Santa's Grottos 2019

I know it’s August and most of you can’t wait for the summer holidays to be over because having to plan activities for every single day so your little ones don’t get bored is TIRING AF! BUT I have some bad news for you – Christmas is coming! Not tomorrow, or the next day, or even the day after that. But it’s coming. Some of London’s most popular grottos have already started opening their booking systems (or at least announcing opening dates). So, without babbling on anymore, here they are…..

North London
Hamleys – Booking Opens September 16th
Last year the event was ticketed and was only for children aged 3-7yrs.
188-196 Regent Street, London W1B 5BT

London Zoo – TBC
Last year the grotto came complete with an array of illuminations on display, carousel and on-site beverages.
Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY

East London
Museum of London – 29th November - 23rd December 
It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit! Take a stroll through a twinkling Victorian Walk, transformed with festive decorations and the sound of carols in the distance, and discover Santa in his secret grotto. Once you’ve found him, tell Santa your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift. You can even have a photo taken to capture the moment! Prices start at £10 when booked in advance (includes gift).
150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN

Sail with Santa – December 7th-8th, 14th-15th, 20th-22nd
Santa’s going on the river – yo, ho, ho – and you can go with him. Children will enjoy Santa fun and a present for each and every one, along with a soft drink and a cookie; while adults can console themselves for growing up with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
2-15yr olds £16, Adults £28 
Tower Pier EC3N 4DT

Westfield (Stratford) – 21st November - 24th December 
Be magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised Christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto. You’ll meet Santa in his cosy cabin, where every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with him. After your North Pole adventure, you'll be magically transported back to London. The visit lasts approximately 20-25 minutes, and photos can be purchased in the Christmas Shop at the end.
Westfield Stratford website

South London
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo – TBC
Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, Battersea, London SW11 4NJ

Dulwich Park – November 30th - December 24th 
On arrival Santa's Elves will greet you at the Garden Gate. With Mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies they will lead you into a Magical Wonderland World.
Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Rd, Herne Hill SE24 0PA

Fulham Palace - TBC
Last year the grotto took place in the Tudor Great Hall.
Bishops Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6EA

Harrods – By invitation only... 
Last year booking was only available on an ‘invite only’ basis, meaning that if you weren’t a loyal customer that had racked up points throughout the year you weren’t getting in. Many were left disappointed with this and hopefully this year the booking process has changed.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL

London Wetland Centre – TBC
This is the one I’m really hoping to go to this year (the weather was a bit too crappy last year) but they had Husky sleigh rides, Elf workshops and donkey rides!
London Wetland Centre website
Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT

Morden Hall Park – 23rd, 24th and 30th November
Visit Father Christmas and his elves in an enchanted grotto to receive a gift chosen just for you!
Morden Hall Park website
Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD

Royal Albert Hall, Father Christmas at the Hall – 5th December - 22nd December 
Last year the grotto was an hour-long experience, moving through the Royal Albert Hall meeting a range of Christmassy characters.
Royal Albert Hall website
Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP

West London
Rainforest Café – Taking a break this year
My family and I went to this one last year – find our review here
20 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7EU

Westfield (Shepard’s Bush) – 22nd November - 24th December 
We love this grotto so much that we’ve attended two years in a row! Both times the theme was ‘Snowflake Grotto’ where you and your kids are transported to the snow flake factory in the North Pole and get to make a snow flake and explore the icy chambers before meeting the man himself. Both times my son was gifted storybooks (one was Paw Patrol). What I will say is the picture quality of the prints you can purchase are pants – ours were slightly blurry both times.
Eventbrite booking website
Ariel Way, London W12 7GF

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park – Open November 21st – January 5th
Last year they didn’t run a booking system, running on a first-come first-served basis which I can imagine can be very busy given that its one of London’s most popular Christmas attractions. On the bright side there’s a gigantic fun fair and various shows and other entertainment so you can make a day out of it.
Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

Bluewater – 14th November - 24th December 
Last year festive journey began with a traditional Christmas story presented in 4D, then some crafts with Mrs Claus before meeting Santa and receiving a toy.
Bluewater website
Chestnut Avenue, Greenhithe DA9 9ST

There’s one special Santa’s Grotto experience taking part later this year too, one I have to admit I’m very excited about – Noir Kringle, an enchanting black Santa’s Grotto experience. As of yet the team behind the brilliant idea have remained tight lipped about venue details with only the dates being released. I can see this grotto being particularly popular and there have only been two days announced – Dec 21st and 22nd – eek! So, keep your eyes peeled on their website

“During our event you will step into Noir Kringle's magical Christmas Grotto. You will be greeted by Mr Kringle's helpers and Mrs Kringle, who will guide you through our enchanting Black Santa's Grotto experience. This workshop tour includes making Mrs Kringle's very own secret magic reindeer feed, a mini-workshop to write a wish list to Mr Kringle and post their naughty or nice letters in our magical postbox. Each tour of the workshop lasts for 30 minutes, followed by a group meet and greet session with Mr Kringle. Every child will get a chance to talk to Mr Kringle, as well as an opportunity to capture a magical picture with the man in red. To end your visit each child will receive a gift.”

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