One of mine and my children’s favourite places to see Santa last year was the Princes Quay grotto so I was delighted this year when they called to ask me to go along and check it out.
My eldest son is nearly 6 and so Santa is a big deal in our house. We’ve been using Santa’s naughty and nice list as bribery for good behaviour for a few weeks now, we tell him the burglar alarm sensors in the rooms in our house are Santa cameras and he’s watching everything he does! So when he got the chance to go along and meet the Princes Quay Santa and take his letter to him he was very excited.
I also have a 2 and a half year old daughter who came along but she wasn’t so thrilled to meet Santa! She’s at the age where most things scare her, especially anyone dressed up. She loved looking at the outside of the grotto but then totally bottled actually going inside. The elves working there were really lovely with her and gave her a balloon model anyway. The good thing about the grotto being on Princes Quay’s ground floor is all the other things to do there, so she had a lovely time with my husband in the arcade playing air hockey while I took my son inside to meet the main man.
This years grotto is a beautiful log cabin, ‘Claus Cabin’. You queue up outside but then as you go in there are things to do inside while you are waiting to go through the final door into Santa which is a great idea to keep excited children occupied rather than just queuing. The inside of the grotto is very festive and cosy with a log fire burning and elves to chat to. Mrs Claus was there reading stories by the fire when we were waiting and there were several elves crafts tables set up so my son did some colouring, wrote his Santa list and decorated some tree decorations.
We went inside the final section to meet Santa and he was very realistic! He asked lots of good questions and my son loved chatting to him, here he is casually talking him through the finer points of his list! We didnt feel rushed and had plenty of time with Santa. Then we got a gift, it was a Star Wars activity pack so very relevant to my sons age (and obsession!) and really good quality.
The grotto is open now until Christmas Eve and I would definitely recommend a visit. Opening times are: