insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 69 Dec 2017 - Page 85

DAYSOUT Where will you see Santa THIS YEAR ? LIVERPOOL, 1879, AND SOMETHING DIFFERENT WAS HAPPENING AT LEWIS’S BON MARCHÉ DEPARTMENT STORE. A BIG JOLLY MAN IN A RED SUIT WITH A LONG WHITE BEARD HAD SET UP SHOP AND THE CHILDREN COULDN’T KEEP AWAY. IT WAS, OF COURSE, THE FIRST EVER SANTA’S GROTTO WHERE FATHER CHRISTMAS, HIS ELVES, WRAPPED GIFTS, AND THE INFAMOUS NAUGHTY- OR-NICE LIST WOULD FIRST BECOME SO ETCHED INTO CHRISTMAS TRADITION FOR COUNTLESS FAMILIES. TODAY, THERE IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING YOUR FAVOURITE SEASONAL GROTTO ACROSS KENT, AND THE JOY AND MAGIC THAT IT PRODUCES IS A GREAT WAY TO BEGIN YOUR FESTIVE CELEBRATIONS. Leeds Castle // 25-26 Nov, 2-3 Dec, 9-10 Dec, 16-17 Dec Bluewater // 16 Nov-24 Dec Leeds Castle offers up a magnificent Christmas market each year, and at its heart lies Father Christmas in his magical grotto. There is colouring and crafts for children to take part in while they wait, and then, when it’s finally time, you will be led through a mysterious enchanted pathway to see Santa himself. Every child will be given a traditional gift to take home with them too. As ever at Bluewater, there is more to this grotto than you might first think. Rather than simply being ushered into a room to meet Santa, the children will first meet Mr Crumb the Christmas chef in his log cabin. He – with the help of some magic – will transform the little ones into elves, so that they can assist him in making a gingerbread man. Next, they will help Mrs Claus decorate her tree before finally meeting Santa himself where they will be given a soft toy for their trouble. Beautiful memories can be made here. Hever Castle // 25 Nov-10 Dec (Weekends), 13-24 Dec (Daily) Hever Castle at Christmas is always something magically memorable, so of course, making this the place to meet with Father Christmas will really kick the festive period off perfectly. Children will be enchanted by the magical grotto where they will be taken by an elf through the snowy forest to meet Father Christmas in his log cabin. Fireside stories and beautiful attention to detail – as well as plenty of opportunity to enjoy mince pies and mulled wine – make this grotto something for all the family . Kent Life // 2-3 Dec, 9-10 Dec, 16-17 Dec, 21-24 Dec There is a lot going on at Kent Life this Christmas time! Arrive to meet Santa and climb aboard the festively decorated train – the head elf himself will be driving, so you know you’re in safe hands. Bundle into Santa’s cottage and listen to the Christmas stories that Mrs Christmas is going to tell; you can even write a letter to Father Christmas as you wait. Father Christmas will see each child individually and give them a gift – parents and guardians can enjoy a mince pie and sample of cider too. 85