Tuesday 5 April 2016

The Gruffalo Experience - Centre:MK

Easter Sunday was started off by visiting Centre:MK for the first time to see the Gruffalo! Centre:MK currently have The Gruffalo experience and because we love the Gruffalo we really wanted to see what it was like.
Extended until 17 April 2016 Tickets: £7.95 per person for children and adults Under Two's are free of charge

The children watched the Gruffalo on tv before we left so they were even more excited to meet the gruffalo in person but when we arrived we couldn't actually get into the centre!! I knew that it was closed yesterday but assumed that because they had the gruffalo experience open that they would of had a sign or something pointing us in the right direction! Because of this we were 15 minutes late for our booked time slot which we were really irritated by - good start. Finally we found an open door and got in, luckily the Gruffalo staff were able to squeeze us into the next time slot. The staff there were really nice and helpful.

We were handed some mouse ears and told we could do some colouring in whilst we waited another 15 minutes for the experience to start. Oliver started by doing a dot to dot of the gruffalo and Isabelle decided to do the colouring in sheet. Soon enough it was our turn to go into the experience. It was soon time to have our stroll through the woods until we got to some benches and bean bags - the children sat at the front and parents behind meaning that the children could see properly.

No photos are allowed to be taken whilst inside the experience so I don't have any of my own to share but I will add some of the company's photos so you can see those.
A lady introduced us to the animals you find in the story, one by one. Fox, owl and snake. The puppets were large and looked really good, the children all got to stroke the puppets as she took it around to all of them - it was very interactive which was good. The scenery was really good, they've copied the pages of the story book very well. Isabelle was too excited to sit down during this bit and watch standing up in amazement, she kept running to me saying 'look'. You could see she just wanted to grab the puppet and run off with it. One thing I wasn't so keen on is the guide doing the storytelling in the next room along, he was so loud - as if he was screaming the story and it made it difficult to concentrate on our guide... it didn't last long though as he must of finished telling the story.

After this we took a stroll through the deep dark woods to the next room where the lady asked some of the children to find different bits of the gruffalo hidden around the room, Oliver loved that he was chosen to join in with this and jumped up to find the piece quickly. She then began to tell us the story of the Gruffalo. Not long into the story and Oliver said the dreaded words of "I need a wee now" - oh great, ok! So I grabbed his hand and we rushed off to find a toilet. The closest was Costa coffee - so off I go, running through costa like a crazy mouse. In the toilet, the mirror made me realise I still had the mouse ears on my head!

Once we got back, we had missed the rest of the story but daddy told me - not Oliver, that the gruffalo came out at the end and Isabelle was terrified. After this we all went into a room next door and played some gruffalo themed games... there was a small climbing frame which was a bit small for the number of children there were in my opinion! The next thing to do was to meet the Gruffalo himself and have our photo taken, Isabelle happily walked towards the door until it opened and she saw the gruffalo inside then she steped backwards - to which the gruffalo pretended to hide an be scared of her instead! This worked - kinda, I held her and we had a photo, got to say hello and ten off we went. The queue to buy the photo was the bit I hated - it took ages. Much longer than other experiences I've had of buying photo at these things.
If your child is a fan of the gruffalo - they will love this experience! There was a huge age range of people when we went and it was a fun way to spend the morning. The children and adults alike were hooked to the much loved story and it was fantastic that it was interactive with the children. No one felt left out.

Photo was £6 which I thought was reasonable as recently we have spent £10 on one. They also have a range of toys for sale as well as photo keyrings.

Have you been to the gruffalo experience? What was your favourite bit?

You can find out more info here - Centre:mk
And find them on facebook here - Facebook for Centre:mk
Mary-Kate, x

*please note, we were given free entry to the Gruffalo experience but all of the opinions are my own.

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