Yesterday we took Clark to the Santa's Grotto at ESK, Eastbourne and he really enjoyed it... Well, not the Santa part as he hid behind me and cried, but the rest of it!
Outside the store they have their 'nativity' animals including goats, horses, ducks, chickens, a turkey and a donkey. There's also a local produce stall which had the most vibrant fruit and veg, though a little embarrassing when your 2 year old points to it all and asks what it is. I promise he eats it!
As we entered the store we were greeted by Anna and Elsa from Frozen, along with Mrs Christmas who were handing out chocolates and chatting to all the children. So if you have little people who love Frozen then definitely take them along to see them, they were in full costume and make-up. I read they do a little sing song too!
Our £8 Santa's Grotto ticket allowed us in to see their animated grotto with polar bears, penguins and an elf workshop which was fab! Nothing big, but enough for Clark to enjoy looking at everything. It was really quiet when we went which was perfect as queuing with toddlers is never ideal!
A little Elf then popped her head round a curtain to talk to us and to ask the boys their names and ages, then she took us through to meet Santa. The next part was a little rushed as Clark was crying but Santa chatted to my slightly-embarrassed 11-year old nephew and gave them both a present. He then went on to tell them what was in the present and that if they wanted to swap they could, and showed them the range of toys.
I was a little miffed as to why he told them what was inside, but I suppose there are parents out there who complain about the present. I personally think it's ridiculous to complain as it's about the experience not the present, and unfortunately some parents forget this.
I'd say the Santa wasn't the greatest, but still magical for children who enjoy meeting him, though Clark was not one of those! Clark (2) was given a set of Mister Maker craft sets and Max (11) a plastic dart board.
I thought it was worth the £8 per child, but I do think the animated grotto & elf workshop should be free to look at and you then pay to meet Santa.
Also don't go to ESK during the week in hope to see the animals at quieter times as they weren't there when we went last Monday!
Find out more info - http://www.esk.co.uk/index.php?page=christmas-grotto
Have you been? What did you think? Leave a comment below!