Santa’s Grotto 2018: The Best Places To Meet Father Christmas In London and the UK

Some grottos are selling out already - in October.

Getting to visit Santa in his grotto is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for kids, so pre-planning where and when to go will be pretty important.

If you’re not sure where your kids can see Father Christmas this year, we’ve pulled together some places throughout the UK where he’ll be visiting. As some grottos seem to be selling out fast, it’s probably best to get ahead of the game and book your grotto experience online - the majority of which you can do on their websites.

Keep checking back on this article as we’ll be adding new venues, grottos and Christmas events throughout the festive season.

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Where: Bluewater, Kent.

When: 15 Nov to 24 Dec.

At Bluewater, the festive journey begins with a traditional Christmas story presented in 4D, they’ll then join Mrs Claus for crafts, meet Santa and receive a toy to take home.

Tickets: From £10 per child and an additional £5 for an adult.

Where: Museum and art gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham.

When: 3 - 18 Dec from 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4.00pm.

The grotto at the gallery is home to lots of snow, twinkling lights and Father Christmas. Children will each receive a gift as well as a photo of themselves with Santa.

Tickets: £5 per child.

Where: Chill Factore, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester.

When: 17 Nov - 24 Dec.

Bring your little ones to meet Santa and enjoy the Mini Moose Land, which is ideal for kids under four years old. Children can meet Santa in his snowy grotto and then head to a land full of soft play, tunnels and igloos to explore.

Tickets: From £11.50 each.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Where: Hyde Park, London.

When: 22 Nov - 6 Jan 2019.

At Santa Land in Hyde Park’s famous Christmas extravaganza, Father Christmas is free to visit. Santa opens his grotto from 10am to 6pm, except on Monday – Wednesday, where he closes up at 4.30pm.

Tickets: Santa Claus is free to visit, but attractions at the Winter Wonderland cost extra.

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Santa in the Shambles

Where: York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York.

When: 24 Nov - 23 Dec.

Families will be invited into Father Christmas’ ‘old fashioned sweet shop’, where they will be asked to design their own chocolate bar and ‘post’ their design to the chocolate room at the North Pole. Price includes the activity, meeting with Santa, photo and a present.

Tickets: £9.95 per child, siblings an additional £7.95.

Christmas Parade at Waterfront Winterland

Where: Waterfront Winterland, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

When: 17 Nov - 7 Jan 2019.

Santa Claus sits in a traditional wooden chalet and children will meet his happy elves first before meeting and receiving a gift from the big guy himself - for an added extra, you can also get a photo too.

Tickets: £4.75 per child.

The Great Hall Father Christmas

Where: The Great Hall, Winchester

When: 21 - 23 Dec.

This event runs very closely to Christmas, where kids get to meet Santa, receive a present and get involved in the Christmas craft table before or after their visit. Any adults wanting to accompany their child can do so for free.

Tickets: £12.50 per child.

For those hoping for a festive break...

Where: Center Parcs (Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest, Whinfell Forest and Woburn Forest).

When: 9 Nov - 1 Jan 2019.

Santa’s Center Parcs workshop is a treat for all the family as guests can explore Santa’s Woodland Workshop itself, meet Santa’s elves and the reindeer. Littles ones can even tell Santa what’s on their Christmas list and receive a special present.

Tickets: From £429 for a Winter Wonderland break. Price depends on dates, location and accommodation.

Are we missing a brilliant Santa’s grotto? We’ll be updating this piece in the run-up to Christmas, so send in your suggestions to