Family Destinations

The Best Places To See Santa This Christmas

[Image - Mike Arney]
Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Make Christmas 2016 one to remember with our pick of the UK’s best Santa’s grottos.

Santa’s Snow Kingdom, Chill Factore, Manchester

Dates: Every day in December until Christmas Eve
Cost: Family of two is £15 for Santa and Mini Moose Land with additional juniors at £12 and additional adults at £7. Family of two is £50 for Santa and Snow Park with additional juniors at £27 and additional adults at £25 |

You and the kids can revel in the wonder at the snow kingdom, the north-west’s top snow attraction this winter. The snow kingdom is full of real snow – over 100 tonnes of it in fact! Take a walk down the wintery path surrounded by real Christmas trees and glittering lights to the incredible castle, also the home of Father Christmas.

Each visit will also be combined with play time in the snow park, which will definitely get you in to the festive spirit. You’ll receive a special gift upon arrival, and the kids will be able to meet Santa in this incredible winter wonderland.

For the little ones (under 4) Santa will be available to meet in his grotto and then it is play time in Mini Moose Land, to have fun in the real snow. For the over fours, there is a snow park pass giving kids the chance to enjoy the Luge Slip ’n’ Slide, the Snow Luge, Sledge ‘o’ Mania and Downhill Donuts for one hour.

Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland, Windsor

Dates: December 17th until Christmas Eve
Cost: £35 per person & tickets must be pre-booked in advance |

The Christmas season at Legoland promises to be the best yet, with rides, attractions, Christmas themed activities and music. There will be a Christmas takeover of the world-famous Miniland and with mini Christmas lights, a Christmas market and an exciting visit from Santa, you’re promised a fun filled day out.

Kids can visit Santa in his grotto and every child will receive a free Lego gift. The elves search for little helpers to help build Lego gifts to take home and they also help the kids write letters to Father Christmas.

Families can also help build a giant Lego model in the park and take part in a scavenger hunt, as well as enjoy 15 rides and attractions. Families can extend their stay with a Santa Sleepover with rooms from just £279. 

Christmas Re-imagined at LaplandUK, Ascot

Dates: Every day in December until Christmas Eve
Cost: From £65.50 |

Starting with a personalised letter delivered to your door inviting your child to visit Santa in his grotto, LaplandUK is renowned as one of the UK’s best Christmas experiences.

Elf Passports are waiting for children at the start of this three and a half hour magical immersive journey in a snowy woodland setting, which includes helping Santa’s elves in his toy factory, decorating gingerbread in Mother Christmas’s kitchen and a personalised meeting with the man himself.
Prior to your visit there’s the chance to tell Father Christmas all about your child so the meeting is tailored to them, and there’s a gift from Father Christmas and souvenir photograph included in the price too.

There’s also an Elf Village featuring an ice rink, post office in which to write and post letters to Santa and shops including an old-fashioned sweet shop, gift emporium and bauble boutique.

Father Christmas at Castle Howard, York

Dates: Ever day until December 23rd
Cost: £18.95 for adults, under 4s free & family tickets (two adults and up to three children) are available for £47.85 |

The children are sure to love this staple Santa-themed experience that Castle Howard have created this year. You can enjoy the beautifully decorated house before visiting Father Christmas story telling by the cosy fire.

Along with the 45-minute fireside experience, Castle Howard offers a longer magical evening the week just before Christmas, which includes a festive tea party in the Grecian Hall and a candlelit trail through the house itself.

There are some great new attractions for 2016 including a huge gingerbread version of Castle Howard, afternoon tea in the Grecian Hall and a fantastic Christmas market.

There’s a unique ‘twilight opening’ on the Sunday December 18 giving visitors the chance to experience the house as darkness falls, illuminated with hundreds of candles and a festive sing-along in the garden. The last entry for the house at the twilight opening is 7pm.


Santa at Secret World Wildlife Rescue, Somerset

Dates: Saturday December 17th
Cost: £7 per child |

One for wildlife lovers who want to participate in a fun magical event and also donate to a great cause, kids receive a special present and can meet the animals, including foxes, badgers, deer, and turkeys.

Santa’s grotto is open from 12 to 4pm and there will be light refreshments and children’s activities available as well. Secret World rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, giving them the care they need to then be released back in to the wild.