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Are you looking for a festive day out for all the family in the Leeds or Yorkshire area in the run up to Christmas? We visited the Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience 2022, and here is what we thought.
- Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience Review
- What Does General Entry To The Attraction Mean?
- What Are The Extras That Can Be Booked?
Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience Review
Lotherton Hall is a large country house, woodland walk and wildlife park just east of Leeds. The hall itself was donated to Leeds City Council to be part of the Leeds museums family. And most of the year, it is still a fabulous day out. See my separate review of Lotherton Wildlife World here.
But as it is a Leeds Council run attraction, in the run up to the Christmas period, Lotherton decks the halls with all manner of festive wonders. We visited Lotherton Christmas Experience 2022 last year and in my opinion it was one of the best and most reasonably priced Santa grotto and festive attractions that we have visited.
Where To Buy Lotherton Hall Tickets
My big tip is not to wait until November and December, when the attraction opens. Tickets go on sale in mid September, so keep an eye out for when they do to make sure to get the best visit times.
A general entrance ticket is required to visit the Lotherton Christmas Experience. And then other attractions need also to be booked and paid for before the day. We bought our tickets on the Lotherton section of the Leeds Museums website – details for the 2023 experience will be coming soon. I even got some money off our tickets because both myself and my daughter have a Leeds Card and Breeze Card. (Some reductions also may apply if you are a Lotherton Hall membership card holder)
What Does General Entry To The Attraction Mean?
(2022 Price £9 per adult)
The general entry ticket for the experience itself includes entry to Lotherton Hall, the Festive Christmas Market, Fairy Dell, Woodland Walk and Lotherton Wildlife World.
It does not include meeting Santa or some of the other extras – So you will need to book and pay for these separately.
I will say that the general attractions are all really lovely and festive. So whilst there are plenty of extras you can book, you may decided to only do one or even none!
So – what is included in the entrance fee?
The Woodland Walk
Lotherton Hall is surrounded by acres of woodland and deer park, so it is worth spending a bit of your day exploring the grounds and gardens. And the woodland walk has been set up for Christmas with a host of special displays and interactive elements for kids of all ages to enjoy. There are even places where you can get that special family Christmas photo.
Our favourite parts were the trees that made noises as we passed and the cracker that told different jokes when you pulled the ropes at each end.
Children’s Play Parks
Lotherton has two children’s parks, a traditional metal one with slide and climbing frames, and a wooden adventure style one with swings. My little girl loves both.
The Fairy Dell
Once you get to the end of the woodland walk there is a sign for the Fairy Dell, and this is one of my daughters favourite sections. As you walk through the fairy village, you can hear the laughter and chattering of the fairy inhabitants within! They are just too cheeky!
Lotherton Wildlife World
Entrance to the wildlife world is part of the admission fee, and this is always worth a visit to see the birds and beasts on show. Again, see my review of this attraction here.
The hall itself is open in the run up to Christmas, and is decorated complete with real Christmas trees ready for the festive season. Only the ground floor is open however, so all the usual costumes and furniture may not be on show.
Festive Christmas Market
When we visited, there was a small festive market selling handmade goods and great unusual gift ideas. There were also several food stalls, as well as the usual Courtyard Cafe. However these were all very busy.
So as you can see, it is easy to get a brilliant festive experience without booking any extras. But what if you are wanting to meet Santa?
What Are The Extras That Can Be Booked?
You can pay to book add on tickets if you wish to do some of the other attractions available. In 2022 these included
- meeting Santa and getting a gift,
- decorating cookies with Mrs Claus,
- painting Christmas decorations or plates with the elves and
- seeing a magic show.
(2022 price £16.95 per child)
In 2022 the Santa grotto was situated at the end of a charming attraction called ” Under The Wishing Tree”. Santa’s helpers guided us through a maze of decorated huts and scenery, telling the tale of a special wishing tree. In one of the huts on the way to Santa, each child received a bag of reindeer food to spread on Christmas Eve. Finally after making it through the story, you get to meet the man himself. And each child gets a toy.
Of all the Santa meeting experiences we have done, this was far and away my favourite, as it was far more involved than some of the others we have visited.
Decorating Cookies With Mrs Claus
(2022 price – £4.50 per child)
The next paid for experience we tried was decorating cookies with Mrs Claus. Again, you are taken by ‘elves’ to the kitchens in Lotherton hall where a festive tableau is set. Mrs Claus tells all the children the story of the gingerbread boy, and then they are allowed to decorate their own gingerbread man.
My 7 year old really enjoyed this.
(2022 Price – £4.00 per child)
Is your child into arts and crafts? Then the elf crafts are a perfect way to spend a little time. Each child get to pick an ornament or plate to decorate, then paints this in any way they like. Come back later to pick up once the paint has dried.
(2022 Price – £2 each)
The magic show was the one thing that I was just not sure about when I booked our tickets. I didn’t think I would be that interested, and I actually booked it for nearer the end of our day so we could decide if we wanted to go to see the magic or go home instead. And it actually turned out to be the best part of the day! My 7 year old loved the show and was even invited up to be the helper. It was a brilliant way to end our festive day.
So as you can see, we booked and paid for quite a few of the extra experiences. But the general admission alone gives you some lovely festive events and experiences by itself, so you do not really need to book anything on top of this in my opinion.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that it has given you some great ideas.
I have lots of other travel posts and reviews of other attractions in the Yorkshire area, as well as other places in the UK on my website so why not go take a look? Please leave your comments below, or tag me on social media.
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