It’s that time of year, where the big man himself starts popping up all over London. A visit to Santa in London in 2023 can be truly magical and memorable experience. However it is good to do a bit of research to avoid it transcending into a day of queuing and disappointment.
Thankfully in London, we have a wonderful selection of tried and tested experiences to choose from, but you have to be quick, as many have sold out already. Here are some of the top tips we have received from readers and friends. Thank you, and Merry Christmas all!
1. See Santa at Hamleys in 2023
From November 12 to Christmas Eve, excited children can visit Father Christmas in one of the favourite toy shops in London. The clever Hamleys Elves have created the perfect grotto and designed fun games and activities, and young visitors will also receive a gift to take home.
While Santa’s welcomes visitors between 2 and 8 years old, the whole family is welcome to join in the fun. With prices starting from £55 for a ticket, which ensures entry for three people, with an additional £15 for each extra person, with a maximum of 6 per session.
This is the perfect opportunity to browse for Christmas gifts and do a little toy testing.
2. Santa at the Ritz 2023
Father Christmas and his Hamleys’ elves are heading to 150 Piccadilly for the second consecutive year to train the official elf class 2023. The brand-new enchanting experience begins on arrival at The Ritz where guests will be greeted by one of Hamleys’ Elves, before being escorted by a Ritz Page through the hotel to the spectacular Christmas Grotto.
From Wednesday 6th December until Sunday 10th December.
3. Santa at Willows Activity Farm, near St Albans 2023
We are very excited to be visiting Santa at Willows Activity Farm again this year. Read our top tips for visiting Willows Activity Farm at Christmas here.
There is so much on offer to keep your little ones feeling festive all day; an Elf Academy for budding Elves, a cuddle workshop where you can make a soft toy to take home, and the Nativity story acted out by the children in amongst the barn animals. This year there is also an ice rink and gingerbread decorating. By the time they visit Santa’s Grotto the children will be full of the joy of Christmas. Using their golden key to enter Santa Toy Store and choose from hundreds of gifts will top off a wonderful day.
Tickets available starting from £14 per adult and £30 per child. Tickets for Santa Spectacular 2023, Willows Activity Farm will be released mid September 2023/
4. Santa at Royal Albert Hall 2023
What could be better than visiting Santa in his top-secret London headquarters at the iconic Royal Albert Hall?
Oh no! Father Christmas is due at the biggest Christmas concert in the whole world but conductor Tim has lost his Christmas spirit.
Join his brother Tom, Albert’s Orchestra and a cast of special guests as they take Tim through Christmas’s past, present and future to try and bring his Christmas cheer back in time to meet Father Christmas!
When, Sunday the 10th December at 12.30 and 4.30pm with tickets from £20.00
Whilst this may not be a meet and greet experience it promises to be magical.
5. Santa at London Zoo 2023
Little ones will get a sprinkling of Christmas magic as they learn what it takes to become one of Santa’s helpers at the elf school before meeting Santa in his magical grotto and even book a story telling session with Mrs Claus, at the heart of London Zoo. Every child will receive a very special early Christmas gift to take home.
- When, 3 – 4 December and 10 – 24 December.
- ZSL Gold Member, Fellow, and Patron exclusive dates: 26 and 27 November.
- Price: Meet Santa £15.50 which includes a gift.
- Upgrade, £40 for Children and £15.00 for children. A really special treat, little ones will love a cosy storytelling session with Mrs Claus, plus there’s marshmallow toasting with a hot drink and a 30-minute Zoo tour for everyone with a visit to Santa and a gift.
6. Santa at Bocketts Farm, Leatherhead Surrey, 2023
A trip to Santa at Bocketts Farm is one our family favourites. The children board Santa’s trailer and a tractor pulls them to a beautifully decorated hay barn to meet Santa. Each child receives a lovely gift and has a chance to share their Christmas wishes with Santa. A visit to the farm is included in the price of the ticket so children can also enjoy all that is on offer there, including festive crafts, a large indoor play area and hopefully some newborn lambs.
Enjoy a magical and festive family day out at Bocketts Farm including a visit to meet Father Christmas in his traditional workshop.
23rd November – 24th December 2023
- Hop on board the Santa Express to meet Father Christmas in his traditional workshop (Limited availability. Separate ticket required, book here)
- Complete your very own Christmas Activity and Stamp Book
- Make your very own Reindeer Food to take home
- Get creative in our Christmas Craft Corner
- Step inside our Giant Snowglobe for a festive family photo
- Meet hundereds of friendly farm animals including gorgeous baby lambs due from December!
- Enjoy our heated indoor soft play
- Explore acres of outdoor adventure play
- What’s more, we’ll have hundreds of Christmas trees for sale from the end of November!
7. Santa at Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park 2023
As Hyde Park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, Santa takes up residence in his Grotto in Santaland, which is packed full of children rides and entertainment. It is FREE to enter the Grotto, but you cannot prebook so be prepared to queue.
17 NOVEMBER 2023 – 01 JANUARY 2023
MON – SUN: 10AM – 10PM
8. Santa at Morden Hall in 2023
We have so many wonderful national trust properties in London, and Santa tries to visit as many as he can. Further details of his visits can be found at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/father-christmas-in-london. Mini Travellers recommends the festivities at Morden Hall Park.
9. The Santa Steam Express From Victoria Station 2023
The Santa Steam Express in London offers a unique Santa steam train adventure. This festive journey departs from Victoria station and includes the opportunity to meet Santa himself on board.
There will be fun and games and a jolly sing-along with the elves in the festive carriages. Plus both Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus make appearances in the carriages during the Steam Dreams experience.
Kids also receive a gift to take home after the 75-minute steam train ride, along with various other surprises on board.
Where: Departing from Victoria station
Dates: Available at different times throughout the day on December 15, 18, and 21, 2023
10. Santa at Harrods 2023
Tickets are usually released mid-November.
The issue with seeing Santa at Harrods is that in previous years you need to have spent at least £2000.00 in their stores or be one of the 160 lucky families to get a ticket when they are released.
This in the past has been out of a total of 4,400 tickets!!
£20.00 per child.
11. Santa at London Transport Museum 2023
Santa will be touching down in an enchanting winter wonderland to meet families from November 24th to December 23rd. Children will delight in boarding a Routemaster-inspired sleigh to activate the headlights, ring the bell, and max out the Christmas cheer-o-meter!
The London Transport Museum are also hosting an array of captivating family activities that extend through the New Year. Snuggle up for Christmas tales in the cosy den, explore your creative side with holiday crafts inspired by wintry posters from our collection, capture delightful moments at the festive selfie wall, and meander through the galleries on a story trail.
Best of all, all these festive family activities come included with your tickets, and there’s a special offer for kids: they go for free!
To find other places to see Santa in the UK why not check out:
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.