Christmas is coming and it’s time to start booking some festive activities. Father Christmas will be visiting grottos all across Merseyside to meet our kids and spread Christmas cheer.
With Santa being a popular man, most venues will require you to book your visit ahead of time, ensuring that your little ones have chance to give him their Christmas lists.
To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve created a list of the best grottos and Christmas experiences in Liverpool and Merseyside.
Magical Family Christmas Experience at Otterspool Adventures
Families can enjoy three hours of festive fun at Otterspool Adventures, as it is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Each ticket includes meeting Santa in his grotto, a festive show, gingerbread decorating with Mrs Claus and a chance to make a bear with the elves. Plus, there’s an amazing ice rink.
Where: Otterspool Adventure Centre, Otterspool Drive.
When and cost: November 19 and 20: £24.95pp. November 26 and 27: £28.95. December 3 and 4: £31.95pp. December 10 and 11: £34.95pp. December 17, 18 and 23: £39.95pp. Christmas Eve: £44.95pp.
Under 1s are £15 no matter what date or time session.
The Santa Experience at Church Farm
The Santa Experience is a 60 minute journey around the beautiful farm with colourful characters, real reindeer, magical lighting, special effects, farm animals and a very special visit to see Santa.
Each paying child will receive a chocolate gift from Santa, as well as a tractor ride and a journey into the reindeer barn.
Where: Church Farm, Thursaston.
When: Saturday December 3, Sunday December 4, Saturday December 10, Sunday December 11, Saturday December 18, Sunday December 18, Tuesday December 20, Wednesday December 21 and Thursday December 22.
Cost: Prices vary between £15pp and £17pp depending on the chosen date.
Santa’s Breakfast at Dobbies
Families can visit Dobbies to enjoy a wonderful Christmas breakfast. Each family can enjoy activites at their table plus be visited by Santa himself. Kids will also receive a gift from Santa.
Where: Dobbies Garden Centre, Speke.
When: From November 26.
Cost: £13.99 per child and from £7.30 per adult.
Christmas at Whitakers Garden Centre
Whitakers Garden Centre, Prescot has announced its exciting Christmas schedule, with a festive opening weekend on November 19 and 20. Visitors can get into the Christmas spirit with a range of activities including competitions, crafting and a ‘find the husky’ hunt for kids as well as mulled wine, festive sweet treats and even a visit from Santa himself.
The opening weekend at the centre on Liverpool Road, will feature complimentary mulled wine and fresh juice on arrival. Guests will also be welcomed with two complimentary delicious homemade festive-inspired scones, straight from the garden centre’s on-site cafe.
The garden centre’s festive grotto will make a comeback this year, after a two year break. Kids can meet Santa and his elves, snap some great pics and get an early Christmas present.
Where: Whitakers Garden Centre, Prescot.
When: From November 19 - Grotto is available weekends only until the week before Christmas.
Cost: Santa’s Grotto is £10 per child.
Santa’s Grotto at John Lewis
Meet Santa in his grotto AND take home a Lego or Lego Duplo gift.
Where: John Lewis, Liverpool ONE.
When: Throughout November and December.
Cost: £15 per child plus accompanying adults.
Father Christmas at Farmer Ted’s
Meet Father Christmas, visit his elves and get a Christmas gift.
You can also walk through winter wonderland, make reindeer food and help Santa decorate gingerbread biscuits.
Where: Farmer Ted’s, Ormsirk.
When: Throughout December.
Cost: £25 for kids up to 13 - additional costs for activites.
Gordale Winter Wonderland Christmas Grotto
Meet Santa and receive a Christmas present, all in the name of charity.
Where: Gordale Garden Centre, Neston, South Wirral.
When: December 3 to 23.
Cost: £7 per child, £3.50 per infant (under 12 months) and £1 per adult. All proceeds go to The Hospice of the good Shepherd.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest Formby
Feed reindeer, watch a perfomance by Dancing Davina, attend elf school and meet Santa himself. Each child will also receive a cone of sweets and vegan sweets are available.
Where: Shorrocks Hill, Formby.
When: November 26 to December 10.
Cost: Prices begin at £35 for a ticket for two.
Visit Santa at Sefton Meadows
Explore the stunning winter wonderland and meet Father Christmas. Each paying child will also receive a Christmas gift.
Where: Sefton Meadows Garden Centre, Maghull.
When: November 26 to December 24.
Cost: £11.99 for children plus free for two adults and £3 for additionals adults. Kids under 2 are free.
Lunch with Santa New Brighton
Enjoy lunch, hot chocolate and a tasty dessert in New Brighton. Children can meet Santa, listen to a Christmas story and receive a gift.
Where: Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton.
When: November 19 to December 18.
Cost: Ticket prices start at £12.
It’s a Dog’s Life Grotto
Take your pups to meet Santa, snap a picture and recieve a doggy goodie bag.
Where: Unit 8, Chalon Way, St Helens.
When: December 18, 12-4pm.
Cost: £10 per dog - cash only.
The Gingerbread Family Trail
Ten statues will be on display across the town, and it is your mission to find them all. If you manage to find all ten including their names, post the map with your answers written down into Santa’s letterbox in Marble Place for your chance to win an iPad. A digital map is due to be released in the coming days.
Where: Southport town centre.
When: November 19 to January 2.
Santa Experience at Knowsley Safari
Visit Santa and enjoy a magical day or night at Knowsley Safari. Book a Daytime Experience and spend the whole day exploring Knowsley Safari in the winter. Or, combine your Santa Experience with an Enchanted admission ticket to enjoy the magical Christmas lights trail.
Where: Knowsley Safari Park
When: November 19 to December 23.
Cost: Santa’s Grotto with Photo Download and Small Gift: £10pp. Santa’s Grotto with Photo Download and Premium Gift: £18pp. You will also need to book admission tickets.
Sing Along with Santa
Take the family to the Philharmonic for performances of the best children’s Christmas songs, including Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Even Santa himself will take part in the fun!
Where: Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall
When: December 17 and 18.
Cost: Adult: £30, £19, £1. Child: £19, £15, £11. Prices vary depending on dates and times.
Story Time with Santa
Listen to Christmas stories, read by Santa and his elves, as well as some festive songs. Each child gets a turn of sharing their Christmas wishes with Santa, before receiving a special gift.
The intimate story time sessions will host 20 children at a time, making it a wonderful, intimate experience.
Where: Liverpool Town Hall
When: December 3 to December 24.
Cost: £22 per child.