Discover: Santa’s Grotto in London this Christmas

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Santa's Grotto experiences in London

Where can you find Santa’s Grotto in London?

The simple answer is… everywhere!

There are loads of places where you can take the kids to experience Santa’s Grotto no matter what part of London you’re from. I’ve mainly sourced out the ones most local to me but you can even find a grotto by heading to your closest shopping mall and maybe even department store.

Some of the big department stores experiences (Harrods, Hamley’s, Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges) are all sold out already! It seems like every year when I look, I’m always too late however it’s not a bad thing as the tickets for these places are usually around £25+ which is extortionate in my opinion. Christmas should not be all about commercialising and keeping pockets fat for the big companies. Instead, head to your local events and support your local or small businesses.

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There are also free Santa experiences at shopping centres so check those out too. I will carry on updating this post as we draw closer to Christmas in case I come across others. So without further ado, here’s a list of where you can find Santa in Greenwich and the surrounding areas:

Santa’s Grotto at Greenwich Market

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Search for Santa's Grotto in London
Credit: Greenwich Market

Dates: November 30 – December 24
Price: £5
 (proceeds going to the Greenwich & Bexley hospice)

The Grotto in Greenwich is a great little local spot. It’s right in the heart of the old covered market so you can enjoy the festivities around the area, grab something to eat before queuing up to see the Big Guy. Children also receive a small gift during their visit. If this is your child’s first experience or you just want a relatively short experience, I’d recommend seeing Santa here – it’s a no-frills visit but at least you can still get a photo with Santa and save your money for Christmas shopping!

https://www.greenwichmarket.london/events/detail/father-christmas-2019


Victorian Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Credit: Museum of London Docklands

Dates: November 29 – December 23
Price: £10

For a Santa experience with a bit of a difference, I would recommend coming to see Santa at the Museum of London Docklands. It’s a great museum in general and will definitely keep the kids busy. There is even a play area for the under 5s called Mudlarks Gallery and is free however you will need to reserve your child’s space. You can do this online or on the day. I’d recommend online to avoid any disappointment as the Mudlarks gallery does get full very quickly. Tickets for this year’s Santa visit is £10 per child.

A few years ago we visited the Santa’s Grotto here and got some really nice photos however I remember the queue was extremely long! Staff are on hand to check on you every 30mins or so and to usher you into the room where Santa is. You can read our Victorian Santa’s Grotto experience review here

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/santas-grotto?id=23408


Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield Stratford City

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Santa's Grotto experiences in London
Credit: Caleb Woods via Unsplash

Dates: November 21 – December 24
Price: £7.50
(parents, children and infants all require a ticket)

I really loved the Santa experience we had at Westfield Stratford City years back when Little Man was a toddler. I don’t have any photos to share with you of the experience but I remember it was really immersive. It started off with families being ushered into a room to watch a short show about Christmas then we were slowly ushered into another room where we then waited to meet Santa. The price was only for the experience and the photoshoot but we had to buy the images. I think I bought a framed photo and a photo bauble.

This year, the experience has a North Pole theme where families will be “magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto.” The kids will then receive a gift and have a photo opportunity with Santa. After that, you’ll be ‘magically transported’ back to London.

https://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/entertainment/events/santas-snowflake-grotto/54380


Selfies with Santa at Lewisham Shopping Centre

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Dates: December 17 – December 24
Price: FREE

Last year, Lewisham Shopping Centre had a Santa meet & greet event and we were invited along. The Santa and elves from The Holly Jolly Co. were so lovely and really made the experience special for us. The team are entertainers and are also available for party hires so check them out if you want to host an event and in need of good friendly entertainers. This year, they are back again so make sure you pop along from Tuesday 17th December until Christmas Eve!

We also donated gifts to the giving tree. You pick the the tag that you want which has a child’s age and gender on there so you can pick a gift for them. Buy your gift(s) then come back and the staff will help you attach your tag. I let the kids pick a child each. If the tree is there again this year, we shall do the same. After all, Christmas is about the gift of giving and spreading joy to all.

https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/articles/come-meet-santa-claus-lewisham


Santa’s Grotto & Christmas fayre at Lesnes Abbey

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Dates: December 7 & 8 
Price: FREE

A two day Christmas extravaganza at Lesnes Abbey. With over 30 different craft and gift stalls, a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and live festive music. On Saturday you’ll enjoy a Christmas Market, Grotto, stalls, mulled wine, minced pies and lots of kids activities. For Sunday there will be more new stalls and the kids can be entertained on the Frozen bouncy castle and indoor Christmas pop-up disco. Amazing!

