There are so many options when you are planning your trip to visit Santa in the Birmingham area. We’ve been to a few in the last few years, and will be reviewing several here on the blog over the next few weeks.
If your child wants to write a letter to Santa this year I made some free printables last year which are ideal for young children to fill out & send! If you post it via Royal Mail by December 9th your child will get a free reply – find the postal address & other information here.
Here are our favourite local Grottos, for more information just click the titles:
We went along to Sea Life last year to see Santa, and will be returning soon for another visit! The Santa experience at the Sea Life Centre is more like a day out seeing the fish & other amazing underwater creatures, with an added dash of Christmas. You get the fun of trying to spot the Christmas tree in the Ocean tank, watch a shortened version of The Polar Express in the 4D cinema, and you can meet Santa in his Antarctic Grotto and go home with a free gift.
Spending some time watching the penguins enjoy themselves definitely feels festive too – and this is the first Christmas in their new home for the newest penguins to join the centre. For Pop Badge collectors there is a new Meet Santa badge available during the event too!
The Hatton Christmas event is definitely one of our favourites. There is so much to do at Hatton that you can make a whole day of it; visiting the animals, enjoying the soft play centre, watching the excellent falconry talks, going on the bouncy castles and fun fair rides, and even more. In addition to all this their seasonal activities are always a lot of fun.
The have a day full of festive activities to enjoy for their event, including: Zoobee’s Christmas Cracker Show, Cool Colin the Snowman, Christmas Decoration Making, Festive Puppet Show, the Reindeer Quest, plus more. And of course, you can visit Santa and then choose a toy from his toy shop to take home. We visited this event in 2014 and again in 2015, and both years the Santa has been excellent with the kids. We are looking forward to going again this weekend!
This year the Enchanted Christmas Kingdom is running every weekend until 24th December, as well as every day from 19th to 23rd December. You can book online to save money and skip some queuing.
We last visited Cadbury World at Christmas back in 2012 and are looking forward to returning next weekend to review their 2016 Christmas programme. Rather than visiting Santa in his Grotto, you now watch a Santa Stage Show, with music and elves handing out gifts to the children. This kind of group Santa visit works well at busy venues (we did something similar last year at the Bullring) as it cuts down a lot on problems with slow moving queues. I’m looking forward to seeing it!
Each year they put on a Pantomime at Cadbury World, and this year it is Cinderella. I’m really excited about this as that is one of Lydia’s favourite fairy tales.
They also have a special festive menu at their cafe, and of course you can enjoy some chocolatey Christmas retail therapy at their fab Cadbury shop
Webbs are running Christmas Grottos at both their Wychbold (near Droitwich) and West Hagley (near Stourbridge) centres. Several of Georgie’s school friends will be heading to meet Santa at Webbs, and it has a great reputation.
At West Hagley for £5 your child can meet Father Christmas in a Festive Wonderland and receive a “small gift”, and it is open during the weekends in December & every day from Monday 19th to Christmas Eve.
At Wychbold, it costs £9.99 per child and it’s recommended that you book ahead to guarantee entry. Included in that cost is a visit with Father Christmas in the Winter Wonderland, a gift worth at least £5 (that your child can choose theirself), create their own bag of reindeer food to sprinkle on the garden, and a bauble craft activity.
We reviewed last year’s Grotto at the Museum for the Birmingham Mail and it looks like it is back and just as good this year! It starts on December 3rd and runs each weekend in the lead up to Christmas, and costs £5 per child. That includes a printed photograph of your child with Santa, and there will also be carol singing and craft activities available during their Festive Weekends.
This one is quite fun, especially if you have a Brewers Fayre with a soft play area. For either £5.99 or £8.99 depending on location, children can see Santa, enjoy their all-you-can-eat breakfast selection, and get a gift. Locations with play areas include playtime in their prices, and they recommend that you book ahead. We went along in 2014 for a visit with Santa and lunch, back when they were launching the Beano play areas & menu.
I blogged about WMSP’s Santa Safari back in 2012 when I went with a very small Georgie, and we went again in 2013 and enjoyed it then too. You get to see Santa, choose a gift, and children (3+) and adults even get some festive refreshments. A photo with Santa is included in the ticket price which is a nice touch. You also get either a return voucher or a safari gift. There is also Santa’s Trail to explore, where you hunt down the missing presents and get a reward it you find them all.
For more Grottos in the West Midlands, check out this Birmingham Mail article which has a comprehensive list!