I love Christmas.
Being Australian, I especially love the theatre of the cold snowy Christmas that is celebrated here in the UK. It’s so different to the ‘basking around in the sunshine, going for a swim and eating king prawns, salad and pavlova’ Christmas that I grew up with.
So I jumped at the chance when family Gammon & Chips was invited to the press launch of the Squires Garden Centre 4D Christmas Experience in Washington, West Sussex.
And what’s more – it was on my birthday. AND my favourite Aunty was over visiting from Australia. So we set off for a quick jaunt into the Sussex countryside in the car.
We arrived and were greeted by Santa’s Elves and shown in to their pottery painting studio, where both Gammon and Chips enjoyed a bit of colouring-in while we waited.
We were then led in to the cinema section of the attraction, were all given 3D glasses (Gammon looked tres chic in his) and watched a film about Boris the dog’s journey on Christmas Eve to return home after he rescues a lost teddy. It was very interactive, with special effects aplenty, making it not just a 3D experience, but a 4D one. Chips preferred to watch it without her glasses on, but Gammon really got into it, reaching out at the screen to touch the flying objects the whole way through.
After the film, we got to meet Santa Claus in his grotto too. Gammon was a bit scared at first (he must get it from me – I used to be terrified of St Nick when I was a kid) but once he was asked what he wanted for Christmas, the ice was quickly broken – it’s amazing what bonding over dinosaurs can do! Even Chips warmed to good old Father Christmas when he handed her a pressie – a monkey story book – and Gammon was very excited about his Lost City jigsaw puzzle.
You can then wander round the grotto amongst the Christmas decorations, and we even went for a sojourn in the Garden Centre’s pet shop – huge excitement from my two!
The whole Christmas experience is available at Washington, Badshot Lea and Shepperton Squires Centres and will take up to 25 minutes, costing £7 per child and £3 per adult when booking before 15 December. Between 18 – 24 December it costs £8 per child.
For opening times throughout December or to book tickets click here.
Under 16s must be accompanied by one paying adult. Max of four children per adult.
Disclaimer: We were invited to the press launch of the 4D Christmas Experience. All views are my own and honestly presented.