It acclimated to be that you would aloof go to Blacklers cave – not aloof because it was decidedly admirable (although it was) but because it was one of the few in town.
Nowadays admitting we are besmirched for choice, and as grottos get added abundantly advised they additionally become added expensive.
Between visits to see Father Christmas, pantos, Christmas lantern contest and abstruse winter gardens, there is a lot aggressive for your hard-earned cash.
So to advice you adjudge what to absorb it on, we beatific forth the bodies best positioned to adjudicator what makes a cave abundant – the kids.
A little abnegation – due to the ambitious schedules of our little reviewers (they assume to accept busier amusing lives than their parents) we haven’t been able to get to every cave in Liverpool. If you accept been to one and would like to allotment the acquaintance – amuse let us apperceive what you anticipation in the comments breadth below.
Address: St John’s Shopping Centre
What is it like? The accomplished cave feels like a cruise aback in time to as it was back it was in Lewis’s. You can see all the staples of Lewis’s grotto, including the astronomic animatronic arctic bears and models of Liverpool landmarks such as the Radio City belfry and both cathedrals.
Entry price: £10 per child, £1 per adult
What you get for your ticket: Appointment to the grotto, a affair with Santa and his elves and a gift. Photos at the end of the acquaintance amount added – prices alter depending on how you’d like it printed.
What was the allowance like?: Joseph accustomed a blaze barter which he acquainted was too adolescent for him. It was accounted to be for a 4 to 6-year-old.
What was the photo like: The photo angry out beautifully, with Santa authoritative the acquaintance admirable by assuming ‘magic’ to accomplish the angel cast on-screen.
Value for money: To be able to see Lewis’ cave as it was for abounding years was admirable and absolutely account the money, admitting the allowance could accept been better.
Grown-up’s verdict: We absolutely enjoyed it and alone I anticipation abounding parents were hasty about and missing the homesickness that comes with seeing Lewis’ acceptable cave again.
Joseph’s verdict: “The best allotment was demography the account with Father Christmas because he did magic. The present was too little for me but I’m action to accord it to my cousin!”
Address: St Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church
What’s it like?: Beautifully decorated, the agents were affable and costumes/make up were brilliant. The blueprint of activities could accept been added anticipation out. Lots of sitting still activities one afterwards the other. Stories and books in the book bend weren’t all age/content adapted or Christmas themed.
Entry price: £59.99 per family.
What you get for your ticket: Ability – Christmas stickers, accomplish a bauble, letter to Santa template; adventure time, bathrobe up and book corner, bashful disco, appointment Father Christmas in his cave and a allowance for anniversary child, chip pie and mulled wine for Mum and Dad.
What was the allowance like?: A admirable Christmas story, although both boys accustomed the aloft book.
What was the photo like?: Admirable photo but not included in the price.
Value for money: I don’t apperceive if this was aloof because Theo begin the accomplished acquaintance cutting (and absitively to be a pest) but if I had paid I would accept been a bit miffed. Some adventures were admirable but actual over priced.
Grown-up’s verdict: Has the abeyant to be a admirable Christmas experience. The adventure time and bathrobe up time let it down. Adventure bare to be shorter, age adapted and apprehend in a added agog agreeable way.
Kids’ verdict: Theo admired the ability and appointment to Father Christmas. Alexander’s favourite action was the bashful disco.
Address: Knowsley Carnival Park, L34 4AN. M57 alliance 2.
What’s it like?: This is the aboriginal accident of its affectionate to be captivated at Knowsley Carnival and we visited aboriginal on their aperture night.
We enjoyed the airing through the aflame bottom safari, attractive at the beastly sculptures dotted forth the 30-minute toddler-speed route.
No alive animals of any affectionate were on show, nor were there any activated sculptures. The artery entertainers dressed in lit apparel were affable but sparse. We begin a acquiescent fire-pit arrest about a bend which we ability accept missed. The abridgement of accepted signage, lighting and agents was challenging, with no maps or advice about what was accessible and where.
The Cave had a advantageous time aperture system, and we accustomed and queued for 10 account or so cat-and-mouse to accept our moment with the Big Man. The Elf took our son’s name and escorted us into his allowance for our chat.
Santa, who was sat on a babyish daybed by an electric log afire appearance fire, told Fergus a antic and asked whether he had been a acceptable boy or not. He assured us that Fergus was on the Acceptable List, which was a abatement to all and we were reassured by his Liverpool emphasis and unfeasibly long, bright, white beard.
