Our household is always very excited about Christmas and the NT Killerton Estate in Devon really know how to celebrate it. Each year they dress the house in a different theme – this year it was the Bothers Grimm Fairy Tales.
I know the Disney adaptations of Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel and Sleeping Beauty well, but the stories they are bringing to life at Killerton are the original Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. These tales are a little more gruesome and although they still have castles, talking animals, Prince Charmings and happily ever afters there is also a few dark twists too. But don’t worry if you can’t remember the tales either as you’ll be given a story and activity book to refresh you memory.
We entered straight in to the magical wood with it’s leaping deer and were then guided into the first room which was the tale of the elves and the shoemaker. My son Edward was immediately drawn to the Christmas tree made of sparkly shoes, each encrusted with glitter and twinkling in the lights. Then we heard the audio of the tap tap of the shoe makes tools and saw the elves busy at work.
Then it was onto the next room where a cage is ready to capture Hansel & Gretel and cooking books tell us the best way to eat our children! Of course this is all sounding far too scary for little kids, but the set amidst the bright lights of the Christmas tree and the lovely sparkly Christmas ball balls the overall feeling was fun not terrifying and as all the characters are soft toys it’s easy to see how this display is amid at children.
In the next room we visited sleeping beauty in her bed, her eyes were closed but her body gently lifted and lowered to show you she was breathing. A white dress was waiting for her in the next room and a banquet to celebrate her wedding to the prince. Then we followed Rapunzel’s long hair up the stairs to find red ridding hood and the wolf.
The last room had a kids dress up section and this was a very busy room! Children were turning into elves and princess right before our eyes as they dressed into elf style slippers, butterfly wings and princess crowns.
Outside the fun continued with a trail around the grounds and games like tic tac toe and building bocks to build a wooden tower for Rapunzel. While willow deer sculptures leaped about is a lovely Christmas display.
For Fairy Tale fans, this is a truly magical day. I hope you get a chance to go along before it ends on the Thursday the 5th January to see it for yourself.