Santa in London 2021: Where to find Father Christmas this year
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Eek! It's officially Xmas next month so we're busy turning our mind to the places where you can spot Santa in London 2021 (and a few places outside of town too). The list isn't huge, and it may even shrink, but we live in hope that while covid has ruined many things this past 18 months, it won't get its ugly mitts on Xmas again... Here's ho ho ho-ping!
Jingle Bell Blast with Thames Rocket
Rev up for one of the most exciting sleigh-rides of the season as you carol sing your way along the River Thames with Santa himself! You and your small elves will sweep across the docklands, whizz past the London Eye, and float by Tower Bridge with the awesome Thames Rocket team on a Christmas experience sure to put the jingle in your bells: don't leave the booking too late though, spaces are limited and yule be sorry to miss out on this treat for sure! We tried it last year for ourselves and we've got to say it was one of our all-time fave adventures in London EVER! Our advice? Even if you don't make it to see Santa in London this year, book a trip on the Thames Rocket for the next time you can get into town: ridiculously good fun!
When: 4th, 11th & 18th December 2021
Where: Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Pier, SE1 7PB
Cost: From £44.95 per adult and £33.95 per child.
Christmas Experience at The National Gallery
The Christmas Experience happening at The National Gallery is all set to include a big interactive element with lots of fun activities for children and families. Snowflake crafting, Christmas card creating, story time with the elves, a nose around the Elven Sorting Office, photo opportunities and plenty of prizes are just a few of the awesome things you can expect from this magical adventure, and, of course the chance to hang out with Santa himself. Don’t forget to collect your little pouch of reindeer food to leave out on Christmas night and your special gift from the Elven sorting office before you leave!
When: Weekends from 27 November to 12 December, Daily from 18 to 23 December 2021
Where: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Cost: Children under 12 £22 (including gift), 12+ £12 per person
St. Etheldreda's Church Nativity & Grotto
Watch the traditional Nativity and visit Santa in his grotto all in one festive hit over at St. Etheldreda's Church over in Fulham. There will also be a small Christmas market happening for you to grab a seasonal refreshment or two plus some lovely Xmas stocking fillers.
When: 11th December 2021, 3pm-6pm
Where: St. Etheldreda's Church, 528 Fulham Palace Road, London, United Kingdom
Cost: £11.37 per person for Nativity and Grotto
Santa Land at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Sounds the trumpets and grab your hat and scarves because Winter Wonderland is back this year and with it comes the chance to not only meet Santa in London, but also to snag a small gift from him (so long as you're on the nice list!). A festive destination designed for the whole family to enjoy and escape from the hustle and bustle of the main event, expect plenty of kids’ rides, festive eateries as well as the Main Man in Red. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa’s parade which is happening every Monday through to Wednesdays at 5.00pm, running for a whole hour.
When: From 19th November 2021
Where: Hyde Park, London
Cost: Entrance to the grotto is free but you must purchase tix for Winter Wonderland. Entry is free during off-peak hours and from £5 per person for peak hours.
London Santa Run
Why see just one Santa in London when you can see thousands? Yep, this December it's time to hitch up your sleigh for London’s largest Santa Run and bring a flash of red to the streets of London along with thousands of runners dressed as Father Christmas. Kids age 8 and older are welcome to join the 5km or 10km dash for charity and there's a mini run for the kiddos happening too: the perfect opportunity for the whole family to burn off the festive season mince pie overload!
When: Sunday 4th December 2021
Where: Victoria Park, Grove Rd, London E3 5TB
Cost: TBC: the website is up but the tix are not available quite yet.
Dine with Santa in Romford Shopping Hall
Father Christmas will be returning to his Grotto in the east of town over at Romford Shopping Hall and you're all invited to Dine with Santa, take unlimited pics and bag a gift for the kids from the Big Man himself. There will be bacon, sausage or egg baps with a tea or coffee if you plump for a breakfast slot, or ham, cheese or jam sarnies with juice if you decide to book lunch.
