Yesterday we were so fortunate to visit Lapland UK which is located near Ascot in Berkshire. This is a place where you will have the most amazing Christmas experience for your little ones and of course for you parents too as Nick and I were also mesmerised by the whole experience. It is set in a wonderful forest, in fact, it was an Enchanted forest! 😉
Before you read the full review, I would love if you watched the video we made of our day:
This is the 10th year that Lapland UK has opened its doors to millions of enthusiastic and very excited kids. It has received national and international acclaim together with royal and celebrity patronage for its unique Christmas experience! You can imagine how excited we all were when we found out we were invited to visit.
This magical experience started a few weeks ago when my little girls received their invitations. They couldn’t believe it, especially Bella who is older and knows all about Christmas and Santa! As soon as they saw the fancy invitations, the countdown to their visit to see Santa began.
On arrival, we saw signs that guided us towards the Enchanted Forest. You walk between some very tall trees along a narrow path. This really built the excitement and we all started to feel ridiculously happy as we got into the mood of things!
The entrance to the enchanted forest is beautiful. It is a gorgeous little cottage. Every single detail is magical. I could see my girls faces just lighting up and smiling all the way through.
We went inside and straight to the queue to check in. We were a few minutes late for our allocated time but we just made it. The reception desk is managed by elves who are very friendly and helpful. My girls were given an elf passport each, which were really cool, allowing them to venture into this magical world.
We were then taken into the Woodlands. This part was really beautiful. The whole scenery was fantastic. The lights, the decorations and the story created a magical atmosphere. My girls were fascinated although Bella felt a little bit scared at the start.
There were two amazing elves explaining to us what was going to happen and what we needed to do to go through the doors. We learned that the elves have a special way to greet, so we all have to greet them back in the same way.
We were taken by a reindeer herder to the Toy Factory. This place was really cool, with toys everywhere. They had a mechanical conveyor belt with wooden toys going around it in the ceiling so it felt really authentic. Sienna found all this really fascinating.
All the children (or ‘small folk’ as the elves call them) had to help to make two different toys. The first one was a soft reindeer which they had to put in its parts (legs, body, heart). Nick helped Bella whilst I helped Sienna. It wasn’t that easy for Sienna to do but we managed in the end. It was really cute. Bella pretty much did hers on her own with only a few cues from Nick. Once ready, the girls had to then take them to the elves.
The next toy they had to make was a wooden bear. This was definitely much easier to do, although it was good to have some of the elves walking around to give the children a few tips. Sienna was much better at it this time and Bella too. Again, they had to take them back to the elves once they were done.
The girls passports were stamped by the elves to confirm that they had helped the elves in the toy factory.
MOTHER CHRISTMAS’ KITCHEN
We were then on our way to Mother Christmas’s kitchen. There were more elves here and they told us a little story together with Mother Christmas.
Here the kids had to decorate gingerbread men. They had all the things that they needed laid out on the table. They also had hats and aprons to wear like proper bakers. My girls looked so cute in them!
After decorating the gingerbread men, they were allowed to eat them whilst we listened to Mother Christmas read a story. The girls passports were then stamped again by the elves.
We then reached the Elf Village. This journey is really amazing. You feel that you are in a magical place for sure. I really enjoyed walking through the snowy forest as we progressed on our journey and I know my girls did too.
The village has different activities to do. You have about 1½ hrs to go around and explore. It was really cool and of course very Christmassy and magical too. There were several elves around entertaining all the children.
There was a restaurant to get something to eat, although my girls had already eaten so we didn’t visit. They also had a store full of magical toys but again we didn’t visit because I think we were going to be in trouble, LOL!
I must warn you that all the prices are in Jingles, the currency used by the elves which you can purchase beforehand or you can also use your credit/debit card when paying. Don’t worry though, 1 Jingle = 1 Pound so its not confusing. The prices is general are not cheap, so be prepared for that. This is why we tried to avoid going to places like the shop.
Nick and I did share a hotdog which was massive and delicious for 8 jingles which is equivalent to £8. This was expensive, but it was a proper German bratwurst that was cooked well and we actually really enjoyed it. Drinks are about 2 elf jingles.
Pixie Mixie’s Sweet Shop
Of course, this is the first place that my girls wanted to visit and considering we were in an enchanted place we had to say yes, LOL. This Sweet Shop was really cute. I really like the decorations.
My girls got super excited and wanted to buy every type of sweet they had, LOL. We decided to buy one big paper cup for them to share that they could fill up to the top with any type of sweet they wanted. This was 4 jingles (£4) and I think was a lot better and easier than having to weigh the sweets to determine how much you pay.
