Review: Victorian Christmas Experience, York Castle Museum

19 Dec 2014 @ 5.55 pm
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Magical… the children’s faces tell the story. Photographs: Mike Cowling / York Museums Trust

Victorian Christmas Experience

York Castle Museum

Until Dec 20 @ 5pm-7.30pm

£7.50 per child and £6 per adult

Castle Museum website

I’m so happy to be writing this review. We’ve been to a few Christmas and Santa events over the last few years and this is now one of my favourites.

First off, the Castle Museum itself is a pretty magical place. With our York Cards me and the kids visit the York museums regularly. They run Museum Monkeys through the year where a variety of events are put on for different pre-school ages: check them out.

Once inside, the family ditched our coats and joined the group. We were lead into Kirkgate where we met our guide.

Fully costumed up and in character, she introduced herself as a house worker. She was fun and friendly and chatted away about how much she loved Christmas and how she had so much work left to do before the big day.

She asked if we could help find the last few items on her shopping list. The cutest moment arrived when each child was handed a tiny flickering lantern and Victorian headwear (cue parent camera frenzy!).

Each child was given a paper bag with a shopping list. And off we went shop to shop meeting the Victorian shopkeepers.

The first shop on the list was Terrys confectioners. Needless to say all the kids were excited to receive a sweet treat.

My children absolutely loved being involved, having activities to do in every shop and then being able to collect stuff in their bags and take them home.

Fabulous Father Christmas
Singing songs around the Christmas tree

We got treated to a little chocolate at the cocoa house where the guide read us “Twas the night before Christmas”. When we had successfully collected all the items we stood around the Christmas tree and all sang carols together.

We sang merrily as we marched past the police cells into the little classroom where the door opened, revealing possibly the best Father Christmas I have seen in a long time.

Father Christmas then told us about his reindeer, the meaning of Christmas and asked questions to the children and then he rooted around in this sack and called each child out by name and presented them with a gift.

As far as grotto and Christmas experiences goes this was pretty exceptional. I think you’ll agree with me, it’s the little details that make an experience magical.

We left with a goodie bag full of treats, and the children had experienced new things.

Older children would have also found the whole experience educational. I can’t speak highly enough of this experience, the guides and all the actors were enthusiastic, festive and totally in character.

And to top it all off we were given refreshments afterwards. This is the first year the museum has run the Victorian experience and I think it’s excellent value for money.

There are so many places to visit at Christmas time, often it’s expensive and you can be just another number in a queue to shuffle through.

This is not the case with the Victorian Experience. We’ll be there next year for sure!

Have a lovely Christmas!