'Why should pets have to miss out?' - all animals welcome to meet Santa Paws this Christmas at Skylark Garden Centre
PUBLISHED: 12:36 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:39 19 December 2018
Christmas isn't just for children - it's for furry friends too, especially at Skylark Garden Centre in Wimblington.
Open to animals of all kinds, Santa Paws - now in its second year - is a chance for pets to meet Father Christmas, pose for photographs with the bearded man and even receive a present from the big man himself.
Two dogs who come bounding into Santa’s grotto – homely thanks to its wooden fire and presents under the tree – were furballs Marco (a keeshond) and Elsie (half keeshond, half Japanese spitz).
Born from a customer suggestion, events manager Bart Woodbine “thought it would be a fun thing to do, and build the Christmas spirit.
“We’re all animal lovers, he continues, having begun transforming the warehouse into a grotto in October.
“We don’t want the animals to feel left out; cats are welcome too - any animals really.”
After posing for photographs, Marco and Elsie each receive a squeaky toy and even jump in Santa’s sleigh for a few extra festive snaps.
Chloe Phillips-Bartlett, who is an elf for Christmas and funyard worker in the summer, said: “We welcome all the animals - if you want to bring your dog or your cat… I’m sure Santa would even be happy to hold your gerbil.”
And why does she think it’s important?
“Bringing your pet along to meet Santa, which usually is just for children, creates a sense of inclusivity.
“Sharing that with your dog is such a warming thing to do – especially at Christmas time.”
One customer who took her dogs to the grotto said: “Parents bring their children along so I’ve brought my dogs along.
“I think the dogs enjoy the excitement and they should be just as entitled to the fun as anyone else. Why should pets have to miss out?”
For the children there’s a chance to visit the grotto too, sing-a-long with Santa’s elves, make their own reindeer food and a gold coin to either build a bear or choose a gift from Santa’s toy shop.
Santa’s Grotto is open from December 20 to 24. And tickets range from £10.99 to £14.99.
To book online visit www.skylark-events.co.uk