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Vintage Sleigh Ride has set off on its snowy journey to Lapland

08 December 2021

​Coventry Transport Museum’s iconic and hugely popular Vintage Sleigh Ride has set off on its snowy journey to Lapland after opening at the weekend (December 4).

A vintage, Narnia-inspired winter wonderland with real Christmas trees, a walk-through snow tunnel, snowmen and illuminations is greeting visitors as they enter.

On their journey to the sleigh ride departure point to Lapland and Santa’s grotto, children can post a letter to Santa in a special red post-box, enjoy some crafts and may even get to pull a cracker with one of Santa’s elves.

Family photo opportunities are a-plenty with two of the museum’s vehicles on show – a pink Barbie car and a vintage miniature fire engine.

Santa will meet families after the ride and they can choose a present from his toy shop.

First through the doors at a special preview launch, were staff and a small group of three-year-olds from Forest Friends Day Nursery based in Coventry’s Canal Basin, dressed up for the occasion in festive jumpers and woolly hats.

It was their first trip to the museum’s Christmas extravaganza since before the pandemic.

Nursery manager Alanah Gorman said: “The children are all really excited about Christmas and it has been a fantastic experience for them – they loved every minute! There’s so much to see.”

The Vintage Sleigh Ride has entertained generations of children in the city for 65 years.

Another special guest was BBC Coventry and Warwickshire presenter Vic Minett who was delighted to be back for the first time with her 17-month-old son Henry.

She said: “It’s magical. I went on the same sleigh with my Nan and my Mum – and it hasn’t changed. That’s what is so beautiful and special about it.

“This is Coventry’s Christmas for so many people and this year it’s a super special treat as last year we were in Lockdown.

“Henry’s favourite thing in the world is a book – and of course Santa knew that!”

Vic launched a campaign to keep the sleigh ride going after the closure of its original home at the Co Op on Corporation Street when she was inundated with pleas from listeners.

The sleigh was donated to Culture Coventry and has been an annual multi-generational attraction at Coventry Transport Museum since 2015.

Jane Murphy, Corporate Strategy Director at Culture Coventry, the charity operating as CV Life which runs Coventry Transport Museum, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming families back after we were closed last Christmas due to the pandemic.

“This year we went for our traditional Winter Wonderland with an added vintage Narnia theme. People love to take a photo, so there are lots of photo opportunities as people follow the sleigh sign before boarding their flight from Coventry to Lapland and meet Santa.”

The Vintage Sleigh Ride and Winter Wonderland run on various dates and time until Thursday December 23. Tickets cost £10 per child which includes a gift from Santa and entry for two accompanying adults, plus free museum entry and a Christmas trail. Visits need to be booked in advance.

Book your tickets.

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