Monday, 18 November 2019

Chill Factorᵉ Santa's Grotto And Snow Park Review

My boys are 9 and 11, and I really wasn't going to take them to see Santa this year, but they had tried to convince me you are never too old, and then we were invited by Chill Factorᵉ to review this year's Santa's Grotto and Snow Park experience.

Chill Factore Christmas Santa's Grotto and Snow Park Review

I couldn't be more pleased that I said yes because even with 25 years as a parent. I think this was my favourite ever visit to see Santa..

Chill Factore Santas Grotto collecting tickets

We were booked in at 7pm, which was Santa's last appointment and our slot was 7pm-7.30pm. You collect tickets (or pay) at the special Grotto desk to the right of the main reception, and then you are cared for by Santa's helpers.

Chill Factore grotto helper elf who is very tall and looks like arthur christmas with my two boys

Tiny the Elf (who is clearly the real Arthur Christmas in disguise) looked after us. There are a few toys, balloon modelling and a selection of craft materials to create a poster or card for Santa.

Santa's Grotto Chill Factore with Arthur Christmas

All 3 of my family really enjoyed this, they made lovely cards and I was quite proud to see our two boys wished Santa a nice Boxing Day and asked for "Something that isn't coal, I've been a good boy".

Chill Factore Christmas making cards for Santa

Definitely allow plenty of time for making a card with the elves because it really got us feeling festive. When Santa's ready to see you, you are led through a secret passageway out through the snow (there's a wooden path) and then into Santa's cabin grotto.

Magic door to see Santa at Chill Factore christmas grotto

The grotto is gorgeous!!! Fireplaces and warm yellow lighting, there are presents everywhere and a fabulous Christmas Tree, but the big guy himself is the real star. Santa was superb. The boys were completely rapt, and there was absolutely no doubt that all of us in that room believed - even if only for 20 minutes. It was pure magic. (I had a special Press Pass that allowed me to take photos.)

My two older boys meeting Santa at Chill Factore christmas grotto photo looks sepia like an old Christmas card

Santa chatted to the boys for ages about slime and books, board games and LEGO. He told us Rudolph has taken a shine to another reindeer and asked the boys to leave out 2 carrots. We were in the zone, all of us grinning and nodding. Honestly my heart was glowing (and possibly 3 sizes larger) by the time we came out.

Chill Factore Christmas Grotto Review brothers visiting with santa st nick

Santa did give the boys a gift, but they've both decided to save it for Christmas Day.

When you leave there are photo options, and we had to really, because it was such a memorable experience. We paid £11 for our photograph, which is a really nice one. Prices vary to have your photo in a bauble or block etc.


After visiting with Santa you go to get togged up for the Snow Park. For standard sessions, under 4 year olds can book Mini Moose Land along with their tickets, age 4 or more it's Snow Play.

There is an age restriction on the Ice Slide of 6+, but plenty to keep you busy whatever your age, and there's an extra Snow Slope for 4-8 year olds underneath the Ice Slide.

Snow Play Chill Factore review boy on the Ice Slide luge

I hadn't been on the snow for a long time because of having operations on my stomach muscles. It was great and I tried everything. There's very little effort involved with the Snow Play and it's mainly on powdery snow, so more accessible than you might realise.

Snow Play Chill Factore review boy and man both sledging down steep hill

There is of course sledging, with a choice of different sledges. It's all about playing and having fun - my boys especially enjoyed the 2-person sleigh.

Snow Play Chill Factore review two boys on double sledge grinning

There's a travelator lift thing to stand on to get to the top of the hill between slides - it's like cheating - and it's right beside the unanimous favourite, Downhill Donuts. We all loved those - it's loads of fun in the 2 person rings, but you really can't get out with any sort of elegance!


We had a fantastic time. It was a brilliant experience and we all went home really happy. Santa was amazing - he was the real one, I'm sure of it.

Santa's Grotto will be in place at Chill Factorᵉ until Christmas Eve, and a visit with Santa costs only £2.50 more than a 2 Hour Snow Park Pass on it's own. It's a really special experience and one we'll remember forever.

On 22nd November  and 29th November from 1:30pm to 7:30pm Chill Factorᵉ are holding autism friendly grotto and Mini Moose Land sessions costing £8 for 1 child and 1 adult. These sessions are designed specifically for guests with autism and their families or carers. Find out more about the Autism Friendly Grotto here.

A visit to see Santa and 2 hours on the Snow Play costs from £25 each /Family of 4 from £85. Santa and Mini Moose Land costs from £9.50pp each. Save 10% on bookings made and taken before 20th December by using the code SANTA10.Find out more and book on the Chill Factorᵉ website.

Age Restrictions:
Sledge 'n' Slide - minimum age 4yrs
Downhill Donuts - minimum age 4 years
Ice Slide - minimum age 6 years
Snow Slide - minimum age 4 years / maximum age 8
Please note: Children under the age of 10 years in Snow Park must be accompanied by an adult (aged 17 plus)

BRING GLOVES AND THICK SOCKS it's -4 out there. You can hire boots and clothing online or at the clothing desk (I didn't check, but last time it was £8 for jacket and trousers), but you are more than welcome to bring your own. If you bring your own boots for Snow Park / Mini Moose Land activities then they must be clean, robust and be suitable for snowy conditions, such as wellies or walking boots. Trainers are not suitable. Lockers take a £1 coin, which is refunded.

All Snow Park equipment, for example, donuts and sledges, is included in the price of your Snow Park pass.


We've been to Chill Factorᵉ many times over the past few years and reviewed a lot of the different sessions they have on offer:

Beginner Ski Lessons Review - Learn to ski in a day (age 6+)
Snowboarding Taster Session (age 8+)
We've been to see Santa at Chill Factore before, back in 2013
And we even reviewed the Snow Play area when the boys were aged 3 and 4 (it's changed a bit now!), and this is what Mini Moose Land looked like when it first opened in 2014.




Our entry was free of charge in order to review.

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