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Review of Christmas Woodland at Blakemere Village

image of father christmas and his elves
1 Dec 2019
The Christmas Woodland has opened at Blakemere Village for 2019, and we were kindly invited along to find out what families can expect from their visit. 
On our arrival to The Christmas Woodland, we were ushered into a cosy marquee, which had a couple of fires already burning to keep families warm. Chisel the Elf welcomed children as they entered, taking the time to have a chat with each of them and helping to get the group excited about the arrival of Christmas. 
Christmas Woodland1 
Chisel then told the families he was going to bring them along to find out more about Santa, including seeing his favourite pinecone, before taking us all on a journey into the woods. Heading through a festive tunnel, we entered into the woods, coming upon a gateway. Here we met another elf, who informed Chisel we were humans beings, but it was eventually decided we could become honorary elves in order to save Christmas, as there just wasn’t enough Christmas spirit anymore. Here is when the magic really began, as we walked through the gateway and into a Christmas Land filled with elves, woodland creatures and lots of festive surprises along the way. 
christmas woodland 2 
The woods had been transformed, with tiny chairs, candy canes and fairy doors and all three kids, (ages 11,10 and 6), followed each guide through the forest with excitement. All the characters we met were clearly good actors, and all three of my children were enthralled with their antics. There was plenty of audience participation, singing and exploring, as we made our way through the woods. I won’t go into too much detail, as it’s nice to have some surprises, but it was great fun for the whole family, with jokes geared at older children and adults as well as the younger children. I have to say that when a unicorn entered the woods, the mums were more excited than the kids! 
 Christmas Woodland
Finally, it was time to meet Father Christmas. This was a magical experience, especially for my youngest. For little ones, I would imagine it was less scary than the grotto experience as they could see exactly what to expect. Father Christmas gave them a paper bag each, instructing them not to open them until they saw Mrs Claus. Father Christmas himself was great with the kids, taking the time to have a chat with each child. There was time to take a few pictures before saying our goodbyes. 
By this point, the kids were feeling pretty cold (it was an icy day), so it was with relief that we entered Mrs Claus’ house, which was warm and cosy. Here the kids were helped to make their own toys, as proper elves would. They stuffed their teddies, added a heart and fastened them up. They all really enjoyed the experience, and were told to think of a special name for their teddies. As we left, the mums and dads got a present too, which was a very welcome surprise. 
 christmas woodland 4
After the theatrical side of the experience, there was lots more to explore at our leisure which is all included in the price. The kids got some festive face painting (they could have chosen glitter tattoos instead), and had a go at wand whittling (carving wands out of wood). My 11 year old son and his dad loved this activity, whilst the 6 year old struggled, although she was thrilled with her dad’s efforts to make her one. There was also the chance to meet an owl, and get a photo with it. We picked up some marshmallow sticks to toast on the fire, and warmed up with hot chocolates. 
Next, it was time to ice skate. Some of the younger children were really enjoying themselves, as there were seals that they could push around. My six year old skated for a bit, but the elder two were a bit disappointed as, being a synthetic rink, it’s definitely not as slippy as a real ice rink. I’d imagine for younger children this is a great option, but my elder two, who are used to skating on real ice, gave up as they just couldn’t skate properly.     
All in all, we had an amazing family day out at the Christmas Woodland. There was so much to do, with something for everyone. Even my bah humbug husband was feeling a little more festive as we headed for home. For those concerned about it being an outdoor experience, it just adds to the magic. Although we did feel the cold in bits, it just made us appreciate the fire, the hot chocolates and the warmth of Mrs Claus’ house even more! 
christmas woodland toy making 

Booking the Christmas Woodland at Blakemere Village 2019

The Christmas Woodland at Blakemere Village will take place on 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th 15th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December at various times.
Tickets cost £30 for children, £30 for adults, and £10 for under 3’s.
Booking is required in advance here. 

Top Tips For Visiting Blakemere Village Woodland Experience.

 christmas woodland marshmallows
  • Get there at least 10 minutes early, giving you time to park up and follow signs to Cheshire Outdoors. Don’t be late, as your family will not be able to join a later time slot.
  • Wrap up warm and bring waterproofs if the weather is wet. The majority of the experience is outdoors, and although there is some cover, there is a bit of standing around so you won’t want the kids getting cold. Suitable footwear is advised too as the paths can get muddy.
  • Allow plenty of time to enjoy the experience. Blakemere Village suggests around 3 hours to make the most of the Christmas Woodland. We would recommend leaving time to explore the shops at Blakemere Village too, including a fantastic pet shop with marine fish (see if you can spot Nemo and Dory).
  • The path experience is pushchair and wheelchair friendly, although there are some steep areas where you might need help. It’s worth mentioning if you will have a pushchair or wheelchair, so that Blakemere Village can assure you will have help when needed.
  • Although boots for ice skating are provided, for children with shoe size 5-12, there are BOB skates which fit onto shoes. These aren’t able to go onto wellies, so if your child is wearing wellies, you should bring another pair of shoes too.
  • Don’t miss out on marshmallow toasting. Marshmallow sticks can be purchased at a stall by the firepit. This was definitely one of the highlights for the kids.

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