Saturday, 10 November 2018

Christmas Shopping At Affinity Devon

With Christmas adverts already being screened, there's no denying that the festive season is well and truly upon us once again.

And if you're anything like me, once that last rocket explodes in the sky on bonfire night - your mind switches straight to sorting out the Christmas shopping!

As much as I love the festive season, I have to admit that Christmas can overwhelm me a bit sometimes - there's just so much to think about when you're the one in charge of making sure that everything runs smoothly.

From deciding on the Christmas menu and where to buy the groceries this year, to organising the annual Santa visit and of course fielding the ever-changing and growing wish lists of 3 excited little ones - it can easily become a bit stressful! And for that reason, like many parents, I have a tendency to do a lot of my shopping online.

But in recent years, I've realised that online shopping for Christmas can really have its drawbacks - last year I ended up rushing around the shops on Christmas eve when certain gifts didn't arrive on time, then there's the issue of things not being quite as described or expected, things turning up unwrapped when the children are home are to see them - it just isn't always the ideal solution it seems to be.

And last year, I also realised that actually - it can mean paying more than we need to for Christmas gifts too, as often there are some incredible in-store only bargains to be had - plus no delivery charges to pay!

One tradition I always keep to is that every year, I set aside space in my diary for an evening out Christmas shopping with my other half - just the two of us!

It gives us a chance not only to find some bargains, and browse for gift inspiration in quirky and unusual stores that you just don't find online - but it also gives us the chance to soak up some of the festive atmosphere.

There's just nothing quite like the hustle bustle of a shopping centre when Christmas is around the corner, and with the Christmas songs playing in stores and the festive displays in the windows  - it really gets me in the mood!

Last week, I visited a shopping centre that I'd never been to before to have a look at what was on offer.

Affinity Devon is an outlet shopping centre with over 25 shops ranging from the biggest brand names such as Nike & The Gap, to smaller stores such as The Gift Company and Beauty Outlet giving you so much choice when it comes to Christmas shopping.

The centre offers free long stay parking for customers, as well as free wheelchair hire and free WiFi too. The centre is beautifully laid out, impeccably clean and there's none of the usual feel of "Hecticness" there - when I visited it was quiet enough to be a relaxed and enjoyable experience.

With stores offering over 60% off RRP on a daily basis, it's an amazing place to bag yourself a bargain too!

During my visit, I managed to stock up on stocking fillers for the boys and my nieces from The Works and Claire's, as well buy their Christmas outfits from GAP.

I also managed to finish off my family Christmas shopping in Marks & Spencer, Mountain Warehouse and Beauty Outlet and get myself some nice festive outfits from Peacocks and Roman too!

And of course, it wouldn't be a visit to an outlet centre without a visit to the Cadburys outlet store for some Mis-Shapes would it?!

There's even a Costa on hand so you can treat yourself to those all important festive coffees, as well as a Cornish Bakery selling what my other half declared to be "The best pasty he's ever had!" (And he lived in Cornwall for 10 years!)

We visited during Halloween half term, and the boys were delighted to find that the centre were offering free face painting - they were thrilled with their spooky looks and I have to say, it made such a nice change as a parent to be offered something like this free of charge!

Affinity Devon have some fantastic events coming up throughout the festive season, with something to suit everyone...take a look below:

Meet Father Christmas and his Elf (‘Santa Saturdays’)
Saturday 17th November, 1st & 15th December between 11am – 2pm

Father Christmas is taking time out of his busy Christmas schedule to meet boys and girls at the centre on Saturday 17th November, 1st & 15th December. It's FREE to meet him, and every child will receive a sweet treat to take away as a momentum. Father Christmas will be happy to pose for photos and engage with all children. You'll find him sat in the Big Chair in the centre of the mall.

Christmas Snow Globe (‘Snow Sundays’)
Sunday 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd December between 11am – 3pm
Enter the Snow Globe and enjoy the unique experience of being transported into your own wonderland. Entry is FREE, so bring the whole family!

Pop up Christmas Craft Shop
8th & 9th December and 15th & 16th December
Local crafters and artisans selling homemade items.

 Christmas Choirs
Thursday 29th November, 6th & 13th December at 6pm
Enjoy stress-free shopping until 8pm whilst listening to singing by local choirs.

So if you're looking for somewhere a little different to shop this year, where the festive atmosphere is plentiful and there are amazing bargains to be had - be sure to add a visit to Affinity Devon to your Christmas Calendar!

To find out more, please visit:

*Disclosure: I was gifted with a shopping voucher for my visit to the centre, all words and opinions are my own.

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