Winchester Science Centre is always a great day out even without a special event running, so I was confident that the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience would be the perfect way for us to see Santa this year. The experience includes admission to the science centre, a special elf led planetarium show, and an immersive journey through the Elf Invention Studio, where you get to watch Santa’s Master Elf experimenting with lots of fun colour themed experiments.
After the show the children meet Santa in his house and take part in a toy workshop where they can put some of the science they’ve learned from the elves into practice and meet Santa himself. The planetarum show is 30 minutes and the Santa and the Elves experience about 1 hour.
We arrived a bit early to spend some time exploring the science centre first. My 10 year old raced straight off to the exercise area while my girls’ found the Elf Trail and set about locating elf pictures with letters on to find the hidden word. This was a great way to get them to really look around the exhibitions rather than just hanging around their favourite parts. We dressed up for the occasion in much loved elf costumes, but fancy dress is not required.
Reindeer Round-Up in Space
I hadn’t been in the planetarium since a visit with school several years ago so couldn’t wait to watch Reindeer Round-Up, the elf-led Christmas themed show. My 10 year old loved the experience of being in the planetarium but did find the show a little on the dull side, however my 7 and 8 year old loved it and came out buzzing with excitement, asking if we could go back and watch Home Alone in there as the Science Centre also show movies, which I didn’t know.
Experimenting with Santa and the Elves
After the Planetarium we raced downstairs to get ready for our Santa Experience. We were greeted by a lively Elf who instantly put the children at ease and led the way to the Elf Invention Studio. The studio was brilliantly decorated with plenty of seating for the children and adults. The show was about 30 minutes long and kept the kids entertained throughout. I always worry about taking my children to science shows as we do so much at home, they can be hard to impress. However, the engaging elves, jokes and Christmas theme meant they enjoyed every second. Again, I’d say my 10 year old was verging on too old, but the girls giggled and laughed throughout.
Together we made the Chemist-Tree colourful, inflated a balloon with dry ice, watched the Master Elf demonstrate her new reindeer which impressed everyone and much more that I won’t give away now.
Once the show was over we made our way to Santa’s house where the children made snow globes using their new knowledge of indicators and pH or colour frames for younger children. Each family was taken to see Santa while the others made their snow globes which meant there was no waiting and everyone was happy and entertained for the full 30 minutes. We loved our little gift which had led to even more experimenting and investigating at home.
How to book
Booking tickets online for Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience in advance is highly recommended.
All-inclusive tickets cost £10 (aged 0-3), £24.50 (aged 3-15) and £21.50 (adults). They include entry to the Science Centre and Elf Trail, the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience and Reindeer Round-up in Space. All children take home a gift they have made and receive a surprise present from Santa.
Reindeer Round-up in Space is also available as a stand-alone planetarium show.
Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-10 December, daily from 15-23 December.
Times: 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 13:00, 13:45, 14:30, 15:30, 16:15, 17:00
To book tickets or apply for an annual pass visit: www.winchestersciencecentre.org
Thank you to Winchester Science Centre for inviting us to visit the Santa and Elves Experience