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Santa's grottos in London

Everybody's dying to meet the beardy man with the bag – here's where to find him this winter

© David Jensen

What could make Christmas more magical than budding up with Father Christmas himself? Once you've had a spin on one of London's ice rinks, complete your festive day out and hunt down the man in red with our guide to the best Santa's Christmas grottos in London.

RECOMMENDED: Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

Where to find Santa's grottos in London

Duke of York Square Santa's Grotto

Those who visit Santa in this square just off the King's Road will be treated to seasonal stories as well as the chance to pass on their wish list and to take home a souvenir photo taken by the elves. Fully grown kids are welcome to pop in, too, and grotto guests are asked to make a donation to the Prince's Foundation.

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Duke Of York Square , Chelsea Until Friday December 23 2016

Santa’s Grotto at The Mall Wood Green

Visit Father Christmas in his grotto in Wood Green this Christmas and make sure he's got you on his 'good guy' list. Drop in any time 11am-5pm, or if you're the organised type, book in for a slot on a weekday Dec 5-16. But whatever you do, don't pull on his beard - he hates that.

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The Mall , Wood Green Monday December 12 2016 - Friday December 23 2016

Victorian Santa's Grotto

Father Christmas hops between two atmospheric Victorian streets nestled in the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands, with plenty of presents stowed in both venues for well behaved nippers in 2016. Young visitors can tell him all their special Christmas wishes and each child will receive a gift to take home. Photos are available at an additional cost.

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Museum of London , Smithfield Until Friday December 23 2016

Santa's Grotto at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for a tenth year in 2016. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season.

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Hyde Park , Kensington Until Monday January 2 2017

Christmas at Kew Gardens' Santa's Grotto

The magnificent gardens get a beautiful seasonal makeover once more in 2016, with illuminations lighting up the buildings, trails and planting. Santa's Snowflake Grotto returns and there'll be vintage rides, Christmas gifts and traditional festive treats.

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Kew Gardens , Kew Until Monday January 2 2017

Santa at Battersea Park Children's Zoo

Santa's spending some time getting to know Battersea Park Children's Zoo's animals this December, and children are welcome to come and visit him. Visitors to his grotto can share their Christmas wish list and will receive a sticker, small gift, drink and Christmas treat. Times can be booked in advance on 0207 924 5826 or upon entry to the zoo, and the £6 ticket price is in addition to the usual admission fee. 

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Battersea Park Children's Zoo , Chelsea Until Saturday December 24 2016

Father Christmas at Hamleys

Considering the utterly vast array of toys that Hamley's has to offer it's no wonder that Father Christmas has decided to set up shop there for the festive season – he's probably on the lookout for new gift ideas. Children are invited to come and spend 45 minutes in the magical chap's presence to hear Christmassy stories, meet the elves, play games and write their wish list for the big day itself.

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Hamleys , Soho Saturday December 17 2016

Sutton House's Santa's Grotto

As well as a Santa's Grotto, the east London Tudor manor house will be transformed into a handmade haven with market stalls from the organisers of Embankment Summer Market, Soho Flea Market and Dalston Christmas Market. Look out for carol performances, film previews and local theatre productions too.

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Sutton House , Hackney Until Sunday December 18 2016

Santa's Grotto at Christmas in Leicester Square

Santa called. He’s added another date to an already busy schedule, you can now catch him and his trademark twinkly, goodtime atmosphere to 'Christmas in Leicester Square', the capital’s latest Crimbo destination. As well as a sparkly Santa's grotto, the ‘square’ in Leicester Square will also be home to a traditional Christmas market and a vintage Speigeltent.

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Leicester Square , Leicester Square Until Sunday January 8 2017
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Find more kids' christmas fun in London

Best London Christmas activities for children

December is never more exciting than when you're littler than Santa's elves. They've been waiting for this all year; help to make their festive dreams come true at these great Christmas events for kids. And there's lots more wintery fun to be had at London's ice rinks, Santa's grottos, Xmas lights and Christmas theatre shows.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

Comments

6 comments
r s
r s

Lesson learnt - avoid the Westfield Grotto (Dreamworks).  It was a great example of how hard working parents are being taken advantage of during the holiday season by brands that promise unforgettable experiences.


From the lack of face time with the Santa, to his flippant attitude, to giving unwrapped presents of hair bands to all children (even boys).  The Westfield star has well and truly fallen to allow such a dreadful experience real estate on their site.

196customer123
196customer123

you didn't miss much i'm afraid very disappointing grotto and the gift bag stank of mould. The afternoon tea for children contained peanuts without warning and was served to my 2 year old daughter. Customer service team just ignore you or argue with you I won't be recommending or booking for next year. Try Westfield it was lovely. Shame I had to pay twice to see Santa in 2014 but I wasn't going to let that spoil Christmas for us.

NewMumOnline
NewMumOnline

Don't understand this post at all. It starts with a Harrods' photo, yet I cannot find a paragraph about the Harrods' Santa?!?!? AND why is it a 2012 photo anyhow?

HOLLY M
HOLLY M

@Harrods, really annoyed, i book every year to take my son to visit santa at Harrods at a very special time of year for my family.

An this year u was given my email to book online to find out that had already been sold, unless i want to pay for a very expensive tea which i cannot afford.

Very disappointing to see they have done this and i will be making a compliant

Christina S
Christina S

@Harrods I am annoyed and disappointed that the Christmas Grotto 2014 is already sold out...unless I am willing to pay £118 for my family of four to have afternoon tea with Santa! I can't say I have ever been that impressed with their afternoon tea and can think of much nicer places to go for it! I will now have to look around for another Christmas grotto to take my children to! My family's Christmas tradition of visiting Santa at Harrods will now be broken this year due to the change in your Christmas Grotto! ...and the icing on the cake is. That there will not be a Harrods Christmas Parade this year! Harrods, you should be ashamed of yourselves! #greed

anne hannoun
anne hannoun

last year was briliant for my kids hopefully re do all these activities again !!