Saturday, December 2, 2023

The place to see Santa in London: 18 Christmas days out

As the times get colder and the nights get longer within the metropolis, that may imply just one factor – it’s time to work out the place to see Santa in London. UPDATED FOR 2023.

Girl and a boy sit on Santa's knee holding presents with decorations in the background - my top picks for where to see Santa in London with kids
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And whether or not you fancy heading to a conventional division retailer, consuming with the person in pink, discovering him on board a steam practice, tube practice, in a museum, gallery, market or Santa’s grotto in London, the true query isn’t the place to satisfy Santa in London, it’s which one tempts you most.

With low-cost and free locations to satisfy Santa, in addition to memorable experiences in the event you’re trying to splurge, I’ve rounded up 18 of the perfect locations to see Santa in London this Christmas.


The place higher to satisfy Santa in London than on the earth’s oldest and largest toy retailer? It’s as near the North Pole workshop as you will get!

Hamleys Toy Store provides a magical Santa’s Grotto expertise for households, the place youngsters can meet Santa Claus and his elves and obtain a personalised Hamleys present bag.

The non-public 15-minute Santa’s Grotto expertise prices £50 for a gaggle of three individuals, then £15 for every extra particular person as much as a most group of 6 (together with adults). Pre-booking is critical and tickets are normally launched round late September.

The place: 188- 196 Regent Avenue, London.

When: Mid-November to Christmas Eve (precise 2023 dates TBC).

For extra of the perfect issues to do at Christmas in London with youngsters, try my high picks

Illuminated big wheel and attraction at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park - as well as being one of the best Christmas markets in London with kids, you can also see Santa in London here

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

There’s extra than simply Santa at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, with certainly one of London’s greatest Christmas markets, an ice rink, rides, meals and an entire lot extra.

However it’s additionally the most effective locations to see Santa in London at Santa Land, together with a free present for youths. Included in entry to Winter Wonderland, it’s first come first served so you will have to queue and it’s plan to get there early.

Take a look at the Christmas tree experience, ice slide and the snow sculptures of the Magical Ice Kingdom whilst you’re there too, in addition to Santa’s parade on some days.

Costs begin from £5 for normal entry, though there are some off-peak morning classes the place it’s nonetheless free to go to Winter Wonderland. Should you prebook rides, points of interest and video games price £25 prematurely, your entry ticket can be free.

The place: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (What Three Phrases location ///ties.sunk.intelligible)

When: From November 17, 2023 to January 1, 2024 (exact dates TBC but it surely’s normally six weeks from mid November to early January). Be careful for Santa’s parade at 5pm on November 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, and December 4, 5, 6.

For extra of the perfect Christmas markets in London with youngsters, try my high picks

London Zoo

London Zoo’s Magic of Christmas occasion options Christmas-themed animal talks, animal crafts, cookie adorning, and extra. There’s additionally the chance for youths to satisfy Santa in his Grotto in the midst of the zoo and obtain a particular present to take house.

Whereas most seasonal actions are included with entry all through December, the Zoo’s “Meet Santa” classes solely happen on sure dates and must be booked prematurely and paid for individually.

You may signal as much as be the primary to listen to when tickets to Santa’s Grotto at London Zoo can be found – 2023 prices tbc however beforehand value £15 per youngster.

The place: Regent’s Park, London. 

When: November 26, 2023, to January 1, 2024

Close-up of the Christmas tree with bus baubles outside the London Transport Museum - one of the best places to see Santa in London

London Transport Museum

Every December, the London Transport Museum organises a particular Christmas occasion for households, which provides youngsters the possibility to satisfy Santa Claus in his Grotto and obtain a small London transport-themed present. 

All Christmas actions, together with assembly Santa, are included within the museum entrance ticket and children underneath 17 go free, making it one of many most cost-effective locations to see Santa in London.

There’s no have to guide tickets prematurely, however there could be a small queue throughout busy occasions.

The place: Covent Backyard Piazza, London.

When: 2023 dates tbc. From November 25 to December 23, 2022

Santa Steam Specific, London

The one Santa steam practice expertise in London, the Santa Steam Specific units off on a festive journey from Victoria station, together with an opportunity to satisfy the large man himself on board.

In addition to puzzles and video games for youths, plus a singsong with the elves, each Mrs Claus and Santa make their approach by the carriages in the course of the Steam Desires expertise.

Youngsters additionally go house with a present after the 90-minute steam practice journey, in addition to loads of different treats on board. Tickets value £40 for adults, £30 for youths.

The place: From Victoria station

When: Choose dates in December (precise 2023 dates TBC)

Santa plus several elves next to the Santa Steam Express - if you're wondering where to see Santa in London, this steam train ride is one of the most unusual places

The Nationwide Gallery

2023 TBC The Nationwide Gallery normally hosts an annual family-friendly occasion the place youngsters can meet Santa Claus and participate in festive craft workshops and storytelling classes.

