• Tracy Tristram

Santa in London 2022: Where to find Father Christmas this year

Updated: 8 hours ago

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas

Yes, we know we're barely into autumn and we're busy turning our mind towards Halloween events, but it's never too early to also think about where to find Santa in London 2022.

Jingle Bell Blast with Thames Rockets

Santa in London 2021
Photography: Tracy Tristram for London for Kidz

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: 3, 10, 17 & 24 December 2022

Where: Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Pier, SE1 7PB


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, 27 November – 12 December, Daily, 18–23 December , 10am–6pm, Fridays until 8pm (priority booking only right now) Where: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN


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: tbc

Where: St. Etheldreda's Church, 528 Fulham Palace Road, London, United Kingdom

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.

When: 18 November 2022 - 2 January 2023

Where: Hyde Park, London


London Santa Run

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: 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: tbc

Where: Victoria Park, Grove Rd, London E3 5TB

Santa's Grotto at 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 take unlimited pics and bag a gift for the kids from the Big Man himself.

When: From 3 December 2022

Where: Romford Shopping Hall, 43 Market Place, Romford, RM1 3AB


Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Where will be seeing Santa in London this year?

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: tbc

Where: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ

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. Pre-booking essential for seeing Father Christmas!

When: From 26th November 2022

Where: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, London, NW4 3FP www.winterfestivalbrentcross.com/

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: 3rd December 2022, 9.30-11.30am

Where: Building 225, Criterion, 229 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HR www.hardrockcafe.com/

ZSL London Zoo

There's lots of festive fun happening at our ol' fave, London Zoo, this year for 2022, and Xmas magic includes a meet and greet with Santa himself (tickets not yet on sale for meet and greet sessions). There's also plenty of festive arts and crafts to get busy with, a festive family trail, and the Polar Post Room where your little tigers can write a letter for Father Christmas. Roarsome all round.

When: From 26th November 2022

Where: Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/whats-on/the-magic-of-christmas

Christmas with Santa AND alpacas

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: Mortimers 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 festive quiz. Sounds like a fun al-paca-ed kinda event for sure!

When: 4th, 10th, 19th, 20th & 21st December 2022

Where: Little Park Farm, Beech Hill Road, RG7 2AN Mortimer


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 November 18th 2022 Where: Old MacDonald's Farm, Weald Rd, Brentwood CM14 5AY www.christmas.omdfarm.co.uk

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: From 25th November 2022

Where: Winkfield Road, Windsor SL4 4AY www.legoland.co.uk/short-breaks/offers-and-packages/santa-sleepovers/

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 2022. 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: tbc

Where: Horton Lane, Epsom KT19 8PT



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 20 November 2022

Where: Hamleys, 188-196 Regent Street, Soho, London W1B 5BT


Greenwich Market

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: Unsplash

Santa and his Hospice helpers will be welcoming families and spreading more than a little Xmas magic all through the festive season.

When: Various dates from 23rd November 2022 Where: 5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9HZ


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: 11 December 2022, 1pm & 4.30pm

Where: Royal Albert Hall


Danson House Grotto

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: Unsplash

There are definitely a lot more places to see Santa in London 2022 than there were in previous years, 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: Every Thursday-Sunday in December 2022

Where: Danson House, Danson Park, Bexleyheath DA6 8HL


Rainforest Cafe

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: tbc

Where: Rainforest Cafe, 20 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7EU


Surrey Wildlife Trust Walk in the Woods

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: Surrey Wildlife Trust

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: tbc

Where: Nower Wood Educational Nature Reserve, Mill Way, Leatherhead KT22 8QA

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: tbc

Where: Leatherhead Road, Chessington KT9 2NE



While Xmas is all about the season of giving, we do think Harrods is asking for us to give a little too much to guarantee a spot to see its Santa this year, but hey ho. Tickets are usually released mid-November but you need to spend, hold onto your hats, a whopping £2000 in-store to be in with a chance to get inside the grotto. When: tbc Where: Harrods, 87–135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7XL


That's all we've got for now on the Santa in London 2022 score, folks, but we'll keep investigating and updating when more news comes in from the North Pole.

Need some more very merry guides to the festive season? Look no further:

DIY Xmas cards to make with the kids

Essential guide to Elf on the Shelf ideas

Homemade hot choccie recipes we love

Board game ideas to put on the Xmas list

DIY Christmas advent calendars

Countdown to Xmas with these 24 festive flicks

Don't forget to also follow us for more adventures and things to do in London with kids over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

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