It’s the most wonderful time of the year, also known as #merrybristmas. We are, once again, very fortunate indeed to partake in this brilliant annual campaign by Visit Bristol, which aims to promote the festive offerings in our fair city. Over the past couple of weeks we have been all over the place, throwing the girls into the festive season head first, to see where’s good to go with little ones this December.
Santa Steam Special at Avon Valley Railway
First up, it’s Santa on a Steam Train! What on earth could be better?! We wrapped up warm and headed to Avon Valley Railway in Bitton for a delightful trip in one of their beautiful vintage carriages. The atmosphere on the platform was lovely, with the Christmas tunes blaring out, tinsel agogo and even some little donkeys wearing festive attire. The dream.
We were treated to an hour long trip during which Santa came to visit us in our carriage. He was great with the kids and thankfully wasn’t phased when Poppy requested a helicopter for Christmas! I’m not sure how that’s going to fit down the chimney. There was also an opportunity to get off the train and have a photo with Santa but we decided it was a little too cold for Hattie – next year!
It’s not the cheapest of options when it comes to meeting Santa (although some dates are cheaper than others) but it was a real family experience and perfect for the train enthusiastic toddler! You’ll need to be quick if you want to book tickets as they are selling out fast. Book here!
Santa’s Grotto at Bristol Zoo
We always love a trip to Bristol Zoo so we were keen to take the girls to try out their Grotto experience. This is the first year they’ve really been able to partake in this sort of thing and it was a joy to see how excited they were by it all. We were greeted by some very cheerful Elves who invited us to do some festive arts & crafts, followed by writing and posting off our letters to Santa. The rooms were decorated beautifully and really added to the magic.
We were then led through to meet the main man himself who was so lovely and really engaged with the girls, asking them lots of questions and having a real giggle. The presents were great too, a cuddly lemur for P and a cuddly penguin for A. Perfectly on theme and meant we could go find the corresponding animals after! We also liked, as the eco-conscious Santa explained, that the presents were wrapped using brown paper as it can be recycled after. Good work, Bristol Zoo!
You can book your own Grotto experience here! All money raised from the Santa’s Grotto events will contribute to BCWEZSL’s charitable objectives and it’s running until December 23rd.
Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole
Uhoh, Rudolph has taken a wrong turn and ended up down in the caves at Wookey Hole! Time to grab your glow sticks and go on a Christmas trip that’s a little different.
We loved exploring the caves and encountering touches of Christmas at every turn was pretty darn cool. There was even a chance to dance to some Christmas music in one of the chambers! We were slightly apprehensive about taking a toddler and newborn on a 45 minute tour in the dark but they both loved it (well Poppy did, Hattie slept through the whole thing – win). It’s worth noting that the caves, unsuprisingly aren’t buggy friendly so you will need a sling, and if you want to buy a glow stick you will need £2 in cash.
If you visit on the weekend, there’s also a Christmas circus show, 4D cinema experience and the opportunity to visit their own Santa’s Grotto. If, like us, you visit in the week there’s still plenty to see and do! Poppy loved the soft play, animatronic dinosaurs and the vintage penny arcades.
See what’s on offer at Wookey Hole here!
Christmas at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Christmas at Noah’s Ark is a very green affair, with all their decorations made from recycled materials, the lights are eco-friendly and there’s even a Christmas scene created from unwanted items. What a wonderful way to spread Christmas cheer.
We visited on a very quiet day and the girls had an absolutely fabulous time running riot in their ginormous soft play and play barn. If you haven’t been, it’s fantastic and I think the parents had just as much fun as the kids!
We also really enjoyed strolling round meeting the animals, with the elephants and giraffes proving the most popular with the toddlers. They were amazed!
If you fancy visiting Noah’s Ark this festive season, they are allowing visitors to feed the Reindeer for free on Saturdays at 3pm. Check out the website for more details and to see their other Christmas events.
So, those are our highlights for this year but there’s so much on offer in Bristol this Christmas! Let us know your highlights in the comments as it’s only the beginning of December and we’ve already set the bar pretty high for the girls!
We were kindly gifted entry to all the above attractions as part of a campaign with Visit Bristol but all words and opinions are our own.