Center Parcs Winter Wonderland Review

Center Parcs Winter Wonderland Review


As we fast approach the festive season, lots of you will be getting into the Christmas spirit and nothing says it better then pictures of gorgeous snow, woods and the man in red.  One of the most festive Christamses I know lots of families have had is visiting Center Parcs Winter Wonderland.  The year saw fantastic snowfall, enough to let us take so many gorgeous pictures.  Center Parcs Winter Wonderland is the best, festive holiday in the UK!  Here is our Center Parcs Winter Wonderland Review.

But firstly why Christamas at Center Pacrs?


As you know I love Center Parcs and after visiting in 2009, we planned a return trip in 2010 for Doc’s 30th, read all about our first visit and why Center Parcs is fantastic.  There is lovely accommodation, gorgeous surroundings, great swimming and plentiful activities.  You will be struggling to fit it all in, or if your children are anything like my little adventurers, you will be struggling to get them out of the pool!  Even in the height of winter, the pool was an amazing experience, lovely and warm and even when you are out of the pool to whole area/flooring it toasty warm so you can dry off without worrying about the children falling ill.


But why Christmas at Center Parcs Winter Wonderland?  Booking a break this time of the year is not the cheapest butthe winter wonderland experience runs from mid November until 1st January.  Booking the earlier breaks does make it cheaper.  However, attractions such as Lapland UK for a family are not much less than the cost of a weekend at Center Parcs and whereas normal Christmas activities such as Lapland UK last a few hours, a weekend (or midweek break if you have toddlers) can offer you so many more opportunities to have a fabulous Christmas break filled with magical activities.


What is the Center Parcs Winter Wonderland like?

In the snow it is truly magical and an experience which will make lifelong memories for you all, as a family, we still remeber visitng Center Parcs in the snow and it was how you would imagine Christmas, gorgeous woods, snow galore, log fires and gorgeous wooden lodges scattered here and there.  Even without the snow (we visited again in 2011) it was still a gorgeous place to enjoy the festive season and its  a great way to spend quality time together.  Center Parcs has activities galore, and they have lots tailored for families.  I would recommend booking these in advance of arriving at the forest as in popular times things can get booked up pretty quickly.

What are the special Center Parcs Christmas Activities

We visited Whinfell in December and Center Parcs Winter Wonderland was already up and running.  During the Center Parcs Winter Wonderland, the forest is a glittering and enchanting place where Santa and his elves are getting ready for the big night and his reindeer are resting.  I would recommend taking a walk in the evening (it gets dark after 5, so its even possible with young children)

There are lots of exciting festive activities, the highlight especially for younger children is Santa’s Woodland Workshop, it’s the perfect way to create memories that you will treasure forever.  The woodland walk has a number of little huts on the route to seeing Santa, filled with little animals and attractions.  As adults you will probably not see the fascination but your children’s faces will be delighted with checking out all the stops and as a parent you will love it 🙂

Animal activities are also featured, Center Parcs has reindeer for children to feed and see, you can take a festive carriage ride around the woods or even take a pony ride to Santa’s hut.


On our second visit in 2011, Maya was nearly 3 and we decided to do the pony ride.  It was lots of fun and the children loved it



There are also creative activities and parties that the children can attend.  We wanted to do one of the creative sessions but the time we could attend was fully booked (hence the book early tip).  We watched a pantomime which if you choose a later time is again priced cheaper then the more popular times.  Over the festive period, there are also themed dining experiences from brunches to other activities.  These are different in each forest so check the details with the forest you are hoping to stay in.

Even if you decide not to do many of the paid activities, the treasure hunts, swimming pool, walks around the woods will be magical for the family.  Riding bikes through woods is lots of fun and I would recommend that you hire bikes.  A walk around the woods and coming home to hot chocolate, toasting marshmallows on an open fire and settling down to a Christmas movie or two will truly get you in the festive spirit.  Over the festive period, many of the Center Parcs have free fireworks over the lakes on certain days so make sure you find out when these are.

One activity I highly recommend is going for a walk in the dark around the woods especially near the village centre.  Everything is lit up, lights are twinkling and there is a lovely, magical feel in the air 🙂

So here’s out photos of how magical holiday to Center Parcs.











Tips for Center Parcs Winter Wonderland

  • If there is any activities you want to do, book these in advance of your going, it will help you plan your days
  • Take lots of warm clothes, we have been in November and Decoember and on three occasions it was very cold, so wrap up warm and really let the children enjoy the great outdoors in winter time.
  • Pack log fires (makes it a lot cheaper then buying it at Center Parcs)
  • List of all the essentials you need to pack for a center parcs break are here 
  • Weather: whilst it can be lovely to visit in the snow, bad weather does create huge havoc on the roads so be wary.

We love Center Parcs and would love to go again!  Have you been?  Let us know about your trips! :0)



I am a traveller, mother and blogger. We love to go on adventures (big and small, near and far) and strive to show our children how amazing and beautiful the world is! I caught the travel bug many moons ago and despite having three little adventurers, I still suffer from "itchy" feet. We love the great outdoors and one another. Come and join the fun :)

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4 Responses

  1. Centerparcs at this time of year is just the best. We have been to Winter Wonderland 5 times (I think) including 1 visit over Christmas which was just magical. We are back to Whinfell in January for our 14th (I think its 14th but I have actually lost count) visit for mine and daughters birthday. Last year we also had snow on our daughters birthday, and it was incredible. There really is no place like it for a winter break is there. Love all your snowy pictures xx

  2. What gorgeous photos! I’ve still not been to Center Parva although it looks lovely in winter – I think I’d always had summery scenes in my head.

  3. Center Parcs not Parva – stupid autocorrect!

  1. November 9, 2015

    […] Parcs fans and have visited the site in Whinfell, Cumbria on a number of occasions, including a magical winter trip a few years ago.  Center Parcs is the best known holiday Park in the UK but a break to Center […]

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