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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

© Museum of London

Forget presents, tinsel and turkey sandwiches. What could make Christmas more magical than meeting Father Christmas, the man 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

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


Eva J

Wishing you all advance Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. At this time, we’re looking forward to seeing what the next year brings! On the occurrence of Christmas, we have a tremendous collection of Christmas Greeting Words. On this special Day we want to meet people and wish them Merry Christmas but sometimes it is not possible to wish by meeting them due to distance or any other reason. So, don't worry you can send special Merry Christmas via SMS wishes to them and make them feel pleased by wishing them or you can make your own Christmas Christmas Text Messages and Wishes forward it to them.

matt l

We took our kids on a sail with santa cruise with city cruises last weekend and it was the best grotto in London and you get to take a boat ride on the thames at the same time. Santa read out a story, he took the time to chat to every child and we were allowed to take photos of the kids with him, plus they got a lovely wrapped gift a drink and a cookie. We parents could relax with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine....no queues, no stress..we will be going again next year...

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.


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.


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?


@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

@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

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