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Naughty or nice? 15 Places to meet Santa

Want to see the big fella this Christmas? Up the magic factor and book in to see Santa at one of these places in Glos & Worcs. From Santa Trains and making gingerbread with his elves to Santa on skies! Pick your experience here.

It’s a moment we all remember from childhood – so make it a cracker, with these fab local grottos, from steam trains and giant snow globes to log cabins.

The elves have been busy and the tickets are flying off the shelves, so get booking …

Santa Dining Experience, Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Catch the big fella at Slimbridge from 11 – 19 Dec, you can enjoy a slap up full English in the Kingfisher Kitchen restaurant whilst he does his rounds with the elves. Santa will stop by each table to hand out gifts and chat, then head out to explore Slimbridge’s winter wonderland with 100 acres of wetland. Tickets cost £22 for adults and £19.15 for children aged 4 to 16, and £14.95 for children aged 2 – 4.

Bespoke Santa Experience at Winter Glow, Malvern

This fabulous bespoke experience takes place at the wonderland that is Winter Glow, at the Three Counties Showground. Enjoy a memorable Santa meet-up here from 04 to 24 December. Hop aboard the thrilling Arctic Express over to Santa’s festive cabin, where each family will have a private visit with Santa Claus, including a gift for each child, and a chance to try one of Missus Claus’s cookies too. When you’re done head to Winter Glow (on until Jan) to experience the phenomenal light trail and giant big wheel before heading out on the ice for some skating.

Santa in his workshop, Cirencester Park

Santa will be in his Christmas workshop at The Old Kennels in Cirencester Park for the first time from 20 Nov to 23 Dec. Enter his magical toy factory, see inside the Post Room and watch the elves in elf school building train sets, rocking horses and more! There will be a gift from Santa, and take a selfie with Santa’s sleigh parked up. And don’t miss the giant snowglobe where families have the opportunity to play in the snow!

Santa on Skis, Ski & Snowboard Centre, Gloucester

Go tubing for 30 thrilling minutes before meeting Santa and getting a gift (if you;ve been nice of course!) Tickets are £16 per head and include a hot chocolate too. On every day in December at 4pm and 6pm.

Dean Forest Railway Santa Special, Forest of Dean

This fabulous festive train ride through the forest will whisk you to see Santa and his elves. This super-popular event is expected to be bigger than ever this year with the fun happening from 27 Nov to 24 Dec. Make sure to book ahead. And why not add on Christmas Afternoon Tea or visit the cafe which will be offering seasonal treats as well as the train shop, to scoop up some stocking fillers.

Santa and his Reindeer, Ampney Crucis

Have an authentic Christmas experience with the Cotswold Reindeer Herd. From 20 Nov to 24 Dec visit Santa and his grotto near Cirencester, you’ll get a special gift from Father Christmas, as well as a professional photo if you want, before visiting this gorgeous pack of reindeer and feeding them a snack.

Meet Santa, Clearwell Caves

Explore the magical underground forest at Clearwell Caves this December. Meet Santa and his elves before enjoying Clearwell Caves’ Christmas stalls, where you can stock up on pressies and decs. Go to the underground café for a mince pie cakes and hot choc too. Tickets must be booked ahead online.

Fun with Santa, Cattle Country Park

Catch Santa here from 04 to 23 Dec. Get stuck into a host of festive fun including meeting Santa, visiting the elves’ workshop, decorating gingerbread with Mrs Claus and more. All of the Christmas activities and park access are included in tickets. Tickets for children aged 4+ are £18.95.

Gingerbreads with Santa, John Lewis, Cheltenham

Meet Santa and his elves at John Lewis Cheltenham on Sat 11 and Sun 19 December. Kids will get a gingerbread biscuit and juice presented in a Christmas bag to take home, with the chance to meet the big man and put a good word in for the big day. Tickets cost £15 per child, 50% of ticket sales go to Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Father Christmas at Daylesford, near Kingham

Do a stylish Santa at the ever cool Daylesford Organic Farm on Sat 04 Dec. He’ll have his reindeer Dancer and Blitzen with him outside the Cotswolds farm shop, while Santa will be in his grotto waiting for his guests. Tickets to see Santa cost £5 per child, with proceeds being donated to local children’s charities and schools, and meeting Santa’s reindeer is free.

The Santa Train, Perrygrove Railway, Forest of Dean

Climb aboard the Twilight Train at this lovely dinky railway where passengers will be taken on a journey through the illuminated woods before stopping off to see Father Christmas at his winter wonderland station. Or book in for a VIP Father Christmas Experience where up to eight people will enjoy a private meet and greet with Santa as he hands out gifts and gets stuck into some festive crafts, all while you enjoy a steam train ride in your private carriage and tuck into some festive treats.

Santa at Dobbies, Dobbies Garden Centre

Catch the big man at Dobbies Garden Centres across Glos. There will be Santa’s Breakfasts, where the whole family can play games, get a visit from Santa and get a special gift for every child. Little ones will also be able to meet Santa in his grotto at Dobbies too, walking through woodland, spotting the Christmas characters along the way. Keep an eye out for special guest Santa Paws too – making sure good pooches receive a special treat too.

And a bit further afield (but still within an hour)

Fairytale Farm, Chipping Norton

There’s a Fairytale Castle, a Secret Forest and of course, the grotto, at Chippy’s Fairytale Farm, so it’s hard to imagine the kids will be anything but blown-away by it all. Add to that dancing penguins, a toymaker and Santa’s sleigh, a festive-themed treasure hunt and mulled wine for the grown-ups and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays 4-12 Dec, then daily from 13 Dec to Christmas Eve and costs £13.99 per child.

Westgate Oxford

A magical reindeer grotto called Believe opens at Westgate 26 Nov – 24 Dec on selected days and is your classic Santa’s grotto experience – a one-on-one with the man himself and a pressie, all for £12 (a tiny reindeer called Norbert may also make an appearance)’. 

Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

Father Christmas is popping down to Cogges on the four Sundays from 28 Nov leading up to Christmas, 10am – 4pm. Each 20 minute session for up to 10 kids includes a craft activity, story with FC and a small gift, all for £10 (£7.50 for under 3s).

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