Kingdom of The Elves – Have you got what it takes to be one of Santa’s Elite Elves?

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to take the children to Kingdom of The Elves at Bluestone.  I’m not sure who was more excited me or the children!  Having visited Kingdom of The Elves two years ago we were all very excited to see what this year’s would be like.   
 
On Wednesday afternoon we made our way to the Adventure Centre at Bluestone along with grandma who was joining us on the journey through Kingdom of The Elves.  We had been told to arrive about 15 minutes before our time slot so that we could check in with the Elves in reception. Having done this we were given coloured bands to put on.  They have a different coloured band assigned to each group traveling through the Kingdom, we were in the yellow group.  We then made our into the Adventure Centre to wait to be called to start our journey.  As soon as you step through the double doors you start to get the Christmasy feeling thanks to the Adventure centre being decked out with large Christmas trees and various other decorations.  Even the corridoor leading into the main area has been dressed and transformed into a snowy corridoor!  

 

In the right hand corner as you walk into the Adventure Centre we spotted a cabin which we guessed was where our journey would begin.  As we still had fifteen minutes until our time slot the boys went off to play a game of mini golf while Erin, grandma and myself found a seat near the cabin so we would hear the call for the yellow group.  There was space to leave pushchair/prams and coats at the side of the cabin so we found a space and stored our coats.  


The centre was a buzz of activity with lots of children enjoying the climbing frames, lego station and various other activities.  There was also quite a few waiting to start their journey like us.  At our alotted time an announcement was made asking for all yellow band wearers to make their way to the cabin.  

There were about ten children in our group along with their parents and we made our through into the cabin with the Elf who had greated us.   Once inside we made ourselves comfortable while the Elf explained what we would have to do to become ‘Elite Elves”, there are certain rules that Elite Elves must abide by:

                                         Elite Elf Rules:

An Elite Elf must ALWAYS believe in Christmas.
An Elite Elf never gets caught by little lobes (humans).
An Elite Elf must be able to get through the secret door.  
An Elite Elf always has the biggest e-magination.
An Elite Elf knows how to get every present onto the sleigh.
An Elite Elf can operate Santa’s Sleigh should he need a nap.
An Elite Elf must pass the ‘elf checkup’ before leaving Elf kingdom.
An Elite Elf must collect every badge and wear them with pride.
An Elite Elf must Protect Santa’s Christmas Secrets.
An Elite Elf will always spread Christmas cheer.
(taken from the Kingdom of The Elves booklet)


 

With the rules explained it was time for the children to start their Elf transformation so that they could start their Elf Elite training.  Each child was given a tabard to wear and their cheeks made rosey.  Erin wasn’t sure about putting her tabbard on but was more than happy to have rosey cheeks. 

Once everyone was dressed we were ready to start our journey.  Using Elf magic a doorway was revealed and off we went into the Elf Kingdom.    We found ourselves in the first destination were we meet another Elf.     The adults found places to sit while the children gathered around to listen to their task.    The room we were in was amazing, the attention to detail was fantastic and it all helped set the scene to where we were.  The children were caught up with the Elf’s enthusiasm and all wanted to join in completing the set tasks.  It didn’t matter that the children had never met before, they all worked well together and made sure everyone joined in to complete each task.  



Erin was a bit unsure of her surroundings and stayed with grandma and myself although she did venture over to the other children and her brothers a couple of times and watched with great interest as they ran around.  Once all the tasks were successully completed the children were rewarded with their first badge.  The delighted children pinned the badges to their tabbards with help and then we made our way onto our next destination. 

We were greated by another Elf who quickly introduced herslef and explained the tasks.  There is an empathise on participation and even the adults are involved in each area much to the delight of the children. 

I won’t tell you too much about the journey as I don’t want to spoil it for you.  You pass through six areas in total, The Secret Gatehouse, E-Maginarium, Wacky Wrapping Workshop, Aviation Room, Elf Check and the Elite Elf Party.  In five of the areas successfully completed tasks result in a badge being awarded.  Each badge gained means that we could move on through the Elf Kingdom.  

In each area we were meet with a new Elf who greeted us and explained about where we were.  Each area had it’s own distinct look and there was so much to take in.  The attention to detail was fantastic.  It really set the scene and added to the feeling of moving through the Elf Kingdom.  Each area brought new tasks to complete and this held the attention of everyone.  Even Erin at 20 months was captivated by what was going on and appeared to enjoy the energy and laughter created.  We spent around 20 minutes in each area but it didn’t seem this long.  There was so much to take in and it was so easy to get caught up in the excitement. There was a mixture of games, songs and tasks to entertain everyone. 

Our final destination saw us meeting two Elves who like the others greated us with such enthasiasm and excitement.  They recapped our journey checking that all badges had been otained by everyone.  They then also set a task before awarding the final badge and Elf ears completing the transformation into Elite Elves.  There was then time for photographes which completed our journey.  

When we emerged back into the Adventure Centre I checked the time and couldn’t believe we had been in the Kingdom of the Elves for two hours.  

Erin hadn’t had her usual nap before we went and I hadn’t been sure if she would manage to stay awake for the duration but she had and was beaming.  I had tried a couple of times to put her Elf tabbard on but she refused.  However she did try to join in the tasks and enjoyed having her badges pinned to her tabbard.  The boys looked so cute in their Elf outfits.  Trystan had been a bit hesitant about going to Kingdom of the Elves intially but he had quickly become caught up in the tasks and thoroughly enjoyed himself.  Rowan and Luc had loved taking part and were more than happy to get involved with all aspects.  We collected our coats and made our way back into the reception area were we waited to view the photograph taken of the boys at the end.  I purchase the photograph as it was a lovely momento of the afternoon, it cost me £8 which was a good size.  There was also the option to buy the photograph with keyrings, magnets or snowstorm if you wished too.  The photograph I bought came mounted on a Kingdom of the Elves mount.  

We had all thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we had spent at Kingdom of the Elves and it really did create some festive memories.

As with our first visit to Kingdom of the Elves two years ago, I was amazed at the transformation of the areas.  The work put into create an atmosphere and transporting you on the journey through the kingdom is just outstanding.  When you emerge at the end it’s quite hard to comprehend where you have just been, especially if like me you know the layout of the Adventure Centre during the rest of the year.  The whole journey is just fantastic and really is a must for all.  I love the fact they have come up with something new each year which just adds to the Christmas build up and excitement.  You can also stay and use the Adventure Centre for a while after your journey if you would like to or enjoy some refreshments in the Wild Wood Cafe.  

Tickets to Kingdom of the Elves cost from £15 and you can experience Kingdom of the Elves until the 3rd January 2014.  You can book tickets by visiting www.bluestonewales.com or by phoning 08000 224 520.  You also have the option of free tickets when you book selected breaks at Bluestone.  So what are you waiting for, do you have what it takes to become one of Santa’s Elite Elves?  

Disclaimer:  We were provided with tickets to Kingdom of The Elves for the purpose of the review.  However the content of the review is 100% my own views and opinions.  

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