The most wonderful time of the year is here. Marwell Zoo is spreading the Christmas cheer with their ever-popular enchanted Christmas experience. What better way to start the festivities, than with a visit to see Father Christmas in a winter wonderland full of magic?
Last weekend, we visited the zoo to experience Christmas at Marwell. We arrived long before our session so that we could enjoy plenty of time exploring the zoo beforehand.
We always love to visit Marwell. There is an extensive collection of animals to see, including exotic and endangered species. The beautiful landscaped gardens and grounds are always clean and well maintained. There is a restaurant and plenty of food kiosks around the zoo, as well as toilets and baby change facilities.
There are lots of attractions to also enjoy at the zoo; rail and road train rides, adventure playgrounds, regular talks and animal feeds, the new Lemur Loop walkthrough exhibit and the Great Brick Safari (an Interactive Experience with LEGO® Bricks). A new Tropical House opens in June 2018.
The Christmas experience takes place at Marwell Hall. The medieval hall was built around 1320, and now forms the core of the present building which was almost entirely re-built in 1816. The building is absolutely beautiful both inside and out, and has the most intriguing history.
The experience begins when some friendly elves greet you at the entrance and welcome you inside. The first room that you enter is a winter wonderland of snowy trees, woodland animals and fairytale lights. Children are brought forward to search for themselves on a screen displaying a Naughty and Nice list. That was definitely a hit with the children. Juice and reindeer biscuits were offered to all the guests and some mulled wine for the adults.
The group is then collected by another elf and taken through to meet Mother Christmas. She reads, sings and dances to the Nutcracker story where the children and adults are encouraged to join in. It’s a really magical experience and Mother Christmas certainly captivates her audience. The experience continues through to the Elf’s Workshop for a crafts session, where the children get to decorate their own Christmas plates. Again, the room was full of wonder with plenty to see and enjoy.
From there, each family was welcomed through to see Father Christmas. He greeted both Hudson and Jack by name and invited them to sit beside him. They talked for a while and some photos were taken by a photographer whilst Father Christmas gifted the boys with some presents. They took no time at all to tear through the wrapping and whilst I won’t spoil the surprise, their gifts were fantastic. We said our goodbyes and headed through the magical wardrobe for another lovely little surprise.
We were given the opportunity to purchase any of the photos taken during our visit with Father Christmas and they were all so lovely that it was tough to choose. Our chosen photo’s were printed and placed in a festive frame and were also sent digitally by email. The Christmas experience itself lasted for about 75-minutes and exceeded all expectations.
Christmas at Marwell is the most magical and charming experience for all the family. Christmas has been brought to life at Marwell Hall, it’s everything you would hope to find at Father Christmas’ mythical homeland and everything you want your children to believe in. For as long as my boys believe in Father Christmas, I shall be sure to take them to Christmas at Marwell. It’s wonderful.
The Christmas at Marwell experience can still be booked for some dates throughout December.
*We were gifted with Christmas at Marwell experience tickets in exchange for our honest review.