Where to see Santa in Kent and how to buy Grotto tickets for 2019
Have you got a date in the diary to see Santa?
If you're yet to book a meet-and-greet with Father Christmas, we round-up the latest places you'll be able to catch him in Kent before he December 25.
Receive a special train ticket to board the Millbrook Express in Gravesend and be transported to a winter wonderland!
Children of all ages can enjoy games and crafts,make reindeer food and Christmas badges with Santa’s elves, before finally arriving at Santa's cosy log cabin where he will be there to greet you and ensure you have a gift to take home.
Tickets cost £11 a child and £4 a adult (children must be accompanied by a paying adult). Your experience will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. More details and bookings can be made here.
Broadditch Farm, Southfleet
Climb on board the Tractor Sleigh and journey to the enchanted wood where you will be met by elves who will lead you to Farmer Christmas’s cosy cabin. Here you can listen to a festive story read by Santa before you meet the man himself and collect a special present.
The grotto opens for its first visitors on Saturday, November 30 and will then be open at weekends and select weekdays all the way up until Christmas. Prices for Farmer Christmas are £12.00 per child and £4 for accompanying adults. For a full run down of dates available and to make your family's booking please click here.
Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, Sidcup
It might be on the north Kent/London border, but Santa's Grotto at Ruxley is always a firm favourite with families.
Tickets are now on sale for the Grotto - but you'll need to be quick as lots of November and December's dates have already sold out. The latest availability here.
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe
Bluewater was one of the first this year to open ticket bookings for both its grotto and ice rink which are open from November 14. This year's grotto, by the lakes at The Village, has a Nutcracker theme. Full details about Bluewater's grotto sales please click here.
Hawley Garden Centre, Dartford
Children will receive a personalised 'I've met Santa' certificate and a gift suitable for their age during a visit to the grotto at Hawley Garden Centre. Father Christmas will be in Sutton-at-Hone every weekend from Saturday, November 23 until Christmas Eve and including Monday, December 23. Tickets are £10 per child and includes two adults per booking with additional adults £4.
Telephone 01322 224365 to make a booking or visit here for more information.
Hempstead Valley, Gillingham
The grotto will be open daily from 16th November until Christmas Eve.Entrance to the grotto to visit Father Christmas costs £5 per child and includes a wrapped gift. There is no charge for accompanying adults. Pre-book your visit (£1.50 booking fee applies) at www.bookfatherchristmas.co.uk/hempsteadvalley
Dobbies Garden Centre, Gillingham and Ashford
Take breakfast or enjoy tea with Santa or swing by his grotto at two Kent garden centres this Christmas. There are lots of opportunities to Father Christmas at Dobbies in Gillingham and Ashford and tickets are now on sale.
Santa's Grotto will be open between November 24 and December 24, costs £11.99 and children will get an age-appropriate toy from makes including Lego, Playmobil, Bigjigs and GALT.
Breakfast or tea with Santa runs between the same dates at selected times and costs £13.99. These events includes a hot or cold meal, fun activities and a gift from Santa and are best suited to families with children aged 12 and under who will be seated and served at their own table. To book tickets to either event at your nearest Dobbies please click here.
Reindeer Centre, Ashford
Father Christmas will be available to meet in his festive cabin from November 16 until Christmas Eve as part of a very festive day out at Kent's Reindeer Centre.
Visitors will stroll through seven animated scenes in the magical 150ft Christmas Grotto. You will also be able to visit the animal barn, play in the popular straw bale ball pit and have fun in the artificial snow play area. The food hall will be selling hot drinks and food - and adults can also collect their complimentary mince pie.
Entrance prices range from £13 to £18 for children and and £10 to £13 for adults - with special prices for Christmas Eve. To learn more or to make a booking click here.
Longacres Garden Centre, Bybrook Barn, Ashford
Visit Santa's grotto from November 23 until Christmas Eve for just £6 per child. Santa will see just two children at any one time and there is no charge for adults. All the information and booking details can be found here.
