Ice skating and Santa at Christmas Kingdom at the Celtic Manor Resort

Cardiff Christmas
Celtic Manor Christmas Kingdom

Thanks to Christmas Kingdom at Celtic Manor Resort for inviting us along

From the minute we started driving up the long steep entrance to Celtic Manor Resort it was clear the hotel had gone to town on their Christmas decorations. Tree after beautifully-lit tree lined the road with the twinkling lights making quite an impact in the early evening darkness. It’s so beautifully festive and instantly put us in the festive mood.

Having parked in the dedicated Christmas Kingdom car park (free for up to three hours) we hopped on the awaiting free shuttle bus – with the driver dressed up in elf gear no less – and within a minute or two had reached our destination.

We had kindly been invited along by the Newport luxury resort hotel for a family skating session and to meet Father Christmas. This review does contain spoilers so if you don’t want to know what to expect then stop reading now! There’s also a chance to win tickets for a family skate too.Meeting Father Christmas

Celtic Manor Christmas KingdomWe arrived at 6pm straight from school ready to meet Father Christmas in his wooden lodge grotto. It’s a shared multi-room experience with around 10 children plus accompanying adults in our group.

Celtic Manor Christmas KingdomThe first room saw us watching a short video as an enthusiastic elf attempts to find Santa in the resort’s ground. In the next room the children got to decorate gingerbread men biscuits before our elf guide took us into Santa’s office where the children could write their letters and post them.

Celtic Manor Christmas KingdomIt was then time to head through an icicle-adorned corridor to meet the big man himself.

Sat cosily on a sofa covered with a red and white festive blanket and next to a fireplace scene my children needed no encouragement to sit down next to him. Littlest is three and a half and is bubbling over with excitement about Christmas.

Little Miss E is very nearly and eight while Little Man O is six and both are very much firm believers. However they are starting to questions things like whether the Santa they are seeing is the real one. Their theory is that Father Christmas has so much work to do in the North Pole that he can’t possibly be in all the grottoes all over the land. He therefore sends out his helpers on his behalf to meet the children and to raise some cash to pay for all the presents. But you need to be on your guard because you never quite know when the real FC is going to make an appearance…

Father Christmas asked them what they wanted for Christmas and reminded them to leave him a mince pie and a glass of milk before giving them each a cuddly snowman toy with the Celtic Manor logo on one of his feet. Santa’s elf assistant then took an official photo (prices start from £10).

Celtic Manor Christmas Kingdom

The whole experience took around 45 minutes so it provided good value for money. One slight downside for us was that at one or two points on our journey we could hear other parties in the adjoining rooms (although thankfully my children seemed oblivious to this).

As with a lot of Santa experiences the photos are an additional cost – but the one we bought was lovely quality came in a special activity booklet and most importantly it meant it was printed straight away rather than languishing on my phone for eternity.

Santa’s Grotto costs from £13 per child including a gift. See the Celtic Manor website for more information.

Family ice skating

My eldest two are almost eight and six and very much firm believers. My eldest two children were thrilled to go ice skating again. The seal skate aids – which the youngest skaters can sit on and be pushed around the rink – meant even Littlest could get on the ice this time… not to mention Cardiff Daddy who made good use of the support! Little Miss E and Little Man opted for penguins to help them skate; they are very much novices and these helped them a lot. By the end they were both managing to skate for short distances unaided and without the skate aids. The skate aids are an additional cost at £6 each – but having them made it a far less stressful experience.

Celtic Manor Christmas KingdomThe rink is smaller than the one at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – but when you have three young children on the ice this is a distinct advantage. There were only around 30 people skating during our session so it never felt overly busy and we had plenty of space to practice our skating skills without worrying about bumping into other people.

Celtic Manor Christmas Kingdom reviewIt’s great to see the ice rink covered this year; the lights twinkling on the roof made it look so festive and there’s no worries about the wind and the rain getting in.

There’s an alpine bar next to the rink serving hot and cold drinks plus a grill area serving burgers and the like. We’d already eaten beforehand but a friend who went a few days earlier told me the hot chocolates were good.

Celtic Manor Christmas Kingdom reviewI have heard mixed feedback about Celtic Manor’s Christmas Kingdom in previous years – but we didn’t have any issues with it at all and had a fantastic time. Perhaps choosing a quieter after school slot to go made a big difference. I can imagine at the weekends it’s a lot busier.

Doing both Santa’s Grotto and ice skating together made it such a lovely festive evening and a lovely change from the usual after school chaos. As Cardiff Daddy remarked on the shuttle bus on the way back to the car this magic won’t last forever. We have to grab it while we can.

Ice skating at Christmas Kingdom starts from £10.50 adults and £8.50 for children aged 3-12. For more information and to book, click here.


One lucky family will be able to take to the ice for free thanks to this great giveaway from the Celtic Manor Resort. The prize is a skating package for four people (so you could even take your friends rather than your family if you preferred!) which includes 45 minutes on the ice, skate hire, choice of hot chocolate, soft drink, mulled wine or a pint of beer and a hot snack from the Bratwurst Hut.

You can also choose to take the prize at any one of these fun special skate sessions – Capital Ice Party, Glide and Glow, Let it Snow (family skate night),  Dylan’s Family Ice Disco or Night Glide (adults only).

The prize must be taken by 7th January. Dates and times subject to availability and exclude 25th December.

For a chance to win just leave your answer to this simple question on the Celtic Manor Christmas post on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.

Closing date for entries is Tuesday 5th December 11.59pm.

Q. What is the name of the skate aid that
younger children can sit on while on the ice?

Terms and conditions:

  1. There is one prize, consisting of a skating package for four people to Celtic Manor’s Christmas Kingdom. The prize includes 45 minutes on the ice, skate hire, choice of hot chocolate, soft drink, mulled wine or a pint of beer and a hot snack from the Bratwurst Hut
  2. The prize is valid for any session other than Christmas Day and includes the fun special skate sessions as listed above. It must be taken by 7th January.
  3. There is no alternative prize.
  4. Closing date for entries is Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11.59pm.
  5. Entrants must be 18 years or over.
  6. To enter, leave your answer to the above question in the comments section of the Celtic Manor Christmas Kingdom review and ticket giveaway post on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.
  7. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries submitted before the closing date. The winner will be informed with a reply to their Facebook comment and a direct Facebook message letting them know they have won. All reasonable attempts will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be within 48 hours the prize will be forfeited and offered to another eligible entrant.
  8. Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. Any new terms and conditions will be published here.
  9. Cardiff Mummy Says reserves the right to end this promotion at any time and without notice.
  10. Cardiff Mummy Says cannot be held responsible for the failure of third party organisations to provide the prize, or for loss, damage or non-arrival of the prizes.
  11. Relatives of Cathryn Scott, author of Cardiff Mummy Says, may not enter the giveaway.
  12. Employees or relatives of those employed by the Celtic Manor Resort may not enter this giveaway.
  13. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


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