If your looking for a truly magical experience this Christmas for all the family, then look no further than Kingdom of the Elves at Bluestone. At the beginning of this week the boys and I along with my mum (granny) went on a two night break to Bluestone. Bluestone is located in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is about an hours drive from us. While there were were lucky enough to be invited to experience Kingdom of the Elves.
On Tuesday evening after we had had an early tea we set about getting ready to embark on our journey to the Kingdom of the Elves and to visit Santa. I'm not sure who was more excited, the boys, me or granny! we were all looking forward to the journey through Elf School. We had found an information leaflet in our accommodation for Kingdom of the Elves and the older two boys had been eager to look through it to see what they would be doing. Luc was so excited to learn he would be getting the chance to "learn all the secrets of Santa's famous little helpers"(taken from the Kingdom of the Elves information booklet) From the information we learnt that the boys would be transformed into elf's and would have to undergo elf training.
Initially Trystan wasn't sure about going but as the time approached he started getting excited too. We arrived half an hour before our time slot as we weren't sure how long it would take us to get there from our accommodation to the venue. Once we had checked in we were given a coloured wrist band (we were on the red team) and were told were to go and that a bell would be rung and the red team would be called for which would be the start of our journey. The boys were keen to see Santa before we started so we checked we had time to see Santa. We were told we had plenty of time so we went to get three tickets to see Santa then made our way to Santa's grotto to wait our turn. This is the first year Rowan has really been able to get involved and I was looking forward to see how he reacted to Santa. When it was our turn one of Santa's Elf's led us through the grotto which was lit with fairy lights and blue lighting until we reached the end where Santa was sat waiting for us. The elf had asked the boys names and introduced them to Santa. Santa was Cheerful and immediately asked the older boys to hop up onto his knee which both did straight away. Rowan wasn't so sure so Santa suggested I sat with Rowan at his feet. Rowan sat on my lap and watched Santa with great interest as he spoke to his brothers. Santa asked the boys if they went to bed early and they told him sometimes! Santa explained to them that they must go to bed early on Christmas Eve or he wouldn't be able to visit with presents for them. Santa turned to Luc and told him he was not to peek as he had done last year because he saw Luc peeping from behind his duvet! Luc started laughing and asking how did he know that's what he had done. Luc's face was a picture when Santa told him that of course he knew what he was doing because he sees everything! Then Santa asked the boys what they would like for Christmas and if they had been good little boys. Trystan and Luc replied excitedly and Rowan joined in. Then Santa's Elf asked if we would like a photograph taken with their Elf Cam and granny joined in. Once the photograph was taken Santa presented each of the boys with a stocking with a little something in from him, the boys were delighted and thanked Santa. As we were leaving Santa noticed my shoe lace was undone and told me to 'mind my lace and hadn't my mother taught me about the rabbit!" I couldn't help but smile and replied that I would be careful and tie it once outside. We thanked Santa again and followed his elf back through the grotto where we we wished her a happy Christmas. We still had ten minutes until we were to be called so we went back out to reception to view the photograph we had taken with Santa. It was lovely, so we decided to buy a copy which cost us £8 and was put in a special christmassy mount. We then went back to wait to be called for the Kingdom of the Elves.
While we waited the boys opened their stockings and found a little teddy with a Santa hat on, a bubble wand and a bag of chocolate coins, Rowan had the same apart from the bubble wand. Then suddenly the bell rung and the call for the red team came so we made our way to the Elf who was waiting for us and pointed us in the direction of a tepee, where we were told to make ourselves comfortable on tree stumps. We were then joined by wise Elf who was so bubbly, she greeted everyone and explained we were at the start of Elf school and all about the Twelf Commandments which every good elf needs to know. She involved both children and adults and made us all laugh. The children were all eager to join in, we were a small group of about 8 children of varying ages. Wise elf went through the Twelf
Suddenly we were transported to a dressing room complete with make up stations, chaise lunge and full length mirrors. This is where the Elf transformation was to take place. There we were greeted by two other elf's who were lively and didn't fail to make you laugh and smile with their banter. They set about transforming the children into Elves, even the adults didn't escape and were given Rosy elf checks. Each child was dressed in an elf jacket and hat and given rosy elf checks. We ere all then put through our paces to see if we cut it as elf's with our walks and posses. It was very entertaining and everyone laughed so much as we took part with the challenge.
Soon it was time to move on to our next destination the Elf Garden were we met Potty. Once through into the garden we were transported into a fantastic garden with candy cane plants, snow men and lollipop flowers. Again the children helped complete challenges to enable them to get their cards stamped. Rowan was more intent on trying to pick the lollipop flowers though but did join in the games. While the adults sat on toadstools and watched the fun.
Next stop on our journey was the Listening Tree while sat up in a tree was Merlin who read a magical story to the children. The children were captivated and after all the running around of the previous two stops it provided some respite for everyone. The children listened intently and joined in where asked too. They even helped create some magic.
We then were transported to the Elf cooking camp where we were met by Mother Elf and Muffin. The aroma in the cooking camp was heavenly, it smelt of all those Christmas smells like cinnamon and spiced apples. There everyone had a chance to help Mother Elf create some gingerbread men. All while surrounded by a camp fire, unicorn and other animals. Once finished Mother Elf and Muffin explained we would be embarking on our finally stop.... Elf Graduation where we would met King and Queen Elf. We all had to practise bowing and curtsying before we went through the doors to meet them.
The children were very excited and couldn't wait to meet King and Queen Elf. Once through the doors we were inside a hall lined with desks where we all had to sit. King Elf greeted us and told us that there were mince pies and mulled wine at the back of the hall for the adults. Then Queen Elf made a grand entrance. We all had to recite the Twelf Commandments and then King Elf exclaimed we had all passed Elf School and could graduate. Each family group then had the opportunity to have graduation photographs taken with King and Queen Elf before a class photograph was taken. We were then wished happy Christmas and we thanked them for a fantastic time.
On the way out we collected the gingerbread men we had made and went to look at the photographs that were taken and bought copies. The older boys chatted non stop about how they enjoyed their journey through Kingdom of the Elves. he older boys chatted non stop about how they enjoyed their journey through Kingdom of the Elves and absolutely loved their Elf outfits.
The whole journey lasted just over two hours and was magical from start to finish. The attention to detail in each of the areas visited was superb and really added to the atmosphere and magic. Each area was different from the previous and it really felt like you were on a journey through the Elf Kingdom. The elf’s was fantastic and all were so entertaining and made the experience special. We all certainly were really very impressed by our experience and can not recommend a visit to Kingdom of the Elves highly enough.
Kingdom of the Elves costs £23.50 per person and for those who would like to visit Santa as well it costs £5 per child. This is really good value for money as it is a truly interactive experience that you won't forget. If you would like to find out more about Kingdom of the Elves please visit Bluestone Wales Kingdom of the Elves runs until December 31st 2011 so there is still plenty of time to get a visit in.
Bluestone are currently running an offer for a free family ticket to Blue Lagoon when you book your Kingdom of the Elves ticket before 23rd December. Please contact the booking line on 01834 887 196, you can also keep up to date with all activities and offers at Bluestone on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BluestoneWales