We visited Preston Park Museum in the Summer this year for their Great British Summer event and absolutely loved it. So when I noticed that they were having a Christmas Bazaar last weekend I knew we’d be missing out if we didn’t go for another visit! Whilst talking to my friend on Saturday evening I mentioned that we were going and invited Sarah and her family along- everyone loves a Christmassy day out!
On Sunday morning we jumped in the car ready for the forty minute drive to Preston Park. Obviously the weather this time was totally different to the last time we visited so this time we were all wrapped up, ready for the day ahead.
When we arrived we headed straight through the gift shop, (which was super Christmassy!) and into another room which was filled with stalls selling allsorts of Christmas gifts and decorations. I had my eye on a few things but decided to hang on and see what else was on show as we didn’t really know what to expect.
From this room we then exited into the replica 1895 Victorian Street which, exactly like last time, was abuzz with people, some dressed the part in Victorian wear. There were also a lot more stalls selling anything and everything from illuminating candles to cheese! The street itself was decorated beautifully and we could hear a brass band playing as we walked further along. Most of the shops were still open as normal so you could still pop in to have a look and all of the volunteers were more than happy to stop and chat and explain things for you.
We had a slot booked to visit Santa, aka Father Christmas, in his grotto so we pretty much headed straight there with our rather excited kids. Violet’s never visited Santa before so she was a little nervous! Mrs Claus was already there at the door to chat with us and keep the little ones entertained whilst we waited our turn. We didn’t have to wait long though, within five minutes he was ready for us and the kids were straight in. Violet was rather shy and nervous but seeing that look of sheer delight on her face was priceless!
The grotto itself was amazing! It was all decorated and set up perfectly with a nice and toasty fire, a proper (real) Christmas tree and traditional decorations. I was pretty impressed with Santa too. He was really good with the kids, asking them lots of questions, answering any questions they had and they both received an early present from him too. We didn’t feel rushed at all and he offered to have some pictures taken with the kids which I thought was a lovely touch! Violet loves telling everyone she had her photo taken with Santa now- even though she doesn’t look too impressed on the photo!
Next we headed over the courtyard to another room where you could make your own Magic Reindeer Food! I loved this one! It was set up with a line of tables and on each table was a different item so by the end of the line you had your very own finished bag of the food. Then on Christmas Eve the little ones can sprinkle this all over their garden, so the glitter will shine bright and guide the reindeer to their house- perfect little item for Christmas Eve boxes!
The staff were really helpful with this activity and didn’t hesitate to help Violet whilst I took some photos of her.
Next up, the donkeys. Now the donkeys made an appearance the last time we visited as they fit with the Summer and beach theme perfectly. Well, they actually fit with the Christmas theme too- if you stick some antlers on them! They looked super cute bless them! Both of the kids had a turn each and enjoyed it as they got to have a ride around the orchard.
After the donkey rides were done we were all feeling a bit peckish so headed off to see where the amazing smells were coming from. We found a couple of food vans selling hot food and luckily there wasn’t a queue so I headed straight for Blackwells of Norton for pie, peas and gravy! I have absolutely no idea why there wasn’t a queue as it was perfect comfort food for a cold day and at £3.50, an absolute bargain- I was expecting to pay a lot more!
The blokes had burgers and hotdogs from another stand which were also pretty cheap at £3.00. They said they were good but as they’re men, no photo’s could be taken before they were inhaled! Typical 🙂
After our lunch stop we then headed on to have a peruse of some more market stalls, passing some rather colourful entertainers on the way!
There was another marquee full of stalls with all sorts of different items available to purchase for Christmas presents. I bought a gorgeous hot chocolate spoon for Violet’s Christmas Eve box, another hot chocolate mix for two, a brownie in a jar baking kit and a cupcake for Violet- this didn’t even come to £10 so again I was surprised with how reasonable the prices were.
After another walk around and a few small purchases made by both families, we headed on out of the museum so the kids could have a good hour on the park to burn off some energy!
All in all we had an absolutely fantastic day yet again at Preston Park Museum. The Bazaar was on for last weekend only, however they have lots more festive activities planned in the run up to Christmas and you can visit Santa every Saturday and Sunday until the 18th of December. A family ticket into the museum costs just £5.00 (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) and lasts the whole year, so you can visit as many times as you like! You can find their website here.
Have you visited before?
Mother Hermit xx