Coal Hearted Christmas

Added: 26th March 2018

What They Asked For                                                                                  

An innovative and unique Christmas Grotto in Brighton’s Churchill Square, centred around the theme of Coal Hearted Christmas…

What We Did

We had an enormous coal-like structure designed and built using state of the art polystyrene shaping and coating techniques.  The structure surrounded Churchill Square’s enormous Christmas Tree, and housed within it a fun filled trail to Santa for children and families.  The trail itself took children on a nugget digging expedition, to find the magical golden nuggets that would power Santa’s Sleigh so he can make it around the world on Christmas.  Each child was given a toy pick axe, hard hat and a story about how they can save Santa, before making their way through each activation area inside the coal “mine”.

Trained actors played elves both inside and out of the structure, each with their own designated role that they were to play throughout the 4-week activation. Each elf had their own name, back story and role within this immersive experience, telling children of their adventures with Santa and how they can help get Santa on his way again by powering his magical sleigh. 

Of course Santa himself was inside of the tree, receiving the magical golden nuggets and finding out what the kids wanted most for Christmas.  Photos were then taken with Santa which were then handed out to the families in a bespoke Churchill Square Coal Hearted Christmas photo frame on their way out.  They also received a free story book from Santa and on the last days of the activation, toys from local stores who had donated.

There were also autism friendly hours throughout the activation to ensure that nobody was left out.


2475 children passed through the doors of the Coal Hearted Grotto, with overwhelmingly positive feedback both in person and on social media as a result of the activation.  The unique and bespoke nature of the structure itself also gained a lot of attention from tourists and adults, not just families and children.  Overall this was a fantastic activation, offering something truly unique to the Brighton Shopping Centre. 

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Related Images

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