In a few weeks we are going on our annual holiday to Centerparcs at Longleat. It is my family’s 7th trip, and my 3rd. You can read about last years holiday here We always go at this time of year, for the Winter Wonderland.
So, as Centerparcs veterans, here are our Centerparcs Top Tips to enjoy Winter Wonderland at its best.
- 1. Book as soon as you can, to get the best villa location you can. Don’t think if you wait the prices will go down, because they won’t. And if you book within 28 days of visiting a Centerparcs you get extra benefits and a £25 gift voucher to spend there.
- 2. We don’t know why, but one of the cheapest times to go is November and December – NOT including over Christmas and New Year. We go for the last week of school (Yes, Mummy probably shouldn’t, but all my big bro and sis seem to do is watch DVD’s that last week).
- 3.The cheapest villas are in the Fir area – it may look a long way from the Plaza – the main covered area, and where the SubTropical Swimming Paradise is, but it is a lovely walk, suitable for pushchairs, and you can stop off at The Jardin de Sports for some activities (or a Hot Chocolate), the children’s park, and go through the village where it is snow covered, sprinkled with twinkly lights, and you can see the reindeer.
- 4. We stay in the lowest price Woodland Lodge and it is MORE than enough! Warm and toasty, comfy, well equipped, with everything we need. They all have towels and a dishwasher as standard. We really do not feel we would use a hot tub or any of the other extras that cost a lot more money to have.
- 5. There is a regular land train every 20 minutes, and it travels through the whole park. BUT at peak times, it is packed, and never has enough carriages! If any of you are able to, then walk! Or allow plenty of time in case you cannot get on, and arrive early at the land train stop.
- 6. There is virtually NO mobile phone signal through the park. There is free WiFi in the main Plaza and other venues.
- 6. Arrive as close to 10am as you can on your arrival day, to make use of the day. You can’t get into your villa, but you can park up and access the Plaza, pool etc. And when you leave, leave your villa by 10am, then park up again in the main car park to go back into the Plaza for the day.
Money is tight for us, but we manage a full, busy week for as little cost as possible. Here’s how:
- 1. Check your arrival information in the villa. Usually, the Dining In option has a special offer, such as free delivery, or a meal deal. Dining In is where you order takeaway food i.e. pizza or Indian or Chinese, and it is delivered to your villa. The offer is usually only available on your arrival day.
- 2. Parc Market is the onsite supermarket, which is well stocked – but expensive! Try and bring regulars such as coffee, hot chocolate, wine, washing up liquid, foil, nappies, wipes etc with you.
- 3. Make use of the Parc Market delivery service, free if you spend over £40. They deliver to your villa – even if you are out, and put the chilled stuff in the fridge. Make sure you include your logs too – they are super heavy!
- 4. As a breakfast treat, The Sports Cafe offer a platter of 6 bacon or sausage rolls, 6 hash browns and a jug of orange juice for £15.95 – the cheapest breakfast option in the park.
- 4. The whole SubTropical Swimming Paradise is FREE! And is huge, and amazing and hours of fun. Make sure you take swimming costumes, swim nappies, goggles etc with you from home. There is a shop, but it is expensive. You can spend as long as you want here. There is also a cafe inside, where you can take a break from swimming and have a drink or a snack. It is always lovely and warm. The baby / toddler areas are fantastic too.
- 5. A cheap, fun family activity is Ten Pin Bowling. An 45 minute long session is long enough for up to 4 people, and much cheaper than an hour, pick a session out of the main most popular times, to get it cheaper. A late morning / early afternoon session is £18.
- 6. The climbing wall in The Jardin de Sports is only £6 each for a session, an activity my big bro and sisters love every holiday.
- 7. Take some Christmas DVD’s (there is a DVD player in the villa) and a board game, and spend evenings together in front of the roaring fire.
- 8. If Mummy doesn’t want to cook, and eating out can be expensive, have a treat of ready meals or pizza from the Parc Market.
- 9. In the Plaza, snack on a sandwich from Parc Market before a swim, to save a big meal expense.
Make the most of a dry day, the park near Jardin de Sports is fab! Something for all ages, we have had many laughs here! And it is all free. We haven’t room to bring bicycles, but if you do, be warned! It is very hilly!
A visit to Santa is a must! It may seem expensive at £11, but the gift is a truly lovely one, good quality and picked for the age of the child. You also get a gorgeous photo with Santa too. A top tip is to pay for the youngest member(s) of the family, you can all still go in, and have a photo of you all. Santa is one of the best ones my family have see too.
Something new we might try this year is the Festive Teddy Bears Picnic, only £9.75 for me, Mummy is free, and I get a new teddy bear too! And it is an hour of songs and fun, it sounds fab! Mummy might also book a family photo shoot for us, £24 including a framed photo. We are rarely altogether on our own, so this would be lovely.
Please be aware, there is so much to do at Centerparcs, these are our highlights and we have not received any payment or incentive for this post, it is simply our guide, in our words.
I hope you have enjoyed my Centerparcs Top Tips, and if you are going, have a lovely holiday!
If you have been, what are your Centerparcs Top Tips?
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