A giant pit, where families can enjoy playful snowball-fights, is a sparkling Christmas attraction this year at one of the most popular shopping venues in the district.
As winter draws in, the festive season draws ever closer, and Christmas cheer was officially launched by the McArthurGlen East Midlands designer outlet at South Normanton with a special event yesterday (Thursday).
Hundreds of families flocked to the Mansfield Road venue to the extravaganza, which had everything they needed to make those sleigh bells ring.
There was the chance to meet and greet Santa, see the lights switched on, revel in live entertainment and get a taste of all the festive offerings, including that snowball pit, which is at the heart of the centre’s 500-square-metre Winter Woodland.
Centre manager Paul Tyler said: “Christmas at McArthurGlen is a truly wonderful time of year at McArthur Glen East Midlands. We are thrilled to welcome back the Winter Woodland, and we look forward to spreading festive cheer.”
The Winter Woodland has been covered in snow and features special effects provided by a company, Snow Business, that has worked on film sets in Hollywood and on Harry Potter and James Bond movies.
It bubbled with excitement last Thursday as Craig Bailey, of Peak FM, got the show started, and visitors were treated to live performances by ‘X-Factor’ finalist, Lucy Spraggan, who went to school in Buxton, and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist, Kyle Tomlinson, a teenager from Sheffield.
Santa, alongside his reindeer and elves, made his way to the stage to turn on the Christmas tree and lights. And families also got the chance to enter competitions to win an ‘ultimate Christmas experience’ at Alton Towers, which includes breakfast with Santa and an overnight stay for four, and a £250 gift card.
The big man himself will soon be back at McArthurGlen to take his place in his grotto. From December 1 to Christmas Eve, he will be welcoming children from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm on Mondays to Saturdays and from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Sundays.
The outlet is home to more than 100 high-street, premium and designer brand stores, offering savings of up to 60 per cent and a whole host of promotions that shoppers can take advantage of.
Late-night shopping is also available for the Christmas period as McArthur Glen stays open until 8 pm on Saturdays from November 25 and on Mondays to Fridays from December 11.
The venue is open on Christmas Eve from 9 am to 4 pm and although closed on Christmas Day, it re-opens on Boxing Day from 9 am to 7 pm. It is also open on New Year’s Eve (9 am to 4 mpm) and New Year’s Day (9 am to 7 pm).