As winter progressed I was unsure if our planned Christmas Days out would go ahead. I didn’t want the children to miss out on seeing Santa this year. So I looked for a local Santa’s Grotto. As you can imagine there were lots of cancellations for the usual grotto’s. Poplar Garden Centre wasn’t running their usual grotto. I couldn’t find any information for the grotto at Perrywood Garden Centre and even Colchester Zoo were slimming down their Christmas celebrations this year. I discovered that there is a Santa’s Grotto at Fenwick and it was bookable. This would give us a timed slot reducing Ethan’s waiting and making it an easier experience for us all.
Our Visit to Santa’s Grotto at Fenwick Colchester
I was able to book our visit to Santa for the Monday before Christmas day. This was also the first day of the school holidays and it was nice to break the day up a bit.
To make the meeting with Santa Covid secure the time slots were limited to six. Meaning it was one family visiting at a time. We had to wear face-masks, being in a store we already were, but the children didn’t have to. Santa and his elves were also wearing face-masks.
Upon entering the grotto we were greeted by two elves. They played a game of Santa says with us. Which ended with Santa says sanitize your hands. I thought this was a great way to make something new and very important relaxing for the children to do.
Before we met Santa the children got the chance to decorate a plate. A plate to leave Santa’s treats on when they prepare for his Christmas Eve visit.
When Ethan was given his plate we both automatically went to help him. He surprised us both as he didn’t need any help at all. Ethan knew his plate was for Christmas and promptly started drawing a Christmas tree. Little E opted to draw her favourite thing, a cat.
After both children were happy that their plates were decorated and complete it was time to meet Santa.
Santa had a clear face-mask which I thought was a brilliant idea. Giving anyone that has to read lips the chance to. He explained to the children why he was wearing one and that we are all keeping each other safe.
There was also a ribbon in place to help the children keep a safe distance but it wasn’t imposing. Santa asked the children what they want for Christmas. Little E automatically answers for her brother now which I think confuses some people. I think they assume she doesn’t give him time to talk. But we know that she is just helping him. This also happened during our Santa visit at the Lion Walk Shopping Centre. Santa gave Ethan the chance to answer on his own and Ethan told him he wants a Hey Duggee playset and Minions. I hadn’t anticipated Minions which did mean a last-minute Christmas Eve dash as Ethan doesn’t ask for many things. Little E asked for wolves and huskies. I made it clear that she wanted toys and now real ones!
Visiting Santa’s Grotto at Fenwick was a lovely experience. The time allocation for the visit was thirty minutes. As our children didn’t take too long to decorate their plates our visit didn’t take that long. Even though our original Christmas plans had to be cancelled it was nice to experience local Christmas events this year.