This is our third year at Tropical Birdland for Christmas, and since Lily is only 4, I’m totally calling it as a tradition now!
Each year it has just got better and never once has it lost that festive sparkle that keeps drawing us back.
If you’re also looking for a more affordable option for a day out with the family this Christmas, prices start at just £2 – so keep reading!
I was worried this year as there was an absolute downpour as we arrived. This was the first year it had rained for us, but despite the deep, muddy puddles we still had every once of that magic once again.
In previous years you could only attend by turning up, queuing and hoping to get in. There were huge queues outside to get in. The past couple of years, they’ve changed this around for the better and not only can you book online, but the dates book up super fast – proof how popular it is!
Our ticket slot was for 4.20pm but we rocked up at 4pm and managed to get straight in to see Santa.
You’re given a little lantern from Mrs Claus when you approach the North Pole Station, and led to the magical fairy walk, where you can see the glowing lanterns and fluttering butterflies in the darkness. It is so magical and such a pretty sight.
Santa is pretty special here too. His grotto is a wooden cabin, with flames and nutcrackers, elves greeting you at the door, and he truly takes time to speak to you when you’re there.
He also had a little magical light trick, that makes your spine tingle with festive magic every year!
Depending on what you’ve booked, you can head to the Christmas Village if the event nights are on, where you can find music, stalls, and games.
All the trees are beautifully lit in so many colours, it really is beautiful.
The Real Macaw cafe is open each night, so whether or not the events are on, you can still grab a festive drink and treat, and warm up by the fire.
This year, after heading straight for Santa, we then head back to where we met Mrs Claus at the North Pole station, and had a chat with the lovely ladies from Hawkwise. We got to meet the owl, Fenn and Bottom, and for just £1 you can hold them!
This area is all covered over too, so you can escape from the cold or wet weather, and enjoy some colouring in the warm while you wait to see Santa, or if you just want to relax for a bit.
This is also where the Snow Queen’s Ice Cave is and if you want to meet her, you get the option of seeing her with a chocolate gift (£3) or seeing her to receive a present (£6) – plus you don’t need to book either.
You can even head along to see the fairies and the Snow Queen, without seeing Santa too.
Her Ice Cave is so pretty with polar bears and fairies through the blue lights making it so magical. She was so friendly and Lily loved the experience, as well as counting her fairies and winter animals in her Ice Cave.
Entrance for adults is just £2 and you don’t need to book adults in advance – only Santa grotto slots.
There are even quieter evenings through December which don’t have the Winter Wonderland events on, just the fairy walk and Santa, which is magical in itself.
We love it at Tropical Birdland anyway, but the Christmas visits are just so special.
We’ve always visited around 4pm for opening and we have never found it busy at that time, making it even more magical every single year.
I can’t recommend it enough, and even if Santa is booked out, there is still plenty to do for all the family to experience a dose of that true Christmas magic.
For timeslots, dates and booking, visit the website here
For more on visiting Tropical Birdland in the daytime/ the rest of the year, check out our review here
For more about the lovely Hawkwise, check out what happened when we met them in October
Tips for visiting with families
- Wear your wellies and wrap up warm – it can be very muddy and it will be chilly too as it is a wintry evening – but that does add to the magic!
- Check out the website for quieter evenings that start from 3pm in December
- Toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing are in their own cabin by the cafe and there are some in a portacabin by the entrance before you go in too.
- Book in advance where possible for popular dates as Santa can sell out. However if you don’t want to see Santa or the dates are sold out, you can just turn up on any of the Winter Wonderland nights to enjoy everything else such as the Snow Queen and the Fairy Walk activities as well as the lovely owls from Hawkwise!
- The pathways are wide and accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs with no stairs, however they can be muddy with puddles, and the car park can be a little tricky too with the mud/puddles after a downpour!