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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 prepare, tube prepare, in a museum, gallery, market or Santa’s grotto in London, the true query isn’t the place to fulfill Santa in London, it’s which one tempts you most.

With low-cost and free locations to fulfill Santa, in addition to memorable experiences when you’re seeking to splurge, I’ve rounded up 18 of the very best locations to see Santa in London this Christmas.


The place higher to fulfill Santa in London than on this planet’s oldest and largest toy retailer? It’s as near the North Pole workshop as you may get!

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

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

The place: 188- 196 Regent Avenue, London.

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

For extra of the very best issues to do at Christmas in London with children, try my prime 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 largest Christmas markets, an ice rink, rides, meals and an entire lot extra.

However it’s additionally probably the greatest locations to see Santa in London at Santa Land, together with a free reward for teenagers. 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 trip, 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. When you prebook rides, sights and video games price £25 upfront, your entry ticket can also 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 however it’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 very best Christmas markets in London with children, try my prime 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 teenagers to fulfill Santa in his Grotto in the course of the zoo and obtain a particular reward to take dwelling.

Whereas most seasonal actions are included with entry all through December, the Zoo’s “Meet Santa” classes solely happen on sure dates and should be booked upfront 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 price £15 per little one.

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 supplies children the possibility to fulfill Santa Claus in his Grotto and obtain a small London transport-themed reward. 

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

There’s no have to e book tickets upfront, however there is likely to 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 Categorical, London

The one Santa steam prepare expertise in London, the Santa Steam Categorical units off on a festive journey from Victoria station, together with an opportunity to fulfill the massive man himself on board.

In addition to puzzles and video games for teenagers, plus a singsong with the elves, each Mrs Claus and Santa make their method by the carriages through the Steam Desires expertise.

Children additionally go dwelling with a present after the 90-minute steam prepare journey, in addition to loads of different treats on board. Tickets price £40 for adults, £30 for teenagers.

The place: From Victoria station

When: Choose dates in December (actual 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 children can meet Santa Claus and participate in festive craft workshops and storytelling classes.

Admission to the gallery itself is free, however there may be a further charge for the “Meet Santa Expertise” and you will have to e book upfront.

Tickets usually price £20 for youngsters underneath 12 and embody a particular Christmas reward. Adults and kids 12+ may take pleasure in Santa’s Grotto and a few festive treats for £10 every.

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

The place: Trafalgar Sq., London. 

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

Museum of London Docklands

2023 TBC For one thing just a little completely 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 little one, little ones can meet Santa in his Victorian Grotto, take some pictures, and obtain a particular current.

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

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

When: December (actual 2023 dates TBC).

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

Jingle Bell Blast from Thames Rockets

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

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

The Jingle Bell Blast sells out rapidly, significantly for weekend rides, so that you’ll have to e book as far upfront as attainable. Assembly Santa is included within the expertise ticket worth – maintain an eye fixed out for tickets on the tiqets web site as effectively, with a reduction when you e book 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 among London’s most well-known shops, Selfridges gives 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 individual and features a scrumptious breakfast of candy and savoury dishes, scorching drinks, and a personalised Christmas reward for little ones.

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

The place: 400 Oxford Avenue, London 

When: December (actual 2023 dates TBC).

Alexandra Palace

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

Tickets price £15 per little one underneath 16 and also you’ll have to e book a slot upfront. Adults can go to the Grotto at no cost with a baby, 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 last word festive time out in North London.

The place: Alexandra Palace Manner, London.

When: December (actual 2023 dates TBC).

For extra concepts of the greatest ice rinks in London with children, 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 company on the venue’s festive North Pole Avenue.

The storytelling classes price £21.50 per little one and embody time to take a photograph with Santa and a present for every little one. The classes are likely to promote out, so it’s greatest to e book upfront.

The place: Kensington Gore, London.

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

Fortnum & Mason

Luxurious division retailer Fortnum & Mason is certainly one of London’s hottest locations through the holidays, because of its superb decorations and exquisite reward choice.

The shop additionally gives “Storytelling with Father Christmas” classes for teenagers, through which 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 kids per session and areas usually e book up far upfront, normally inside hours of tickets happening sale. Tickets begin at £40 per little one and go on sale in early September (at 7.30am on September 8, 2023), so e book as early as you possibly can to make sure a spot.

The place: 181 Piccadilly, London.

When: November 25 to December 24, 2023.

Kew Gardens

Through the holidays, Kew Gardens is remodeled into certainly one of London’s most magical winter wonderlands, with a tremendous festive mild path and engaging road meals of Christmas at Kew – usually with the possibility to see Santa Claus alongside the way in which.

Previously, the occasion has featured a small Santa’s Grotto alongside the festive path which you’ll have to pay a further charge of £2 to go to, on prime of the common entrance charge 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 mild trails in London with children, try my decide of the very best

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 places on this listing, Springtime Nurseries in Enfield is definitely dwelling to one of many largest and most magical Santa’s Grottos in London.

The north London Christmas Wonderland consists of an thrilling prepare trip 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 little one and features a selection of current from Santa’s toyshop. Adults may be a part of on the prepare for simply £3.95. 

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

The place: Crews Hill, Enfield, London.

When: November 10 to December 24, 2023.

For extra Santa prepare experiences, try my decide of the very best across the UK, together with London’s Santa Steam Categorical

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 children can head deep into the swamp to fulfill 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 youngsters.

The place: Riverside Constructing, County Corridor, Westminster Bridge Highway, 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 when you e book 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 annually for Christmas, with the Greenwich Youngsters’s Lantern Procession to kick all the things off.

Led by native kids 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 price £10, and also you do have to prebook.

The place: Greenwich Market, Durnford Avenue, Greenwich.

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

Chelsea Christmas Grotto

2023 TBC. For the right Christmas time out in West London, head to the magical Chelsea Christmas Grotto in Sloane Sq., the place kids can meet Santa and obtain a particular festive reward straight from the elves’ workshop.

Tickets to go to the Grotto price £15 per little one, together with a 50p charity donation. Children and their accompanying grownup will be a part of a 25-minute small group session to fulfill Father Christmas.

The person in pink may even be turning on the Chelsea Christmas lights on the annual mild swap 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 working as much as Christmas.


2023 TBC. There’s little question that Harrods Grotto is likely one of the greatest Santa experiences within the metropolis, with its gorgeous decorations, genuine Santa, and beautiful Harrods branded teddy bear for every little one who visits.

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

Or you have to 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 little one.

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

After being cancelled two years working 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 Highway, Knightsbridge, London. 

When: Late November to December (actual 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 publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

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


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