Kent and East Sussex Railway, Tenterden
Take a magical steam train journey to meet Santa this Christmas with the popular Santa Special trains. At Tenterden Station will be the beautiful Victorian carousel providing unlimited rides whilst the festively decorated steam trains will take passengers on a memorable hour and 10 minute journey where Santa's elf helpers will help hand out presents and there are festive refreshments from mine pies to sweets for everyone on board!
The Santa Specials, which are now on sale, are running on select dates from November 30 until December 24 with some dates already sold out. Ticket prices begin at £22. To learn more or make a booking click here.
Canterbury Tales, Canterbury
Could you children help save Christmas in a magical time travelling adventure? The event takes place at the Canterbury attraction on December 14 and 15 with various time slots between 10am and 6pm. You will receive a personalised invitation, guided through the Canterbury Tales experience and take part in several festive activities, spend quality time with Santa and receive a present.
Pre-booking is essential and no tickets are available on the door. Prices are £10.95 for adults, £13.95 for children and children under two £5.You can book by clicking here.
Whitefriars’ very own fairy will be welcoming children to the grotto in the Square. Elves will then invite families into the activity workshop where each child receives a Santa hat to wear and keep and can decorate a personalised Christmas stocking. Visitors will then meet Father Christmas in his cosy sitting room before each child receives a gift to go in their newly decorated stocking and a sticker badge to let everyone know they really have met Father Christmas.
Prices start at £6 and each session lasts around 15 minutes. The grotto is open from November 30 until Christmas Eve. Bookings can be made here.
Santa will be back amongst the animals at Wildwood on select dates from Sunday, December 1. The cost per ticket is £12.50 per child which includes a luxury soft toy, mounted photo and a visit with Santa and his elves. Full entry must be paid or valid membership shown if visiting the park between 10am and 4pm. More details at kent.wildwoodtrust.org/your-visit/christmas-grotto
An enchanting 'walk-through Grotto experience' can be found amongst Dreamland's Winter Wonderland experience this year in Thanet. The experience lasts around 40 minutes and will include making reindeer food to take home, the chance to see elves in their workshop, taking a photo with The Ice Maiden in the alpine-themed selfie zone, as well as meeting Father Christmas and collecting a gift, photo and certificate.
Grotto tickets cost from £22.50 plus a booking fee and as well as the Winterland Grotto Experience, includes winter rides open in the park and free parking in the Arlington Car Park. Bookings can be made here.
Quex Park, Birchington
Climb aboard the Elf Express to Elf Tower, where you will venture through a magical elf forest before climbing the winding staircase to meet Santa for a Christmas story and to collect a present.
Visitors can arrive at any time to Quex Park - but are asked to carefully note their Elf Express Rise time and arrive at the departure point no later than 10 minutes before your slot. To learn more or to reserve your seat on a service visit quexactivitycentre.com/product/elf-express-peak
White Cliffs Christmas, Dover
Father Christmas is back in his grotto at Cruise Terminal One at the Western Docks from December 1. He will be meeting families on select dates and tickets are now available to book. Learn more at events.doverport.co.uk
Bewl Water, Lamberhurst
Father Christmas will be beside the water at Bewl every weekend from Saturday, December 7 together with Monday, December 23 and on Christmas Eve. The grotto will be open 10am until 3.30pm and tickets are £11 per child. To make a booking please click here.
Leeds Castle, Leeds near Maidstone
Tickets to see Father Christmas at Leeds Castle have now sold out. But the Christmas Market will be open to visitors on weekends only from November 23 to December 15. More details here.
Families will be asked to download and fill in a questionnaire before visiting Santa at Notcutts so that he he knows everything he needs to know about your children ahead of your visit. As well as meeting Santa, children will be given a special Christmas gift. Booking online in advance is recommended.A single child ticket is £13.50 and adults £3. More details and slots available can be found here.
Kent Life, Sandling near Maidstone
Jump on board the Land Train driven by the head elf and hear the Christmas tales, before meeting Father Christmas in his magical grotto and taking home a special gift.
