I’ve been searching for a Santa’s grotto we could visit with friends which is within half an hour of Cheltenham. Yes, there are the trains and planes, and the caves and full on days out, where we could also see Santa (many of which I included in my visiting Santa post last year), but I thought it would be nice to find a traditional grotto, just like we used to find in the local garden centre or shopping centre.
The shopping centres in Cheltenham don’t have a Santa’s grotto, no queue of excited kids the length of the shopping centre, and now I’ve looked, many garden centres don’t either, if they do they seem to only do a ‘breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa,’ like we did at Wyevale last year and thoroughly recommend it!
As with most things, do check these suggestions out yourselves and book online before hand if you can – some do book up and get rather busy, particularly towards the big day itself and at weekends.
Santa’s Grottos near Cheltenham
aka House of Fraser in Cheltenham town centre – 2017 is the first time in 25 years they’ve had a Santa!
Cost: £6, including a present
Dates: 30 November -24 December
Other Christmas events: you can buy a kids meal in the restaurant for £1 with every adult meal purchased
Book on to see Santa on the House of Fraser website
Highfield Garden Centre
Located just off M5 at junction 13, near Whitminster
Dates: 18 November -24 December
Three Shires Garden Centre, Newent, Gloucester
Dates: 25th November -24 December (weekends only)
Other Christmas Activities: Face painting
Find out more on the 3 Shires Facebook Page
Beforehand you can select which brand of present you’d like your child to receive: Lego, Playmobil, Sylvanian Families, Big Jigs. £9.95
Dates: 18 November -24 December
Other Christmas events: You can also book a “Breakfast or tea with Santa” for £11.95 (it doesn’t say a gift brand can be selected before hand, or that you visit the Grotto….) – check out ‘where to have breakfast or tea with Santa’ for more info. https://www.dobbies.com/events/upcoming-events/breakfast-or-tea-with-father-christmas/
St Peters Garden Centre, Norton, near Worcester
“Includes craft experience (planting a Christmas tree seed), a walk around our grotto wonderland (with photo points) and a visit with Santa,including a present.
Two adults allowed for FREE. Extra adults are charged at £1 per person as a charity contribution on arrival. Proceeds from our Grotto will be donated to charity.”
Dates: 18 November – 23rd December (weekends, then also weekdays 18-23rd December)
Other Christmas events: Also book breakfast with Santa
Webbs Garden Centre, Wychbold, Worcestershire
Cost: £9.99, and £2 for adults (each child must be accompanied by an adult)
“Meet the elves in the workshop, explore a wintery wonderland and finally emerge into Father Christmas’ cosy house.” The visit includes visiting the elf workshop, creating reindeer food for sprinkling on Christmas Eve, decorating a wooden decoration, exploring the winter woodland, meeting Santa and choosing a gift from the Toy Warehouse.
Dates: 11th November – 24th December (all weekends, and some week days, with full 18th – 22nd December)
Other Christmas events: Ice skating
I have a few posts on places to visit Santa –
- where to visit Santa in Gloucestershire 2016 post (most are still relevant as far as I’m aware),
- Evesham Light Railway (railway ride plus visit to Santa),
- Jet Age Museum visiting Santa in his aeroplane,
- Wyevale Afternoon Tea with Santa.