Visiting Father Christmas is one of the most important and exciting times of the year even in 2023, where your children share their Christmas wishlists.
Here are our top 10 Christmas experiences to take your children to this year. 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 – it’s worth checking with LaplandUK daily for cancellations
- When: 12th November 2023 to 24th December 2023.
- 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: £148.00 for a family of 4
- When: 2nd December to the 23rd December 2023
- Web: Paultons Park
3. Christmasland at Bluestone, Wales
Bluestone will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland which is an amazing immersive experience for families. From the Reindeer Village and Light Show to snow flurries at the Serendome Snow Globe there are lots of activities to get you in the Christmas mood. The highlight for children, will be a visit to Santa’s Workshop where the whole family will be taken on a festive journey where you’ll discover the secrets behind Santa’s magical workplace and meet Santa himself.
- When: 6th November to 4th January 2024.
- Address: Bluestone Resort, Pembrokeshire, South Wales
- Cost: from £789 for a weekend break
- Web: Christmasland at Bluestone
4. Santa’s Tea Party – Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales
At the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, for Christmas 2023, they are offering a magical experience for all the family. You can get into the Christmas spirit with a festive afternoon tea, packed with treats and festive cheer and a chance to meet the man himself.
During this special occasion, children will receive:
- Afternoon tea with sweet and savoury treats
- A surprise gift from Santa
- Cost: From £34 adults, £24 children
- When: 26th November – 24th December 2023
- Web: Santa’s Tea Party
5. Storytelling with Father Christmas at Fortnum & Mason – London
I like this because it’s a unique Christmas experience. Fortnum & Mason is once more running their Storytelling with Father Christmas sessions at 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 get a little gift to take away.
- When: Various dates in December
- Web: Fortnum & Mason
6. Meet Father Christmas At Hamleys – London
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.
- Cost: £55 for entry of 3 people into the Santa’s Grotto. To add additional people to your group, you must purchase an additional guest ticket for £15.00 per person (applicable for all ages).
- When: Various Dates in November and December
- Web: Santa’s Grotto at Hamley’s London
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 17th 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
- Web: https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/things-to-do/santaland/
7. Stories with Santa at Warwick Castle
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 make magical memories with Santa and Mrs. Claus as you listen to a special story of Christmas hope and joy at the magical setting of Warwick Castle.
- Cost: From £38.00
- When: Various dates in November and December
- Web: Christmas at the Castle
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.
- Cost: TBC, plus a valid form of admission
- When: Selected dates in December
- Web: Father Christmas at the Eden Project
9. Visit Santa at Bamburgh Castle
Breathtaking Bamburgh Castle will be transformed into a spectacular festive experience inspired by The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Set to be the largest indoor Christmas event in the north east, visitors will be transported into an enchanted, whimsical world inside the castle. Sets will include lords-a-leaping, swans-a-swimming, gold rings, a partridge in a pear tree – and more – in the castle’s wonderland installation which celebrates the lyrics of the famous Christmas carol and its festive traditions.
The Christmas Kingdom at Bamburgh Castle will see Father Christmas and his team of elves taking up residency at the castle.
- Cost: Adults £15.50 / Children £7.65 / Children aged four and under free of charge plus £19.95 per child to see Santa (in addition to general admission ticket).
- When: From 18th November – 23rd December 2023
- Web: Christmas at Bamburgh Castle
10. Kielder Winter Wonderland – Northumberland
This is a fabulous LaplandUK alternative. 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: Various dates in November and December
- Web: Kielder Winter Wonderland
Are there any other magical Christmas experiences for families in the UK that should be added to this list, please let us know.