Christmas At Marwell Zoo

At the weekend Ben, Maxwell and I went on a very exciting day out. We spent the day at Marwell Zoo which is located near Winchester in Hampshire. Not only did we get to spend the day at the zoo walking around, looking at the animals and going on the land train but we also got to meet Santa and go on one of the best Christmas experiences we have ever been on.

Christmas at Marwell runs from the 19th November-24th December and is based in Marwell House which is located in Marwell Zoo.We were given day tickets to visit the Zoo and after our day out at the Zoo we then were able to head and go on our Christmas experience. We arrived at the zoo at 11am and we spent around 3 and a half hours at the zoo. We found that 3 and a half hours was enough time to see all the animals at the zoo, visit the gift shop and have a little treat at the cafe. We were told that a land train would meet us at the entrance of the zoo at 2.30. At 2.25 we waited eagerly for the land train and at 2.30 it arrived to take us up to Marwell house.

When the land train arrived, Maxwell was very excited. The land train had been decorated with holly, lights and baubles. It looked magical. We hopped on board the train and it slowly took us to Marwell house. The train journey took around 10 mins and it allowed us to take in the views of the zoo and see some of our favourite animals which we had seen earlier that day.

When we arrived at Marwell house, we were greeted by a huge tree which was bright and very Christmassy. We made our way to the door of the house and we were greeted by a very funny elf. We were invited in and were instantly made to feel welcome, excited and warm. We were offered mince pies, mulled wine and blackcurrant squash whilst we waited for the experience to get started.

One of my favourite parts of the experience was the waiting. We were spoken to the elves individually and we were entertained by a large white board which listed naughty and nice children. The naughty list included people like Simon Cowell, Batman and Team Rocket whilst the nice list included lots of childrens names that were visiting the Christmas experience. Maxwell was able to pick his name off the board and loved that he was on the nice list.

Soon it was time for Mother Christmas to tell us a story. The children were told a story of Marwell at Christmas and the story was simply magical. There were lots of animals involved and I felt the children were kept entertained. The children were able to take part in the story and this is something which Maxwell went away talking about. 

Once the story was over, a elf took us to a room full of tables and we were able to go and make some sweet treats! This was by far Ben and Maxwell's favourite part of the experience. Inside the room adults and children were able to make a tree cone. We used buttercream, smarties, laces, chooclate biscuits and some sprinkles to complete our tree cone. It was a very messy activity but an activity which involved team work and a lot of laughter.

Soon after we had completed our tree cone, we were called in to visit Santa. Maxwell was very shy of Santa and very quiet around him however Santa kept trying to engage with Maxwell and tried to make Maxwell laugh. We did not feel like Santa was in a rush to hurry us through our visit to him which was nice. Maxwell was able to tell Santa what he would like for Christmas and in turn Maxwell was given a parcel with some gifts in which he loved.

After our visit to Santa we were shown through a door and we got to meet Pedro the penguin. Pedro was amazing and kept us all entertained as we waited for the train to take us back to the entrance of the park. Pedro danced, hugged and happily stood with children to take photos.

When it was time to go home, the land train picked us back up and dropped us back at the entrance of the park. As a family, we were all sad for our amazing Christmas experience to end. We wanted more! We have vowed to visit again next year and if you are looking for a magical experience with Santa as well as a special day ahead of your visit, we believe Marwell is the experience for you.

Marwell Zoo invited us to their Christmas experience and it was the best experience we have ever been on. From start to finish, we had a magical time. We found that there was something for all of us to enjoy and smile at and I know for certain that Maxwell loved every minute of his Christmas experience and our day out will be a memory he will keep with him for some time.

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