Halloween has been forgotten and we are well on our way to Christmas now, December is just around the corner – it is time to think about visiting the big guy in red, and plan your Christmas shopping… or if you are really organised, buy the last few bits & pieces!
Taking the girls to visit Father Christmas is one of my favourite things about this time of year, it can be such a magical experience when it is done right!
I have a free printable Santa letter template if your children want to write to Santa this festive period!
Here’s a list of where you can find Santa in the West Midlands this year:
This year Drayton Manor celebrates it’s 10th anniversary of their Magical Christmas event. With live shows, fireworks, festive food, and Father Christmas, there is lots to see and do. Thomas Land plus a selection of their family attractions are open all day, and there is a free Slide & Glide rink for visitors to try out their skating skills.
Visitors to Father Christmas receive a free gift, chocolate lollipop, and a golden ticket to admit one child (11 & under) free of charge to the park next year when accompanied a paying adult. You can choose to purchase a photograph with Father Christmas and visit the (reasonably priced!) toy shop as you leave the Castle of Dreams.
18th November – 31st December 2017. The Castle of Dreams including the shop will be closed from 24th December.
Prices vary by age & date of visit. Pre-booking is advised & cheaper, and visiting Father Christmas costs extra.
This year the Magical Lantern Festival is back in Birmingham, but is moving to Kings Heath Park and will include Santa’s Magical Grotto. Each child visiting Santa will receive a present. The Christmas themed lantern festival promises to be a spectacular experience with a lantern recreation of the iconic Birmingham Central Library, and there will be an entertainment area with food and drink, and some fairground rides for children.
24th November – 1st January
Meeting Santa costs an additional £10 per child, and pre-booking is advised.
Read our review of our 2016 Magical Lantern Festival experience. We will be checking out this year’s lantern festival this weekend so look out for our blog post!
The Sea Life Centre Grotto is back this year, so if you have any fans of Birmingham’s large indoor aquarium, it is a great place to take them to see Santa. This is a no frills Santa experience; your child lines up, has a chance for a chat and a photo with the man in red, and receives a small free gift. The 4D cinema will be showing a shortened version of The Polar Express, which the girls really enjoy, and you’ll have to see if you can spot the underwater Christmas tree somewhere in the centre.
25th November – 23rd December.
Included in the price of your admission ticket.
This year at the Botanical Gardens the trees and glasshouses are going to be illuminated, in a “magical after dark experience” through the gardens. For an extra charge you can ride the Victorian carousel or steam-boat swing, and although they don’t have a traditional grotto you can keep an eye out for Santa and his elves as you follow the trail through the gardens.
29th November – 1st January, excluding 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th & 25th December.
Prices start at £8 per child (4-16 years), £14 per adult, family tickets available.
House of Fraser have a new look Christmas grotto for 2017, including animatronics among the trees, and tinsel to bring the Christmas magic to live. It is fully accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and a number of special sessions will be running, tailored especially for families with children who have autism. The grotto is fundraising for Action for Children, and families will be able to purchase photo products following their visit to Santa.
From 30th November.
£6 per child. Pre-booking is advised.
We will be visiting the House of Fraser grotto next week so look out for our post!
SVR have several different Christmas and Santa services running this December, including Santa Specials, Santa Heralds, Santa Sleigh Express, and Carol Trains. You can book online or over the phone but be warned, they are booking up fast!
The Santa Steam Specials take you from the station at Kiddermister to visit Santa in his grotto at Artley, where you can also visit the gift shop and refreshment kiosk. On the Santa Heralds, the train travels to Highley and back while Santa visits travellers in their seats. The Santa Sleigh Express, new for 2017, is more of a Polar Express style experience – you have a reserved private compartment or table, complimentary drinks & gingerbread are served to you, and Santa visits you on the train.
Santa Steam Specials: Every Saturday and Sunday, from 2–24 December. Santa Heralds & Santa Sleigh Express: December 19th, 20th, 21st, & 22nd. Carol Trains: December 2nd, 9th, 16th, & 23rd.
Prices vary, starting from £14.50 for the Santa Steam Special. Pre-booking is essential.
