Where to find Santa's grottos and Christmas activities near you

Searching for the best place to meet Santa when he's in your area? Or looking for some festive activities to keep the DC entertained? Get suggestions from our Local editors 

Midlands | East of England | South East | South West | North | Greater London

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Christmas at the Castle Nottingham 

12 December

Get into the Christmas spirit at the castle with free entry.  Find that special gift at the traditional Christmas Craft Fair, visit Santa in the Bastion, then help find his missing presents with the children's trail around the castle to claim your prize. 

Victorian Christmas Extravaganza Ruddington

12 December

Experience this unique Victorian setting and enjoy a day packed full of family festive fun. 

Santa will be in attendance to welcome children to his grotto, the Ruddington Community Choir will be singing carols and roasted chestnuts and hot crumpets will be on sale to warm you up.

Breakfast with Santa West Bridgford

Until 23 December

Treat children to a delicious breakfast in the company of Santa. A fun-filled mealtime including a lovely present, stories and games.

Father Christmas at Doddington Hall Lincolnshire

Until 20 December

Come and see the house and gardens at Doddington dressed especially for the Christmas season. Open every weekend from 10am - 4pm.

Santa is coming to Pink Pig Farm Lincolnshire

Weekends + 21 - 22 December

Make the most of a family day out with a visit to Pink Pig Farm this December.  Ticket includes all-day entry to the playbarn and farm, plus a sleigh ride, Santa visit and present.

Santas Grotto at Waterside Lincoln

Until 24 December

Santa Claus is swapping the North Pole for the Waterside in December and he's bringing a very big sack of Christmas gifts with him. 

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East of England

Father Christmas at Maddermarket Theatre Norwich

18 - 23 December

Father Christmas will be visiting with his helpers this Christmas in a special Narnia-themed magical grotto at the Maddermarket Theatre. Book your opportunity to meet with the man himself, bring along your letters and receive a gift.

Children's Christmas Craft Time Wymondham

21 December

Drop off the DC for a couple of hours while you pop into town for last minute shopping. They'll be kept busy with activities such as art and crafts, stories, games and music.

Willows Farm Santa Spectacular Abbots Langley

Until 24 December

Visit Santa in his grotto and receive a golden key to his toy shop to choose any gift. With a synthetic ice rink, festive funfair rides, indoor play area and reindeer hunt with prizes all included in the entrance price, it's a fantastic family day out.

Meet Santa and Real Reindeer at Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable 

Until 24 December

Meet Santa in his grotto and enjoy a day packed with Christmas activities. Children will receive a gift from the man himself and can make Christmas arts and crafts to take home.

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South East

Kiddi Caru Magical Winter Wonderland Burgess Hill

12 December

Come and meet Santa in his grotto at between 10am and 1.30pm. This event is free to attend, but donations are welcomed to support Home-Start UK's Snowflake Appeal. 

Glow Wild Lantern Trail Haywards Heath

4 - 13 December

A unique night-time experience; follow the lantern trail through the beautiful garden in a wonderful after-dark adventure and marvel at the UK's tallest living Christmas tree.

Santa Sprint and Stroll Chichester

13 December

A great opportunity for families to enjoy a fun and festive event together while raising money for a great local cause. The sprint is a more serious 5k run while the stroll is a one-mile fun run suitable for children and families - even dogs can get involved.

Decorating Gingerbread and Santa story telling Woking

Weekends until 20 December

Come and make festive gingerbread and enjoy storytelling with Santa. Suitable for ages 3+, accompanied by a responsible adult; £5 per child and adult attends for free.

How Wizard Wiz Won Christmas Guildford

5 -20 December

Suitable for 5-7 year-olds, the trail will involve clues and questions to solve how Wizard Wix saves Christmas. Wellies recommended! There will also be the opportunity to join in festive crafts, meet Father Christmas and visit the resident donkeys.  

Magical Millbrook Grotto Crowborough

5 - 24 December

Visit Santa in the Magical Millbrook Grotto, where the elves are currently working hard to ensure that every little boy and girl receives a special Christmas gift <crosses fingers for the good list>.  

Father Christmas Grotto Forest Row

Until 24 December

As well as meeting Santa you can enjoy the other fabulous sights and sounds, gifts and thrills on offer at The Llama Park, including donkeys, horses, a Nativity scene, dazzling decorations and Christmas carols.

Father Christmas in the Crystal Grotto Cobham

5 - 24 December

Follow the festive route through the beautiful surroundings to Grotto Island. Here you will enter the Christmas Wishing Tent where the elves will guide you into the amazing crystal Grotto with dazzling stalactites, to meet Father Christmas. 

Visit Father Christmas at Bocketts Farm Park Leatherhead

Until 24 December

Hop on board the Santa Express Trailer ride to his magical workshop where each child will meet Father Christmas and receive a wrapped gift. 

Wyevales Wonderland Grotto Horsham

Until 24 December

Walk through the wonderful sights of the winter wonderland and visit Santa in his grotto, and take home a special present. 

Santa's Grotto at Howlett's Wild Animal Park Canterbury

Until 23 December

Meet Santa in his enchanted grotto at weekends throughout December

Father Christmas' Grotto Bracknell

Until 24 December (excluding Mondays)

A very important man is setting up shop at South Hill Park this December. Visit Santa in his grotto and meet some elves who'll help you make Christmas decorations.