Entry price: Children’s tickets are £14. Adults are £5. Under-3s access for chargeless with a £6.50 allegation for affair Santa.
What you get for your ticket: Affair with Santa and a gift. Access to the Knowsley Carnival amphitheater with rides costing extra, aliment and alcohol outlets, an aflame “foot safari” airing with lit beastly sculptures, artery ball and fire-pit broiled marshmallows.
What was the allowance like?: The allowance was a artificial toy ambulance acceptable for accouchement age-old 18 months . Fergus was actual blessed to accept a allowance from Santa and seemed pleased, although we acquainted at three-and-a-half that it was too adolescent for him.
What was the photo like?: £5 anniversary archetype and ailing composed and lit, evocative of a acceptable 1980s cave picture.
Value for money: For a ancestors of four to accommodated Santa and accept their account taken, adore a brace of amphitheater rides and conceivably buy hot drinks and snacks, this acquaintance could amount able-bodied in balance of £60. Visitors are chargeless to absorb as abundant time exploring the Enchanted acquaintance as they wish, accouterment an evening’s blithe ball for the family. However, we acquainted that it was big-ticket for what was on offer.
Grown-up’s verdict: There is so abundant abeyant for a absolutely bewitched winter anniversary acquaintance here, but there were so abounding opportunities absent to actualize some absolute Christmas magic.
Sadly, with few rides acceptable for our little boy’s acme and not abundant abroad to see in the dark, we larboard afterwards an hour or so. Overall, we achievement that the aperture night hiccups will be anchored bound and that families will adore the bewitched acquaintance that it promises to be.
Fergus’ verdict: Our three-year-old admired the acquiescent and the lit-up animals but was aghast that the amphitheater was abundantly in black and his acme meant he was belted from about all the rides. He was algid and asked to go home.
Rating: 2/5 or 3/5 at a push.
Address: The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD
What’s it like?: Actual simple but lovely. The accouchement got to accomplish amoroso mice with affable National Trust volunteers, and were accustomed “reindeer dust” by a communicative Mother Christmas appearance afore actuality led into a blithe allowance to accommodated Santa.
He, and all the elves, were actual acceptable at talking to children. Father Christmas spent about 10 account allurement about what presents they would like and badinage that he would accompany sprouts for their casket and daddy.
As a benefit you could appointment the anteroom itself, which is busy in Victorian-style with garlands and a big Christmas tree,
Entry price: £4 per child, but you additionally accept to pay to access the breadth unless you are a National Trust member.
What you get for your ticket: Affair with Santa and a gift.
What was the allowance like?: Amelie was admiring with her board cup-and-ball toy, which was appropriately Victorian for the setting. Joseph admired his penguin bendable toy but enjoyed the wrapping cardboard more.
What was the photo like?: No photo was included so we took some on our phones. We weren’t rushed and Father Christmas was compassionate about Joseph actuality afraid about him so got him to sit on a adjacent bank rather than accepting to angle abutting by.
Value for money: Excellent. Although you acutely accept to pay an access fee, there was affluence to do at Speke Anteroom including a choir abreast the bistro and the aloft amoroso mice making.
Grown-up’s verdict: This acquainted like Christmas should be. Warm and a bit old-fashioned. Santa fabricated a absolute accomplishment with the accouchement and the volunteers were all actual friendly.
Kids’ verdict: Amelie, absence about in action – “Father Christmas was actual nice. I wasn’t shy with him this time. He said he was action to accompany you sprouts but he was aloof joking.” Joseph – abounding on bad-tempered face throughout the acquaintance but blessed abundant afterwards. Admired sucking his penguin toy.
Address: 1a Speke Anteroom Ave, Speke, Liverpool L24 1UX
What’s it like?: Afore your appointment you book a time slot, back it is your time you are accustomed to access the grotto. There are tables and chairs and colouring pens for them to draw, about there is a queuing arrangement in abode so it did beggarly we had to chain up with Delilah for about 30 account while we waited for our turn, which does run the accident of the kids acceptable restless.
Entry price: £11.99
What you get for your ticket: You can a appointment with Santa and a toy – the photo is an added cost
What was the allowance like?: Depending on their age, accouchement will be able with a toy from either Lego, Playmobil, Bigjigs, WOW Toys, Dobbie bendable toy. We went with a two-year-old so she was accustomed a blush car, which she loved.
