Last weekend we visited one of our favourite places, Sundown Adventureland for their Christmas Spectacular event. We go to Sundown every summer and went at Christmas time a few years ago when the kids were toddlers. They absolutely loved it back then and had been asking to go again ever since. So it’s safe to say we were really pleased when Sundown Adventureland got in touch and invited us along.
If you’re not familiar with Sundown Adventureland, it’s an under 10’s theme park covering 30 acres in Retford, Nottinghamshire. It’s under an hours drive away for us in Sheffield. The park celebrated its 50th birthday last year so it’s well loved by many, including parents who have fond memories of it from their own childhoods. I used to go when I was little, as did my husband and much of the park is exactly how we remember it being when we were kids. It’s lovely that our own children love the place just as much as we did all those years ago.
Sundown’s Christmas Spectacular runs from 16th November up until Christmas Eve and sees the park transformed into a Winter Wonderland. As we arrived at the park the first thing we saw was the huge Christmas tree right in the middle of Market Square. The christmas theme continues throughout the park, with fairy lights and festive garlands dotted around everywhere.
Our first stop when we arrived was Santa’s Sleigh Ride, which is always our favourite ride at Sundown and despite it being a Christmas ride, it’s actually open all year round! The kids love going on it in the middle of summer! After that we headed over to the the Night Before Christmas ride, booking is essential for this and you will be given a one hour time slot for your visit. When we arrived we were greeted by friendly elves and we made our way through to the ride. The Night Before Christmas ride takes you through the enchanted forest on a sleigh all the way to Santa’s house.
When we arrived at Santa’s house the kids had to knock on his door before heading in to have a chat with the man himself. Santa asked the children their names and ages, if they’d been good this year and what they would like for Christmas. Mrs Claus was there too and she took a photo of the children with Santa before giving them a small gift each. Evie got a children’s cross stitch set and Max a game, both were really pleased with their presents.
As well as the Night Before Christmas ride and meeting Santa, there’s lots more festive fun to be had at Sundown this December. Visit the Christmas marquee and meet the dancing bears, the Snow Queen and laugh your socks off with Andy and Lewis. There’s Christmas market stalls serving up hot roast chestnuts, non alcoholic mulled wine, chocolate dipped marshmallows and of course mince pies. And don’t forget to pay a visit to the reindeers! These are three animatronic Arctic singing reindeers and are loads of fun for little ones to dance along to.
After we’d met Santa it was time for lunch. We headed to Crash Landings which is where we always tend to go for food at Sundown. It has a huge soft play area so the kids absolutely love it in there. Food options are sandwiches, burgers, chips, chicken nuggets, sausage sandwiches etc. I always enjoy a Sundown chip butty!
Christmas Spectacular tickets include all day entry to the park so we took full advantage of this and tried to fit in as many rides as we could. Some of our favourites are The WILD Ostrich Safari, Sundown Tractor Ride and Robin Hoods Merry Adventure.
We also love the Storybook Village, Lollipoppet Castle and Toy Town, the kids could spend hours playing in all the little houses, going up and down the stairs and through the little corridors. My personal favourite has to be the Yellow Brick Road, because who doesn’t love the Wizard of Oz?!
Christmas Spectacular tickets are priced as follows and booking is essential. These prices include a gift for children and entry to the park for the rest of the day. You can book online here.
Adult – £17.25
Child (over 90cm, under 10yrs) – £19.25
Child (under 90cm) – £3
We had a fantastic day at Sundown Adventureland and would whole heartedly recommend the Christmas Spectacular to anyone with young children looking to visit Santa this year. The whole experience is magical and definitely the best Santa experience we’ve ever been to. And then of course there’s the fact that you get to enjoy the rest of the park after you’ve met Santa. I also think the prices are very reasonable considering a gift and park entry is included. A big thank you to Sundown for having us, we’ll definitely be back again next year!
Have you ever been to Sundown Adventureland at Christmas?
Thank you for reading.
*Disclaimer – We were kindly gifted tickets but as always all opinions are my own*