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Review of The Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto Experience at intu Trafford Centre 2019

two children at the Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto Experience at intu Trafford Centre
18 Nov 2019

The Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto has returned to the Intu Trafford Centre and we were invited along to check it out. 

The Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto Experience is running until the 24th December 2019 and we invited along to the opening weekend for the purpose of an honest review. We sent our reviewer Amy and her family along to check it out and here is what they thought. 

Review of Intu Trafford Centre’s The Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto. 

We arrived at the Trafford Centre with plenty of time to spare- a definite must at this busy time of year- and took a leisurely walk to the event, which is situated outside The Great Hall. Entrance to the event is by time allocation, and it was pleasing to see that groups were kept intimate. There was no pushing, shoving or limited space for children- which was fantastic!

The first port of call was Peter’s Burrow. This room was lovely and decorated beautifully; exuding a festive woodland charm-it even smelt like a pine forest! Peter welcomed the children with Christmas songs and stories before uncovering a hidden burrow that we were encouraged to climb through into the next part of the woodland. My children loved this part- even my 8 year old, who up until this point had been concerned that he was a little bit too old for the event. For those unable to navigate the burrow, there was an alternate route into the ‘forest’. 

Peter Rabbit Grotto Trafford Centre Review story

Peter Rabbit Grotto Trafford Centre Review Burrow

Once we arrived in the forest area the children were seated and given two elf biscuits to decorate by Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. My daughter (6) was delighted when Squirrel Nutkin pelted fake snowballs at her from a nearby tree and even more so when she was realsied that she was allowed to throw them back- not that she needed much encouragement.

Peter Rabbit Grotto Trafford Centre Review Gingerbread

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Cinnamon the Elf took talked with the children as they decorated biscuits before handing out little bags to pop them in. It was the character participation that really impressed us. The smaller children, in particular, were mesmerised by the characters and loved speaking to them and exploring their homes.

Peter Rabbit Grotto Trafford Centre Forest

After the biscuit decorating, we joined the queue for a private session with Father Christmas. The Elves and Mr Tod the Fox kept us entertained whilst we waited. My daughter loved going into Mr Tod’s lair and looking at what ingredients he had in his cooking pot. Althought we waited in the queue for quite a while and noted that some of the smaller children were a little restless, the characters and staff did a great job at keeping the children entertained and happy.

On entering Father Christmas’s grotto we were instantly impressed. The room was beautifully decorated in a rustic woodland theme and my 8 –year-old said he thought he was ‘fab’ (Having seen many Santas over the years, he believes the ‘grotto Santas’ aren’t the real ones but helpers of the Big Man himself so this was quiet a compliment). After telling Father Christmas what they would like for Christmas, the children were given a beautiful Peter Rabbit Christmas story. We thought this lovely quality gift and a welcome respite from the usual plastic offerings that we end up bringing home from Christmas events.

In the Grotto a professional picture was taken of the children with Father Christmas and own photgraphs are not allowed. However there is no hard sell here and it is completely down to individual whether or not to buy the photo. Prices start at £8 for a photo in a presentation wallet with snow globes available at £10.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was well organised, beautifully staged and offered something a little different to our usual experiences. It was also very reasonably priced at £8.50 for children and £5.50 per adult for a 45 minute (includign the time waiting to see Santa). Although we felt that our 8-year-old was slightly too old for the event, we would absolutely recommend this event for families with young children (under the age of 7) looking to indulge in a little festive magic.

For details how to book tickets and more information about autism-friendly sessions see here. 

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