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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Santa in London 2023: Where to find Father Christmas this year

Updated: Mar 13

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas

We are a long sleigh ride away from Christmas but we're already turning our minds to Father Christmas and where his grottos will be at in London. We don't know exactly where to find Santa in London 2023 yet, but here's a list of where he was last year to get an idea of where he heads to from the North Pole. As soon as new intel is in from the elves, we'll update.

Jingle Bell Blast with Thames Rockets

Santa in London 2022 where to see Father Christmas
Photography: 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 weekend 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: 17 & 24 December 2022

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

Hobbledown Adventure Farm Private Santa Experience

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 after visiting Santa last weekend. The close-up encounter with Santa Claus, set in his private, magical grotto includes a winter-themed storytelling session and a merry singalong with the Hobbledown elves in the Thinkery, a trip through the magic wardrobe to take part in a teddy bear workshop session and a visit to the magical grotto for a private meeting with Father Christmas himself. A resounding success for the London for Kidz team for sure.

When: Until 24th December 2022

Where: Horton Lane, Epsom KT19 8PT

Tottenham Hotspur FC Santa's Grotto

Santa in London 2022 Father Christmas
Photography: Tottenham Hotspur FC

As part of the already-fun Tottenham Hotspur FC Stadium Family Tour, the team will also be treated to a visit to Santa's Grotto this December. To up the festive feels, if you've got kids age 8-years-and-above, why not also challenge them to put their spidey skills to the test on The Dare Skywalk? Just like Santa, you'll be heading to lofty heights, 46m to be precise, for views not only of the famous pitch, but of London too. We also hear rumour of mulled wine and hot chocolates. Christmas goals right there.

When: Grotto open 17th-23rd December 2022 Where: Lilywhite House 782 High Road London N17 0BX

Santa Express, Audley End Miniature Railway

All aboard the Santa Express for magical, family, Christmas experience that will put get you in a 'full steam ahead' Xmas mood. You'll be boarded on the train by the station nutcrackers before setting off to Father Christmas's Winter Wonderland. Here you'll meet Santa and his elves, receive a special gift special gift and help raise enough Christmas spirit to fill the spirit-ometer to its maximum. As well as your train ride you will also be led into the Fulfen Forest which is lined with snowy fir trees on your way to the reindeer feed factory, where you can create your very own reindeer food package to leave out on Christmas Eve for Rudolph and his gang. Head over to the Audley End Miniature Railway to book your tix and to find the big ol' list of all the fun included in the package; it's a tad out of town but close enough to count for a Santa in London adventure. When: Now until 24th December 2022 Where: Audley End Road, Audley End, Saffron Walden CB11 4JB

Santa's Grotto, Spitalfields

Santa in London 2022
Photography: Spitalfields Market

We never need much persuasion to head to one of our fave London markets, Spitalfields, so news that Santa will be heading there too this December fills us with Xmas joy! There will be a multitude of merriness throughout the month of December and the grotto experience itself allows each child 3-5 minutes with Santa (accompanied by a parent or guardian): plenty of time to tell Santa all about the wish list, snap some photos and leave with a gift.

When: Now until 16 December 2022 for the grotto

Where: Spitalfields Market, 56 Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA

Victorian Santa's grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

It’s almost time to get into the Christmas spirit with a Dickensian-style Victorian Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands! Santa will be waiting for you in his Sailortown Grotto with a festive gift wher you will also have the chance to capture the moment with a snap or two. Once Santa has your wish list safely stored it will be time to experience the Sailortown gallery, which has been transformed with festive decorations and the sound of Victorian carols being sung in the distance. When: Check website for specific dates still available. Where: No1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL

Black Santa & Grotto, Streatham

Black Santa is back in town for a magical 90-minute experience in Streatham where you can shop in a festive market, while your children get busy with decorating a Xmas cookie and bauble before watching a short Christmas movie. Plus, of course, the all-important, meet and greet with Santa complete with gift.

When: 17th December 2022 Where: 63 Streatham High Road, London, SW16 1PN

Chelsea Christmas Grotto

The Christmas lights are already on in the Chelsea area and Santa has moved into a grotto on Sloane Square!

When: Now until 24 December 2022 Where: Sloane Square, Chelsea

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Join Santa as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares for his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. Yep, back for another brilliant year, this Lyric family favourite, co-produced with the Olivier Award-nominated Pins & Needles Productions, is sure to be a hit with the fam. When: 23rd November until 31st December 2022

Where: The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, London W6 0QL


Shrektacular Grotto at Shrek's Adventure! London

Santa in London 2022 where to find Father Christmas
Photography: Shrek's Adventure! London

For kids and grown-ups looking for some much-needed yuletide cheer, the big green ogre has teamed-up with Santa to create a festive misadventure the whole family will love.

