The friendly fella in the red suit with the long white beard is building up to his busiest time of the year and over the next few weeks there are plenty of places where you can catch him as he stops off on tour before heading back to get those presents ready for 25th December. Here are some of the venues you can catch him…
Santa will be in his magical grotto at Squire’s Garden Centres across Surrey where you can receive an early Christmas present and at the same time ‘give a gift’ to a local charity. Tickets cost £6 per child, with £1 from every ticket to Squire’s local charities. Santa’s grotto is open every Saturday and Sunday and on Christmas Eve, as well as the week leading up to Christmas at many centres. Milford is helping The Meath and Woking is boosting funds for Woking Age Concern. Just turn up on the day. You can also enjoy breakfast with Santa at Frensham, find out more about this and Santa’s grotto at www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk
How about meeting Santa as you see Guildford from the river? Step aboard the Surrey Care Trust’s Swingbridge1 broadbeam boat for a gentle, festive family cruise along the River Wey. The boat will depart from Millmead Island for a 45-minute cruise upstream with stories and presents from Father Christmas. Enjoy mince pies and a glass of mulled wine on the way. Tickets for the trips on 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th December include refreshments plus a present. Book online at www.visitguildford.com or call 01483 444333. All profits to Surrey Care Trust which tackles disadvantage, social exclusion and hardship.
In Painshill, it’s all aboard Santa’s train for a festive treat with a difference to see the main man himself in their Grade I listed Crystal Grotto. Take a journey around the stunning views of Painshill on the train before stopping off at the grotto to meet Santa and collecting a present from him and his elves. Visit Santa’s snow train and crystal grotto from 1st to 22nd December, booking essential. More information and tickets at www.painshill.co.uk/event/santas-snow-train-and-crystal-grottos/
Experience the magic of Christmas at Chobham Adventure Farm where Santa and his elves will be sprinkling some festive dust. There’ll be lessons in elf magic so you can become a true elf helper. Help Mrs Claus decorate gingerbread and join in a teddy bear making workshop. Tickets include entry to the farm park as well as to see Santa, pre-booking advised, 30th November to 24th December. To find out more go to www.chobhamadventurefarm.co.uk/christmas/product/santas-grotto/
Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas are visiting Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, where you can meet him or her in their cosy festive sitting room, enjoy a chat and collect a present – ideal for 2-8 year olds. Santa and Mrs Christmas will be meeting and greeting on 30th November and 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd December. Booking essential, www.tickets.visitguildford.com/en-GB/categories/father%20christmas
Enjoy a warm welcome from Santa’s elves, take an outdoor train ride followed by a visit to see Father Christmas in his cellar grotto at Denbies Wine Estate. Each child will receive a gift, enjoy the train ride, Santa’s sticker book and Christmas crafts in the Santa’s cellar (£8.50 per child). Various dates from 30th November. Visit www.denbies.co.uk/events/family-events/ for details and to book.
Journey through a Christmas wonderland with plenty to enchant young and old at The Rural Life Centre in Farnham – take a ride through the woods on the Old Kiln Light Railway and visit the elves’ workshop, meet the animals in the stable, enter into the Christmas spirit with twinkling lights, festive music and a visit to Father and Mother Christmas in their magical grotto where each child will receive a gift. Visit on 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th. To book go to https://rural-life.org.uk/book-tickets
There’s another chance to meet Santa in Farnham at Birdworld where you can get up close with Santa’s reindeer and some of the friendly farm animals before entering a magical world of animated characters in winter wonderland settings. As you walk through the different scenes, enjoy some banter with the elves on your way to meet Santa to receive your gift. Adults aren’t forgotten with a mince pie and hot fruit punch. Visit on 30th November and 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and 18th-24th December. To book visit https://birdworld.co.uk/christmas/
Don’t be surprised if you see Santa paying a visit to Haslemere Museum Christmas market, tell him what’s on your wish list on 1st December before taking a gift home. The week before Christmas the man in the red suit is stopping by again, popping into Santa’s Victorian Parlour on 20th and 21st December and 23rd and 24th December and again your child will take home a gift. There’s no need to book for ether of these events. There’s also a special opening of the parlour on 23rd December from 10am-11am for families with children who have an autism spectrum condition. Booking is essential for this visit www.haslemeremuseum.co.uk/whatson/whatson.html#bookmark2
Travel on The Watercress Line on a festive train for a magical trip where Santa and his jolly helpers visit you in your seat with a gift. Grown-ups get treated to white wine and mince pies, while children enjoy a soft drink and gingerbread man. Each child will also receive an activity pack to keep them entertained on the journey. Advanced booking essential for this popular event in Alresford on 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and 21st to 24th December, various times each day. For more details and to book visit www.watercressline.co.uk/product.php/137/santa-special