Visiting Father Christmas is one of the most important and exciting times of the year even in 2021, where your children share their Christmas wishlists.

Here are our top 10 Christmas experiences to take your children to this year – both in person and virtually. Many of these suggestions are so popular they book up very early.

1. LaplandUK – Berkshire


Lapland UK is a family Christmas experience like no other. A visit to Lapland UK isn’t simply a visit to see Father Christmas.  Unless you actually visit Santa in Lapland (which is one of the most magical holidays you will ever have) – Lapland UK the best Christmas experience that you will ever have in the UK. A forest has been transformed into a snowy winter wonderland, where you walk through a guided theatrical tour, meeting certain characters along the way.

During your three and a half hour journey you experience a Narnia like wonderland of snow covered trees and pathways, beautiful snow covered buildings and brilliant actors.
All activities including toy making, gingerbread decorating, ice skating, meeting the husky dogs, a beautiful gift for each child and a souvenir family photograph with Father Christmas is included. A visit to Lapland UK is definitely a visit you will never forget.

  • Cost: From £65
  • When: From 2 December
  • Web: Lapland UK

2. Christmas at Paulton’s Park, Hampshire

Peppa Pig World is even more magical for kids at Christmas plus you get the chance to meet Peppa and George in their Christmas outfits.  Christmas themed activities include story time with Santa, Christmas shows, see Santa in his sleigh, giant Christmas trees plus lots of stunning illuminations around the park

  • Cost: £134.00 for a family of 4
  • When: 4th December to the 23rd December
  • Web: Paultons Park

3. Storytime with Father Christmas – Royal Albert Hall, London

Santa returns this year to the iconic surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. The building’s porch is transformed into a magical grotto and when you step inside you’ll be able to meet with Santa and enjoy a Christmas storytime.  At the end of each visit, each child leaves with their own gift and magical memories of their experience.

  • When: Thursday December 2 2021 – Tuesday December 21 2021
  • Address: Royal Albert Hall , South Kensington
  • Cost: £17.50
  • Web: https://tickets.royalalberthall.com/production/74330

4. Santa’s Tea Party – Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales

At the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, they are offering families a magical festive experience where grown-ups and children alike will be fully immersed into a Christmassy wonderland as they step into our stunning Caernarfon Suite to enjoy afternoon tea with Santa, with an exciting virtual twist!

As well as their own delicious afternoon tea, children will enjoy a very special chance to see, hear and interact with the man himself when he dials in from ho-ho-home for a fun group video call from the North Pole! Find out if you are on the nice or naughty list (we’re sure you have been good!), ask Santa your burning questions and hear more about his special preparations for the big day.

Their friendly elves will be on hand throughout the afternoon and will deliver a small Christmas gift for each child to your table

  • Cost: From £35 adults, £25 children
  • When: Various dates in November and December
  • Web: Santa’s Tea Party

5. Storytelling with Father Christmas at Fortnum & Mason – London

I like this because it’s different. Fortnum & Mason is running Storytelling with Father Christmas sessions in its fifth floor boardroom. Children get to meet Santa and listen to him as he reads a story before they give him their all-important Christmas lists and getting a little gift to take away.

6. Meet Father Christmas At HamleysLondon

Join Santa and his loveable elves at The Finest Toy Shop in the World for fun, magic and theatre at the most wonderful time of year. The Santa’s Grotto at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal activities at the Hamleys North Pole, spend time with Santa and that’s not all, you’ll also receive an extra special gift bag to take home with you.

6.Santa’s Grotto at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London

Christmas at Hyde Park’s is one of the best places in London for festive fun for families. Head over to Santa Land where you will find Santa in his grotto along with fabulous Christmas market stalls.  It is free to enter Santa’s grotto so make sure it’s checked off your list, you could even do it twice.

Santa’s parade is Monday to Wednesdays starting from Santa Land at 5.00pm returning to Santa Land at 6.00pm

  • When: from 19th November – Santa’s grotto is open every day from 10am to 6pm
  • Address: Hyde Park – Santa Land
  • Cost: Entry to the Grotto is free but you will need to purchase an entry ticket to get into Winter Wonderland

7. Santa’s Snow Grotto, Chill Factore – Manchester

If you want to experience real snow when you visit Father Christmas then Santa’s Snow Grotto looks so much fun at Chill Factore.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so why not make it even more special by taking your little ones on an unforgettable journey where they can join in with the festivities here at Santa’s Manchester Grotto. From meeting jolly Santa Claus to playing in real snow, it offers everything you need for a magical Christmas experience.

  • Cost: From  £17.95.
  • When: Saturday 27th November – 24th December except 29th & 30th November and 6th, 7th, 8th December 2021.
  • Web: Chill Factore

8. Meet Father Christmas at the Eden Project, Cornwall

Meet Father Christmas and his festive elves this Christmas at the Eden Project.  Meet Father Christmas and discover how the reindeer fly using magical reindeer cubes made by his festive elves in preparation for the big day.

The 40-minute sessions will begin with a show, then children will get time with the elves as well as a special moment with the man himself, plus treats for all, and a letter to open on Christmas Eve.

9. Santa Hunt at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Santa is making a welcome return to the Museum this Christmas, with a brand new storyline for Santa Hunts for 2021. This year it looks like our elves need some help from you to make sure Santa is awake and ready to deliver gifts to good children ever

Their jolly vintage bus will pick you up and take you to Santa’s workshop, but it looks like the man himself has fallen asleep thanks to the magical Christmas dust! With the help of their elves, explore the Museum to hunt down festive ingredients to help wake up jolly old Saint Nick. Pop into the school to write up your very own special secret Christmas wish; and seek out the smells, sounds and tastes of Christmas to bring Santa back to his old festive self.

  • Cost: Ticket prices start from £29.50 per person. If your child is under 2, the ticket price is £5. A £5 booking fee applies.
  • When: Various dates in November and December
  • Web: Santa Hunt at the Black Country Musuem

10. Kielder Winter Wonderland – Northumberland

Kielder Winter Wonderland is a full day experience packed full of festive activities to keep you and your little ones entranced all day. Your full day will include everything from helping Mrs Christmas get ready for Christmas to helping in the elves workshop to walking through the forest to find Father Christmas plus lots more! With the forest home to Father Christmas and his festive friends you never know who you could bump into!

  • Cost: Ticket prices start from £29.50 per person. If your child is under 2, the ticket price is £5. A £5 booking fee applies.
  • When: From 1st November 2021 to 2nd January 2022
  • Web: Kielder Winter Wonderland

Not running in 2021 because of Covid-19 restrictions

Christmas Grotto at Harrods – London


If you are lucky enough to get tickets – which gets more difficult each year, there is no better way to start the festive season than visiting the Harrods Christmas Grotto. It will be one of the most authentic looking Father Christmas’s that you will come across. The interaction along the Christmas journey with the children is fantastic.

There are many Christmas activities for the children to take part in as they make their journey through a magical experience to meet Father Christmas. The grotto is located on the 4th floor in Harrods beside the door 10 escalator.

The main problem with the Harrods Christmas Grotto is their availability. There are only a limited number of slots available (which this year were only made available to Harrods customers who have spent an unspecified amount in store) which typically can lead to a lot of disappointment. If you are lucky enough to get a reservation there is a £10 booking fee per child but all booking fees will be refunded onto your Harrods rewards card to spend in store on the day of your visit.

https://www.harrods.com/en-gb/christmas-grotto

 

Are there any other magical Christmas experiences for families in the UK that should be added to this list, please let us know.

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