This time of year is expensive, there’s no denying it, not only are there the pressies to buy but then there’s the mountains of food we all feel the need to buy (no down branding in December!) and the constant kids activities, parties and plays, scouring charity shops for second hand shepherd’s costumes. It all adds up and of course we want all those magical Christmas experiences, making family memories is what it’s all about after all. The National Forest Adventure Farm Christmas does exactly this!
I’m sure we would all love to pop over to Lapland for a long weekend but that’s just out of reach for most of us. We’ve tried quite a few of the best Christmas experiences in the UK over the last few years and think we’ve finally found the greatest value day out in December.
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At the National Forest Adventure Farm, Christmas has always been a big deal so this year we decided to try out their North Pole Adventure experience which promises to transport you to Lapland through their magic portal.
We had no idea what to expect when we arrived and that probably made it even more magical so if you want that level of surprise, skip down to the bottom of this post for all the essential details…….
Your day at the National Forest Adventure Farm Christmas Event
Your visit begins with check in by a friendly member of staff, slots are timed so you should never have to wait too long and it also means it never feels overly busy or rushed. On arrival Piper was given a passport and told to collect stamps as she went round for a special gift from Santa. We were also given cute elf coins we could spend in the elf sweet shop or pub – I’m sold on the day already!
We were then shown through to a waiting area where a rather jolly train conductor led us through a magical portal to an enchanted (and rather beautiful) forest. Here we met our first elf who took us to the elf sweetshop where Piper spent her elf coins on two bags of sweets and we popped to the elf pub for a mulled wine. So far, so festive!
The whole area is stunningly designed with excellent attention to detail, there’s a little window you can peer through and spy on an elf decorating his tree and it even started to fake snow whilst we were waiting to move on.
Most areas you’ll visit in fact have magical details, there’s a child sized elf door for children to climb through (and a separate one for grown-ups), frosted pine trees everywhere and every single member of staff is dressed up and fully in character.
We then visited the Elf post office to help the post master sort through all his letters. This bit is better aimed at the really little ones. It’s basically sorting shapes into their matching boxes but Piper enjoyed helping the smaller kids. The Elf got us all to do a funny dance to fix the machine. Don’t all kids love watching their parents being silly?!
Next you’re ushered down another pretty tree-lined walkway to another elf who needed help fixing Santa’s sleigh. She will take a family picture for you in the sleigh on your camera if you wish. A lovely reminder if you don’t want to shell out for the Santa family pic later on.
Then on to my favourite part, the huge animatronic polar bear which actually talks to the children. I’m not going to think too hard about how they created this wizardry. But the kids (and us adults) were transfixed. You fill in a form on arrival saying what your children want for xmas. The Polar Bear will speak to your child by name and mention what’s on their list. This is where we messed up. Piper saw me fill in her form so if at all possible, do this in secret, it’s so magical.
After watching the “Northern Lights” you move through to Elf School, where they complete your Elf training. We loved this Elf, he was super engaging and really made it fun for everyone. You learn how elves say hello, the Elf promise and of course some xmas jokes. Piper loved sharing her own, “What do ducks do at Christmas? …… Pull Christmas Quackers!”
Next it’s a visit to the Music Elf. Here you do another little task, matching coloured notes. Another one little kids would have no problem completing.
Then through to Mrs Claus Kitchen to help her decorate some gingerbread men. You get to keep your creation, ours was gobbled up before we made it home. Mrs Claus has a little chat with each child and you can look around her wonderfully decorated kitchen. Again the attention to detail is magical.
And finally it’s a visit to the big guy himself. Not my favourite part of the visit but he was fine. After the obligatory photo (we bought a fridge magnet for around £7) you get to visit the toy shop and choose something to take home.
There’s quite a good selection to choose from, split out by age group. Piper picked a big cuddly bear who she adores, even though I thought we were past the stuffed toy phase.
After your North Pole Adventure, you are free to explore the rest of the Farm which is also dressed up ready for Christmas. Piper took part in a little nativity play in the small animal barn
And of course had some cuddles with the animals.
We hung around to take the last tractor ride of the day. It was freezing and starting to rain but still fun trying to spot the snowmen, scarecrows and reindeer on our way round and. A lovely way to end our National Adventure Farm Christmas Experience.
The National Forest Adventure Farm has loads more to see and do. Animals to visit, an indoor soft play area and sand play. We ran out of time but the good news is, included in your visit is a FREE return pass to visit after xmas. We will definitely be taking advantage of this!
North Pole Adventure cost.
All this cost us under £60 for a family of three. Adult tickets are a lot less than the kids which make a pleasant change. They also offer huge discounts for gold and silver members. So if you’re local it might be worth taking out a membership before you go.
The North Pole Adventure operates on selected dates in November and December although availability for 2018 is selling out fast. You can book your tickets online on the National Forest Adventure Farms website and don’t recommend just turning up, you may not get the slot you want.
National Forest Adventure Farm Christmas Info
The Adventure Farm is open from 10am – 6pm daily but the North Pole Adventure only operates on selected days.
National Forest Adventure Farm,
Burton on Trent,
01283 533 933
I recommend giving yourself between 1.5 – 2 hrs to complete the experience. You could easily spend a full day at the farm and not get bored.
There is an onsite café serving some good value hot meals and sandwiches.
For Health and Safety reasons there is a maximum of 2 wheelchairs per session. No pushchairs are allowed on the experience. A pushchair park is provided.
Hotels near the National Adventure Farm
We’re based about half an hour from the Adventure Farm. If you are coming from a little further away you could always stay at one of these local hotels:
Hilton at St Georges Park My favourite hotel in the area and just a couple of miles from the farm. It has a lovely pool, Spa and Gym and a great onsite restaurant.
Dovecliff Hall Hotel Located 5 miles from the farm this is a beautiful 4 star hotel and the food come highly recommended!
If you’re looking for the best Christmas experiences in the UK, you might also like our review of the Santa Weekend at the Macdonald Aviemore Hotel in Scotland or my friends review of her trip to Lapland UK.
Make sure to pin this National Adventure Farm Christmas Adventure for planning your Christmas Experiences in the UK