Santas Grotto (Trafford Centre, Manchester) Review
Barton Square, Trafford Centre
10 November – 24 December 2012
Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
I have a 7 year old little girl who has 4 month old baby twin brothers. It is the first Christmas for Tom & Jack and so Lauren decided she would like to take them to see Santa. We went down to the Festive Stalls at Barton Square and while we were there I went into the Grotto to enquire about ticket availability. I was delighted to hear that there was availability in approximately 30 minutes so we paid £7 for our tickets (this covered a present for all 3 children, even though we only paid for myself and my daughter to go and see Santa.
We went in and waited in a spacious area until it was time to go through and watch a 4D film. A helpful member of staff took us through and handed us all 4D glasses. I don’t want to spoil the surprise so all I will say is that there is a special area with bean bags for children to sit in at the front and then rows of comfortable benches. With having twins I have a double buggy and taking this through the grotto was not an issue which was a pleasant relief for me. My 7 year old was mesmerised by the film, as was Tom. Jack was sleeping in the buggy. Once the film had finished a member of staff returned and instructed all the children sitting at the front to return to their families. She also told us what to do with our 3D glasses. We then went through a door, down a corridor into Santa’s grotto. The older children sat on the floor near Santa and there were plenty of benches for parents. Jack and Tom were both awake at this point and they and their older sister were fascinated with Santa.
Santa knew lots about the children, even what they wanted for Christmas. He checked, of course, with the parents whether there was room for improvement with the children’s behaviour. He called each child by name and had a conversation with them. His helpful elf then handed them a beautifully wrapped present. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you which gifts my children got, but they were lovely and really good quality. We then took it in turns to have our photos taken with Santa and then headed off to collect and pay for photos if we wanted to buy some. There were plenty of options available to suit all budgets. One photo was £5 and 2 was £8.00 but there were also key rings and other photo gifts. The photos were printed quickly on top quality photo paper. They even came in a fantastic cardboard frame saying Your Photo with Santa and so make a wonderful keepsake.
The Grotto is well organised and is beautifully decorated. It really gets you into a festive mood and I had a very excited 7 year old to put to bed tonight. In the car on the way home she asked how Santa knew she wanted a laptop for Christmas. I said ‘Santa just knows’. It was a cold wintry day outside but the Grotto itself is well heated. I would recommend the Grotto to anyone and in fact I have been raving about it to friends upon my return home this evening. It really was an amazing place to spend a very special family moment – the first time my baby boys met Santa.
For more information or to book tickets (recommended) click here.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review and paid to take my children there. My review is honest and impartial.