We will be taking a trip on a Santa Special in a few weeks, as a gift to the children from their Grandfather, so look out for our blog post about that!
The Enchanted Christmas Kingdom is back this year at Hatton, and it is a great day out for young children. There is loads to see and do at Hatton and for the festive season they have Christmas shows to enjoy, festive art and crafts, the Reindeer Quest, and not to mention visiting Father Christmas in his grotto. Each child will get a “magic key” which they can swap at the Ggrotto toyshop for a gift of their choice.
Every weekend from 25th November – 24th December, plus Friday 8th December evening and week days 18th – 22nd December.
Prices vary by age & date of visit.
Cadbury World is a great option for a festive day out, with their own 25 minute Aladdin pantomime on every day, and a Santa stage show, where each child will receive a gift from one of his Christmas elves. Of course, you also get the full Cadbury World experience, including their 4D Chocolate Adventure and enjoying a post of warm liquid Dairy Milk. The Cadbury Cafe will have a special festive menu, and you can get some Christmas shopping done in the World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop too.
Every Saturday and Sunday from 18th November till 17th December, plus 21st, 22nd and 23rd December.
Tickets from £11.68 per child (4-15 years) & £15.91 per adult when pre-booked online. Family tickets available.
The North Pole Adventure is a 2 hour “family Christmas journey” to meet Father Christmas at the North Pole. Each child gets a personalised ticket to take with them, then journey through the “magic portal” to Father Christmas’ home town. There are Christmas decorations to make, a talking Polar Bear to discover, a miniature Elf Village to visit, and gingerbread men to discover. There is an interactive Elf Training show, and they can meet Father Christmas in his grotto, receiving a present before heading back home from the North Pole.
25th, 26th November. 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th – 24th December.
Prices vary by age & date of visit.
This year Webbs have grottos at both Wychbold and West Hagley, an Ice Rink at Wychbold, and several other Christmas themed activities & events.
During the festive Grotto experience at Wychbold, children can visit the elf workshop, create reindeer food, decorate a wooden Christmas tree decoration, explore the “Winter Wonderland”, meet Father Christmas, and choose their own gift from the Toy Warehouse. At West Hagley, children walk though a “festive Christmas village” and meet Father Christmas, and receive a gift.
Various dates between 11th November – 24th December
Wychbold: £9.99 per child, £2 per adult. West Hagley: £6.50 per child, £2 per adult. Pre-booking is advised
Families can visit Santa in his glittering grotto while visiting the museum during weekends this December, receiving a gift & printed photograph of themselves with Santa.
Weekends from 2nd December – 17th December, 10:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4:00pm.
£5.00 per child.
If your children love animals why not consider visiting WMSP and combining their 4-mile self drive Safari experience with your visit to Santa? Adults receive a hot drink & a mince pie in their ticket price, while children get to choose a gift, have a photo with Santa to take home, and have a drink and a cookie. New for 2017 is Mrs Claus’s Kitchen where visitors can get their tasty treats, and the Sea Lions will be doing a special Christmas Show.
Weekends from 11th November, daily from 25th November – 24th December.
£22 for adults, £18 for children (3-15 years), £20 for concessions, £6.50 for under 3s. Upgrade prices available for annual/return pass holders.
Another animals plus Santa option is Dudley Zoological Gardens, who have a Winter Wonderland package where you can visit Santa in his grotto, set within the walls of Dudley Castle. Visitors will receive a gift from Santa and also get to meet his reindeer.
1st December – 24th December.
Prices vary by age & date of visit, family tickets available. Pre-booking is essential, at least 24 hours in advance.
This year you can be one of Santa’s special guests at the San Carlo Restaurant as he and Mrs Santa hold a festive breakfast for all the family. You’ll get to meet Santa and receive a gift bag full of surprises.
Selfridges also have a few other festive events on throughout December.
Every Saturday and Sunday, from 2–17 December; Saturdays 8.30-10.30am, Sundays 10.30am-12.30pm.
£20 for kids, £25 for adults.
Will you be taking your children to see Santa this year? I hope you have a great day out!
If you want to see some great Christmas days out in the West Midlands, check out this list over at Plutonium Sox.