When: From Saturday 27th November 2021
Where: Romford Shopping Hall, 43 Market Place, Romford, RM1 3AB
Cost: £5 for adults and £13 for children
Christmas Grotto & Afternoon Tea at Strand Palace
One of London’s most iconic hotels, Strand Palace will be lighting up with a whole host of festive fun as it brings the North Pole to the capital for Christmas. Elves are currently busy decorating with trees, garlands and magic to make sure the Grotto is all ready for Santa's arrival from Sunday 14th November. Little ones will love exploring a quintessential Victorian toy workshop where they can see the Elves at work, stepping over the rickety bridge and dodging the Elven snowball fights through the magic forests to the end of the Christmas road and Santa’s door. The fun doesn’t stop there either… following this super special experience, you have the option to extend the festivities with a Christmas Afternoon Tea! Served in the spacious and opulent art deco tearoom at Haxells upstairs, kids can decorate their own gingerbread man while the whole family chows down on a feast of savoury and sweet delights. Delectably good!
When: 14th November to 24th December 2021
Where: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ
Cost: Santa Grotto Adventure tix are priced at £25 for children (gift valued at £16) and Adults at £5. Santa’s special Festive tea is priced at £25 and £10 for children.
Winter Festival at Brent Cross
Get your Xmas shopping, ice skating sessions, festive rides and a visit to a traditional Santa grotto all ticked off in one fun day out by visiting the Winter Festival at Brent Cross from 27 November. Pre-booking essential for seeing Father Christmas!
When: From 27th November 2021
Where: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, London, NW4 3FP
Cost: £8.99 per child to see Santa
Breakfast with Santa at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus
Join Hard Rock Café for a rockin' Christmas Breakfast Event that will include an unlimited Buffet Breakfast and Donut Wall, Festive Games, Face Painting and a surprise visit from Father Christmas himself.
When: Saturday 4 December, 9.30-11.30am
Where: Building 225, Criterion, 229 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HR
Cost: From £5.95
ZSL London Zoo
There's lots of festive fun happening at our ol' fave, London Zoo, this year for 2021, and Xmas magic includes a wonderful grotto at the heart of the Zoo where littles ones will receive a special early Christmas gift to take home. There's also plenty of festive arts and crafts to get busy with, a festive family trail, and the chance to have breakfast with Mrs Claus. Roarsome all round.
When: Magic of Christmas starts on 27 November 2021, and the grotto is open 4-5 and 11-24 December 2021
Where: Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY
Cost: £13.50 for 1 child, £27 for 2 children or £40.50 for 3 children for the grotto. You'll also need general admission tickets for the Zoo.
Christmas with Santa AND alpacas
Head out of town and over to Mortimer Alpacas in Berkshire to not only meet Santa but to also feed and pet the resident alpacas and pygmy goats, get busy with Xmas tree decoration crafts and take part in a quiz and a spot of bingo. Sounds like a fun al-paca-ed kinda event for sure!
When: 4,5,11,12,20,21,22 & 23 December 2021
Cost: Kids, £25 each, adults, £15 each email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
Christmas Journey at Old MacDonald's Farm
Head into the Essex countryside and spend the day on this lovely adventure farm looking out for roaming Santa Claus, trying out an Xmas train ride, getting busy with an interactive Gingerbread hunt, watching the OMD Christmas Show, receiving a letter from Santa's Post Office and taking part in lots of festive arts and crafts. This is on top of the usual fun of the farm: admission to Christmas Journey also includes admission to the farm and rides.
When: From 26th November 2021 Where: Old MacDonald's Farm, Weald Rd, Brentwood CM14 5AY
Cost: From £21 per adult and £22 per child (age 2 and above)
Santa Sleepover, Legoland Windsor
Get in a merry mood by booking a Santa Sleepover which includes an overnight stay, two days in the park, Xmas entertainment, delish brekkie for all and a fabulously festive gift at Legoland Windsor. You can also catch Father Christmas as he rides around the Park on his magical sleigh – don't forget to give him a wave! Everything really is awesome.
When: Book your stay on the following dates: 26th, 27th November, 3rd-5th, 10th-23rd December 2021 for a magical LEGO Christmas!
Where: Winkfield Road, Windsor SL4 4AY
Cost: Day passes from £26 per person
Hobbledown Adventure Farm
It's no secret that here at London for Kidz we love a day out at Hobbledown (check out our review here), so we're feeling ding, dong, merrily on high at the news that its opening a Santa grotto for 2021. Don't forget to also check out the fantastical Light Trail and Park Entry tickets are available for those who would like to explore Hobbledown on their own time before heading into the Light Trail!
