The Alexander Centre in Preston Street, Faversham hopes to open Santa's Grotto on December 19 and 20

A Kent town is desperately hoping it will be able to welcome Father Christmas for just one weekend of meet and greets next month.

The Alexander Centre in Faversham has run a grotto in the town for local children for the past eight years.

Santa has been visiting the centre in Faversham for the past eight years
Santa has been visiting the centre in Faversham for the past eight years

The traditional event includes an activity for youngsters to do whilst they wait their turn, a special journey through a magical themed winter wonderland area before heading into the Victorian parlour for a meeting with the man himself beside his ornate fireplace.

And after a chat with Father Christmas, all children leave with a goody bag comprising of a book and chocolate figure.

Between the end of the first lockdown and this month's restrictions the community centre in Preston Street has been open and permitted to run certain activities as a 'Covid Secure' registered venue.

Organisers charged with welcoming Santa to the town are very much hoping that this may become the case once again when existing restrictions end and a new tiered system is put in place for December.

General manager Alison Fellows said visits to Father Christmas have always been for one family at a time so this will remain unchanged to ensure everyone's continued safety.

But additional measures will also be brought in including greater distances between Father Christmas and each visiting family combined with longer gaps between groups to enable enhanced cleaning to also go ahead.

A family visit the grotto in 2019. Changes will be made this year, say organisers, to meet all Covid19 restrictions if the event can go ahead.
A family visit the grotto in 2019. Changes will be made this year, say organisers, to meet all Covid19 restrictions if the event can go ahead.

The Grotto hopes to open for just one weekend - on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20 between 9am and 5pm. Tickets cost £7.50 per child.

Timeslots to see visit Father Christmas must be booked in advance, and people can do so by calling 01795 591691, or emailing their contact number to bookings@thealexandercentre.com so that staff can call them back to book them in.

To learn more about The Alexander Centre and to stay up-to-date with events click here.

For more suggestions of things to do with the family in the run up to Christmas visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk or follow our facebook page here.

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