Posted on 27th November 2014

Father Christmas Visits Local Play Centre

Father Christmas made a special surprise visit to youngsters at the Fernheath Play Centre in Verney Road, Bournemouth on Tuesday, November 25th.

Santa was accompanied by Tux, the giant cuddly mascot penguin from The Ark in Poole Park, and handed out soft toys to the children. Fernheath Play provides specialist free play and short breaks for all children; regardless of their background or abilities.

Paddy Williamson from Fernheath Play said "We are thrilled to have been selected as The Ark’s chosen charity to benefit from their Christmas grotto this year. The children and staff at Fernheath Play were delighted to receive a special visit from Father Christmas ahead of the grand opening of the grotto this week. Together with the friendly Ark team and their resident penguin Tux, the children were treated to a magical afternoon of festive fun. We are so grateful for the support of individuals and local businesses like The Ark who allow us to continue offering invaluable support to able and disabled children across Dorset."  

After the event both Santa and Tux returned to Poole Park to greet the first visitors at the grand unveiling of their new Grotto.

Co-created by Eskimo Jo, who have developed Christmas events, for Selfridges and Westfield shopping centres, and Dorset-based entertainment agency Funnybone, the Grotto has transformed the park’s cricket pavilion in to a magical winter log cabin.

As part of the experience youngsters get to meet Father Christmas and his elves, receive a special plush penguin soft toy and enjoy a supervised festive-themed craft activity like creating magical reindeer food.

Funded by The Ark, the Grotto is a one-off event and operating as a not-for-profit initiative, with all proceeds going towards the Fernheath Play charity.

The Ark Christmas Grotto: tickets cost £12 per child. Pre-booking is advisable. 

For further information, visit The Ark, Poole Park, BH15 2SF.


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