Center Parcs Longleat – A Review of the Magical Winter Wonderland!

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A Winter Wonderland at Longleat Center Parcs!

I hadn’t heard of the term “Christmas in July” until I started blogging and talking to other bloggers. Basically it is where brands show off their Christmas stuff – and it makes sense right – only five months to go! So to keep up with the Christmas spirit, I thought I’d write up our fantastic week away last December to Center Parcs at Longleat.

If you are considering a festive trip then I’d certainly recommend it. This was our second visit with the little man and I absolutely love the festive atmosphere. We can’t wait to return! Nothing booked at the mo as we’ve been so busy with the house move, but I think once Longleat complete the work on their new pool, we will definitely be back. Here is a quick overview of what we got up to during our Winter Wonderland stay at Center Parcs:

Visiting Father Christmas at the Woodland Workshop

Since b was born, I’ve always been excited to take him to see the big guy. I know many people call him “Santa” but personally I like Father Christmas. Anyways, each time we’ve visited FC, it has been a bloody disappointment. You can read more about the multiple rubbish visits here. Trips were either hurried or shared or just downright rubbish. I was initially put off by the cost to visit FC at Center Parcs. It was something like ten quid for all of five minutes. Hmm. But it was December and I wanted to treat b – so off we went on our merry way. And I wasn’t disappointed!

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The best Father Christmas Visit so far!

The lead up to the grotto was fab, lots to see and look at. And the grotto was completely magical, with an authentic looking FC and a huge chest of gold coins to help yourself to on the way out. We were also the only ones in with the big man. And he had B’s name prepped too. Very impressed. All in all, 10/10 🙂

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Feeding the Reindeer

This was around two quid per person and I went in with b and my mother in law. B just wasn’t interested in feeding the reindeer and mother in law and I fed the majority of the feed to them! B warmed up pretty much just as our pot of feed had run out. Oh and he dropped the first pot. Luckily the woman took pity and gave us another.

Enjoyment rating – probably 7/10 – I think I enjoyed it more than b. Although his face here is so cute – I love this pic 🙂

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Teddy Bears Picnic

This was another paid for activity which I wanted to do the year before. To be honest it was just ok. We had to meet at the children’s activity centre and there was a short walk through the site to the sports centre. The walk would be fine but b was in one of his “I want to be carried everywhere” phases. So really it wasn’t that relaxing.

The picnic itself was ok. we got a standard lunchbox – sarnie, pom bears and juice, and then everyone got the chance to have their photo taken with the Teddy Bear – I want to say it was Rupert the Bear?! B just wasn’t impressed at all. I tried my hardest to get him to have a good time but he just wasn’t fussed.

There were some stories and songs but it was all a bit hectic with kids and adults and noise. Argh.  In the end I’d had enough :/ Enjoyment rating – probably 2/10 – I wouldn’t bother with this again.

Elf hunt

The elf hunt was exactly that, a treasure hunt through the forest to find one of FC’s elves! I really enjoyed it but I’d say B was a bit young (two and a half). He didn’t want to walk and he didn’t want to go in the pram. What he did want to do was hold the helium balloon. Yep, you guessed it, as soon as I said “don’t let it go”, he lets it go. Cue sobbing all the way along the elf hunt.

I apologise to other families who had to endure his screaming . Unfortunately the elves hadn’t packed any spare balloons…maybe a suggestion for this year as I’m sure we aren’t the first family to have a toddler lose their balloon 😉

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Fireworks at the lake

This is a free activity and well worth the walk down to the lake. We’ve done this each year we’ve been to the Winter Wonderland and it’s always fab. Wrap up warm, take some sparklers and enjoy the fireworks and their pretty reflections on the water. If you are lucky, you might get to see Father Christmas in his boat. The little man thought this was brilliant and literally didn’t stop talking about it all week!

The Subtropical Swimming Paradise

Not really Christmassy but not to be missed! We go pretty much each day when we stay at Center Parcs.

The Village Square Christmas Displays

To say Center Parcs do their Christmas decorations well is an understatement. I love mooching around the village square and little man does too – his favourite bit being the singing reindeers.

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So there you have it, a little round up of Christmas in July fun 🙂 Do you have a holiday booked pre-Christmas? I kinda wanna head off to Lapland or something crazy with little man but it is probably out of the budget what with the move this year!

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  1. This all looks amazing! I love Christmas, it is definitely my most favourite time of year. I also agree with the Christmas in July as I try to do it with my handmade business, although this year I doubt I will make it on time as this year has been a stressful one.

    I look forward to your actual Christmas day blog! (hehe)


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