Santa is a pretty busy chap at this time of year. He seems to be here, there and everywhere at wintery grottos around the Midlands…
Here is a selection of spots to visit Santa before Christmas:
Magical Christmas at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor
Meet Father Christmas in his Castle of Dreams at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor. There, you can meet the reindeers and enjoy some festive rides as well a live show with the Fat Controller and his friends. You can also watch The Polar Express in the 4D Cinema and snow will fall at least three times a day and you can also skate at the ice rink – festive fun for all the family.
Magical Christmas is open this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, then December 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Entry is £20 for adults, £15 for children aged 4-11 and £10 for children aged 2-3. Under 2s go free. For more details, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk.
Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Snowdome
Santa is be back at the Snowdome in Tamworth for a tenth year this Christmas. As well as his reindeer he’s brought all of his friends for some indoor festive fun the weather cannot spoil. With real snow, real animals and a new Winter Wonderland show, it’s the ultimate Christmas adventure for all the family!
Entry costs £12.95 on saver days to £16.95 standard for a 90-minute visit, including 30 minutes of snow play and a visit to see the animals. Check availability at www.snowdome.co.uk or call 0844 000011.
Santa and the Spyzone at Gulliver’s Kingdom
Visit Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath and enjoy a day of festive fun with rides and attractions made specially for younger children. You can visit the Elf School and Mrs Christmas’ Kitchen and see Gully Mouse’s Magical Snow Show – and you can make the most of more than 30 rides and attractions.
If you book a Christmas Sparkle package (£25.95), you can combine your visit to the North Pole with a visit to the Spy Zone and tuck in to a turkey dinner with all the festive trimmings. For more information and to book, visit www.gulliversfun.co.uk or all 01925 444888.
Santa at the Servants’ Quarters
Visit Santa in the festive Victorian Servants’ Quarters at Shugborough Estate in Stafford, where you can take a train ride around the estate grounds on the Christmas Land Train, meet Mr and Mrs Claus, stir the Christmas pudding and make a wish, and receive a quality gift. Take part in Christmas craft activities and receive a quality gift from Father Christmas. The Lady Walk tea room is also open throughout the day serving hot festive snacks and treats.
Visit Santa this weekend, next weekend and December 20, 21 and 22. Entry is £5.50 for adults and £8.80 for children. Visit www.shugborough.org.uk for more details and to check availability.
Santa on Safari at West Midlands Safari Park
Santa Safari has four miles of self-drive safari to see rare white tigers, the largest pride of white lions in the UK and lots more, like cheetah, elephants, giraffe and rhino. As it’s Christmas, Santa will be at his grotto with his elves and you can have your photo taken with Santa. The Safari runs every day until December 23, from 10am to 4pm. For more details, visit www.santasafari.com.
Winter Wonderland at Conkers
Arrive at Waterside where Santa’s chief elf and his team will lead you through the enchanted forest and The Valley of Christmas Lights to Santa’s woodland grotto. Meet the reindeer, enjoy some mulled wine and mince pies and take a trip on the Santa Special through the Tunnel of Discovery, meet the balloon modeller and street entertainers.
Entry costs £8.95 for adults, £9.95 for children, £32.80 for a family of four. To book, call 01283 216633 or visit www.visitconkers.com.
Meet Santa at Sherwood Forest Railway
Santa Claus is once again visiting the Sherwood Forest Railway, home to Nottinghamshire’s only narrow gauge railway. For just £7 each, visitors can travel in enclosed coaches down the scenic line to the grotto. Children will get the chance to meet Santa himself to give their Christmas Wish Lists in person. Every child gets a fully personalised gift, while the adults in the party receives a mince pie and festive drink.
Trains run throughout the day. Visit www.sherwoodforestrailway.com/santa.htm to book your place.
Santa on The Midland Railway -
Take a ride on a Santa Special on the Midland Railway -
Santa on The Great Central Railway – Nottingham
Take a nostalgic steam train trip through the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside with Father Christmas and enjoy seasonal refreshments on board, while the children can visit Santa and receive a small gift from him.
All services depart from and return to Ruddington and operate this Saturday and Sunday and next Saturday and Sunday, along with two extra special Christmas Eve services to really get you in the festive spirit.
Fares start from £10 for adults and children. Check www.gcrn.co.uk for availability.
Santa Specials on the Great Northern Railway
Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun-filled journey on an enchanting steam train on the Great Northern Railway in Loughborough. Ride on board the award-winning Santa Specials as Father Christmas surprises children with an exciting present and a chat with the man himself!
Call 01509 632323 or visit www.gcrailway.co.uk for details.
St. Nicholas’ Yuletide Grotto
Visit Santa at his medieval-style grotto ready to welcome visitors this weekend and next at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in Edwinstowe. Entry is £5 per child and each child gets a small gift from Santa. For details, visit Nottinghamshire.gov.uk.
Santa at East Midlands Designer Outlet
Santa will be at East Midlands Designer Outlet, Mansfield Road, South Normanton, on December 13 from 2pm to 6pm; December 16, 17 and 18 from 4pm to 8pm, and Christmas Eve from 11am to 3pm. Visit www.mcarthurglen.com for details.
Christmas Fun at Rufford Abbey Country Park
Visit Father Christmas in his Victorian-style grotto (this weekend and next) or help the elves find the lost decorations hidden around the site as part of Santa’s Christmas Trail at Rufford Abbey Country Park.
Santa’s Grotto at Cannock Chase
For a truly wonderful Christmas experience, why not take your family along to Santa’s Grotto at Birches Valley at Cannock Chase? The grotto can be found in a beautiful log cabin and set in the picturesque surroundings of Cannock Chase. Santa’s real reindeer can be found close by, grazing in their forest enclosure.
All children who visit Santa will receive their own real Christmas tree sapling to take home and plant, plus a small gift. Entry is £6 per child. The Grotto is open this Friday, 4pm to 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
Winter Wonderland at Twinlakes Park
Open until Christmas Eve, the Christmas Experience and Grotto at Twinlakes Park is a great way to get festive as you wander along the winter wonderland trail, with Mr Badger telling tales of festive times and take a ride on the polar express to the North Pole. Watch eskimos work as penguins play in the snow before arriving at Santa’s Workshop where you can meet Santa himself.
For more details, visit www.twinlakespark.co.uk.
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