Admission to the gallery itself is free, however there may be an extra price for the “Meet Santa Expertise” and you have to to guide prematurely.

Tickets usually value £20 for kids underneath 12 and embrace a particular Christmas present. Adults and kids 12+ may get pleasure from Santa’s Grotto and a few festive treats for £10 every.

Final 12 months, the Nationwide Gallery changed the easy Santa assembly with their particular festive occasion, A Image Good Christmas – 2023 particulars nonetheless tbc

The place: Trafalgar Sq., London. 

When: Choose dates in December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

Museum of London Docklands

2023 TBC For one thing just a little totally different, head to the Museum of London Docklands for his or her Dickensian-style Victorian Santa’s Grotto, that includes classic decorations and Nineteenth-century Christmas carols.

For £12.50 per youngster, little ones can meet Santa in his Victorian Grotto, take some photographs, and obtain a particular current.

Admission to the museum itself is free for the remainder of the household. Pre-booking to see Santa is advisable however some tickets can be found on the day.

The place: 1 West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London.

When: December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

For extra of the points of interest on the Museum of London Docklands, try my overview

Jingle Bell Blast from Thames Rockets

One other of probably the most uncommon locations to satisfy Santa in London is on a speedboat on the River Thames with The Jingle Bell Blast by Thames Rockets.

The thrilling speedboat experience takes you previous the various metropolis’s high landmarks, whereas a pleasant elf will get everybody singing cheerful Christmas carols. On weekends by December, youngsters can even get to satisfy Santa who comes on board bearing festive treats for everybody.

The Jingle Bell Blast sells out shortly, notably for weekend rides, so that you’ll have to guide as far prematurely as potential. Assembly Santa is included within the expertise ticket worth – hold an eye fixed out for tickets on the tiqets web site as effectively, with a reduction in the event you guide by my hyperlink utilizing the code MUMMYTRAVELS6

The place: Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Pier, London

When: Saturdays in December, from December 2-23, 2023

Smiling Santa Claus holding a letter and looking over his glasses against a red background - the best places to meet Santa in London with kids


2023 TBC One in all London’s most well-known malls, Selfridges provides households the chance to have breakfast with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their trusty elves in a magical winter wonderland. 

The breakfast with Santa expertise prices £60 per particular person and features a scrumptious breakfast of candy and savoury dishes, sizzling drinks, and a personalised Christmas present for little ones.

Pre-booking is critical for your complete household. There are a number of time slots every morning all through most of December.

The place: 400 Oxford Avenue, London 

When: December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

Alexandra Palace

2023 TBC Mr. Claus is swapping the North Pole for North London and establishing a Grotto within the East Court docket of Alexandra Palace, the place youngsters can meet Santa, take a festive picture, and obtain a small Christmas present.

Tickets value £15 per youngster underneath 16 and also you’ll have to guide a slot prematurely. Adults can go to the Grotto free of charge with a toddler, however you’ll nonetheless want so as to add every grownup to the reserving. 

Plus, don’t miss the possibility to go ice skating at Alexandra Palace after you meet Santa for the final word festive day trip in North London.

The place: Alexandra Palace Method, London.

When: December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

For extra concepts of the greatest ice rinks in London with youngsters, try my suggestions for some festive favourites

London's Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington - if you're wondering where to see Santa in London, the venue often has storytelling as part of the Christmas programme

Royal Albert Corridor

2023 TBC. Every December, there’s a string of particular Christmas occasions at London’s Royal Albert Corridor and also you’ll usually discover Father Christmas studying his favorite vacation tales to little friends on the venue’s festive North Pole Avenue.

The storytelling classes value £21.50 per youngster and embrace time to take a photograph with Santa and a present for every youngster. The classes are likely to promote out, so it’s greatest to guide prematurely.

The place: Kensington Gore, London.

When: Late November to December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

Fortnum & Mason

Luxurious division retailer Fortnum & Mason is certainly one of London’s hottest locations in the course of the holidays, due to its superb decorations and delightful present choice.

The shop additionally provides “Storytelling with Father Christmas” classes for youths, wherein Santa will learn certainly one of his favorite Christmas books and provides little ones a really particular F&M goodie bag.

There’s a restrict of 12 youngsters per session and areas usually guide up far prematurely, normally inside hours of tickets occurring sale. Tickets begin at £40 per youngster and go on sale in early September (at 7.30am on September 8, 2023), so guide as early as you may to make sure a spot.

The place: 181 Piccadilly, London.

When: November 25 to December 24, 2023.

Kew Gardens

Throughout the holidays, Kew Gardens is reworked into certainly one of London’s most magical winter wonderlands, with an incredible festive gentle path and attractive avenue meals of Christmas at Kew – usually with the possibility to see Santa Claus alongside the way in which.

