Bluestone Wales Kingdom of the Elves 2017 Elftopia – in pictures
It might only be the middle of November but the Christmas festivities are already in full swing at Bluestone. And as you’ll know if you read Cardiff Mummy Says regularly I am totally embracing Christmas in November because it won’t always be this magical. I’m making the most of it while I can. That and the fact that the rest of November and December is full of birthdays for us so we need to get our Christmas fix in while we have the time!
We headed to the Pembrokeshire holiday resort over the weekend – not in an official reviewing capacity but we love a Bluestone Christmas so much I thought I’d share a few snapshots from our little break.
It’s looking so festive already, with huge trees jam-packed with baubles and candy canes and elves, and beautiful sparkly lights. Everywhere we went, festive music was playing… and pretty much everyone was wearing Christmas jumpers and festive attire.
Have you been to Bluestone at Christmas or are you planning on going this festive season? Do let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy
Free festive fun in the village
The Bluestone village – the central area which is home to shops, a pub, restaurant etc – looks so pretty all lit up. Every evening there’s a ‘switching on of the lights ceremony’ where the elves lead us in a singsong before counting down to the lights. Every morning there’s a Countdown to Christmas with songs and games and a reminder of just how many sleeps until the big day. The elves didn’t need to tell us; everyone knew exactly how long until the big day.
Jack Frost disco in the dark at The Blue Lagoon
This was one of my children’s favourite activities, both this year and last (see our 2016 video here). The swimming pool is great at the best of times with one big pool and two smaller ones for younger children, various slides, an outdoor lazy river, and a wave machine. But it’s even more fun at night (in particular for older children) during the festive period with Jack Frost’s disco three times a week. Expect glow sticks, disco tunes, the wave machine and lazy river even faster than usual and various inflatables. Photos are not permitted inside the pool but here’s one of the outside of the Blue Lagoon all lit up at night.
The Activity Centre – free indoor play equipment and mini golf
This place is brilliant when the weather’s not so great. There’s a huge wooden play structure, a smaller soft play for under-6s with a ball pit my youngest loved, plus an indoor mini golf. It’s free for guests. The climbing wall and sky trail are available for older children at an extra cost. For babies and toddlers, there’s a separate soft play room.
This playground in the village is new since our visit last year. It kept all three of my children occupied for around an hour, with a great range of equipment for different ages.
There’s also a wooden play area and plenty of freerange activities such as the lake, the bug hotel, and these wonderful sculptures.
Kingdom of the Elves – Elftopia
A magical hour-long experience, tickets are free for everyone who books a Christmas break at Bluestone. We were greeted by the elves and the children given their passports and ‘flight suits’ (green, red and white all-in-one elf outfits which were ours to keep!). We then journeyed through different rooms including an aeroplane flight, a darkened star-lit room where we made reindeer dust, a Fun House-themed room (based on the 80s TV show!) for kids versus adults games, and on to meet the Snow Queen where we had a giant snowball fight. We absolutely loved Elftopia. It was so magical and well thought-out and kept all three of my children fully engaged throughout.
Snowman Parade and Christmas singalong in the village
We stayed in a Gateholm Lodge which sleeps up to six people. with one en-suite double and two twin rooms. It’s ‘upside down’ living with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the open plan kitchen and diner upstairs. The lodge was impeccably clean when we arrived and so cosy. We’ve previously stayed in the cottages in the heart of the Bluestone village and while these are great for putting you at the heart of the action, now that we can’t put our youngest in a travel cot they’re not big enough for our family of five. The Gateholm lodges are more expensive – although cheaper than other accommodation options – but are wonderfully cosy. On the Friday night, we curled up on the settees and watched a Christmas film together and it was so lovely.
A trip to Saundersfoot
No trip to Bluestone would be complete for us without a trip to Saundersfoot, around half an hour away. It’s the first place Cardiff Daddy and I went away together. We were skint students and stayed in a grotty B&B. It was the weekend when I think we both knew ‘this was it’. He surprised me with a trip back there to propose several years later – staying in the luxurious St Bride’s Hotel. I absolutely love being to share this special place with our children. The beach is gorgeous and there are some lovely cafes and restaurants.
We had such an amazing time. There are loads of activities you can book during your trip – from Christmas pantomimes and dinner with the elves, to outdoor pursuits such as archery and rock climbing, and craft and nature sessions for toddlers and pre-schoolers. We kept it simple this year and just made the most of the inclusive activities and enjoying quality family time.
We’ve already booked again for next year, making the most of a £5o discount off your next trip if you book before you check out.
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