Christmas Grotto and Winter Wonderland at World's End - Review

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Visiting the Winter Wonderland at World's End, a Wyevale Garden Centre, every year has become a bit of a family tradition and of course we had to take Baby R for his first experience of it all! Usually we just do the walk-through of the Wonderland, but this year we were fortunate to be invited along to do a review which included meeting Father Christmas.

As we entered the Wonderland Little Miss A seemed to be in a bit of a hurry as she was really excited about seeing Father Christmas but we kept pointing out things in the displays to keep her distracted and slow her down!



Each year the themes of the displays in the Wonderland change and they combine animated figures, music and lighting. There were some familiar animals and features from previous years but lots of new ones too. I don't want to give too much away as it's nice to see it all for yourself so have just included a few pictures to give you a feel. It takes a team of 4 people from September to create the whole experience. I'm always amazed by the level of detail and the variety of different displays.

Just as we were about to go off to see Father Christmas, we were greeted by Chase from Paw Patrol. Little Miss A was chuffed to meet him and this was an added bonus as wasn't expecting to see any characters in the Wonderland.

Then we joined the queue to meet Santa. There was about a half hour wait on the day we went. There are some large chalkboards that the kids can draw on whilst there waiting. It's a bit cold and dark in the waiting area but luckily Little Miss A was patient and waited nicely for her turn. It's definitely not always the case when she has to wait in a queue!

When our turn came we were greeted by an Elf who took us into the Grotto. It's a really nice room with lovely decorations. Little Miss A was initially a bit shy talking to Father Christmas but he was very patient and spoke really nicely to her. There was the chance to take a few of our own pictures before the official one was taken. I'm always worried that it's all going to be a rush and over too quickly, but it didn't feel this way at all.


Father Christmas presented both Little Miss A and Baby R with a special key and then we made our way to the toy shop where they could exchange their keys for a present. I was really surprised by the wide range of toys available for all ages. It was really hard to make a decision. Little Miss A chose a Quick Sand set and this retails for £10 on a lot of websites so I was impressed that the toys are of such a high value.

Before we left, Little Miss A had a turn on one of the fairground rides. These are extra and cost from £2 a ride. There are also some stalls and a Snow Globe.













The Grotto costs £12 per child (£3 for each accompanying adult). If you just want to go into the Winter Wonderland, then this is £3 per person. You don't need to book, you just turn up. I can imagine the wait times for Father Christmas are quite long at the weekends, so best to go during the week if possible (our visit was on Friday afternoon) or arrive early.

I hadn't really planned where we were going to go to see Father Christmas this year so was very grateful for this opportunity to see him at World's End. Initially it seems quite expensive compared to other Grottos, but I would have to say that the experience was really enjoyable and if you consider that the toy you get is worth about £10, then actually it's good value for money.



Find out more about the Christmas Grottos at World's End and other Wyevale Gardens Centres. You can also read more about our experience of the Winter Wonderland in 2015 and the Winter Wonderland in 2014.

Disclaimer:  We were kindly provided with free entry into the Winter Wonderland and Christmas Grotto in return for this review but all opinions are my own.

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My Sunday Photo 04-12-2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto. It has to be a festive one now we're into December!


I just love this as I have so few pictures of just me with both kids. I'm amazed that we're all smiling at the same time as well! It was taken at a fab local Christmas Grotto that is done for charity donations.

OneDad3Girls

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Me & Mine - November 2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Joining up for with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our little family for November.

 

The photos are both a bit grainy but hey ho, I like them! They were taken at a local Christmas Grotto and capture a bit of the festive season that we're now coming into. I think Baby R is looking so much older in these photos. He celebrated his half year birthday this month and since then he's mastered the art of rolling back and forth, is almost sitting on his own and is enjoying real food! The changes are happening so fast all of a sudden. Little Miss A continues to astound us with her ability to adapt to situations around her and her imagination is amazing - we struggle to keep up with how fast her brain is working as she makes up new games to play with us. 

The month has been another tough one unfortunately. Life is continuing to really challenge us and so November has passed in a bit of a blur of trying to sort out our move and hospital appointments for me due to my health. Stressful doesn't cover it.

November Highs:
  • - The best experience this month was on a visit to ZSL Whipsnade. A Mum I met at Little Miss A's swimming lessons earlier in the year works there and invited us along. We arranged to meet up with her to say hi and she surprised us with the opportunity to feed the giraffes. It was amazing. They're one of my favourite animals. We also met up with her husband and daughter and the girls had a lovely time together including also feeding the meerkats. I can't thank her enough for making our visit so memorable.
  • - Three of my best friends travelled all the way up for Brighton to take me and the kids out for lunch. I haven't seen them in too long and miss them greatly so it was fantastic to see them and catch-up. 
  • - One of these friends paid a return visit a week later and we indulged ourselves with a sweet lunch at The Works in Aylesbury. Naughty but nice!
  • - I volunteered at another really successful NCT Nearly Nearly New Sale. It's always such a buzz on the day. We also managed to sell quite a lot of Little Miss A's clothes as Baby R definitely isn't going to want her wardrobe!
  • - I finished our term of swimming lessons with Baby R. It's been lovely to do this with him and brought back so many memories of doing the same with Little Miss A. He's really taken to the water and I do hope he continues to love swimming as much as his big sister as I can picture them having so much fun in the water together in the future.
  • - The kids and I spent a lovely weekend staying with friends. We left Mr MoaB at home to do a load of DIY jobs around the house (lucky him!). They have a 4 year old and 1 year old twins and it was so fun to see them all interacting together. 
  • - That weekend we also visited my brother and his wife for lunch. It was good to catch-up with them before we move so much further away. 
  • - Mr MoaB's Mum came to stay for what turned in to a couple of weeks. This allowed Mr MoaB to come with me to my hospital appointments as she looked after the kids. It was nice for her to have the opportunity to spend so much time with the kids. With her staying, it also meant that Mr MoaB and I could actually go on a date night which was really enjoyable. 
  • - Our first Christmasy experience was going to see the Santa Parade in Aylesbury. I've taken Little Miss A every year to this. She particularly enjoyed having a go on the fairground rides and despite me saying she could go on just one - she ended up on two as she was having such fun!

The Me and Mine Project

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My Sunday Photo 27-11-2016

Sunday, 27 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


It was taken today on a train fairground ride in Aylesbury town centre. We'd just watched the Santa Parade, our first Christmasy thing so far this year. These rides may be a bit on the expensive side but when you see a smile like this, it's worth it!

OneDad3Girls

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Siblings - November 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Little Miss A and Baby R.


These two were both meant to be in bed but were up to mischief in our bed. Daddy was away so I wanted to take a picture to send to him and this was the result! The picture makes me chuckle every time I look at it!


I've included this picture as well which was taken at the same time as I love that it captures their affection for each other.

Baby R has now been in our lives for 6 months. He's such a joy to be around with his big smiles and I love watching the interactions with his big sister. When Little Miss A is around, Baby R just watches her enraptured with what she's up to.  I'm extremely proud of the way Little Miss A has accepted Baby R and she really is a fantastic big sister who looks out for him. I'm so glad they have each other and hope they are always close and have a special bond.


The Me and Mine Project

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My Sunday Photo 20-11-2016

Sunday, 20 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


We paid a visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this week and as a Mum friend works there we were privileged enough to get the opportunity to get up close to the giraffes and feed them. An amazing experience! Who knew giraffes liked cabbage so much.

OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 13-11-2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


I love Little Miss A's cheeky face in this picture. It was taken this weekend and we had to take a picture of this balloon dog which I actually managed to make as the first one I made popped!

OneDad3Girls

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