The only Grotto we’ve been to this year was the one at Barton Square, which is part of intu Trafford Centre. Last year’s grotto there was beautiful and I wasn’t sure how they were going to better it. Instead of trying to improve a wonderful exhibition, they changed tack completely and created not just a grotto but a workshop for visitors.
The story is that Santa’s elves are all off sick and visiting children are required to lend a hand down at the grotto!
The admission process is quick and we didn’t experience any queues at all. As we made our way through the mirrored maze entrance corridor even I wasn’t sure which way to go so hold hands with the kids and I’m sure they will guide you through safely.
Once inside there are several ‘tasks’ for the children to undertake such as making lanterns, sorting gifts and making reindeer food (which they get to take home).
Once the children have completed each of the jobs in the workshop they are then invited to meet Santa himself. The room is wonderfully decorated with all things Christmassy and the Santa we saw was really good! Rowan had a little chat with him and was pleased as punch with his little gift.
I liked that there were no big queues at the grotto – it’s very frustrating to be standing for a long period of time in a queue with an over excited child. I think intu Trafford Centre have got it just right – instead of waiting the children are kept busy and the entire experience is therefore made far more memorable than the standard grotto.
After you’ve seen Santa the visit is finished and you can buy photo souvenirs on the way out.
To book your grotto visit check the website here.
A single booking fee of £2.50 will be added per transaction (not per ticket).
Photo merchandise prices:
Photo with Santa £6
Key ring £5
Snowflake Magnet £5
Snowflake ornament £5
Opening times 7 November – 29 November
Monday-Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturdays 9am – 9pm
Sundays 11am – 6pm
30 November – 24 December
Monday-Friday 9am – 9pm
Saturdays 9am – 9pm
Sundays 10am – 6pm
Christmas Eve 9am – 5pm
We were invited to a complimentary visit to the intu Trafford Centre Santa’s Secret Workshop in return for an honest review.