When: From 30th November 2021
Where: Horton Lane, Epsom KT19 8PT
Cost: Grotto is £40 per family, and the Light Trail is £12 per person. Entry into the park is not included.
Sleigh-ride over to Hamleys on Regent Street and visit Santa's Grotto at the oldest toy store in London! The flagship store is set to transform part of its store into a magical Santa’s Grotto experience where you’ll get the chance to take part in plenty of festivities with the elves before meeting Santa and receiving a special Hamleys goody bag. Tix are selling fast, so get a skedaddle on!
When: From Saturday 20th November – Friday 24th December
Where: Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street, Soho, London W1B 5BT
Cost:£43 for up to three people.
Woohoo: the Greenwich Market grotto has been confirmed and it's kicking off on 24 November! Santa and his Hospice helpers will be welcoming families and spreading more than a little Xmas magic all through the festive season. Can't get to Greenwich? Then why not book one of its virtual grotto tickets instead? Santa will Zoom his way into your living room for a virtual meet-and-greet! There's also a storytime sessions with Santa happening on Story Time with Santa will be taking place operating on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 29 November until 15 December.
When: From 24 November 2021 Where: 5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9HZ
Cost: £11.37 per child
Royal Albert Hall
Little ones will adore spotting Santa at My Christmas Orchestral Adventure at the Royal Albert Hall. Okay, so it's not a grotto, but this is a family affair that will definitely leave you all with the warm and fuzzies. What's it about? Well, Father Christmas has lost his map on a practice run of his delivery route, and the trusty Royal Albert Hall ensemble have found it and need to get it back to him. Expect to zip around the world on an orchestral adventure that might not be a traditional visit with Santa, but is equally, if not more, memorable and magical.
When: 12 December, 1pm and 4.30pm
Where: Royal Albert Hall
Cost: Call the box office for prices and availability: 020 7589 8212.
Danson House Grotto
There are definitely a lot more places to see Santa in London 2021 than there were in 2020, and when it comes to hanging out with FC we do love a grotto situation. This year Danson House is putting on a meet-and-greet with Santa in his grand Grotto library where little ones can tell St. Nick their Xmas wishes, snag a small gift and smile wide for a professional photo. Do note that this venue is a Grade 1 listed building (fancy!) so pushchairs and prams, nor food and drink, will not be permitted in the building although there will be a supervised buggy park on the grounds.
When: Thursday-Sunday every week from 2 December until 24 December 2021.
Where: Danson House, Danson Park, Bexleyheath DA6 8HL
Cost: £11.37 per child
Not only does Rainforest Cafe happen to be one of our favourite fam-friendly eating spots in London, but it's also dishing up a side order of Santa this Xmas! It's hosting Breakfast with Santa sessions for a festive feast the whole fam will go crackers for.
When: From 21st November 2021
Where: Rainforest Cafe, 20 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EU
Cost: From £15 per person
Surrey Wildlife Trust Walk in the Woods
The Christmas magic returns this year to Surrey with a self-guided trail of festive fun through the woods, with a visit to the grotto to meet some special guests included in the adventure. This is an outdoor activity, so dress in your woollies and allow around 2 hours to complete the trail, join in the activities and meet Santa. Booking is a must and the event is aimed at little ones age 4-10 years (and their grown ups!).
When: Saturday 11 December 2021
Where: Nower Wood Educational Nature Reserve, Mill Way, Leatherhead KT22 8QA
Cost: From £3 to £15 per person
Winter's Tail, Chessington World of Adventures
Santa Claus and his band of merry elves are returning to Chessington once again for the festive season where little ones can meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, encounter the Elves in the Toy Workshop and, of course, enjoy the thrills and spills of the rides and check out the furry, feathery and scaly residents in the zoo.
When: From 27th November 2021
Where: Leatherhead Road, Chessington KT9 2NE
Cost: From £20 per person
That's all we've got for now on the Santa score, folks, but we'll keep investigating and updating when more news comes in.
Need some more very merry guides to the festive season? Look no further: