Blogmas 2017 - Day 10: A Christmas Center Parcs break

Last week we spent Monday to Friday at Center Parcs Woburn Forest. This is our second family break to Center Parcs (last year we spent the last week of November at Elveden Forest) and as we are currently able to visit during term time it's a fairly reasonably priced break away. From September when Charlotte starts school, however, that'll be a different matter!

I'm not sure that Center Parcs is somewhere I would recommend to visit as a couple, but it is an excellent holiday choice for families. On our last night I even said that I felt fairly relaxed which never happens with the gremlins around, whether we're on holiday or not!

Woburn was extremely festive and has really got us all into the Christmas mood. It was lovely to have so many things, both indoor and outdoor, to keep us occupied right on our doorstep. It's one of those holidays which, after the initial outlay for accommodation, you can make as cheap or expensive as you like. Rather than eat out every day we took all our food with us and only bought a couple of extra bits from the on site supermarket. We made good use of the pool (sorry, Subtropical Swimming Paradise), the cost of which is included in the price of your break. Both kids loved the wave pool and the small slides, and we spent several hours at a time in there. We also made use of the outdoor play parks, and let the kids burn some energy in a couple of indoor soft play areas whilst we had a little sit down and a drink!

There are a huge selection of activities you can take part in, with varying costs, for a wide variety of interests and ages. The only activities we paid for this time were bowling, a Festive Teddy Bears Picnic and a visit to Father Christmas. It was the first time either of the children had tried bowling but they both had a great time.

Charlotte and Stu went on the Teddy Bears Picnic together, whilst I took Benjamin back to our lodge for a nap. Charlotte absolutely loved it. She was given a new teddy (which she named Thomas), they sang a few songs, they helped Bramble Bear find his lost friend, and then had a little picnic lunch. She said it was her favourite thing she did all week.

The visit to Father Christmas was lovely too. Both Charlotte and Benjamin happily chatted to Father Christmas, but Benjamin was not impressed about having to have his photo taken with him! One for the wall...

Photo credit: Santa's elf!

The presents from Father Christmas were actually pretty good too (Charlotte got a wooden bead jewellery making set, Benjamin got a cuddly reindeer toy), but even a chocolate coin bribe couldn't get Benjamin to smile for the camera.

One thing I did think was lovely was that on arrival at Center Parcs we were given "Letter to Santa" templates for the kids. We filled them in and dropped them at the special post box. A few days later we had replies hung on the door of our lodge. Charlotte thought it was brilliant.

I do appreciate that Center Parcs might not be the cheapest holiday option, particularly in school holidays, but both times we have been we have had a really great time. The accommodation is modern, clean, and child friendly. The facilities around the site are well kept, and the pathways easy to navigate with small children, pushchairs, scooters and bikes. The whole place is just especially family friendly with plenty of play options, highchairs in restaurants, and lots of family changing facilities at the pool. Definite thumbs up from us.