We’ve always enjoyed our visits to Sundown Adventureland, but today was our first visit to the theme park for their Christmas event. We were super excited, having heard so much about the event, so visited on the first weekend it opened in November.
Here’s our review…
What is Sundown Adventureland?
Sundown Adventureland is a theme park in Nottinghamshire designed for children under the age of 10, with smaller rides, play areas and activities designed for small children.
You can check out our full review of the theme park here, but read on to find out what it’s like at Christmas.
What is the Christmas Spectacular?
Running from mid-November (this year is was the 20th November 2021) until Christmas Eve, the Christmas Spectacular event sees Sundown Adventureland transformed into a magical winter wonderland, complete with beautiful decorations, lights, elves, a little market and a marquee filled with festive fun.
You also have the chance to meet Santa too in a truly special way…
The Night Before Christmas Ride & Santa
As well as all the other rides in the theme park, the very special Night Before Christmas ride opens in time for the festive season, giving you the chance to ride through magical fairytales, lights and beautiful decorations on little family-sized sleighs, before disembarking at the entrance to Santa’s house.
You’re given a timeslot for your ride, so make sure you get their a little in advance as there’s a queue to get on the ride – we were there about 10:50am for an 11am timeslot, and we were one of the first on the ride, but the queue built up quickly behind us. Make sure you keep your entry ticket too as the elves scan this when you arrive.
The ride itself really was beautiful, and even though it was clearly quite a few years old, Lily was in her element and it was such a lovely way to reach Santa’s front door.
At the end of the ride, you’re greeted by the elf before you’re led in to see Santa, who has a little chat with you and gives you the chance to take some photos and kids receive a little gift while you’re there too.
He was really friendly and Lily really enjoyed her visit to Santa – and I must admit to being enchanted by the ride too!
If you’d like extra photos from your Santa visit, they cost from £8 per photo, available when you exit the ride.
The event marquee
In the event marquee, you can find some tables and chairs to sit on indoors if you would like, as well as an area for face painting (extra cost).
This is also where you can enjoy some disco dancing activities and meet & greets with Honey and Sunny or Kiki and Koko, as well as a children’s entertainment show at various times throughout the day.
Lily really enjoyed dancing with Honey and Sunny and meeting them afterwards – especially when they pulled her hat off her head! 🙂
The Market Place – food & drink
The Market Place has been transformed into a little festive ‘market’-style area, where you can pick up some hot soup, hot dogs, festive biscuits, crepes, candy floss and more, from some very friendly staff in festive outfits.
Lily and I enjoyed a warm crepe for £3 – they were very delicious!
The Pumpkin Patch café behind is also open for hot and cold food and drink alongside the under-5s play area. You can get tea, coffee, sandwiches and kids’ meals such as nuggets and chips from here.
What if it is raining?
There are plenty of indoor rides, the marquee is covered over, and the Night Before Christmas ride is under cover too. We also enjoyed the other Christmas ride – Santa’s Sleigh Ride – for a little more Christmas magic.
The Crash Landings indoor play area with cafe is also open.
Are the other rides and play areas open?
Yes, all the usual rides and play areas are open. We went further around the park when we first arrived and had it to ourselves, including the Lollipoppet Castle, Yellow Brick Road, Pirate Play Area and Storybook Village!
All paths around the theme park are flat and all cafes are accessible. There are disabled toilets available at the entrance and at Rodeo Corral Café and Crash Landings. To find out more about areas that are accessible, click here.
We really did enjoy our visit to Sundown Adventureland for their Christmas Spectacular. There is so much to do, from rides to play areas as well as festive activities, that it was a fantastic day out. We loved the decorations, the friendly staff as well as the beautiful Night Before Christmas Ride.
We also find it is more affordable than other theme parks, including food and drink as well as the entry tickets, particularly for a festive event.
We loved the detail, and it was really sweet seeing Lily look into all the windows to see the decorations inside, a bit like we used to do as kids in shop windows as kids – it is that festive magic, before warming up with a hot chocolate.
Aside from the festive events, there weren’t queues for the other rides and we managed to get on everything we wanted without having to wait.
Lily’s highlights were meeting Honey and Sunny as well as the pirate boat ride (hint: you do get a little wet!), as well as riding on the sleigh to meet Santa.
If you’re looking for a festive day out with the family or somewhere special to meet Santa in the Midlands, we really do recommend Sundown Adventureland.