santas-grottos-uk

12 best Santa's grottos in the UK for Christmas 2021

Get booking before tickets sell out

From the moment December hits, pictures of Santa Claus, his trusty elves and his reindeer pop up everywhere. But where can you go to see the man in red with your kids this year?

MORE: 15 best Christmas markets in the UK you need to visit in 2021

We've rounded up some of the best Santa's grottos in the UK, from a Santa cruise to the Royal Albert Hall and everything in between. But hurry, tickets are selling out fast…

1. Santa Land at Winter Wonderland, London

Winter-Wonderland-Hyde-Park

Get the Christmas celebrations underway at Winter Wonderland, which returned to London's Hyde Park on 19 November. Little ones will love a visit to Santa Land, which is filled with rides such as a 45m ice slide, and Santa's Toy Factory fun house where Santa and his elves are making toys ready for Christmas. Better still, entry is free! You can't book a visit to Santa, but his grotto is open every day from 10am to 6pm.

For more information visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

2. Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall, London

royal-albert-hall

Credit: Andy Paradise

Enjoy a magical day out at one of London's best-known landmarks, the Royal Albert Hall. Held in the beautiful porch, this festive experience will see youngsters meet Father Christmas and his merry head elf Crumpet for a charming Christmas Storytime session. Plus, every child gets to take home their very own gift! The experience is most suitable for children aged three and above and is open from 2 - 21 December 2021. 

For more information visit royalalberthall.com

3. Visit the Noir Kringle pop up

christmas-grotto

Looking for a diverse Santa experience? In 2018, Charlotte Lewis set up Noir Kringle 'The Black Santa's Grotto Experience', a family-run event that gives children and parents the opportunity to visit a magical Christmas grotto where Father Christmas and all of his elves are Black.

Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, Charlotte said: "The notion of a Black Santa figure has been around in the States since the 1940s, but when I had my daughter, I searched and searched but couldn't find anything like that in the UK.

"I decided there and then that I wanted to set up a grotto for myself. There were lots of people, not just Black people, that wanted something different. It's been my passion project ever since." It's so popular that 2021 dates have already sold out, but keep an eye out for next year.

For more information visit www.noirkringle.co.uk

MORE: How one mother's search for a Black Santa led to London's only diverse Christmas grotto

4. Set Sail with Santa, Poole

set-sail-with-santa

Forget Santa's sleigh and take a ride on his boat! Cruise around Poole Harbour with Santa Clause for a 1 hour 15-minute ride, where children will receive a Christmas present from Santa while adults sip on a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie and listen to Christmas carols. Cruises take place until 24 December.

For more information visit citycruisespoole.com

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5. Santa’s Snow Grotto at Chill Factore, Manchester

chill-factore

With twinkling fairy lights and real snow, Chill Factore in Manchester is another Lapland-esque experience that will provide a real winter wonderland experience for the whole family. As well as being able to visit the man in red, all children can enjoy an activity in the snow, whether it's exploring the snow tunnels in Mini Moose Land or racing down the ice slides in the Snow Park. Open until 24 December.

For more information visit Chillfactore.com

6. Santa's Polar Express, Newcastle

santa-polar-expres

Hop onboard Santa's Polar Express at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa for a festive day out that all the family can enjoy. Children can take part in story-telling with Mrs Claus, a letter-writing workshop with the elves and of course, Santa's Polar Express train adventure. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy complimentary tea, coffee or mulled wine and browse the festive stalls. 

For more information visit santapolarexpress.com

7. Meet Father Christmas at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Eden-Project-santa

Go behind-the-scenes at the camp Santa and his elves make their home in the countdown to Christmas, snooping at the elves' bunkbeds, seeing the letters from children and even reading a bedside story, before meeting Father Christmas and receiving a special gift. Opens 3- 24 December and costs £10 for a child with one adult.

For more information visit edenproject.com

8. Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys

hamleys

What better place to write your Christmas list than in a toy store?! Hamleys offers children the chance to enjoy an interactive 60-minute experience with Santa, including festive games and activities, learning elf songs and dances plus meeting Father Christmas. Sessions cost £20 with eight children per session, and it is suitable for children aged two to eight years. 

For more information visit hamleys.com

READ: How royal children spend Christmas: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and more

9. Have breakfast with Santa at Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

spinnaker-tower

Credit: Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Who says Father Christmas' grotto has to be at ground level? Climb the Emirates Spinnaker Tower to enjoy a continental style breakfast overlooking the harbour and hosted by Santa and his merry elves. Children can write their letters to Santa and take photos with him, as well as build their own cuddly toy with a heart charm and birth certificate. All children will receive a gift from Santa. 

For more information visit spinnakertower.co.uk

10. Enchanted Christmas at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

santa-Hunt-Black-Country-Museum

Credit: Black Country Museum

Help save Christmas at the Black Country Living Museum! Santa and his elves have called in the Nutcracker General and his friends to keep the Rat King and his pesky partners from causing havoc while they prepare for Christmas. The story-based experience is inspired by the Nutcracker and features lots of family activities.

For more information visit bclm.co.uk

11. Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm, Hertfordshire

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Willows Activity Farm (@willowsactivityfarm) on

Enjoy a festive family outing with the Santa Spectacular experience at Willows Activity Farm. Of course, meeting Santa is one of the highlights of the day, with children able to pick out a gift from his Toy Shop to take home. There are numerous activities and workshops on offer, including making a toy bear, decorating biscuits and ice skating. Open from 16 - 24 December 2021. 

For more information visit willowsactivityfarm.com

12. Dan yr Ogof Cave Christmas Experience, Swansea

Santa-Show-Caves

Treat them to an experience they won't forget with a trip to Santa's Grotto within the National Showcaves Centre for Wales. Follow the twisting and turning cave passageways past underground lakes, waterfalls and colourful rock formations before meeting Santa in his underground grotto. Children receive a gift to take home and adults receive a hot drink and a mince pie. 

For more information visit showcaveschristmas.co.uk

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