Last Sunday night, on our way home from Granny and Grandad’s house in the Midlands, we stopped off Marwell Zoo for a delightful Christmas Experience. We checked our tickets, boarded the Elf Express [tractor train] and headed up to Marwell Hall in the dark, past all of the zoo animals nestled snug in their beds. We were welcomed warmly by Jingles the Elf, much like one of your relatives hailing you in from the cold – and as soon as we had passed the doors to the hall we were offered mince pies and mulled wine, and blackberry squash. Our Marwell Zoo Christmas Experience had begun!
We settled onto little stools to wait for Mother Christmas and enjoyed checking the naughty list and the nice list – and although the boys were happy to find themselves safely on the nice list [for the time being, anyhow], they were a little confused as to how Batman and Iron Man came to be on the naughty list. Maybe Father Christmas knows something that we don’t…
We were collected by a very cheerful and excited Mother Christmas, and said our goodbyes to the elves in the hall.
Mother Christmas asked us all to waddle like penguins with her down the hallway to her woodland room, where little foam log slices awaited our boys. They all settled down as she and Nutmeg the elf told the story of how the animals saved Christmas.
When it was finished, we woke up the fairy who then took us to yet another room to make Christmas tree cones. The boys absolutely loved that they got to venture into different rooms for the Marwell Zoo Christmas Experience – this time the room was full of tables set with sprinkles and icing, and chairs topped with mini aprons and chef hats – and filled with elf helpers!
When our cones were complete, bagged and tagged for taking home, a lovely elf broke into song, singing out Hero’s name and collecting us to visit Father Christmas – who sat in his grotto and asked the boys what they would like for Christmas [Lego and Paw Patrol], and they had a photo before heading to the final room where cheeky Pedro the Penguin was waiting for us to have some hugs – although we did suspect Pedro might be after a present himself and he had the boys in fits of giggles peeping over Mommy’s shoulder and giving her big hugs. Even daddy got a hug!
After everyone had visited Father Christmas, we wrapped back up and started out to the tractor – the Elf Express – to trundle back down to the entrance and home again.
It was a charming, beautiful evening full of family fun – and right on our doorstep!