Immersive grotto launched at Brent Cross Christmas lights celebration

Mayor of Barnet Cllr Mark Shooter, his wife Michelle and Santa Claus switch on the Christmas lights

Mayor of Barnet Cllr Mark Shooter, his wife Michelle and Santa Claus switch on the Christmas lights in Brent Cross shopping centre - Credit: Archant

Christmas lights were switched on in Brent Cross with a song, a sparkle and a ride in London’s first immersive grotto.

Santa Claus outside the immersive interactive grotto in Brent Cross

Santa Claus outside the immersive interactive grotto in Brent Cross - Credit: Archant

Santa Claus was joined by the mayor and mayoress of Barnet, Cllr Mark Shooter and wife Melissa, to switch on the Christmas lights at Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Children were then invited to experience London’s first interactive grotto, a giddying story-telling ride in a custom designed projection igloo narrated by the big man in red.

Community singer troup Urban Voices had earlier opened the show with rousing pop renditions which got crowds leaning over the balcony.

Also a first for the shopping centre is an interactive 10 ft tree which can be decorated with a console on which people can also play games.

A fully interactive Christmas tree where children can play games is in Brent Cross sShopping centre

A fully interactive Christmas tree where children can play games is in Brent Cross sShopping centre - Credit: Archant


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There is also a Giving Tree in the centre where shoppers can pick a tag, buy a gift and hand it in to the reception desk for children who wouldn’t otherwise recieve gifts.

Cllr Shooter, said: “I’m really delighted to be turning on the light then going into the grotto with Santa at this wonderful event. Thank you Brent Cross for putting on this event.”

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Tom Nathan, Brent Cross manager, said: “Anyone who says Christmas is dead, on the contrary, we are celebrating it.

We had a day for Divali, prior to that we had Eid. We are celebrating hanukkah in December, it’s part of celebrating everybody’s festivals with the whole community.”

He added: “We also have a nativity upstairs as we wanted to celebrate the fact a religious event has happened.

“If people want to come and see and play on the tree and not spend a penny they are absolutely welcome.”

Grotto costs £5 per child with a guaranteed gift.

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