As a family treat Grandma and Grandad Bickham decided to take us all to Chill Factore’s Santa’s Snow Kingdom. It was a lovely day and we all had lots of fun in the snow. Chill Factore is in Manchester near the Trafford Centre, it’s an indoor snow slope with lots of activities to choose from.
We arrived a little early so decided to grab a hot a drink and some breakfast in the Wetherspoons’ Castle in the Air. The free parking was starting to get busy, but we managed to find a spot just around the side of the entrance.
We waited for Grandma, Grandad and the rest of the Bickhams to arrive and then headed on inside. There were a few Christmas decorations and a tall bright icy blue Christmas tree which added to the atmosphere.
Having booked online, Grandma collected the tickets and we headed on in to the Family Changing Area to get on some winter boots (provided by Chill Factore) and our winter clothes (bring your own, but they are available to hire or buy). The changing area was a little busy and at times it was difficult to keep an eye on the boys and get changed, especially as T is a runner! Once ready we popped our stuff in a locker, although I had to try 2 before I found one that stayed shut.
Next up, Santa! Santa’s grotto is accessed by a desk at the side of the main reception. There are some activities to keep children entertained while you are waiting. Our waiting time was short, so the moving reindeer was sufficient to keep the 3 boys distracted.
Off we went to the Winter Wonderland, Santa’s grotto is at the foot of the slopes, so it was cold and you have to walk through a little snow to get there, which adds to the Christmas feel. Once inside the grotto we were ushered in to a room by one of the elves to meet Santa. The Santa experience was good, but Santa was not as ‘authentic’ as I’ve experienced at other grottos.
Santa was jolly and asked the kids the obligatory questions which they were obviously excited to answer. They each got a small gift which was a book for T (2) and a jigsaw for L (4). L loves jigsaws so he was very happy. After seeing Santa, you have the option to purchase a photo and then enter the Mini Moose Land.
As T is 2 he stayed in Mini Moose Land with his Mummy to play with the diggers, snow toys, tunnels, Wendy houses and mini tube slide. L and I went to get our helmets (provided by Chill Factore), so we could ride the Downhill Donuts and Sledge-o-mania.
On the Downhill Donuts, you can choose to ride the bumps or a smooth lane whilst sat in huge rubber rings. L was not too keen on these as he had to ride solo and was a little nervous. Sledge 'O' Mania you can race each other on the sledges, L enjoyed this much more as I could ride next to him. I think Granddad quite liked the donuts, check out this video:
After riding the slopes we all got a drink and bite to eat from Costa and then headed home. The boys even got a cheeky photo in the photo booth.
It was a fantastic day, both boys really enjoyed it. L was especially excited that he got to play in the snow after seeing Santa. Guaranteed snow is not something you’ll find at many other venues in the UK.
If you are thinking of visiting, then here’s a few tips:
After you’ve finished there are plenty of places to eat and drink; Costa, Wetherspoons, Fredericks Ice Cream Parlour and Nandos to name a few.
If you want to experience Santa’s Snow Kingdom, then you can get tickets on the website Chill Factore