When my mother first told me there were real-life reindeer at Woodcote Garden Centre – a local hangout for me and the kids, I gasped. Having moved to Surrey from London , I wasn’t so used to all these huge spaces dedicated to children and the Woodcote Garden Centre is a firm favourite. Not only do they have a great little play area, café and aquarium but plenty of space for kids to run about – which is why it is extremely popular. Not least, it also serves as an excellent store to purchase all your gardening needs.

I am always blown away by the sheer scale of what Woodcote Garden Centre has on offer there is all manner of things on sale; from top of the range BBQ, to one-off pieces of artwork; to Christmas lights to deck the whole house and children’s toys: Plus posh organic cheeses and gourmet frozen dinners.

Christmas at Woodcote Garden Centre

Christmas at Woodcote Garden Centre is a spectacular event. Not only are there four reindeer you can get fairly close to – but a Santa’s grotto and trail which moves you through different brightly lit installations – which are mesmerising for kids.

Christmas Cheer at Woodcote Garden Centre, Surrey | My Travel Monkey

When we went, the reindeer were fast asleep in their pen, but we still enjoyed watching and learning all about them, as we looked at the information plaques. “Why are they lying down, mummy?” he asked, so we told him they were resting up for the big push on Christmas Eve. That seemed to satisfy him.Christmas Cheer at Woodcote Garden Centre, Surrey | My Travel Monkey

Next up we getting all the stamps for from the Santa Trail. Dotted all around the garden centre are large Christmas displays just for kids, from snowmen to polar bears and fishing Eskimos. From a marketing angle, a great ploy to get shoppers around each and every part of the store. From a child’s perspective – great fun and exciting, a treasure hunt on a big scale.

Once Monkey happily collected all his required stamps, he also had a good rummage around all the toys on display and the Christmas decorations… the baubles were lucky to survive! And we couldn’t leave without throwing some pennies into the Wishing Well, letting him run around the playground and having a go on the sleigh ride.Christmas Cheer at Woodcote Garden Centre, Surrey | My Travel Monkey

In the end, we had to bribe him with some caramel salted fudge to leave this Christmas haven – hubby couldn’t resist buying them! So, a good hour or so of fun, and it only cost us a few pounds and a bag of sweets.

Although we didn’t choose to at the time to visit Santa Claus, the grotto is also hugely overbooked, so make sure you head online now to reserve your space. At just £12 per child which includes a free gift, it’s well worth a trip – especially if you live close by…

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Woodcote Garden Centre and it really is somewhere we choose to spend time in.