Last year I was lucky enough to win a fantastic weekend Christmas holidays in Center Parcs with Tots 100. As we didn’t manage any sort of family break over the Summer we were desperate to get away and booked up as soon as possible. I was delighted that there was availability just before Christmas and the experience really was as magical as I had anticipated.
The first thing you meet when you arrive at Center Parcs at Christmas is singing reindeer! Well that is shortly after you get the keys and are given bags of chocolate coins for when the children are good. As soon as Molly got hers she whispered reverentially “This is going to be the best holiday ever!” Chocolate coins and singing reindeer are a pretty good start.
We arrived at night time and the whole of Center Parcs is lit up with gorgeous light displays. The girls got increasingly excited as we saw stars, Santa’s sleigh and every Christmas symbol you can think of.
Of course the most impressive thing was the giant Christmas tree, which looked beautiful in the day or the night.
The Christmas tree is a part of Santa’s Winter Workshop which was definitely the main attraction for us during our stay. This is a series of festive huts with the tree at the centre – where Santa sets up his workshop so he can visit all the children on holiday at Center Parcs. It also serves festive goodies like mulled wine and mince pies.
There is of course space for the reindeer and you can get top see them really close up which the girls thought was amazing.
The actual visit to Santa is managed really well. There are some very friendly elves who do an amazing job taking to all the children and making them feel at home. Also in the workshop are lots of displays to look at while you are waiting. We only had a short wait – which was good for me as both the twins decided they wanted to be carried at the same time.
Although this isn’t the cheapest Santa visit you can do it was a lovely experience and felt really magical. Molly went on a different day to me and the twins as she was a bit poorly when we first arrived. We had booked ahead and I was a little worried she would miss her turn – luckily the elves were very accommodating and rearranged it for us! Molly’s verdict was that she was really lucky to have gone at Center Parcs as that’s where you see “The Real Santa”
The children were all delighted with their gifts there was a couple of cuddly toys and some construction toys which were spot on for the boys in our group. One of the twins was delighted to get a nail polish set, not exactly my first choice for a two and a half year old – but she did spend hours painting everyone’s nails with sparkly polish – even the men. Molly was also given a list of what she had to do in order to get presents on Christmas Day – very helpful at this time of year!
At Center Parcs there are lots of activities just put on for the Christmas months. There is a Christmas countdown, horse rides, pantomime, and a huge fireworks display over the lake on the last night. It is worth booking ahead for these as they were very booked up before we arrived.
I was a little bit worried that we would be cold in the cabins during Winter, but I had nothing to fear. The cabins were lovely and toasty and there is even a log fire. Perfect for Winter nights when you have got back from a busy day of festive activities.
It really is lovely to spend your Christmas holidays in Center Parcs and I would highly recommend it. I would love to go everywhere. If you are thinking about a break at Center Parcs then make sure you come back next week as I will review the rest of our wonderful stay.
Disclaimer: We won our weekend break and all the activities were complimentary.