Santa is at Kent Life on Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, November 30 and then daily from Thursday, December 19. Time slots are available from 10.15am - but it is worth noting that the time you book for is the time your Christmas experience starts, not the time you will actually see Father Christmas. Families are recommended to allow at least 30 minutes for the Christmas experience.
Tickets are £13.95 for children and £7.95 for adults, with some weekend slots having already sold out! More details are available at kentlife.org.uk/event/meet-santa/
The Mall, Maidstone
Santa and his elves will be back in his grotto at the Mall from Saturday, November 16 until Christmas Eve. Entry to the Grotto is £5 per child and includes a gift provided by the Mall Maidstone and at least £2 of every entry will be donated to a Maidstone charity.
Father Christmas will be there every day of the week: from 11am until 5pm Mondays to Fridays, 10am until 5pm on Saturdays and 10.30am until 4.30pm on Sundays. More details via santamaidstone.co.uk
Brookside Garden Centre, East Peckham
Fans of the exceptionally popular grotto at Brookside will be sad to hear that Father Christmas won't be stopping in East Peckham this year. Organisers have taken the decision to take a break from hosting Santa after the grotto became so exceptionally popular with families. Last October 16,000 people descended on the website with only 3,000 tickets available. More details can be read here.
The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood
Father Christmas is back at The Hop Farm on select dates during December with some dates for the Big Red Grotto already sold out!
The festive experience includes storytelling with Mother Christmas, craft and activity sheets, balloon models, the chance to meet his jolly helpers and a Christmas gift when you meet the man himself. Ticket prices include free entry to the Family Park, animal farm and indoor soft play centre. Ticket prices to the grotto are £18 with two adults free with every booking. To learn more or to book your tickets please click here.
Calverley Grounds Ice Rink, Tunbridge Wells
Father Christmas and his friendly elves will be welcoming families visiting the Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells on selected dates from Saturday, November 30 until Christmas Eve.
Children can write a letter to Father Christmas in the cosy waiting area before meeting him for a chat, choosing an age appropriate gift and having their photograph taken. One mounted photograph per family, children’s gift and visit is all included in the ticket price of £16.50 per child (adults pay £2), plus a booking fee of £1.50 per transaction. To pre-book your tickets www.fatherchristmasinkent.co.uk
Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells
Santa will be returning to his magical grotto at Royal Victoria Place from Friday, November 15 until Christmas Eve. Entry is £7 per child and includes a wrapped gift - a photography service will also be available. Families are able to book in advance to avoid the queues. To learn more or to make a booking please click here.
Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells
The 'Santa Special' steam trains travel between Eridge and Tunbridge Wells West and Santa will be on board each train with a gift wrapped present for each of the train's youngest passengers.
And if you're quick you can make use of an early bird Santa Special on November 23 and 24 when tickets are £2 cheaper for each passenger - making adult fares £14 children £12 and babies £3.
Standard-priced Santa Specials will then run on select dates between November 30 and Christmas Eve.
Passengers can enjoy a mince pie and children will receive a gift-wrapped present on board the train, there will be face painting at Eridge and at Tunbridge Wells West will be a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the chance to play Victorian Penny Slot Machines. More details at www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/
Hever Castle near Tonbridge
This Christmas Hever Castle is taking visitors on a magical journey down the rabbit hole and into the enchanting world of Alice in Wonderland. The castle will once again be beautifully decorated whilst outside in the grounds a whimsical Alice in a Christmas Wonderland themed interactive trail can be found.
Christmas at Hever Castle takes place from November 23 until December 8 Wednesdays to Sundays and then daily from December 9 until December 24.
The castle is also once again offering a drop-in experience with Father Christmas at his workshop on December 7, 8, 14 and 15 and between December 20 to 23. This is for children who have not got pre-booked grotto slots and tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis for £8.50 and only available to buy in the grounds on the day. For full details and all all ticket admission terms and conditions please click here.