Ho ho how much? Santa's Magical Kingdom promises 'great value for money'

PUBLISHED: 15:28 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:51 09 October 2019

Santa greets the crowds at Otter Garden Centres in a previous year.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref sho 5302-46-10SH

Santa greets the crowds at Otter Garden Centres in a previous year. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref sho 5302-46-10SH

Archant

A garden centre says its Santa's grotto is 'great value for money' after some parents raised eyebrows over its £16.99 price tag.

A debate, attracting more than 300 comments from parents and residents on Exmouth Community UK Facebook group, saw arguments in support of, and against, Otter Garden Centres' price for the festive experience.

This year the price for the attraction at the Ottery St Mary centre, in Gosford Road, is £16.99 per child with accompanying adults remaining free of charge for 2019.

The firm said visitors to Santa's Magical Kingdom will have a 'wonderful experience' and leave with 'wonderful memories'.

A spokesman said: "Otter Garden Centres has provided a Christmas grotto experience called Santa's Magical Kingdom for local families for many years.

"Some of those who bring their children now, originally came along as children themselves,

"A visit to Otter's grotto is packed with activities and has been designed as an experience for the whole family. Adults and over-16s accompanying children have always been welcome to join the fun free of charge - we are more than happy for grandparents, aunts and uncles alike to join the visit.

"Every family has a private visit with Santa, who knows the name of each child and some fun facts about things they like.

"A pre-chosen Christmas present comes down a magical chimney with the child's name on it.

"Children always get drawn into the wonder of the experience and the magic of meeting Santa himself."

The festive experience includes singing, activities and photo opportunities in different areas of the Magical Kingdom.

It concludes with a train ride which transports families back to the garden centre.

The experience lasts between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

The spokesman said: "We feel it's great value for money.

"As well as having a wonderful experience, this year each child will be given a gift from Santa, magical reindeer food, a packet of secret cookie mix and a special Christmas activity book that make the experience last beyond the visit.

"And of course, there are the wonderful memories."

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