Prior to now, the occasion has featured a small Santa’s Grotto alongside the festive path which you’ll have to pay an extra price of £2 to go to, on high of the common entrance price for the occasion. The Grotto has not been confirmed for 2023 however it is possible for you to to identify Father Christmas as you wander alongside the path.

The place: Richmond, Surrey, London.

When: November 15, 2023 to January 7, 2024.

For extra nice festive gentle trails in London with youngsters, try my choose of the perfect

Young girl (Lulu Kingstone) stands open mouthed by the illuminations of Christmas at Kew - where you can often see Santa in London as well

Springtime Nurseries

Whereas it could be much less well-known than different areas on this listing, Springtime Nurseries in Enfield is definitely house to one of many greatest and most magical Santa’s Grottos in London.

The north London Christmas Wonderland consists of an thrilling practice experience by magical wintery scenes and a reindeer forest, earlier than arriving within the Ice Kingdom on the North Pole to go to Santa himself.

The entire expertise prices £14.95 per youngster and features a alternative of current from Santa’s toyshop. Adults may be a part of on the practice for simply £3.95. 

You may flip up and purchase tickets on the day. However throughout peak occasions, the queue to experience the practice will be extraordinarily lengthy (as much as 1-2 hour wait). Alternatively, you may pre-book a fast-track ticket prematurely for only a small quantity extra – £15.95 for youths, the identical worth for adults.

The place: Crews Hill, Enfield, London.

When: November 10 to December 24, 2023.

For extra Santa practice experiences, try my choose of the perfect across the UK, together with London’s Santa Steam Specific

Christmas Shrektacular Expertise at Shrek’s Journey! London

For followers of everybody’s favorite inexperienced ogre, try the Shrektacular Grotto at Shrek’s Journey! London, the place youngsters can head deep into the swamp to satisfy Shrek Santa in his most interesting Christmas gear and pose for a enjoyable picture.

The distinctive Grotto is barely open on choose days all through December and is included within the common admission worth of £30 for adults and £24 for kids.

The place: Riverside Constructing, County Corridor, Westminster Bridge Street, London 

When: Entrance to Shrek Santa Christmas expertise is included on December 3, 4, 10, 11 and 17-24, 2023.

Discover discounted tickets on chosen dates till the top of 2023 in the event you guide by September 30, saving £12 on entry – excludes Saturdays and college holidays. Click on right here to get the deal

Santa Claus in the snow holding a huge pile of presents - finding the best Santa's Grotto in London at Christmas with kids

Santa at Greenwich

2023 TBC. Greenwich market transforms itself every year for Christmas, with the Greenwich Kids’s Lantern Procession to kick every little thing off.

Led by native youngsters holding their very own lanterns, Santa usually makes an look earlier than settling in to the Greenwich market grotto for the remainder of the festive season.

Tickets value £10, and also you do have to prebook.

The place: Greenwich Market, Durnford Avenue, Greenwich.

When: Mid November to round Christmas Eve (precise 2023 dates TBC)

Chelsea Christmas Grotto

2023 TBC. For the proper Christmas day trip in West London, head to the magical Chelsea Christmas Grotto in Sloane Sq., the place youngsters can meet Santa and obtain a particular festive present straight from the elves’ workshop.

Tickets to go to the Grotto value £15 per youngster, together with a 50p charity donation. Youngsters and their accompanying grownup will be a part of a 25-minute small group session to satisfy Father Christmas.

The person in pink can even be turning on the Chelsea Christmas lights on the annual gentle change celebrations in late November, and in 2022, there was additionally a Bavarian curling rink.

The place: Sloane Sq., London.

When: 2023 dates tbc. Beforehand it has taken place on weekends from mid November to mid December, and every day from the week operating as much as Christmas.


2023 TBC. There’s little doubt that Harrods Grotto is without doubt one of the greatest Santa experiences within the metropolis, with its beautiful decorations, genuine Santa, and beautiful Harrods branded teddy bear for every youngster who visits.

However sadly, it’s now additionally probably the most unique locations to see Santa in London. The Grotto was once free for everybody, then by invitation just for members who’ve spent £2,000+ within the retailer within the final 12 months.

Or you could be one of many 160 fortunate households to get a ticket once they’re launched to the general public – and you continue to have to pay £20 per youngster.

So until you’re an everyday Harrods shopper, I wouldn’t maintain out an excessive amount of hope for this one.

After being cancelled two years operating due to Covid, it additionally didn’t happen in 2022, so there’s no assure he’ll return for 2023 both.

The place: 87-135 Brompton Street, Knightsbridge, London. 

When: Late November to December (precise 2023 dates TBC).

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

Disclosure: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Important picture/Winter Wonderland/Santa with letter/Royal Albert Corridor/Santa with presents courtesy of Depositphotos, Santa Steam Specific courtesy Steam Desires, Christmas at Kew: Jeff Eden/RBG Kew, all others copyright MummyTravels


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