If you're planning a Christmas getaway to Centre Parcs - here's whats happening and how to make the most of your time this festive season.


Santa’s Woodland Workshop

A 5-minute slot including a chat with Santa, photo taken and gift for each child, from 10am, £14. Team with a festive wander through the Woodland Market with fairy lights, fake snow, hot chocolate and mince pies. Meet real reindeer including baby Nutmeg.

Tip: Bring plenty of water/snacks for the longish (indoor) queue past snowy scenes with elves and animated reindeer.

Pony Ride to Santa’s Woodland Workshop

A dream come true for children who love ponies.

Tip: Allow plenty of time, it can take a while to find the right meeting point. £7.50.

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Pantomime Wizard of Oz

Adults can relax with a drink, while the children roar at the baddie and bop around at the front to upbeat music. Wed and Sun 4pm, one hour, adults £11.50, children £7.95.

Tip: Seating is not allocated. If you have young children you’d like close by, doors open half an hour early so grab a seat at the front.

Elf Academy

Age 3-7 years (older can attend, it’s an age guide for parents), three-hour session, £32. My kids loved their elf outfits (cue photo opportunity), arts and crafts, letter from Santa, and party games and asked to go back. Lovely staff, secure room.

Tip: If you’d like to be close by, book a cafe/restaurant at the same time – it’s all in the glass dome building.

Festive Chef’s Chocolate Academy

A hit with chocolate-loving kids. Age guide 3-7 years, three-hours, £26. Bring your camera (cute chef’s hat photo opportunities).

Tip: Bring baby wipes, at pick up time your littlies are let loose on marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain = chocolate carnage.

Little Elf’s Party Hour

Age 2-3, one hour, £8. Christmas music, dancing and games.

Fireworks on the Lake

Fireworks start at 6pm Wednesday and Sunday on the lake, free event.

Tip: In wet weather, arrive early to get a spot on the sheltered boardwalk. Or arrive early for a table at the Pancake House (no bookings), where staff time your pancakes to arrive before/after the display and you can step outside to watch. (Gluten free pancakes available.)


For more information and our full review of Center Parcs Whinfell Forest in Cumbria read HERE