Santa Stop Here: Find the best Santa’s Grotto near you in 2017
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to see Santa, where kids can excitedly reel of what’s top of their Christmas lists this year and find out the answer to that all important question: are they on the naughty or nice list?
If you’re still looking for ideas for where you can take the kids to see Father Christmas this year, help is on hand, as we’ve chosen some of our favourite places to visit Santa at family attractions in the UK.
With reindeer, presents and a whole heap of festive fun, which one will you choose?
Top 15 places to visit Father Christmas this year:
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London17th November 2017 – 1st January 2018, excluding Christmas Day
Possibly one of the most popular Santa’s grottos in London, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the perfect festive day out for the whole family. Head to Santa Land, where entry is free and there’s lots of things themed around Father Christmas himself, including rides and eateries. Don’t miss the grotto itself, where you can pick up a free gift, and be sure to check our Santa’s Toy Factory, where the elves are busy making gifts ahead of the big day!
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, BedfordshireWeekends in December, plus 16th – 24th December 2017
Meet Father Christmas in a magical setting, amongst some of the most impressive creatures from the animal kingdom at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Go from saying hello to lions, tigers and more, to meeting Santa in his brand new grotto, with an early Christmas gift for every child too. There’s festive arts and crafts too with Mrs Claus, making this a great place to visit Santa this year.
Avon Valley Railway, BristolWeekends from 25th November, 4th December and 21st – 24th December 2017
This isn’t your average Santa’s grotto, as Avon Valley Railway bring the magic of Christmas to the tracks. Board the steam train at Bitton and enjoy your 6-mile journey through rolling countryside, whilst tucking into some mince pies and biscuits. Santa will make his way down the train to come and say hello in your seat, before gifting each child with a Christmas present.
Hatton Adventure World, WarwickshireWeekends from 25th November – 24th December 2017, plus 18th – 22nd December 2017
Father Christmas is flying into Hatton Adventure World this winter, making it a great place to visit to see a Santa’s grotto this year. With a sleigh brimming with toys and goodies, kids will have the chance to tell Santa how good they’ve been this year, before picking up a golden key for the Secret Workshop and choosing a toy to take home. With lots of other festive activities too, why not make a day of it?
Tredegar House, Newport25th & 26th November, 1st – 3rd, 8th- 10th and 15th – 17th December 2017
Meet Father Christmas at Tredegar House, as he stops over in the stables ahead of the busiest night of the year. He’ll be double-checking his lists to see who’s been naughty or nice this year and giving each child the chance to tell him all about what they’re asking for this year! With a stunning stable setting, and all the magic of Christmas brought to life, it’s a great place to see Santa in 2017.
Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm, Lancashire25th November – 23rd December 2017
Meet Father Christmas, or shall we say Farmer Christmas, as Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm brings the magic of Christmas to life. Take a walk through the enchanted forest and find the elves, who will help guide the way to see Father Christmas in his workshop grotto. With lots of other festive fun to enjoy, book your fun festive day out now.
Beamish Open Air Museum, County Durham18th November – 24th December 2017
For an enchanting place to see Santa, make sure a visit to Beamish Open Air Museum is on your list. Discover amazing seasonal sights, sounds, smells and more, before heading to Santa’s grotto to meet Father Christmas himself. Each child will get a small traditional gift, a hot chocolate and some reindeer food to help feed the reindeer, plus a craft activity too! It’s a unique place to visit Santa this year, but great for some family festive fun.
The National Coal Mining Museum, West YorkshireWeekends from 25th November – 17th December, plus 18th – 23rd December 2017
Visit Santa in his special underground grotto at The National Coal Mining Museum, where mini-miners and their friends can meet the star of the show. Found 140m underground in this unusual grotto, it’s certainly not your average place to visit Santa this year, but with lots of festive spirit, the kids will love it! Each visit to Santa also includes a free gift and a certificate, so this grotto definitely gets the thumbs up from us.
Godstone Farm, Surrey2nd December – 24th December 2017
This December, Father Christmas returns to Godstone Farm, where you can come and say hello in his special Christmas cabin. His team of elves have a sleigh full of presents, so make sure you’ve been on the nice list to get a gift after your visit. This sold out last year, so be quick and book your tickets now.
Manor Farm & Woodlands, Loughborough9th, 10th, 16th, 17th and 23rd December 2017
See Santa at Manor Farm & Woodlands this year, where you’ll find the jolly man himself in his woodland cabin! Join Molly the donkey to hear the Christmas story, sing songs and meet her animal friends, before receiving a Christmas gift – it promises to be a great day out for the whole family.
M&D’s, Scotland’s Theme Park, MotherwellWeekends from 18th November – 17th December, then 18th – 24th December 2017
What better place to see Santa than in Scotland’s largest grotto? With a present for every child, kids will love getting to meet Santa, before exploring all of the other festive fun at M&D’s, Scotland’s Theme Park. Plus, with fantastic animated Christmas scenes to see, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained.
Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent25th November – 23rd December 2017
Meet Santa and his friendly elves at Howletts Wild Animal Park, with the grotto providing the perfect touch of Christmas as part of a day at the park. With time slots every 30 minutes, kids will have plenty of time to catch up with Santa in his grotto and tell them all about their list this year, and if they’ve been good, we hear Santa has some special Christmas gifts to give away too.
City Cruises Poole, Dorset9th, 10th and 16th – 24th December
Have you ever visited a Santa’s grotto on a boat? That’s exactly what’s in-store for families at City Cruises Poole this year, with its special Sail with Santa event! Cruise around Poole Harbour with Father Christmas himself, including a 30-minute magic show, biscuits and drinks for kids, plus mulled wine and mince pies for the grown-ups. Santa will come and say hello to each kid, delivering an early Christmas gift too.
Dudley Zoo and Castle, West Midlands1st – 24th December 2017
Dudley Zoo and Castle is a great place to visit Father Christmas this year, with Santa’s grotto set within the castle walls. Talk him through your Christmas list and receive a special gift, before heading off to meet the reindeer ahead of their busiest night of the year.
Museum of London, London2nd – 23rd December 2017
Travel back in time to meet Father Christmas this year, as the Museum of London hosts its popular Victorian Santa’s Grotto. Explore the Victorian Walk, complete with festive decorations and see if you can hear the Victorian carols in the distance, before meeting Santa in his grotto. Book your timeslot now from £10 per child.
We hope this guide helps you to find the best Santa’s grotto near you, but where are your favourite places to visit Father Christmas? Let us know in a comment below, and be sure to not miss our guides to writing your letter to Santa, the best ice rinks near you and the best festive days out in the UK!
Also, it's not too early to start planning how you spend New Year's Even with the kids...