Santa arrives at safari park

Ho, ho, ho! Father Christmas is making an early start on his rounds by joining in with festivities at West Midlands Safari Park.

Father Christmas at West Midland Safari Park
Father Christmas at West Midland Safari Park

During advent he his furry friends will be the stars of the Park’s Discovery Trail which is being transformed into a new winter wonderland featuring more than 350 Christmas trees, decorations, fairy lights and even layers of ‘snow’.

Santa Safari will be running daily from Friday(26) to Christmas Eve with a chance to catch a virtual reality sleigh ride.

As he will be calling the tourist attraction his home for the next month the man wearing red paid a visit to some of his neighbours, including the mischievous meerkats and presented them with a ball pit which was on their wish list – a ball pit.

The park's African Village chief Lisa Watkins said: “Our meerkats were really excited to receive an early Christmas present from Santa, when he popped in with a ball pit for them.

"Santa must have done his research before picking the perfect present, as the keepers provide the meerkats with novel items as part of their daily routine, to keep them stimulated and active.

“The ball pit proved a big hit and Santa had even hidden some tasty meal worms amongst the balls, which encouraged natural foraging behaviours. I’m sure this will occupy the meerkats throughout the year and not just for Christmas.“

He and the elves will be greeting visitors as well as magically transporting families to the North Pole on the sleigh.

On arrival guests will follow a path through the newly refurbished winter wonderland and elf workshop, before reaching the grotto, to pay a visit to see the man with the white beard.

Youngsters will have a picture taken of themselves with Father Christmas which they can take home and can choose their very own present. Also included in the package is a visit to Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, where cookies, mince pies and drinks will be served.

There is also the chance for guests to win a Family Annual Pass.

Santa Safari costs £28.50 for adults, £24.50 for children, aged three -15, £13 for under threes and £26.50 concessions. The special sleigh ride can be added on for £4 per person at the time of booking.

Admission includes a free return code to visit again in six months, only when booking online in advance, without a supermarket voucher. Guests can also receive discounts for selected dates, when booking online at least two days in advance. The Adventure Theme Park is not open during the winter season.

More details are on the website wmsp.co.uk or by telephoning 01299 402114.

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