Christmas is now approaching thick and fast – can you believe there’s under two weeks left already?… Where has this year gone?!
Every year I try to make it my mission to take LO to see Santa – and as this is Baby Girl’s first Crimbo we couldn’t miss out on a Santa’s Grotto visit. We were invited by the Museum of London Docklands to come and visit their Victorian Santa’s grotto. The museum is located at West India Quay, a tiny walk from Canary Wharf making it a central location for those living or working in the city. Also unlike other Santa’s Grottos which are in shopping centres, this one is in a museum (you basically have two wicked visits rolled into one!).
We went along last Sunday. It seems like Sundays are the busiest days at the museum so if you would love to avoid the hustle and bustle I’d recommend going on a weekday or even Saturday (which seemed less busy). We actually arrived late to our Santa appointment but the team were so accommodating and we were still allowed to enter.
We decided to head straight to the Grotto as we were late and checked out the museum after the Santa visit. The Grotto is located on the second floor and was quite easy to find – you just follow the Santa footprints on the floor until you reached the entrance to the special place. There was a little buggy park so you can leave your pram but it is at the owner’s risk. I had no valuable items in mine so I left mine there – I did not want to be lugging my Urbo around even though it is a small pram. When we passed the lovely decorative old Victorian town we reached the queue to see Santa. There was a lovely little crafts table to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults stood in line for the children to see Santa.
Santa is a busy guy around this time of year so a small wait to see him is to be expected. LO and Baby Girl were actually so well behaved in the queue. It was amazing like I had karma on my side haha! LO contained himself and behaved so well despite the other children around him letting loose a bit, I saw the calmer reserved side to him that day.
We ended up waiting a total of about thirty minutes so I guess we weren’t the only latecomers to the Grotto. The Santa’s helper asked LO for his name and for Baby Girl’s before letting us enter Santa’s cosy little home. Upon seeing Santa LO’s little face lit up. He sat down and the big guy asked if LO has been naughty or nice this year and gave him instructions of leaving out the milk and cookies for Santa to come and have carrots for the reindeers to munch on. We had our photo taken with Santa by the little helper (free print but we purchased an additional one for £8) and just before leaving Santa gave LO a little pre-Christmas gift. It was a cute little wooden toy of a boy – a lovely gift I thought and LO seemed quite fond of it too.
The photos the helper took for us were lovely but slightly blurry. I don’t know if it was due to the dim lighting in the place or the helper’s photography skills. There were some good ones but the photo I picked was the best (see above). All of us were smiling but… half of Santa was cut out! I didn’t even notice it until we go home but it’s okay as it’s a lovely photo and there was an extra person there (Uncle Al was there with us). 🙂 Daddy P has said he would like to go again and get another photo done but it’s just about finding time to schedule in another visit before Christmas… perhaps a visit on Christmas Eve would be nice but we’ll see!
After our visit we checked out the rest of the museum. I love museums and this one had so much to show us. There’s a lot of history in that place it made me feel quite proud to be a south-east Londoner seeing all that stuff haha. The museum is free so we’ll definitely be returning to check it out again. They also have a lovely interactive play area for under 5s in the Mudlarks Gallery area which is also free but needs to be booked in advance.
If you want more info on the museum or see what else they have going on, visit the link below:
NB. We were kindly given tickets to see Santa for the purpose of this review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.