Joanne's review of the Festive Gift Fair 2016 NEC. Check out what she thought!

With this being my absolute favourite time of the year, I was very much looking forward to visiting the Christmas fair at the Birmingham NEC for the first time!

'The positives'

Once inside the NEC you are surrounded by the sites, sounds and smells of Christmas! The stalls have a wide variety of items including beautiful Christmas decorations, unique gift ideas for all the family, yummy foods to take anyones fancy and gorgeous personalised wares. There are lots of fab offers and the stalls prices on there products as a whole were very reasonable. There was great entertainment on nearly all of the time we were there which was nice to listen to whilst we were browsing the array of stalls and even better when we had a sit down to watch them whilst enjoying a cuppa and piece of cake at one of the coffee stops! We stayed there for just under 4 hours and to be honest I could have happily gone round it all again if it wasn't that my husband was telling me I'd 'hit my spending budget'! haha

'The not so positives'

Parking was quite expensive at £12 a car but we wern't really surprised as we pay about this when we visit Lincoln Christmas markets for the park and ride.

Although normally its nice to have the kids with us at anything Christmassy, its quite difficult to get through the crowds of people whilst pushing a pram. The fair was very busy and unless your children are maybe a little older and into shopping then its probably best to leave them with the grandparents! We did bring our 2 year old little girl with us and she was quite restless and wanted to just get out of the pram! However, my mum also came along with us too so she pushed her round most of the time so me and my husband could have a good look around on our own.

On the food front, the prices were reasonable, however the waiting time at one of the coffee stops we went to wasn't! We waited 35 minutes to get served three hot drinks and a couple of pieces of cake. On the plus side though, the cafe had a man playing Christmas songs on the piano which slightly softened the blow of the wait! We saw quite a few people who had brought their own food and drinks though which could be a good plan in future.

All in all, I really enjoyed the Christmas Fair and would definitely recommend to others who are thinking about going.






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