Blithbury Reindeer Lodge is home to England’s largest working Reindeer herd, and is a brilliant place to visit at any time of the year, but during the run up to Christmas it becomes extra special, a real Winter Wonderland, as Santa arrives, the elves start working, and Christmas season is launched in magical fashion. This year, the launch took place on Saturday 14th November, and I took Joe and my niece Renee along to enjoy the festivities.
Both the children were very excited about meeting the reindeers, and Blithbury certainly has lots of those. We started by buying pots of food so that we could feed them (£1 per pot from the reception/shop area), and despite the rain, the reindeers were very friendly and came to check out the children. A particular favourite was Teddy, a real character who the children just adored. I was quite excited to meet some of the Reindeers who have starring roles in the ‘Get Santa’ movie, including one who can apparently pass wind to order (ahem!). Getting up this close to these special creatures is a really fantastic experience for children and one I would highly recommend.
We had a time slot to see Santa, but before you get to the man in the red suit there are plenty of activities that will keep the children happy and occupied. First up is a photograph opportunity where you sit in a Christmas sledge that is actually being pulled by a very patient, well behaved reindeer. The photographs are then put onto a series of different backdrops and can be purchased at the end of your visit.
Other sessions are organised in the Blithbury Lodge, including story sessions with the elves, and the opportunity to decorate Ginger bread men. Children also get the chance to learn all about reindeers when they attend Elf School, where they can ring the sleighbells, handle some enormous antlers and are given some magical fairy dust to ensure that all reindeers can fly come Christmas Eve.
I was also impressed with the visit to Santa. An elf calls out the names of children on Santa’s good list and they are then taken to see the man himself. This is no rushed visit, Santa really chats to the children and takes an interest. Once the visit is over, the children are then taken through to Santa’s workshop where they can choose a present themselves. This is another great touch as each child can actually choose a gift they want.
Unfortunately, the weather turned decidedly stormy, so we missed our sleighride. But the lovely tearoom had hot chocolate and marshmallows on offer, and the children both made a beeline for the shop, where Joe had his own reindeer and Renee opted for an elf.
Blithbury is a fantastic Christmas experience that children of all ages will just love. For booking information, visit the website here.