There were two really cute husky dogs in the village. They were gorgeous. Bella is a super fan of dogs so this was a really nice opportunity for her to pet them. Sienna, on the other hand is a little bit scared of dogs but I was surprised that she actually picked up the courage to pet them too.
We all did this activity together. There are no lockers or storage areas to leave your things so be aware of this if you have lots of bags or valuables. We left our pushchair just outside the skating ring with a bag attached to it. You can just about keep an eye on this from the ice rink. I felt fairly comfortable, given that most people were families with young children, that our things would be safe but nevertheless you need to be careful.
I like that Sienna was also able to be part of this experience. They had double blade skates that just attached over your child’s shoes which I thought was a fantastic idea. They were adjustable too so you didn’t need to worry about the size either. Very practical, although Sienna’s foot slipped out of her skate a couple of times which was annoying. Bella didn’t have any problem with them though.
There were a few elves around to help in the event of anyone falling or having a problem. We actually had one helping us when Sienna had a problem with her skates. They were very helpful.
You also had several penguins for children to use whilst on the ice. This was very useful for the girls. We got two, one for each. We spent about 30 minutes on the ice. I don’t think you can do more than that really. The girls were tired after that.
The last thing we did in the village was to goto the Post Office to send a letter to Santa. This was a nice activity to do. They had letters there for the kids to write something to Santa. Then your kids could get their passports stamped again to say they had done this.
Bella and Sienna posted their letters to Santa in the special post boxes they had for Santa.
REINDEER & SLEIGH
On the back of the girls passports was an allocated time, basically 3 hours after the time we entered. We were told that at this time we should make our way to the elf that would be waiting near the bauble shop who would help us on our way to see Santa. The elf guided us along a path taking us away from the village. Shortly after we arrived to an area where Santa kept his reindeer and his sleigh!
The reindeer are in an enclosed area and their familiar names are written on signs alongside it. Bella was looking for Rudolph but I don’t think we found his sign 🙁
We then saw Santa’s sleigh which was really amazing to see. My girls loved it. We kept walking and we arrived at a waiting area managed by more elves who checked us in ready to finally meet Father Christmas.
After a few minutes we heard an elf come into the waiting area calling my girl’s names. We were now on our way to meet Santa. The elf took us along a narrow trail through the forest! Yay! This was so exciting. Bella’s heart was beating very hard with excitement, bless her!
This was a cool journey too. I love these narrow paths through the woods with the snow and the trees around. It is very beautiful. After a few twists and turns in the forest we arrived at a cute cottage. The elf went in first to check to see if Santa was ready for Bella and Sienna.
It was a quick wait as Santa was ready to see them. As the elf led us in he got the full attention of my girls. He knew a lot of information about them which mesmerised them both. After checking, Father Christmas found their names in the Good List which Bella was quite relieved about. Nick asked him to double check to be sure but Santa said he might need to check his name too, LOL!
The girls both received a present from Santa: a soft husky dog toy! They really love them! The elf helping Santa then took an official photo, firstly with the girls, then all of us together.
Santa also put a golden bell sticker in their passports which meant that they have successfully passed Elf Training! Yay! Amazing right? 😉
SOUVENIR PHOTO & GIFT SHOP
We left Santa’s cottage and we were guided back out to arrive in the Photo area. We picked up one photo which is included in the price. They also had an offer to get 3 photos inside a scrapbook with digital photos access for £15 which is the option that we decided to go for.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Prices in 2016 range from £55 on Superstar Days, to £130 per ticket on our Christmas Eve Specials. Included in the ticket price is a personalised invitation and Christmas Morning Thank You card from Father Christmas to every child by post, entry into Father Christmas’ arctic homeland, an Elf Passport for every child, all activities, ice skating and a beautiful gift for every child.
We really enjoyed Lapland UK. It is a magical place that your kids will remember forever. Yes, it is expensive but if you balance it out, it is a one off opportunity to have a special experience for your kids. It was a one hour journey for us to travel from London to Ascot but the whole thing was worth it.
Even Sienna who is only 2 years old enjoyed every single moment. I would say that Bella’s age (6 years old) is even better. So if you have to pay for the tickets I would probably wait a little bit longer when your kids are at least 4 years old maybe.
Will I buy the tickets if I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity? …my answer would be yes as it is a truly magical. It is so well thought out and organised. Nick and I were super impressed. We had an amazing time and we loved it, so we highly recommend it.
We would like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Lapland UK for inviting us to have the best Christmas experience ever.
Have you been to Lapland UK? If so, what was your experience? What did you like the most? If you have not been there yet, what do like the look of the most? Will you take your kids there this Christmas? Please leave a comment below as I would love to read what you think.
*Disclosure: we were invited to visit Lapland UK for the purposes of this review. However, all the thought and opinions are my own.
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