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A day out at Eden’s winter wonderland

…so much more than a visit to see Santa.

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I’ve always loved Christmas, but as a child I always enjoyed the lead up to the big day almost as much as the day itself, other than the presents of course.

I guess it’s the magical side of things that I loved, and having a son who is now 19 years old, I’ve done my fair share of garden centre Santa’s over the years, but I always left feeling a little underwhelmed and that it was down to me to instil the magic of Christmas into his young life, which of course I didn’t mind one bit! I’m now ‘lucky’ enough to get a second bite of the candy cane with my 3 year old daughter, Evie. Now, she’s a whole different to story to my very sweet and impressionable young son who believed every word I said, despite how far-fetched it might have seemed. Evie questions everything and anything and I knew a shop floor worker in a cheap Santa outfit wasn’t going to cut the mustard for her. So what would I do? I live in West Cornwall with no big department stores like the ones I recall visiting as a child myself in Bristol, so the options were limited, but then it came to me, Eden’s Winter Wonderland!!!

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After a brief visit to the website, I had my Father Christmas slot booked, as well as a twilight ice skating session including a penguin skating aid for Evie!

We decided to leave it until the afternoon to go as I wanted to get the full effect of the evening lights and ambience, and on arrival we literally skipped down to the biomes with excitement to have a very welcome Sunday roast before exploring the biomes. These included the Enchanted Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes where we had been told we had to search for the four clues to collect our special corn kernels for Santa to make his reindeer cubes which help them to fly! With our carefully selected ‘best’ pieces of corn safely stored in our elf envelope we headed off to Santa’s Grotto.

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This wasn’t your standard Grotto, this was an Eden Grotto! A huge yurt-type workshop with ‘real’ elves (pointy ears and all),  a huge log burner to make it warm and cosy, an elves’ toy making area and of course Santa’s chair, all beautifully lit making it the most magical and enchanting Grotto I’ve ever seen.

We eagerly awaited the big man’s arrival whilst the elves kept us entertained and despite Evie quickly moving off the front row of the carpet to sit on Daddy’s lap further back when the man in red showed up, she loved every second. After a story all about the magic reindeer cubes and snow crystals and some interactive fun with the elves, we got to chat to the man himself where Evie  was given an early Christmas present; a magic snow crystal to hang up in her room to help light the way for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. She left in no doubt whatsoever that she had better be good if she was going to get anything on that very long list she had made.

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Next was the Ice skating. I thought Evie would be too tired or scared to enjoy it, but she absolutely loved it. My back wasn’t quite so happy though. After all she is only 3 and despite her ‘penguin aid’, it still required some help from Mummy, bent over her to keep the momentum going, but it was well worth it.

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We finished the evening off with a lovely Hot Chocolate and made the climb back up to the car, regularly looking back at the magical sight below of the lit up Biomes.

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A Christmas experience not to be missed. This will be on our Christmas ‘to do’ list for the next few years!!

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