Lapland UK have spoilt us we have never done anything so enchanting before at this time of year. It’s going to be very difficult (if not impossible!) to go to other grottos and feel the same rush of excitement. From the moment the invitation to head to the toy factory to help Father Christmas arrived its all the boys thought about. It’s such a gorgeous invitation with an embossed seal and you could feel the children’s belief in this magical time igniting.
Lapland UK have created such a wonderful experience from start to finish that nothing could compare apart from possibly getting on a flight and heading straight to Lapland itself. But you would be forgiven for thinking you were there anyway, with the generous scattering of snow, the huskies and reindeer and the gorgeous little cabins you feel like you have transported to the very home of Father Christmas and his elves.
The outfits and the characters personalities it’s all so well thought out and authentic, everyone is so bubbly and attentive with the children. Just look at Bauble's dress!
My youngest son actually fell a little bit in love that day with Pixie Mixie the owner of the sweet shop! It was the most adorable thing to see his eyes lit up and he just had to have a picture with her. This in them all doing the elves greeting!
On arrival you are checked in and the children are given little elf passports, these are stamped as they make their way around the experience and are a nice keepsake to leave with to remember your day.
In the first room I loved the enthusiasm of the elves as they brought the event to life. It’s quite dark in there with pretty lights sparkling and elaborate costumes and backdrop it is here we learnt where elves come from. It was very interactive the children had to say what they loved about Christmas to help open the door and then it was off to the toy factory to make two toys.
It’s all in the detail and the children went through a smaller door whilst the adults went through the grownup door, this delighted the children no end. It makes them feel special having something just for them.
Even though it’s a timed experience I didn’t feel we were rushed at any point, when I worried youngest was taking too long making his toy an elf soothed us and said he’s doing great.
The gingerbread decorating was lovely, set up nicely so children had an apron and chef’s hat to wear and everything they needed to hand. Elves gave out gingerbread biscuits for the grownups to sample and they were very tasty and appreciated!
After Mother Christmas read a story to the children, I had seen complaints on facebook about the tidying up that went on afterwards ready for the next timeslot but I don’t understand why because the children are completely absorbed in the interesting gingerbread tale – they don’t notice anything else as they have been sat in a way it doesn’t disturb their enjoyment.
When you leave here you have free time to enjoy the elves’ village. It seems a long time but there was so much to see and do that we were only just ready to leave when it was time to see Father Christmas.
I was impressed with how many penguins there were to help the children (or adults yes I confess I needed help too!) navigate around the ice rink. A few elves on skates were available to lend a hand as well; one kindly assisted my son when he fell over and got him back on his feet.
One of the elves was a magician and he performed card tricks and got the children to fan paper snow into the air. He was an excellent entertainer and the boys were in awe of his card tricks.
My boys visited the post office and sent letters to Father Christmas.
In the waiting room prior to seeing Father Christmas another elf with a book read out what job he thinks the children will do, he was very flamboyant with his gestures and mannerisms and had lots of funny careers for everyone.
Then it was the biggest highlight of all meeting Father Christmas, the boys were amazed because he knew about what they had been good doing lately and their favourite thing. Naturally only the real Santa would be able to address them by name and know the finer details.
The gift was a lovely husky soft toy and the way Father Christmas brought it out of the toy bag was brilliant, it peeked out and looked over and he said this one picks you.