Early bird booking has now opened for LaplandUK 2021, the sell-out Christmas experience that is sure to bring a little magic to the festive season.
If you want something a little more authentic than a meet and greet at your local shopping centre, LaplandUK is bringing the home of Father Christmas to the UK this year with a theatrical immersive experience, coming to Whitmoor Forest, Ascot, Berkshire.
This multi-award winning immersive theatrical experience is a four-hour multi-sensory experience that will bring Christmas to life for the whole family. The show is based on the original stories of Mike & Alison Battle, LaplandUK reimagines the legend of Father Christmas and his Elves, and introduces families to a secret ancient ‘Elven civilisation’ hidden deep in the forest. On purchasing a ticket, children will receive a personalised, wax-sealed invitation from Father Christmas, who along with the Elves, need their help to finish making toys for boys and girls around the world. On arrival, they will be issued with an Elven passport to travel the secret pathways to magical Lapland, where activities will include visiting Mother Christmas’ kitchen to decorate Father Christmas’ favourite treat to working alongside the Elves in the magnificent Toy Factory. Social distancing will be in operation with production design keeping guests and performers safe at all times. Mike Battle, creator of LaplandUK said: “LaplandUK is a unique temporary production built from scratch every year. Since the pandemic first struck, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that we can open our experience in the safest possible way and we can’t wait to welcome families to enjoy making memories together this Christmas.”
Running from 13 November 2021 – 3 January 2022
LaplandUK, Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Winkfield Row, Ascot, SL5 8BD
Ticket prices and availability: From £69 plus booking fees at laplanduk.co.uk
As far as live theatre goes, we’ve all been a little culture-starved in 2020. Maybe it was this, or maybe we just all really need a little bit of Christmas magic this year, but LaplandUK felt so special, it almost had me believing in Father Christmas. Yes, it took place in tents and indoor-outdoor structures in Whitmoor Forest, and the snow was sprayed on, but the level of production and professionalism at LaplandUK made this an experience for the whole family to enjoy, not just the ‘small folk’ in the party.
Bearing in mind the level of precision planning to let something on this scale even go ahead in the middle of a pandemic, the inconvenience of wearing a husky facemask for a few hours felt like a small price to pay (smaller, at least, than the fairly hefty price tag for the event). But from the second the invite arrived in the post, complete with wax-sealed letter from Father Christmas and pop-up elf messages via an app, the whole experience was another level of special for little ones. Without giving too much away, the day consisted of an immersive storytelling experience, broken up into manageable chunks with enough activities and location changes to keep children of all ages entertained. There was also gingerbread decorating and eating. We liked that bit.
There was enough free time post-tour to explore the elven village and go skating (the booking system here was a little chaotic; would advise an earlier slot as the queues seemed to get longer). The toy shops are an unavoidable (and costly) enticement, but there are free activities on offer as well, such as letter writing and interacting with the endlessly cheery cast of elves, and as the sun went down, the village took on an even more festive feeling with bells twinkling and lights on every tree. The Father Christmas meet and greet itself was flawlessly organised, with a set-up that allowed for pictures and a good chat with the big man with an amusement park-style system for picking and printing your pictures and an extra surprise to take away for Christmas Day unwrapping.
With everything going on this year, if a little festive cheer is needed now more than ever, snap up one of the last few tickets and lose yourself in this mystical elven world while you can; it’s impossible not to come away feeling a little more positive with the magic of Christmas reignited for the young and the young at heart alike.