Toy testers chart the Christmas chuckle factor with free fun event at Church Square Shopping Centre

Junior toy testers donned their lab coats at St Helen’s Church Square Shopping Centre to trial the chuckle factor of a host of Christmas games.

Santa’s scientists landed at the centre to set up their free Laughter Laboratory and invite St Helens youngsters to enjoy some unique festive fun for free.

The children, aged three to eight,  donned white coats and goggles to put a range of toys and games to the test, then logged the chuckle factor to chart which toy came out tops.

The first sessions were held on Saturday and Sunday, with more toy tests lined up for next weekend at the shopping centre, which is experiencing one of its busiest times of year.

Church Square Shopping Centre Manager Steven Brogan said: “We wanted to bring back the fun for Christmas, so we invited Santa to send his top boffins down from the North Pole to St Helens.

“The children loved having the chance to play with the toys and try them out for free while their parents were able to catch up on some Christmas shopping.

“We took the opportunity of having an empty shop unit –  the former Dolland and Aitchson Opticians – which we’ve transformed  into the Laughter Laboratory. It was great to hear all the laughs coming from there this weekend – the youngsters obviously had a great time.

“The results from the Chart of Chuckles this weekend and next weekend will go back to Santa’s Fun Factory so he knows exactly what to pack in his sack as he flies off on Christmas Eve in his sleigh to bring presents to the children of St Helens.”

The Laughter Laboratory – which is free for youngsters –  will be running again on Saturday December 14 from 11am-4pm, and Sunday  December 15 from noon to 4pm.

Also making an appearance at the weekend workshops, and helping youngsters have festive fun, was Shopper Whopper.

He’s the official mascot of Church Square Shopping Centre’s children’s club, with free fun for youngsters aged three to eight. Members receive special offers, advance notice of events, VIP invites to character appearances and discounts at selected shops at the shopping centre.

Church Square Shopping Centre  is open daily and home to a range of big name stores –  such as River Island, BHS, Boots and Superdrug –   along with independent retailers plus the busy St Mary’s Market. Details on what’s happening at the centre at

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