Capralama Farm Reindeer Centre
When I was planning the advent activities this year, I put a call out on Facebook for some suggestions of local events that I could include. Someone suggested we visit the Reindeer Centre. It wasn’t quite what I’d meant, but was definitely one I wanted to include.
Over the months of November and December, this Kent-based reindeer home becomes a fantastically creative Christmas grotto with large barns converted into play spaces and an animal petting area.
When we went on a Saturday in the middle of December, we knew to expect it to be busy and were prepared for lots of queuing. It wasn’t too bad with some delightful birds as distraction for some of it, except for Bunny complaining her feet were cold, but once we reached the front, the magic began and they were soon forgotten.
An elf gave the girls some sweets and Santa hats and then we headed into the grotto, past two beautiful reindeer whose presence lit up the girls’ faces.
Then we walked through a village scene and our elf knocked on a door and took us into a lovely room where the big man himself was sat in the corner surrounded by presents. The girls sat on stools at his side and told him what they were hoping for. The presents he gave them were surprisingly good quality and the girls were thrilled and happily posed for photos before we said goodbye.
But that was just the beginning of the adventure as we headed through some delightful winter scenes with animatronics lending an added air of cuteness to the rooms.
The girls cautiously reached out to stroke the ‘animals’ and beamed at the wonderful outfits that some of them were wearing.
And then, the piece de resistance. The Frozen room. Although it was a rudimentary scene, music from the film filled the room and the girls immediately stopped to dance and sing along, delighted to be able to do so in such close proximity to their favourite characters.
As we left the scenes, we found ourselves in the catering space and happily sat down to enjoy hot chocolates and sausage sandwiches before the girls posed for more photos in the beautiful sleigh positioned in the corner. As they did so, ‘Elsa’ and ‘Olaf’ came over to photobomb the pictures. Bunny was thrilled, while Bear was more uncertain as the lifesize Olaf intimidated her up close.
And then it was time for fun and play. The huge barn next door housed a petting farm with goats, rabbits and the ever-popular meerkats, pens with goats, donkeys, pigs and, of course, reindeer.
There was a small stage for performances by the staff and Frozen characters and random children wanting to show off their dancing prowess as they bopped to the Christmas music. Bunny loved playing on the mechanical horses while they both spent ages in the dolls’ house and play kitchen area.
And then there was more laughter as they bounced around on a bouncy castle and jumped through a ball pond. But the biggest hit was when they discovered the artificial snow play area. Although the ‘snow’ was essentially shredded paper, there were squeals of enjoyment and giggles as they created giant snowballs to throw at each other and the parents standing watching.
And then it was time to head home with two exhausted but awestruck little girls.
It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours and really got the Christmas spirit going for all of us. The reindeer were beautiful and loved nuzzling our hands to chomp on the carrots we had. It may not be Disney standards, but it was thoughtfully created and delighted the children with its variety.
At just over £40 for 2 adults and 2 children, it’s not cheap, but for a truly Christmas-themed day out is more than worth the money. Now I just hope they find a way to deal with the queues for next year!
Disclaimer: I was not asked to write this review, but had such a lovely time I wanted to share it with others who may not have heard about it.