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South West

Santa's Specials Yeovil

Sundays 6 - 20 December + Wednesday 23 December

Start your visit with a train ride behind one of our steam locomotives, either a heritage carriage or a brake van (with a real coal fire) and then head to the ex-GWR Transfer Shed, where Santa will be waiting in his grotto. 

Santa's Magic Kingdom Ottery St Mary

Selected dates until 24 December

Take a journey through Santa's Winter Wonderland and encounter his friendly elves. All children receive a wonderful gift from Santa. 

Santa's Cinema Poole

Until 23 December

Step into a Winter Wonderland where families can enjoy a festive film and children can meet Father Christmas, receive a gift and create reindeer food. This event is in aid of children's charity Julia's House. 

Christmas Craft Barn Upton

28 November - 24 December

Come along and make some festive crafts and Christmas-inspired Sand Art paintings. Activities are aimed at 5-12 year-olds and last approximately one hour. 

Meet Father Christmas Weymouth

5 - 24 December

Come and visit Santa at Weymouth's Sea Life Park.  As well as meeting the Big Man, children can enjoy some festive craft activities and of course, the centre itself is open to explore.   

Wyevales Christmas Snow Globe Burnham on Sea

Until 24 December

Get caught in a snowstorm inside the giant, inflatable snow globe! Have a Christmas photograph taken in the swirling snow with all your family and friends - ideal for unique Christmas cards or as a special present. 

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The North


Christmas Tree Festival Hazel Grove, Stockport

6 December

Enjoy a walk around the Church filled with Christmas trees decorated by groups within the local community. 

Santa Run at Media City Salford

29 November

Get into the Christmas mood with a dash through MediaCityUK on the annual Santa 5k Run. 

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Greater London


Whippersnappers Winter Wonderland Bankside

6 - 24 December

Visit Santa's Grotto in Dulwich Park and enjoy Whippersnappers Winter Wonderland.

Live Ice Sculpting Wimbledon

12 December

See spectacular ice sculptures being created live and have a go at carving your own creation.

Lambeth Festive Light Ride Clapham

13 December

A good excuse to wrap the family up warm and head out on bikes for a cycle around some local landmarks decorated for the occasion.

Santa and the Tooth Fairies Highgate

12 - 13 December

Due to the refurbishment of Lauderdale House, Santa will set up his grotto at the Highgate Dental Practice. Come and meet him and, of course, leave with a present not a filling.

Father Christmas visits Brent libraries Brent wide

14 - 18 December

Come along to special festive under 5's story and rhyme time sessions.

Santa's Workshop  Clapham

19 December

Make cards, crackers, party hats and wrapping paper to get ready for Christmas. No creative skills required - just bring yourself and lots of enthusiasm.

Santa's Grotto at the Rainforest Cafe Central London

Until 20 December

Visit Santa in his grotto at the Rainforest Cafe and stop for lunch/dinner. A children's two-course meal and drink is included in your ticket price. 

Santa's Grotto at Squires Garden Centre Stanmore

Until 20 December

Come and meet Santa in his free grotto every Saturday and Sunday.  

Santa's Taxi at Broadway Circle Ealing

Until 21 December

Back by popular demand, Santa returns to the Centre in his bright white taxi. Come along to let him know what's on the Christmas list this year.

Christmas Wonderland Enfield 

Until 23 December

For over 15 years the Christmas Wonderland in Crews Hill has enthralled children (big and small). Join this year's Santa Express through 20 different Christmas scenes, finally arriving at Santa's workshop.

Christmas Playscheme Kingston-upon-Thames

21 - 23 December

Christmas crafts, activities, games and cooking are the order of the day at this playscheme. On the final day there will be a Christmas party with food, games and prizes to be won and a gift from a very special visitor.

Yule be mad to miss this!  Edgware

23 December

Come meet the Big Man himself between 11am and 3pm at the Broadway shopping centre. 

Winterville Victoria Park Hackney

Until 23 December

An alternative festive experience, Winterville aims to be intimate, engaging and full of all things creative. Head down to Victoria Park to see what's going on. 

Afternoon Tea with Father Christmas Lower Morden

Until 24 December 

Enjoy a special afternoon tea with Father Christmas and some seasonal biscuit decorating.  

I Met Father Christmas at Hamleys! Regent Street

Until 24 December

An extra special experience where children will enjoy up to one hour with Father Christmas, take part in seasonal activities, enjoy delicious snacks and receive a special gift bag from Father Christmas to take home.

Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo Central London

Until 24 December

Book a timed slot to visit Santa in his grotto. Children will receive a gift from the man himself and can enjoy some Christmas arts and crafts to take home.

Santa's Grotto at the Mall Walthamstow

Until 24 December

Visit Santa in his illuminated grotto and tell him all your Christmas wishes. Each child will receive a special certificate and medal.

Christmas at the Whitgift Croydon

Until 24 December

Come and visit Santa and his elves in his magical enchanting Grotto in Whitgift Square.

The Woodland Storytelling Tree Wimbledon

Until 31 December

Settle down for some stories about the wonders of the deep woods filled with fairies and woodland creatures, as told by Terry the (animatronic) Tree.  

Chessington Winters Tail and Grotto Chessington

Until 4 January 

Visit Chessington this winter and meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto, enjoy a stroll around the festive market stalls, meet some reindeer and admire the giant Christmas tree.

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 The Cadbury Advent calendar trucks are touring the country in the run up to Christmas. Find out where they're going to be today!

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Local Christmas markets and fairs

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Last updated: almost 3 years ago