We took the small one to see Santa at Intu Derby last night and what a fab experience it was! Firstly, if you've not had the pleasure of seeing Intu's impressive Christmas decorations then you are in for a treat! Think glittery, think festive and think giant! There are beautiful giant snowflakes hanging up around the upper level and the most enormous, beautifully decorated Christmas tree which starts at the bottom level of the centre and reaches up past the second level and into the sky light! Lola's face was a picture, and for a hard to please 8 year old - that is impressive!
Anyway, we had a time slot booked for the Grotto experience and got in the queue at 5:15pm. We were promptly ushered through by friendly staff dressed as elves with cute names like 'Bounce' and 'Glow' printed on their name badges. For saying they have probably been at this since the morning, their Christmas spirit had not diminished a bit and they were all so chirpy and happy looking!
The first part of the experience was fab! It was 'Elf School' - where children are taught how to become elves by an Elf Professor and his assistant. The children and their adults were treated to magic tricks, an elf rap and general fun! It was a lovely way to make a Santa visit that bit more special and we have not been to anything like it before so it was nice to have something a bit different.
After graduating elf school, our little one was given a certificate and an elf hat! Then it was time for the main event - the big man himself! Santa was friendly, funny and talked to Lola about football so he's a winner in our eyes!! They posed for a photo taken by another friendly elf and next it was present time!
Again, this was a new concept to us - Lola got to CHOOSE her present! I personally think this was a fantastic idea and Lola certainly seemed to enjoy it too.
After that there is a chance to purchase your photo and there are various packages. We opted for the snow frame but I must say, there is no pressure on you to buy a photo if you didn't want to which is good.
All in all, our whole family enjoyed our trip to Elf School and Santa's Grotto and would all recommend it!
As always, feel free to write a comment and if you have any questions, pop them in the comments below and we will answer asap!
DDO Mum, Nat x
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We really hope that you find this website useful in helping you plan a family day out. Whilst we try our absolute hardest to ensure all of the information is correct and up to date, we highly recommend you call ahead of any planned visit to check opening times and prices etc. We don't want any disappointed families! (Oh and check the weatherbefore you set off!)