We made a last-minute decision to get into the festive spirit and visit Santa at Stockeld Park. Stockeld Park came highly recommend by my friend, but it exceeded all our expectations. We timed our visit really well; on a quiet school inset day. It was a perfect day to let the children lose on an ice rink.
Our visit was a secret while we were traveling in the car. By the time we arrived the children were really intrigued, which added to the excitment!
It was really quiet when we visited but they did have seem to have extra car parking (and car park management) for busy periods. Car parking is free during the Christmas period, you just pay for various activities.
We bought an adventure pass so we could visit all four activity areas (Ice skating, ‘Nordic Ski Woodland Trail’, ‘The Illuminated Maze’ and ‘The Enchanted Forest’. You can pre-order your tickets online for a small discount. Visiting Santa is £8-£10 extra per child depending on what day you visit, but can only be purchased on the day. It is located just outside Wetherby, so easily accessible from the M62 or A1.
We tried ice skating first and the kids thought it was brilliant. All the children did better than I expected, (with the aid of a penguin), at home on roller skates they are like Bambi! Amy who is 3 was happy to skate around with her penguin after a while, but she preferred help from daddy. The staff are really friendly and helpful, especially helping the children to their feet when they fell.
The ice rink is next to the cafe and has big windows over-looking the ice skating. This is an excellent place for spectators to sit and keep warm, I wish we had thought of it while skating!
THE WOODSIDE CAFE – STOCKELD PARK
Our next stop was to warm up in the cafe with lunch. The cafe is deceivingly large, with lots of seating. They sell children’s hot chocolates too, which were perfect to warm up after ice skating.
We loved how the meals were served in little baskets with mini pots for the beans/peas. This was perfect for my fussy eaters who don’t like food touching (I mean you too Mr T!)
I choose the braised steak and it was probably the best I have ever eaten. That includes my grandma’s who I have tried to copy for years!
A CHRISTMAS JUMPER PHOTO
The girls and I were wearing matching reindeer jumpers and we took a quick photo indoors in the warmth. It was also quick because James was desperate to get outside has it had just started snowing, and Ava was determined to run away and explore alone!
ON OUR WAY TO SANTA’S GROTTO
Next we visited Santa’s grotto. The tickets to Santa’s grotto are only available to purchase on the day. We bought our tickets as we entered and we were given a numbered ticket and told our number would be displayed on a boards throughout Stockeld Park when it was time to visit. The walk to Santa is pretty magical with a tunnel, music and elves voices and lots of lights.
WE MET SANTA!
When we arrived at Santa’s grotto we were welcomed by an elf who was brilliant with the children. She gave them a gold coin, and got them all to close their eyes and make a wish, while their eyes were closed she sprinkled glitter on top of the coin, she really added some magic to our visit!
The room leading to the grotto is full of interesting things to see and hear. There are doors at different heights with door bells the children could ring. Behind glass windows there are moving festive figures and there was a festive train going around a ledge at the top of the room.
A second elf came into take us to see santa. She asked the children all their names and listened to each one tell her what they wanted for Christmas, before getting the children to knock with her on Father Christmas’ door and shout to see if he was awake. More impressively, she remembered all the children’s names to introduce them to Father Christmas!
Father Christmas put on a good show too, he was friendly and chatty. Our only slight disappointment was that he didn’t do a lot to make the children to feel more at ease or encourage the children to come closer which was a shame, this was the closest they stood for the photo and I had to carry Amy to stand here there!
Ava like nodding but she made it completely clear she wasn’t standing near the red and white guy!
I regret not getting the children to take their coats off to see Santa, because think we would have a much nicer photo without coats!
THE NORDIC WOODLAND TRAIL
This was the only photography we took of the skiing, partly because we planned to take pictures as we went around and we didn’t get very far! Mr T turned back with Amy who was struggling, and Lily joined them because she was really cold and wet with the rain.
Myself and James made it all the way around, albeit fairly clumsily . I am so impressed with James, he was determined to finish and really enjoyed it despite falling a few times. I think next year when Amy is 4 we will try again skiing, Lily would have been fine if we didn’t have to stop and wait for poor Amy.
One of my favourite parts of the skiing was getting a sneak peek of the enchanted forest. We didn’t have time to visit the enchanted forest with the children because Amy was starting to feel tired and poorly later in the day after our visit to the maze.
We spotted so many beautiful things to see and lots of adventure playgrounds, we cant wait to visit again in the summer and next year at Christmas to see the enchanted forest beautifully illuminated in the dark.
THE ILLUMINATED MAZE
James loves mazes and this one was fab, it was bigger than we expected and good to explore! By this point in our visit it was getting dark, so we saw the maze illuminated in the dark which was amazing!
THE GIFT SHOP AND REAL CHRISTMAS TREES
The gift shop at Stockeld Park is just beautiful, well organised its much bigger than I expected. I could of spent hours just wondering looking at all the gorgeous things.
Stockeld Park sell real christmas trees from 25th November if you are looking for a real one this year.
Goodbye Stockeld Park, we will see you again in the summer!
*This post was NOT sponsered, all thoughts and opionons are my own.