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The Best Santa’s Grottos in the Country

partnership-with-familiesLet’s face it, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to visit Santa’s Grotto – after all, children need to get their order in ahead of the big day!

Check-out some of the top places to go and see Father Christmas this year, handpicked by our friends over at Families Online.


Santa’s Grottos around the country

Coventry Transport Museum

24 November – 23 December 2016
Get ready for a vintage Christmas with a ride on a 60-year-old sleigh! A truly unique experience you’ll get to journey to Lapland led by two reindeer before meeting Father Christmas himself.

Santa Grotto at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
18 November – 2 January 2017
If you’re planning a trip to the capital for a spot of Christmas shopping this yuletide, Winter Wonderland is in its 10th year and is well worth a stop off. With festive markets, fairground rides and the return of Santa Land where little ones can meet the man himself, visits are free and Santa has a gift for all good children.

Eden Project, Cornwall
25 November – 24 December 2016
A really magical experience with fantastic reviews. Santa needs your help to spread Christmas cheer. Enjoy a story in front of a roaring fire before meeting the man with all the presents. There are also relaxed performances for children with autism or sensory needs.

LaplandUK, Windsor
19 November – 24 December 2016
This is a Christmas grotto on an epic scale with Hollywood set designers employed to make it a visually incredible experience. Grab your elf passport and get ready for an amazing Christmas adventure of over three and a half hours long! The magical journey will have stops to make toys, decorate gingerbread, meet reindeer and enjoy a spot of ice skating before arriving at Santa’s snow-covered home.

Santa’s Magical Journey, Thursford, Norfolk
26 November – 23 December 2016
Reportedly Prince George’s first grotto visit at just 16 months old, the attraction boasts animated penguins, polar bears elves and fake snow. Now in its 10th year, you can see elves hard at work in their factory before meeting Santa himself. If it’s good enough for the future king…

Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys
26 November- 24th December 2016 (dates vary in each location)
One thing is for certain: Father Christmas knows his toys! So what better place to meet him than one of the world’s best known toys shops. With games, activities and snacks, you’ll also get a special gift. Available at Hamleys Regent Street, London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Intu Lakeside, and Dublin

A Magical Christmas at Eureka, Halifax
28 November – 3 January 2016
Meet elves and the man in red himself for some unique festive fun. The folks at the National Children’s museum claim their Christmas experience will be “the snuggliest, friendliest grotto in town. Well, if it’s as good as the museum, we think we’ll believe them!

Santa Specials on East Lancs Railway, Bury
26 November – 24 December 2016
Create some brilliant family memories by climbing aboard an old steam train on the East Lancashire Railway. A unique experience you’ll get to see a beautifully dressed station with lots of lights before meeting Father Christmas as he passes through your carriage. Gifts for the kids and festive tipple for the grown-ups. Sold.

Canterbury Tales Christmas, Canterbury
17th and 18th December 2016
Great fun, medieval style! You’ll be transported through time to the medieval streets of The Canterbury Tales. Visitors will get the chance to join the jolly pilgrim carol singers, dress up for festive pics and meet Santa’s elf who is busy wrapping presents. Lots of twinkling lights, treats for adults and the Father Christmas too. Sounds good to us.

Royal Albert Hall, London
6 December – 24 December 2016
After huge success last year, Santa will returning for an interactive festive experience. Go on an adventure through the iconic venue with Mr Rumbelow, Santa’s special helper to solve puzzles, pick up clues and find the missing key to open the grotto. Only when you uncover the key can you get your Christmas gift.

Christmas at Drayton
19 November – 31 December 2016
See the snow fall on Sodor at this Christmas extravaganza where they can explore Thomas Land, make Christmas crafts and meet Father Christmas. There will also be real reindeer to see and a Slide and Glide ice rink! To top it all off, there’s festive fireworks too.

Christmas Kingdom at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport
24 November- 24 December 2016
A magical experience awaits for little ones, starting with a special video message from Chief Elf to Father Christmas. Next on the menu, decorate Mrs Claus’ gingerbread Christmas trees and post your letters in the festive postbox. Before you leave don’t forget to pay the reindeer a visit and have a spin on the ice.

Chill Factore, Manchester
5 November – Christmas Eve
What could be better than a snowy visit to meet Santa? If you love the white stuff, the Chill Factore might be for you, as it’s the only Grotto in the UK to have real snow – 100 tonnes of it to be precise! As well as meeting Santa and getting a special gift, kids will have the chance to play in Mini Moose Land, or for children over four, the light-adorned Snow Park.

Blickling Estate, Norfolk (National Trust)
17 & 18 December 2016
The National Trust has meetings with Santa throughout the country in some of the best settings – and they come highly recommended .Father Christmas and Mother Christmas are in Norfolk for just two dates this year to meet children and tell some stories. Lasting around 40 minutes, children will receive a gift from Father Christmas and mum and dad get a glass of fizz and a mince pie!

M&D’s Theme Park, Motherwell
18 November – 16 December 2016
Lots to keep the kids happy as well as a visit to Scotland’s largest grotto. Enjoy storytelling in a heated theatre, seeing real reindeer up close, and an open air ice rink to practice some moves. The grotto sounds pretty impressive too with festive scenes of Santa’s workshop and the Snow Queen.

Santa’s Cottage, Northern Ireland
19 November – 24 December 2016
What a treat if you live in, or are visiting these parts! Did you know, Santa’s Cottage is ‘the official residence of Santa in Ireland’? Little ones will be amazed when they visit the 19th Century cottage and get to see where Santa eats, plans his journey and even sleeps in a setting untouched by time. Magical.