Christmas will soon be here and if you are looking for a place to go and see the main man himself, then why not give Santa’s Gone Digital at the Bullring, Birmingham a try! The Grotto is located in St. Martin’s Square next to the church. It’s appearance resembles a modern igloo which may surprise some people and does not look very festive from the outside, bar from a couple of reindeer, a polar and a few small Christmas trees. You must book in advance to attend either at the stall in the Bullring or online.
When we arrived at our allotted time, we were greeted by two elves called Jingle and Snowdrop and they escorted us into the igloo when the people in the slot before us had left. Jingle and Snowdrop told Thomas that Santa was very tired and had gone to sleep and that he needed to wake him up. It was dark when we entered the igloo which might be a bit scary for younger children. Thomas and the elves then shouted ‘Boo’ and Santa woke up and greeted us. He spoke to Thomas and Daniel, my nearly 2 year old about what they wanted for Christmas. We then travelled to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole via an immersive 360° video experience. Thomas and Daniel were fascinated by the video and listening to Santa talking about the workshop and his elves. They enjoyed seeing the toys being made and liked being asked to do a robot dance when Santa’s robots appeared. We were then shown the reindeer outside the workshop and then it was time to travel back to the grotto and receive a present from Santa each. Daniel gave Santa a high five and then we all posed for two photos with Santa that are included in the entrance price (£7.50 per child) before leaving the grotto.
I did think the experience was slightly expensive for what you get due to the low value of gifts received. Thomas got a boys travel activity pack and Daniel got some small bath toys. It is better than just giving out selection boxes though, which I have seen in some places before and the two digital photos included do make the cost slightly more worthwhile.
Overall, I was very impressed with the grotto. The elves could do not enough to help Thomas, Daniel and I enjoyed the experience. The Santa looked genuine and was very patient with the children. Thomas was grumpy and tired at the end so he did not smile for the photos unfortunately. Santa and the elves were very understanding and did their best to cheer him up!
You can also read my review in the Birmingham Mail here
We were invited as guests of the Bullring to visit Santa’s Gone Digital. All opinions are my own. We were not required to write a positive review