There are so many different activities to choose from on a Center Parcs holiday including roller skating, table tennis and adventure golf. Each time we go, we try to do something different because it’s such a great place to try something new. Last time we were on holiday at Center Parcs Elveden Forest we tried pottery painting with both adults and children.
Booking pottery painting
Pottery painting is a bookable activity at Center Parcs, which can be done 12 weeks before your break. It is a popular activity so some slots do get booked up quickly but there’s also the possibility of turning up and asking if there’s space free. Obviously, this isn’t guaranteed so it’s always best to book in advance where you can.
At the time of booking, you pay a fee which covers the time in the studio, paint and your items being glazed and fired afterwards. The fee was around £6 per person in 2022 although this is subject to change.
Where is pottery painting?
Pottery painting is available at all UK Center Parcs villages including Whinfell Forest, Longleat Forest and Sherwood Forest. The location will vary per village so refer to the correct map for the correct location of the pottery painting studio.
Prices and choosing your pottery piece
On top of the booking fee per person, you will also need to choose something to paint in the studio and this incurs an additional cost. Prices currently start at around £13 for smaller items. Depending on what you choose, this can be one of the more expensive activities at Center Parcs so choose wisely.
There are lots of different items to choose from and something for everyone. Popular items include plates and plant pots in different sizes, while there are also things like pet bowls, money boxes and garden gnomes… just to name a few. The studio has prices next to everything and examples of how they could be painted. When you’ve chosen, you let someone know at the counter and they’ll bring you out a plain one.
If you are painting with young children then it’s good to know that you get plenty of time to finish your pieces however, choosing something small might be a good idea.
Painting your items
A member of staff will explain what you need to do after you have picked your items. On the table you’ll find a wheel of numbered paint pots and a sort of tablet showing you what the colours are like once they’re glazed.
You need to paint in layers, adding a little bit more paint at a time. It’s important to know that the more layers of paint you add, the better the result will be on your finished piece. As well as the 31 paint colours, there were also paint pens available and pencils if you wanted to sketch out a design before painting. You can really get as creative as you like during the painting process and there are loads of accessories to help you. Masking tape is a must if you want to paint straight lines and there are also paintbrushes (of course) and stencils to choose from.
Glazing and firing
When your items are finished, you need to add your lodge number underneath so they know which item belongs to you. Then, you leave the items at the pottery studio ready for them to be glazed and fired. You can pick these up the next day so if you’re leaving on a Friday, you can get them before you head home. Your items will come wrapped in tissue paper and then in a paper bag so they’re all ready for you to take home.
At Elveden Forest, there’s a stand just in the entrance to the pottery painting studio, where you can take photos of your finished pieces. This is a really nice touch and a fun way to get children (and adults) to pose with their amazing creations.
Did we enjoy it?
Pottery painting was one of my favourite activities during our last Center Parcs break. It was nice that it was something I did with just my sister and Erin too. Some of us took it a bit more seriously than others and some of us are more creative than others too. However, Erin had a blast making a plate of her own and really loved that she could put what she wanted on it.
We didn’t choose expensive items but instead chose something quite cheap with plenty of space for creativity. Mine and Erin’s items were around £30 for 2 things and I don’t think that was bad value at all. In fact, I thought the prices for each piece of pottery were very reasonable.
I’d definitely go back to pottery painting should we visit Center Parcs again. This is a great activity for the whole family, especially during the colder months if you want to do something inside where it’s warm.