Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Tree Shopping in Barcelona

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. Even more than the summer. I'm just a big kid at heart, and my memories of Christmas as a boy in England are all very very happy ones, so I love to get my kids in the mood as well. We've had the tree up since the 1st December, and we've been making mince pies this week whilst listening to Christmas music non-stop (in English, obviously). The kids have got various Christmas concerts and plays next week and I've written before about how cool it is to be a kid at Christmas in Barcelona.

Barcelona Sights - Entrance to Catalunya Plants
So one of the things that's always presented a problem is buying a tree. It's not Christmas without a proper tree. Carrefour (the big one near IKEA, not the one on Las Ramblas) used to sell them  - not very good quality but did the job - but stopped, so you're left with the option of florists around the city, or the Christmas market. And here begins one of the problems - it's like 80-odd Euros for a bloody tree!! They may have even gone up since the last time I looked, AND they're already cut, so no root, no pot. Bah, humbug.

Barcelona Sights - Christmas Pines
So I began doing a bit of research online and asking around, and nobody seemed to be able to suggest anything. And then I came across Catalunya Plants. We bought our tree there last year (but I used my phone as a GPS to get there, and ran out of battery so couldn't take any photos) and it was great - when I took it down after the Epiphany, it hardly shed any needles, and I reckon I could have planted it somewhere and it would have been fine again for this year. It's a 20-minute drive from Barcelona located in Sant Vicenç del Horts.

Potted Plants at Catalunya Plants
So they have two kinds of trees - ones that have been cut and potted, and ones that are specifically grown to be re-planted in your garden or whatever and ones that are just to be used for the Christmas period and then recycled. I go for the latter, and it's a bargain at 35€.

One of the best things about going to this place is that they also have a great kids play area with bouncy castle, swings and slides, picnic area, and a kind of mini farm, where you can go and have a look at the animals. It really is lots of fun, and all free as you walk around. My kids loved it and there were plenty of other young families around just passing the time and not necessarily buying plants or anything. They have a small pet shop with gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, fish, etc.  near towards the back too and a really good Christmas section (I took a pic, but it came out all blurry) so it's a really great place to go and stock up on stuff if you're just starting out too.

Barcelona Sights - Ostrich!

Here's the funny Ostrich - not at all shy, and good job the fence is high!

Barcelona Sights - Buck and Deer

Very cool Buck and there are a few Deer dotted around too - this is in the middle of the farm part.
Goats at Catalunya Plants
Goats just next to the Ostrich.
photo of bouncy castle
My son Jack doing Vitaly the Tiger from Madagascar 3. If you haven't seen it, go!
Pretty cool slides in the entrance of the kids play area.
Well Hello Mr Turkey!! Or is it a Mrs ?! hehehe!!

As you can see, it's a lot of fun and a great place to go and enjoy the animals.

Coming to Barcelona this winter? Check out these last minute deals on apartments!


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