Features / Christmas

An enchanting Santa’s grotto at Bristol Zoo

By martin booth, Wednesday Dec 11, 2019

A trip to Bristol Zoo is an annual Christmas tradition for many families.

One of the bonuses of a grotto of the zoo is that of course the grounds are there to explore. For my eldest daughter, this means ZooRopia – navigating a high ropes course while getting a birds’ eye view of the animals.

She jumped into her safety harness almost as soon as we were out from seeing Father Christmas in his grotto, once again beautifully created by zoo volunteers.

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The grotto experience at Bristol Zoo is split into three parts. First, there is a room with plenty of crafts to entertain your little ones, facepainting and a sleigh for some souvenir photos; then there is another room, with a large central table on which children can write their Christmas lists; and then it is time to see the big man himself.

It’s a slick operation, with levels of anticipation building and enough time with Santa to justify rather a long wait before being able to see him in his comfy grotto.

If Father Christmas himself gives you permission to open your presents early, you are not to argue; with my two daughters both thrilled with their gifts that we unwrapped in the zoo’s restaurant, The Hide.

The zoo is of course not just for Christmas; but at this time of year with the arrival of an extra special guest it’s even better than ever.

For more information and to book your tickets to Santa’s Grotto at Bristol Zoo, visit www.bristolzoo.org.uk/whats-on/santas-grotto

Read more: New Luke Jerram artwork opens at Bristol Zoo

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