Tuesday 25 November 2014

A Visit to Father Christmas in the Snow... Chill Factore Review

It's that time of year where you have to start admitting Christmas is on it's way and when you have young children that means writing Christmas lists, posting letters to Santa and of course visiting a Grotto...

For the past few years there has been one grotto in particular that my two little munchkins have been very excited to visit. A very special place where the 'Real' father Christmas can be found in a magical grotto in the snow, the Chill Factore of course!
Father Christmas Santa Chill Factore Manchester

A Christmas Tradition

It's become somewhat of a traditional and you can read about our visits over the past few years here:

Visiting Santa in the snow at the Chill Factore 2013

Santa and Sledging at the Chill Factore 2012

This year was even more special as our youngest Elizabeth turned four a few days before our visit so it was the first time that she was able to join her big brother Ben in the Snow Park. Even though she has a great time in the Snow Play she was very excited to join Ben in the more white knuckle section of the centre.

We arrived just on time and were able to get our clothing hire quickly and easily, an extra charge does apply for this but in my opinion it's worth it to keep warm and comfortable on the snow if you don't own your own ski wear. Remember to bring your own gloves and hats though as these are essential! (oh and a pound coin for the locker.)

Snow Park Chill Factore Manchester

Snow Park Adventures

After we were all suited up we were taken out on to the snow and a friendly staff member gave us a quick overview of the snow park. The Downhill Donuts and Sledge 'o' Mania were suitable from aged four upwards but the the Luge Slip 'n' Slide was just for ages six and up. As Elizabeth couldn't go on the latter we were invited to use the Mini Moose Land Snow Play area too which had mini downhill donuts, slides and more!

We all thoroughly enjoyed an hour of adventure in the snow and I discovered that my little girl is a bit of an adrenaline fiend! She absolutely loved the tubing and and kept racing back up the hill for another turn. Ben as always favoured the sledging and with his encouragement I bravely tried out the Ice Slide for the first time and thought it was fantastic! Daddy loved it all of course!

After changing out of our snow gear we wandered over to the queue for the grotto. as it was Saturday we expected a fair wait and we did queue for around 40 minutes, however the children barely noticed as there was lots of activities to entertain them, from colouring to building blocks and a Wendy House. The Elves were really friendly, staying in character and chatting to the children about their visit and their Christmas lists.

Mini Moose Land - Chill Factore - Christmas - Snow Play

Check out this video to see just how much fun we had in the Snow Park: 

The Real Father Christmas

Once it was our turn a lovely kind Elf led us out onto the snow and whispered instructions to the children who were positively brimming with excitement, they then led us down the path and knocked three times on the big red door of the magical hut in the snow where the big man in red greeted us enthusiastically. 

I really do think that despite all the glitz of a grotto, for the children the one thing that can make or beak it is father Christmas himself and this one was fantastic, He totally looked the part and chatted to the children with genuine interest for quite some time before routing in his sack for a special gift for them and asking them to leave him out a mince pie and a carrot for Rudolf on Christmas Eve.

There was the opportunity for a photograph which was available to purchase on the way out in a number different packages. A small gift was given to each child, my son was given a small wooden building block set and my daughter a Spongebob stationary set.

We had such a fun time and both children have barely stopped talking about it since. Our visit to the Chill Factore lasted around two and a half hours in total and we could have happily extended it by grabbing lunch in one of the popular eateries at the centre which include a Nandos and a Pizzeria.
Chill Factore Snow Park Map

So How Much Does it Cost to Visit Santa's Snow Grotto at the Chill Factore?

Mini Moose Land & Santa (under 4s) £15 for a family of 2 (1 adult and 1 child)

Snow Park Pass & Santa (age 4+) £40 for a family of 2 (1 adult and 1 child)

Opening times and booking details can be found on the website.

Special Offers!

If you make your booking before Sunday 30th November, you can save 20% on any Santa visits taken on weekdays before Friday 19th December 2014 or on November weekends.

Use discount codes SANTA20 and SANTA20NOV when booking online.

Opening times and booking details can be found on the website.

We were invited to visit Santa as guests of the Chill Factore all opinions are my own.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic place to visit and I agree the big man himself makes a big difference. We will be visiting one at our local garden centre this year as we have been invited along with nursery but would love to go somewhere where they can experience snow at the same time.

  2. This looks like a great way to spend the day and I think I will have to add it to my list of places to try!

  3. Jocelyn (@ReadingRes)Thursday, November 27, 2014

    It looks like loads of fun there, so much to do!

  4. Looks like such a fun place to spend the day, my 2 would love playing in all that snow!


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