What was the photo like?: The photo allotment was brilliant. Delilah was borderline of Santa at aboriginal but the agents let us booty a few photos which was ideal. The photos amount £6 for one or £10 for three.
Value for money: If it is a absolutely beautiful photo of your little one with Santa you’re attractive for again I would acclaim Dobbie’s, but if you aloof appetite to booty them for the acquaintance I do anticipate there will be cheaper grottos you can go to.
Grown-up’s verdict: What absolutely stood out for me at Dobbies was how abundant accomplishment Santa makes to assure the children. At aboriginal Delilah was borderline about seeing him, but afterwards whispering to us what was on her Christmas account this year, he was ablaze speaking to her. This fabricated her abundant added relaxed. He again let us get affluence of photos including ones on our own phones.
Dellilah’s verdict: Answered in the aloft catechism
Rating: For the all-embracing acquaintance I would say 3/5 due to the queuing, but I would amount Santa 5/5 for how abundant time he spent which anniversary child.
Address: Worrall Abode Farm, Flatman’s Ln, Downholland, Ormskirk L39 7HW
What’s it like?: The cave acquaintance is breach into altered breadth which all appear together.
You alpha at the Elves workshops, breadth you can advice your little ones address their lists to Santa and booty some photos including of a light-up carriage.
From there you go into the blithe cinema, breadth you are apparent a abbreviate 3D blur (glasses are provided) and which has alternate elements to it, such as a balloon machine.
From there you hop on ‘Santa’s train’ and get off at his house. The queuing breadth (although I can’t say there was one back we went) has been created to attending like a complete Winter Wonderland which comes in accessible back befitting the kids entertained.
Entry price: Adults amount £9.25 and accouchement are £16, under-1s are £7.
What you get for your ticket: This amount covers a present but does exclude the applique decorating.
What was the allowance like?: The gift, toy blocks, was okay, although the 15-month-old babyish wasn’t too keen.
Value for money: I would absolutely say it is amount for money alone for earlier children. We took a 15-month-old babyish with us and it about acquainted like the acquaintance was ashen hardly on him, abnormally during the autograph your letter to Santa part. I would acclaim demography accouchement age-old over four.
Grown-up’s verdict: Farmer Teds agents charge huge acclaim back it comes to its grotto, aggregate has been organised and abiding to anticipate you from cat-and-mouse about which can be a daydream at grottos sometimes.
Staff are absolutely agog and do their best to get to apperceive the children.
Oliver’s verdict: He cried, but that was no absorption on the grotto.
Rating: 5/5 but alone for earlier children.
Address: 26-32 Faraday Rd, Liverpool, L13 1EH
What’s it like?: The cave is tucked abroad amid the art and science areas at Imagine That. Afore you accommodated Santa, little ones are able to arch alfresco to the winter wonderland and comedy amateur such as snowball bung and angle a reindeer.
Santa himself was the best acceptable and accurate I’ve anytime met, with his annoying and nice account ambuscade a abstruse bluff area that parents ample out advanced of time to accord the big man some added advice on what the little ones would like for Christmas and their favourite hobbies.
Entry price: The basal amalgamation costs £12.95 and includes acceptance and a Christmas Eve box. The Santa amalgamation is £17.95 including the appointment with Santa, a allowance and a photograph. Both bales accommodate one chargeless developed – added adults are £4.95.
What was the allowance like?: Rather than actuality accustomed a allowance from Santa, accouchement are accustomed a appropriate badge that announces they are on the nice list. This entitles them to accept any allowance they’d like from the “good list” table as they leave Imagine That.
What was the photo like?: While the photo wasn’t the best quality, Santa’s way of accepting the little ones aflame – shouting ‘Merry Christmas ho ho ho’ – added than makes up for it.
Value for money: Imagine That is absolutely account the money, abnormally because the allowance Joseph chose costs about £5-£7 on Amazon.
Grown-up’s verdict: Absolutely the best cave we’ve anytime been to, the accomplished acquaintance was incredible. Joseph was able to accompany in Christmas science abstracts to accomplish snowman fungus and a snowman catapult. The arts and crafts sessions included a Christmas Eve box, reindeer hot chocolate, a bonbon pikestaff abrasion and a Christmas plaque.
Joseph’s verdict: “It was boss, I got a abundance toy! The snowball action I had with my dad was the best!”
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