Festive Forest at Intu Derby (SPON)


We all now that shopping in general can be a much harder task when you add children into the mix, take 2 bored children add Christmas shopping lists as long as your arm and I'm pretty sure you get total meltdowns from all involved. I really dislike spending too much time In the shopping center with Oaks and Olive but sometimes needs must, I'm a busy mum with little time to spare and I have a husband who works 6 days a week so this Christmas I will inevitably (and unwillingly, I'm sure) be dragging the children about the shops. This is when the mum guilt creeps in and I usually have to be armed with an Ipad, snacks and lots of deals to be made. However this Christmas my local shopping center Intu Derby, well they have created the perfect escape to help ease that mum guilt, its a magical place where children can take a break from the monotony of shopping and instantly feel as though they have entered a winter wonderland. 

The Festive Forrest is located on Level 2 and is open 7 days a week, its just £2.50 to play and Father Christmas also makes an appearance on selected weekends. It really is just what us parents need to ease our shopping experience this festive season.

The Festive Forest is made up of an artificial snow pool, a ball pit, tunnels, slides and soft play aspects. The variety means little ones have plenty to keep them entertained and completely unaware of the fact that they are indeed still only meters from the shops, its a magical Christmas haven that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Adults are able to use the seating on the rooms edge to keep a close eye on the festive players but It's also a great chance to rest the sore feet. On Selected weekends you are able to see Father Christmas, each child will receive a toy and a have the chance to chat with the big man himself. There is also a fantastic opportunity to capture the special encounter with options of a photo gift that include photo print outs, key rings, baubles etc

You can follow this link for more information and the opening hours of the Intu Festive Forrest HERE.

We were invited to help take part in the filming and promotion of the Festive Forest a week after opening, I was really excited to see how much the children would love it (as you can tell I had no doubts) What is not to love, they had me at snow pool to be honest.

Derby is my local shopping center, in fact it is also my workplace so I like to think I know it like the back of my hand and even with that in mind the thought of spending more than a few hours in a shopping environment with 2 live wire children fills me with dread. I was excited to help out where I could, but I was more excited to see how much the children loved it. Oakley was in his element, he enjoyed every single aspect but I would say the highlight for the both of them was indeed the artificial snow, it blew their tiny minds and although Olive probably inhaled more than she should I know that given the chance they would be thrilled to go back into the Festive Forest for more fun on another occasion. The expressions on their face don't lie, If you have children yourself then you will know they don't do well at hiding their feelings so I hope you can see in the pictures and video below just how much the Festive Forest was enjoyed by all.

This was the first time Olive had met Father Christmas, and although Oakley had met him before he hadn't met him since he has really started to understand the concept of Christmas. It could of gone one of two ways with Oaks, and with the film crew around I was nervous that if he freaked out then we wouldn't get the best footage and there was no way I could every try and force him to get on board with Father Christmas if he didn't want too. I must admit I was a little emotional when they met, it took me by surprise when Oakley's little face lit up, it was as if he just knew! His reaction melted my heart and I think it helped that this Father Christmas is warm, welcoming and friendly, Oakley spoke to him for what felt like forever explaining that he would love some Trains and a bike. It was honestly a moment I wont forget and the faces on the film crew when they didn't have to do a second take was an added bonus! It was defiantly my favourite part of the experience, especially as Olives first encounter with the big man went down so well too.

Here are the opening times and dates available for you to see Santa at the Festive Forest in Intu Derby... please consider pre booking to avoid disappointment. You can do so by visiting the Intu Website HERE.

  • Saturday 9 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday 10 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Saturday 16 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday 17 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday 21 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Friday 22 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Saturday 23 Dec - 10am - 5pm
  • Sunday 24 Dec - 10am - 4pm

As always thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post, please be aware that although this is a sponsored post all thoughts are honest and all images are my own.