10 Santa's Grottos to Visit in Kent

There’s nothing more exciting than meeting Santa and some of his jolly elves at Christmas. But how does Father Christmas manage to be in so many different places across Kent? Christmas magic, of course!

So, if you are wondering where to see Santa Claus in Kent this Christmas then look no further. With grotto’s popping up all over the county, make sure you catch him this festive season with our guide to Kent’s top Santa’s grottos.

1) Bewl Water

Bewl Water is hosting a truly magical Christmas Experience this month– taking place on the 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th and 21st to 24th December.

Your adventure begins as soon as you arrive! Families can enjoy festive fun with the cheeky elves and spend quality time with Father Christmas in his cosy grotto. The magic doesn’t stop there, all the family can skate on the ice rink and with the magic wishing tree, Christmas themed crafts, secret woodland, fairground rides and marshmallow toasting, this really is the perfect festive experience to create wonderful memories with your family.

Tickets are priced at £35 per child and £18 per adult and can be purchased on the Bewl Water website.

2) Bluewater Shopping Centre

If you're busy with some last-minute Christmas shopping at Bluewater, you may just see a familiar face, Father Christmas himself! No, not shopping but at Bluewater’s enchanted Grotto, located by the lakes at The Village. Santa and his elves will be daily from the 29th November until Christmas Eve (when he will obviously be hard at work elsewhere).

Your festive journey to see Santa will begin with a traditional Christmas story presented in 4D, you'll then join Mrs Claus for crafts before meeting Santa and receiving a lovely toy to take home.

Tickets are priced at £10 per child with a FREE adult entry for every child and additional adults are priced at £5.Tickets can be purchased on the Bluewater website.

3) Broadditch Farm

If you are looking for a Christmas attraction with a twist, then we’ve found the perfect festive treat. Swap the reindeers for a tractor, where a tractor sleigh will take you to find Farmer Christmas at one farm in North Kent! Yes, that’s right “Farmer Christmas” not “Father Christmas.”

Climb aboard the tractor sleigh where Santa’s elves will begin with the singing of Christmas carols, before being led through magical trees and lights to a cosy cabin in the woods. You may need to wake old Santa up, but once he is awake, storytelling and gifts await.

Tickets are priced at £10 per child and £3 per accompanying adult. Farmer Christmas takes place every weekend in December leading up to Christmas as well as the 20th and 21st. Make sure you book your tickets on the Farmer Christmas website.

4) Dobbies Garden Centre

Santa's Grotto is one of the most exciting festive experiences at Dobbies. Bring your little ones along to explore the magical setting, be welcomed by Santa himself and receive a toy of your choice. Bookings are already open to meet Santa at both Dobbies in Ashford and Gillingham and the grotto is open right up until Christmas Eve. Parents can even give Santa a little helping hand in picking an age-appropriate toy when they book their tickets. 

Tickets are priced at £11.99 per child and all the details and booking options can be found on the Dobbies website.

5) Hever Castle

If you want to pop-in on Father Christmas in a truly unique setting, why not visit him in the picturesque surroundings of Hever Castle. Children will be enchanted by the magic both inside the castle and outside within the grounds. 

Whilst pre-booked tickets for visiting Santa in his grotto at Hever Castle are now sold out, visitors will still have the opportunity of seeing him in his toy workshop at one of the drop-in sessions. The toy workshop experience is taking place on 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd December and children will see Santa on a first come first served basis. Tickets are priced at £8 and can only be purchased on the day. 

6) The Hop Farm

Father Christmas is back at the Hop Farm this year and you can visit him in the Big Red Grotto in Paddock Wood this December.

As well as meeting the big man himself, you'll meet his jolly helpers, enjoy storytelling with Mother Christmas, Christmas crafts and you can write a letter to Father Christmas to either post to the North Pole or hand to him personally.

The Big Red Grotto is open from the 1st to the 23rd December and tickets are priced at £18 for a child which includes up to two free adults and an infant under one. Grotto tickets also allow for free entry to the park and indoor soft play centre. For more information visit the Hop Farm website.

7) Kent & East Sussex Railway

How about taking a magical steam train journey to meet Santa this Christmas on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. On board the festively decorated steam trains, you’ll meet Santa during the 1 hour 10 minute return journey. Look out for his elf helpers with sacks of presents and a mice pie or two for the mums and dads. 

Tickets are selling fast to catch a Santa Special service this December and only a limited number of tickets remain. Standard tickets for a Santa Special begin at £19. For details and bookings visit the Kent and East Sussex Railway website.

8) Kent Life

This December Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to stop off at Kent Life. Jump on board the festive Land Train driven by the head elf and meet Santa in this magical grotto. Children can decorate festive gingerbread and meet the Santa's famous reindeers, who will be having a well-earned break at Kent Life during December. There will also be mince pies and a spot of cider sampling for grown-ups too.

Dates that Santa will be at Kent Life are as follows: 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th of December. 

Tickets are priced at £12.95 per child and £7.95 per adult, with discounted rates for members. For more information head to the Kent Life website.

9) Millbrook Garden Centre

A magical experience awaits children of all ages at the Grotto in Millbrook Garden Centres in Staplehurst and Gravesend. The Millbrook Grotto is open from 27th November but has limited availability remaining at the two Kent locations.

Expect a magical journey through a winter wonderland where Santa will be there to greet you and ensure that all good children have a little treat to take away.

Tickets are priced at £11 per child and £4 per adult and you can find out more information on the Millbrook website and selecting the relevant Kent garden centre.

10) Ruxley Manor Garden Centre

This garden centre in Sidcup is always hugely popular with families and it appears this year is no different, with their brand new ‘My First Grotto’ experience already sold out. Take a very special journey through the magical Christmas Grotto, where you will be greeted by Elves and Mother Christmas who will help you make her very own secret, reindeer feed to sprinkle across your lawn on Christmas Eve. Then decorate your own elf hat and meet Father Christmas himself! 

The garden centre even offers reduced capacity sessions for those with special needs. The Grotto is open from 23rd November until 23rd December.

Tickets are priced at £10 for children under 1, £12 for children 2-15 years and £5 per adult. You can find out more information and book your tickets on the Ruxley Manor website.

It appears that the big man is very busy this year and some popular venues have unfortunately already sold out. But if you weren’t lucky enough to grab yourself a ticket hopefully our guide to these grotto’s in Kent should give you some inspiration for somewhere else to go. 

Here is our list of the top Kent Grotto’s to have on your radar for next year that always sell out very quickly:

Brookside Garden Centre

Hever Castle

Leeds Castle

Penshurst Place

Ruxley Manor – (My First Grotto)

If our top 10 Grotto's to visit in Kent this Christmas have got you feeling festive, then you are sure to love our guide to Kent's pantomimes too! It's behind you.... just kidding!

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