was time to head home and warm up after our wintery adventures at Warwick Castle.