The Frosted Fairground is open every weekend until Saturday 17th December and then it is open every day until 2nd January from 12 - 6pm. There is a Christmas tree, live music and entertainment alongside the usual rides. The activities are free and for the first two weekends there is a 10% discount on the wristbands.
Of course we took a visit to Santas grotto, Tilly is 6 years old now and kids at school have started to put seeds of doubt into her head and she has asked me if Santa is real. But all my fears for her believing in him were forgotten when she sat down with Santa and had a chat with him about what she wanted. To visit Santas Grotto, it is £9.95 and you get a little gift of marbles and a little spinner. Tilly was thrilled with the marbles because I never buy them for her. I liked the gift because it was an old fashioned gift, quite fitting with the Retro-ness of Dreamland. You also get a picture with Santa that is presented in a little folded frame for your child to keep. The grotto isnt one that you just walk in and get rushed through with a visit to Santa, you get to interact with Santa's elves too. You have to help one of them to sort the baubles out for the Christmas tree and you help one of the elves to make some reindeer food, this is put into a bag and the children get to take it home for Christmas eve.
Tilly has had a growth spurt and she was able to go on more of the rides by herself. She has waited so long to be able to go on the Helter Skelter, so she made sure she went on it 4 times in a row! There is also a couple of new rides at Dreamland, one is a retro car carousel ride, that has shiny cars that just go round and round, it reminded me of the kind of fair ride from when I was a child. There is also a
waltzer at Dreamland too. It is a 10 car ride and can hold up to 40 people, the waltzer is a traditional fairground ride and has bought thrills for kids and adults for nearly 100 years. This is Kim's favourite ride ever, when ever she goes to a theme park.
It was a cold day when we went on Saturday so we went and spent a fair bit of time in the Octopus Garden, It was warmer in there and Tilly can go mad in the soft play area, It is set up like a little town for the kids (aged 8 and under), There is a sandy beach to play in, beach huts to sit and eat your food in and separate little ''shops'' to play in, The Octopus Garden is really well equipped with toys for kids of all ages and there are loads to go around.
We grabbed some food in the Octopus garden and we had to queue a little while before we were served as it was busy and the customer service wasn't great as we were served. We took a seat and waited for the cooked food to turn up, When it did, I asked for some cutlery and was told ''Its over there'' and she nodded in the direction of the counter. I had never eaten in there before and this wasn't pointed out when I had ordered the food, I was made to feel a bit of a nuisance for asking for he cutlery. I had ordered beans on toast, and it did arrive with hard, cold toast but as I was so hungry so I ate it. It is easy to understand how busy it was but as I work in retail myself, I do get disappointed with some peoples customer service. Tilly had a kids meal, she chose the cold option because then she can snack thorough out the whole time she is in the Octopus garden, it was £4.50 and was a cheese sandwich (with crusts cut off), a pot of sliced cheese, a pot of raisins, a bag of crisps and a pot of jelly. You do get to select what you want from the fridge, so you can adapt a meal to your child.
You can buy a wristband for a full day of fun to get Access All Areas (the rides, Octopus Garden and Roller skating) for as little as £10 for kids and £15 for grown ups. you can buy them in advance here If you dont go on many rides, you can buy tokens and pay as you go, but the wristbands are so much better value.
There is also an animal experience, it surprises me because its always one of the parts of Dreamland that Tilly HAS to do, my child is scared of a daddy long legs, but she will hold a snake or a giant cockroach. You and your kids get to experience so many different animals in the experience.