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/events/event/7168/lesnes_abbey_christmas_grotto_and_fayre

with love x

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Festive ideas: 35 Christmassy things to do with the family!

“Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way…”

It’s that time of year again… c h r i s t m a s !

The only one thing that makes our wet Christmas great is all that quality time we get with the kids.

I’m not talking about just being stuck in the house with the hyperactive chipmunks but actual quality time for bonding and doing things together. My terrible two drive me INSANE nearly every day but somehow, at Christmas time it seems to be the only time where we love being together, crafting and making things.

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. I let the kids put up a few of the decorations and did the lights and glass decorations myself. I managed to salvage some of the beautiful glass decorations we had from last year. A LOT were smashed as Ame decided she wanted to play with them and Little Man wanted to do the same.

I’ve decided that doing some Christmassy crafts together would be the way to go this year as the kids are showing more interest in that sort of stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 35 Christmas things to do with the family in Greenwich and around London… in case you run out of ideas!

35 Christmassy things to do
with the family…

  1. Pick out a Christmas tree together
  2. Make decorations for your tree
  3. Design your own wrapping paper
  4. Make your own wreath
  5. Make a Christmas stocking
  6. Make your own advent calendar
  7. Create something with pom poms… we made pom pom jumpers!
  8. Decorate your own Christmas cards
  9. Enjoy a Christmas story together
  10. Sing Christmas carols
  11. Devour a box of chocolates together
  12. Have a movie night in & snuggle under a cosy blanket like this one
  13. Prepare dinner together
  14. Bake something delicious – try gingerbread men!
  15. Do some family yoga Christmas-style!
  16. Visit Santa’s Grotto
  17. Watch the Nutcracker at the theatre
  18. Watch a nativity play
  19. Go to church
  20. Burn off some energy at the local park
  21. Do the Christmas shopping together
  22. Set a new Christmas tradition and stick to it
  23. Check out the deers at the Deer park in Greenwich Park
  24. Go ice-skating outside the Natural History Museum
  25. Make the best hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows,
    The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | A family lifestyle blogor check out the best places for a good hot chocolate in London
  26. De-clutter the house in time for 2019
  27. Donate unwanted items to charity
  28. Buy a dinner for a person in need
  29. Volunteering with your local community
  30. Read a book together
  31. Dedicate an hour to quiet time
  32. Dance together!
  33. Visit a Christmas market
  34. Enter a charity fun run – entries are still open for the London Santa Run (closes Dec 8)
  35. Last but not least, make memories by taking a group selfie!

Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Image: Courtesy of Museum of London Docklands

Christmas is now approaching thick and fast – can you believe there’s under two weeks left already?… Where has this year gone?!

Every year I try to make it my mission to take LO to see Santa – and as this is Baby Girl’s first Crimbo we couldn’t miss out on a Santa’s Grotto visit. We were invited by the Museum of London Docklands to come and visit their Victorian Santa’s grotto. The museum is located at West India Quay, a tiny walk from Canary Wharf making it a central location for those living or working in the city. Also unlike other Santa’s Grottos which are in shopping centres, this one is in a museum (you basically have two wicked visits rolled into one!).

We went along last Sunday. It seems like Sundays are the busiest days at the museum so if you would love to avoid the hustle and bustle I’d recommend going on a weekday or even Saturday (which seemed less busy). We actually arrived late to our Santa appointment but the team were so accommodating and we were still allowed to enter.

We decided to head straight to the Grotto as we were late and checked out the museum after the Santa visit. The Grotto is located on the second floor and was quite easy to find – you just follow the Santa footprints on the floor until you reached the entrance to the special place. There was a little buggy park so you can leave your pram but it is at the owner’s risk. I had no valuable items in mine so I left mine there – I did not want to be lugging my Urbo around even though it is a small pram. When we passed the lovely decorative old Victorian town we reached the queue to see Santa. There was a lovely little crafts table to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults stood in line for the children to see Santa. Continue reading “Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands”