Chill Factore Santa’s Grotto Review – Christmas 2014

On what is normally a chill out day, we all trudged down to the Chill Factore in Manchester, to chill even more… in snow!

We were there to visit the big man and try out the Chill Factore Santa’s Grotto as well as an hour’s snow play as all the children were over the age of 4. For children under the age of 4, you will get 30 minutes playtime in Mini Mooseland!


After kitting everyone out with jackets and trousers, boots and hats, we were all ready to hit the snow and have lots of fun! With a choice of donuts, the luge and sledges, the kids very quickly decided they would like to try the donuts. I attempted it once, once is enough for me… I am an old grump these days… I have never been skiing and I quite like my feet being on the ground… without slipping. Heather, my awesome mate, even took pictures of me in the donut, to actually prove that I did it… I will remember this for the future!


The kids loved it though and we soon found our time was limited, so the girls quickly jumped on the luge for a high speed whizz down a tunnel. The fact the time flew by shows how much fun everyone had. It is bloody cold though, so make sure you take gloves with you!

Chill Factore

Queuing up for the Santa’s Grotto was far less fun though I am afraid. In total we queued for an hour and a half before meeting Santa. Sunday was clearly a very busy day and no doubt the big man slept like a log that night! I believe Saturday was slightly easier with lesser waiting time.


My advice is to prepare yourself with food and drink (we may have had a well deserved beer upon our return home!). Luckily there are tables where the children can colour and a football table to keep everyone entertained. There are Elves milling about handing out candy canes and engaging with the children. I feel very sorry for the Elves who were commandeered by the kids, their ears were letting off steam when they finally managed to crawl away from them!



All in all, the kids had a great experience and were totally bowled over by meeting Santa.

Tickets for the Chill Factore Santa’s Grotto are still available on their site, but are booking up fast!

Tickets are £40 for 1 adult and 1 child over the age of 4 (includes an hour snow play and clothing).

For children under the age of 4, tickets are £15 for 1 adult and 1 child (includes 30 minutes Mini Mooseland play).

Additional adults and children can be added for an extra charge.

Please remember to take gloves with you… you will need them! Also have your booking reference ready when you check in at the booking desk, makes things a lot easier!


  1. Carly says:

    Sounds like fun, we tried sledging at our local indoor ski place, we were totally unprepared for the cold and also how deep the snow was! Wellies were not sufficient in this case and after a couple of slides we had had enough…however we would go again with better kit next time! An hour and a half to see Santa?! At least there was tables and things for kids to do whilst you queued..could have been a lot worse 🙂

    • MM says:

      It was a very long queue and they really did need to make people aware of this. None of us had had any lunch etc and by the time we had finally walked out, we were all pretty drained. The kids loved it though and that is the main thing… though they were surviving on Candy Cane power!

      It was absolutely freezing, even with a thick jumper and jeans underneath the Chill Factore jacket and trousers. I am all for the beach and the sun! 😉

  2. Bury Family Life says:

    it was a long queuing time, wasn’t it? But the kids had a great time and the elves were fantastic at keeping them entertained whilst they waited. Without the elves there I think I would have given up and gone home long before we got to see Santa.

    • MM says:

      You know it was 🙁 I believe you were the one who gave the children the option to come home and go and see a different Santa… would have been nice if they had handed out Mulled Wine along the way!

  3. jasmine gagarin says:

    wow that must be really funnnnn!!!! =) the kids are so cute! how i wish we have that chilly day here in the phiippines! merry Christmas!!!

  4. May De Jesus-Palacpac says:

    Oooh, we’ve got something like that here – it’s called Snow World! It would be such a treat for the kids since we live in a tropical country. We’re planning to do it this year with them..that is if they don’t develop colds like they did last Christmas season!

    i don’t think we’ve got elves and Santa at Snow World here, though…Hmmm…there should be a Santa….

  5. Louise says:

    This sounds a lot of fun! Well, at least you and your kids are somehow used to the cold unlike here in the Philippines, we have a similar snow world and most of those who goes there, after a few days gets sicks. I guess our bodies are too used with hot/tropical weather that when we are put to a cold place, we easily gets sick.

    Is the long queue really worth it? How long were the kids able to spend the time with Santa?

    • MM says:

      I bet, I am suffering with a cold this week myself. Definitely advisable to dress up in the warmest clothes possible – you definitely need to go and check your local snow world out!

  6. Tiffany Yong W.T. (tiffanyyongwt) says:

    I experienced snow sliding once in Malaysia. The cold was scary! I couldn’t even control my phone! But it really felt “Christmasy”!

    • MM says:

      It definitely feels like Christmas when it snows – have a feeling it will not snow this Christmas so at least we have the Chill Factore!

  7. phyliciamarie says:

    That looks fun! I’ve never tried anything like it so I’m super curious with the whole experience. I’m sure my Asian self won’t be able to stand that cold!

    • MM says:

      It was absolutely freezing and I am a Northerner… we can cope with the cold! Definitely worth a visit to a snow slope if you have one nearby!

  8. Suzanne Rudge says:

    What a fun afternoon! I would love to try the “donut” but once would be enough for me to, LOL. The kids must have had a blast in Santa’s Grotto. Gotta love this time of year 🙂

    • MM says:

      The kids loved it and were zooming down the snow and running back up again. I was quite happy to stand at the bottom and rescue them if they needed help!

  9. Jenny @ The Brick Castle says:

    You queued for even longer than we did! I have to say the fact the children were occupied hile we queued was great, and taking snacks is a fabulous idea because our ticket time was 5.15, but we weren’t out of there until 7pm, so everyone was starving! Worth it though 🙂
    Love the photo of you in the tube!! Hehehe

    • MM says:

      We were not happy – totally drained when we came out and we weren’t prepared to go and spend a fortune on a drink for everyone. We were hoping to nip next door to the pub but it was late by the time we got out. Slightly ruined the day.

  10. Pingerrain*Priscilla says:

    It would be nice to have a ticketing system. Although the good o’ queuing is always the simplest, but the simple ticketing system may help lift the problem of having to be physically stationed there waiting for Santa!!
    During the wait for the number to be called, parents could take their kids for food or other activities to keep them entertained.
    Nevertheless, I am envious of countries that has snow. It’s always nice to have four seasons than to have summer all year round here in the Equator. 🙂

    • MM says:

      You would have thought that – however it did not seem to matter what time you had booked for at all. Quite disappointed with how it was all run.

    • MM says:

      The kids had a great time indeed! Skiing or anything like that has never appealed to me unfortunately, I went down in a donut… that is enough for me! 🙂

    • MM says:

      Beyond exhausted but it has paved the way and it looks like we are going to get our own snow now. The tree is up now and we are definitely in the Christmas spirit! 🙂

  11. Raymond says:

    My nieces and nephew would love this! I can see the kids are enjoying… I guess after everything is done, tire and exhaustion sinks in, you’d have the consolation in mind that the kids did enjoy. That’s the more important thing! 😀 Great mom! 😀

    • MM says:

      Absolutely! I am pretty sure my parents would have had to stand in similar length queues when I was younger too! 😉 The kids loved it and certainly got them in the mood for Christmas 🙂

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