Discover: Where to find Santa’s Grotto in London this Christmas

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

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Style Trends: 6 of the BEST beanie hats at John Lewis this winter

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Beanie Hats at John Lewis

I went along to the MyJohnLewis shopping event at John Lewis Oxford Street today and boy was there a LOT of people buying stuff! It was amazing but slightly claustrophobic at the same time. I went without the kids and as my friend Dinah and I scoffed mini mince pies and washing them down with elderflower pressé for me (prosecco for her… two glasses) we had a good nosey around the giant store.

As former John Lewis employees (our first school-leaving job, that’s where we met!) it was good to see that the British company was still doing really well. A lot has changed at their Oxford Street store since I was last there which was years ago, mind you. They now have a wonderful roof garden up on the 5th floor and the majority of level 2 or 3 is dedicated to eating and dining.

We headed up to the 4th floor which is the children’s department and took a look at all the toys on offer. If you’re with the kids and are in Oxford Street, pop in and head up to the 4th floor because Moz the Monster (from under the bed) has his little pop-up house there which you can visit. You can even take a selfie with Moz as we did:

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JL besties – A big cuddle with Moz

They really put on a treat with their Moz the Monster’s house. When we had finished having our bit of fun, we carried on looking around the store and I came across, what I think, are the best beanie hats I’ve seen in a while. So without further ado, here’s my top six of the best beanie hats from John Lewis.

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“Never knowingly undersold” – Today John Lewis are matching a competitor’s promotion

1. Cat Pattern Wool Hat, £20

A beanie hat for that me-wow factor

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
John Lewis Cat pattern wool hat / Photo: John Lewis

This fabulous cat pattern beanie hat is totally divine. I really love it, I think it’s actually one of my faves from this list (alongside the merlot one!) – not only is it quite a sophisticated looking hat, it’s also really cool and quirky and SO going on my Christmas wishlist!

2. Barts Joy Beanie, £26.99

A purr-fect beanie for the girls

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
Barts Joy beanie hat / Photo: John Lewis

Look at those super-cute fluffy ears! How can you not love this beanie hat by BARTS, it would make a great hat for the girls or even us ladies who’re looking for something a bit different and stylish. Faux faur and felines never go out of style, dahling!

3. You Had Me At Merlot Pom Pom Beanie Hat, £22

A funny beanie that’ll get you into the festive spirit (it’s red too!)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
Christmassy “You had me at Merlot” hat / Photo: John Lewis

So this is the other John Lewis beanie that I’m in love with. “You had me at Merlot” – how cute! (Even though I don’t even drink Merlot). I’m loving the funny quote and the Christmassy red colour… that pom pom is amazing too!

4. John Lewis Multi Stitch Pom Beanie, £20

Something for those who prefer simple, good quality knits

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
John Lewis stitch knitted pom pom beanie / Photo: John Lewis

The knitting on this is simply beautiful and the colours on this multi stitch hat will definitely brighten up any dull day. Think super soft textures, and chunky warm knits. Ideal for the cold British winter.

5. Helly Hansen Knitted Beanie Hat, £30

A beanie for gadget guys – complete with removable pom pom feature

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
Helly Hansen beanie hat with removable pom pom / Photo: John Lewis

If there’s any boys (big or small) in your family that love gadgets, I think this would be the best Christmas present for him. This Helly Hansen beanie comes with a cool feature; you can attach and detach the pom pom. Two styles for the price of one, both functional and attractive. Well done Helly Hansen!

6. Barts Wilbert beanie, £14.99

For those who want a no-fuss beanie hat

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 6 Best John Lewis Beanie Hats
Barts Wilbert grey beanie / Photo: John Lewis

If you’re just looking for a beanie hat that’s functional and affordable, check out this one. It’s plain and simple, warm and easy to wear. Nothing fancy about it – no pom poms either! The traditional beanie at its best.

And there you have it!

Which one is your favourite? Are you a beanie hat person or nah?
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Winter hair care: tips and hacks

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Winter Hair Care Tips

It’s #WellnessWednesday!

Looking after your hair is a daily task all year round, but when the winter comes there are a few things you need to pay particular close attention to. You’re under attack outside from the weather and inside from the dry heat so, if not looked after, your hair is susceptible to damage.

Let’s take a look at some of the best winter hair care tips to make sure that doesn’t happen to you…

Protect your hair from harsh conditions

Winter brings cold air, rain and plenty of wind, all of which can wreak havoc with hair. Not only with the way your hairstyle looks, but with the condition too. With that said, it’s key to protect your locks from the elements to help keep it in the best condition possible. Whether you go for a hat, wrap or scarf, cover up when you have to be outside in nasty weather.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Winter Haircare Tips & Advice
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Watch your water temperature

There’s no doubt that the temptation is to crank up the heat when it’s cold outside. All you want when you step into your bathroom after being outside is the comfort of a hot bath or shower and that’s fine. However, be careful with the temperature you use to wash your hair as excessive heat can cause damage. Stick to warm or even cool water and your scalp won’t dry out.

The Greenwich Mummy | A Family Lifestyle Blog

Deep condition

Moving on from watching the water temperature, let’s look at treating your hair and scalp. They really will take a battering in the winter and a little regenerative treat is really going to help them stay moist. Consider a deep conditioning treatment once a week to combat the weather conditions and the dry heat that’s caused by having your heating on so much. The final point on washing and conditioning is that it’s important not to overdo it. Stick to two to three times a week maximum.

The Greenwich Mummy | A Family Lifestyle Blog
Photo by NastyaSensei Sens from Pexels

Go easy with the styling

It’s clear that our hair has a lot to deal with in winter and you don’t want to add to the stress it’s under. Something that will make a big difference is if you can lay off heavy styling. Overusing products can cause problems, so when you can go natural do so, or try to keep their use down to a minimum. Steer clear of the harsh heat if you can too, especially intense blow drying and straightening with irons. It can actually be quite easy to style without heat and if you’d like to know how to straighten hair without heat just click here.

Keep it trim

Another temptation in winter is to let your hair grow. It’s difficult sometimes to get the motivation to keep on top of things as we all go into semi-hibernation, but getting regular trims is a good idea. Trimming the dry, brittle and split ends will really help keep your hair in good condition at this time.

Looking after your hair in the winter months doesn’t have to be that tricky. From making sure you protect your hair from harsh weather conditions to going easy with products and knowing how to straighten hair without heat, you just need to follow a plan.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Winter Haircare Tips & Advice

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If so, don’t forget you can share this post with your friends and family by hitting the share button below. #sharingiscaring 🙂


A collaborative post by Joana Teixeira from AllThingsHair.com |

Featured image by freestocks.org from Pexels