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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Santa's Grotto at Rising Sun Countryside Centre

This afternoon Jack and his little friend were invited down to The Rising Sun Countryside Centre* to meet Santa and take part in their Christmas activities. We spent about an hour at the centre and have to say were very impressed with their festive offerings.

There are still a few spaces left to book into this lovely event which will continue to take place on selected dates throughout December. To book simply call 0191 643 2241. Prices are £8 per child, £15 for two children or £22 for three children. Every activity is included and there are absolutely no extras to pay for.

Warm Juice around the campfire

We started our festive journey around the campfire where we were handed our very own goblets full of juice that had been bubbling away on the stove. This was the part Jack and his friend enjoyed the most, they loved the warm juice and both asked if we could make it again at home.

Making Magical Reindeer Food

We were then invited into the warmth from the cold to make our very own reindeer food. We spooned a selection of nuts, seeds and dried fruits into a bag and attached a label with a magic poem ready to take home to leave outside for the reindeers when they visit our house on Christmas Eve.

Visiting Santa in his Woodland Grotto

The Grotto at Rising Sun is possibly the most magical Grotto I have ever visited. You are invited to visit in family groups ensuring the experience is a personal one. We followed the candle lights to the the woodland grotto and knocked on the door before being asked inside.

The setting is absolutely gorgeous and when you open the door you feel as if you have stepped into another magical world - a roaring fire takes centre stage, there are faux fur throws covering the seats and magical twinkling lights everywhere you look. 

Santa took his time asking the boys questions about their favourite toys and what they would like for Christmas. We were also given the chance to ask Santa questions ourselves which resulted in Jack asking if Santa would like us to leave him some sausages on Christmas Eve! (The answer was yes by the way and they would make a welcome change). The boys received some lovely gifts from Santa too - a reindeer sticker book, a glider and bubbles for Jack and a story book and chocolates for his friend.

Making Willow Stars

After visiting Santa Claus we ventured into the centre to take part in their crafts. Our first stop was to make willow stars. The activities are all fully supervised and the staff were fantastic with our children - they helped them form a willow star and assisted in choosing various decorations. We love our star and it now has pride of place by our fire.

Festive Colouring

It was nice to have a sit down on the beanbags that surrounded a colouring table whilst listening to the Christmas music that was playing and admiring the gorgeous Christmas tree that stood in the corner of the room.

Making Miniature Christmas trees

This craft was my favourite - such a simple but effective idea. We chose a piece of tree trunk and a glued a sprig of pine into the pre-drilled hole. We then decorated our tree with sequin baubles and tinsel and finished it off with some cotton wool snow around the base. I am pretty impressed with our efforts.

We had a marvellous time at The Rising Sun Countryside Centre. I have visited the park many times but this is the first event I have attended. I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations - it was very well organised, there was no queuing for Santa plus the staff were all friendly and you could really tell they loved their job. The crafts were different to those we have experienced at other events and visiting Santa was a truly magical experience.

As we were leaving it was starting to get dark and the grotto and campfire looked even more beautiful as they twinkled away in the night sky.

If you visit The Rising Sun Grotto this year, make sure you upload your pictures to the North Tyneside Parks facebook page to be in with a chance of winning a return visit to the grotto next year.

Thank you to all of the staff at The Rising Sun Countryside Centre who helped to make some very special memories for our children today.



  1. Looks like you had a really great time, got me feeling all Christmassy now!

    Bethanie x |

  2. This looks fantastic. They look like they had great fun. I can't wait til my little man is bigger

    Cat x

  3. I have been to the Rising Sun loads of times but we have never yet been in the celtic houses. Something I would love to do. It looks like they had a great time

  4. What a fabulous grotto - it looks almost Scandinavian. Love the festive crafts:)


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