Guests who visit Shrek’s Adventure! London on selected days between December 3 and 24 December 2022 will get the chance to meet Shrek Santa and pose for a picture with him to mark the special occasion. When: The grotto will be open on selected dates in December so check website for details. Where: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB

Santa's Grotto at Alexandra Palace

Santa Claus is swapping the North Pole for North London as he sets up camp in the East Court at Alexandra Palace this December. Little ones will love meeting with Santa, bagging a small gift and having a photo taken with Santa in his festive grotto. Why not up the festive ante by also booking a slot on the ice skating rink?

When: Now until 23rd December 2022 Where: Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

Breakfast with Santa at Selfridges

Step into the magical world of Dolly's, a winter wonderland with a festive breakfast fit for Santa Claus himself at Selfridges this December. Join Mr and Mrs Claus (alongside their trusty elf sidekicks) for a morning filled with fun and delicious treats – plus, a personalised gift from the man himself for your little ones.

When: Now until 21st December 2022 Where: 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB

Breakfast or Brunch with Santa at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Just out of town in the Essex countryside you'll find Hopefield Animal Sanctuary: one of our favourite spots for an animal adventure with the kids. This Christmas its ramping up the festive feels with a breakfast or brunch experience with Santa. Included in full-price child ticket cost is breakfast / brunch, general admission to the sanctuary, a mince pie and hot drink on arrival, special Christmas activities, a winter trail, a meet & greet with Santa plus gift, keepsake polaroid photo and goodie bag. Check the website for all the deets (including buying tickets for children under 2-years) and ho ho Hope(field) to see you there. When: Every weekend until 24th December 2022

Where: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood CM15 9BZ

Festive Fun at Surrey Quays

In the run up to the Christmas holidays, Surrey Quays Shopping Centre is inviting children to come and visit Santa at his magical Headquarters on select dates from now until Xmas. Full of Christmas cheer, Santa’s HQ includes Christmas trees decorated in sparkling lights, as well as an assortment of festive games, and musical instruments for little ones to enjoy.

When: Every day until 24th December 2022 Where: Redriff Road, London SE16 7LL

Santa Land at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Sound 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: 1Now until 2 January 2023

Where: Hyde Park, London

Santa's Grotto at Romford Shopping Hall

Santa in London 2022 where to find Father Christmas this year
Photography: 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. Our kids love this one!

When: Until 24 December 2022

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

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: Now until 2nd Jan 2023

Where: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, London, NW4 3FP

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

Magic of Christmas at 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. 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: Until 3rd January 2023

Where: Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY

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: 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 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: Until 24th December 2022 Where: Old MacDonald's Farm, Weald Rd, Brentwood CM14 5AY

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: Until 23rd December 2022

Where: Winkfield Road, Windsor SL4 4AY

Picture Perfect Christmas Show at The National Gallery

The National Gallery has lined up a series of performances that brings art and theatre together in an adventure of the secret life that lives within art. For a different kind of Santa in London experience, the whole family to enjoy this theatrical production, created with Boo Productions, will transport Avercamp’s iconic 17th century oil painting, ‘A Winter Scene With Skaters Near A Castle’, to a stage adaptation. In a first-of-its-kind event for The National Gallery, the Picture Perfect Christmas Show will see the Theatre transformed into a wintery extravaganza.

When: 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 December 2022

4 shows per day on the above dates at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

Where: The National Gallery Theatre, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Santa's Grotto at Hamleys

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: Until 24th December 2022

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

Greenwich Market Grotto

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 throughout December 2022 Where: 5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9HZ

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

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: Until 3rd January 2023

Where: Leatherhead Road, Chessington KT9 2NE

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. In the meantime, we just had to include this out-of-town Santa experience because, well, it looks epic!

Santa in the Sky, Brighton i360

Santa in London 2022 where to find father christmas
Photography: i360

Escape to 450ft above the city of Brighton with Santa and his Elves for a festive viewing this Christmas! Meet Santa’s cheeky Elf Experience hosts before capturing the magic and posing for a photo with the big man himself, and then, at the end of the journey, every child will receive an early Christmas gift from Santa. Santa Experiences on the pod don’t have to be just for kids either! Whilst Santa and his Elves entertain the kids, you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved festive tipple from the South Coast’s highest bar, the Nyetimber Sky Bar. See, we told you it was epic, and who doesn't love getting down to the coast for a day anyway? We tried it, we loved it and we can highly recommend.

When: Various dates and times from 3rd December 2022, check website for details Where: Brighton i360, King's Road, Brighton BN1 2LN

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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