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Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex Updated – Best places to visit Santa this year!

Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex

Looking for the best places to visit Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex?

Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex – after last Christmas virtually being cancelled, 2021 is hopefully going to be bigger and better than ever to make up for what we missed. We have updated this blog post to reflect the latest Covid rules (this was updated on 7 September 2021) and we really hope this will be helpful.

Please note there are a few ‘wild cards’ in here that aren’t in Kent and East Sussex but are close enough to Tunbridge Wells to be able to do a day trip there.

We also have a blog post all about the Best Family Days Out this December in Kent and East Sussex so remember to check that out too!

Find out where to see Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex…

♥  Bluewater

Bluewater are offering their fantastic immersive festive experience, Believe again this year. Brimming with uplifting fun-filled festive twists that all the family will enjoy, tickets are on sale now.

Ticket sales update: Tickets will be on sale soon. Watch this space, or check their website for more details.

♥   Bocketts Farm

Bocketts Farm hosting Father Christmas again this year. There will be an elf passport Christmas trail, reindeer-food making activities, stacks of Christmas trees on sale plus all their usual fun such as the indoor soft play and cute animals to visit.

Ticket sales update: On sale via their website from mid September.

♥  Reuthes – The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks 

Reuthes in Sevenoaks is still yet to announce their events for Christmas. We’ll keep you updated with any info we receive.

Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink Father Christmas

 Calverley Grounds

Father Christmas and his friendly elves will be welcoming families in his cosy Log cabin at the terrific Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink between 27 November and 24 December 2021. You can also book to have the big guy visit you at home, your street (Tunbridge Wells area only) or via a Zoom call. Spaces are already selling fast so you’ll need to be quick. This sold out in 10 days last year!

Ticket sales update: Please visit our Father Christmas in Calverley Grounds page for details on how to book.

♥   Chessington Garden Centre

This was is a firm favourite with some of our regular readers. Chessington Garden Centre Wonderland Experience transports you to a magical land full of festive cheer. The visit will conclude with a personal visit with Santa. The Christmas experience opens on 20 November, 2021. There will be a selection of SEND sessions available on the website too.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are now on sale.

Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex

Where else can you see Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex?

Drusillas Park  

Drusillas invite you to visit Santa in his cosy Christmas Cottage and meet their lovable husky dogs in the husky ice cave in an up-close experience. The grotto will take you on a magical tour, which ends in meeting Father Christmas – and there’s a gift for all children too. The grotto will be running from 20 November up until 23 December 2021.

Ticket sales update: Father Christmas tickets go on sale from 13 September. We’ll be adding a link for the booking site as soon as it’s live.

♥  Hever Castle

The Hever Castle Christmas extravaganza is back for 2021. There will be a Pinocchio trail, which takes you through Gepetto’s Workshop, you can see Pinochhio himself in Stromboli’s puppet show before he’s captured, then head through the land of toys and even under the sea before finding the Blue Fairy and granting Pinocchio his wish. As well as this magical experience, characters will be in the grounds to meet during weekends in November and daily through December. Plus there’s a fairground and a meet-the-huskies experience (the latter is on weekends), and a light trail, which has been expanded this year, from 4pm. Visit Father Christmas at Hever run on the following dates: 20 & 21, 27 & 28 November (Weekends), 4 & 5 December (Weekends) and 8 – 24 December (Daily).

Ticket sales update: Tickets go on sale on Hever Castle’s website on 14 September for members, and 21 September for the general public. Tickets for Father Christmas are sold as Garden & Grotto Daytime or Grotto & Twilight. 

♥  Kent and East Sussex Railway

The Santa Specials Kent and East Sussex Railway will return for 2021. This fantastic day out includes a 70-minute steam-train ride with refreshments for all the family, gifts for all children aged 11 and under (‘children’ aged 12-15 will receive chocolates instead of a gift), a complimentary visit to the station’s model village and free rides on the vintage gallopers in Tenterden. As well as Father Christmas himself, there will be a magician on board to keep everyone entertained. You will also receive a family photo to remember the day.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale now, and selling out very fast. We advise you book now before they’re all gone.

♥   Kent Life

Kent Life is on the route of Father Christmas’ epic world tour again this year. Visitors can meet the man in red in his grotto and choose their own gift from his well-stocked toy shop. There’s also elf school to graduate from, a chance to learn about Victorian Christmas traditions, get cosy in front of some Christmas films, decorate gingerbread men, make reindeer food and there’s even a mulled wine stop for parents. If you book early enough your child will also receive a personalised letter from Father Christmas before you visit. Father Christmas is at Kent Life on selected dates from 27 November until Christmas Eve 2021. There will also be selected sessions for visitors with additional needs on 27 November.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale now.

♥   Lapland UK

Probably one of the best-known Christmas experiences in England, Lapland UK has rave reviews and a host of celebrity endorsements! Lapland UK is a four-hour immersive experience based on an original reimagination of the Father Christmas myth. Discover an elven world which combines the drama of a film set with the spectacle of theatre. It sounds incredible with Mother Christmas’ Kitchen, a toy factory and an enchanted wood before you even meet Father Christmas.

Ticket sales update: Lapland UK’s website recommends you sign up for their mailing list for details on the next booking window, which will apparently be in September sometime.

Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex

Somewhere a bit different to see Santa?

♥   Legoland

Why not make more of an event of it and head to Legoland to see Father Christmas? Visitors can meet the man himself in his log cabin, where children will receive a complimentary LEGO toy. There will also be lots of festive fun with LEGO make and takes, a DUPLO puppet pantomime and a light show. Legoland’s festive events run from 27 November to 3 January.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale now.

Polhill Garden Centre

Poll Hill Garden Centre’s Santa’s Grotto Experience is proving more popluar than ever this year. The website selling tickets crashed after an unpresedented amount of people tried to purchase tickets when they were released.

Each child can enjoy an experience with Santa, receive a special Christmas present and have the opportunity for a photo with Santa too. Bookings are in group sessions with a maximum of six children accompanied in the Grotto at one time, so this is the perfect opportunity to share this magical experience with your loved ones.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are going on sale (after a false start) on Friday 10th September at 10am.

♥  Ruxley Manor Garden Centre

Head to Ruxley Manor for a cute selection of festive activities. As well as a personal meeting Father Christmas in his grotto (plus gift and photo, of course), you can make Rudolph’s magic reindeer food in his shed and join Mother Christmas in her sewing room to make a tree decoration.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are available to book now and are selling fast!

♥    Spa Valley Railway

The Spa Valley Railway is hosting a Polar Express Christmas event. The immersive event recreates the movie The Polar Express during your journey, where you can meet characters from the film – including Father Christmas, of course. You can also write a letter to Santa while you’re there, and check who’s on the naughty and nice lists this year. The Polar Express leaves the station for the first time on 23 November, and will be running until 23 December.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale and very booked up already. We recommend you book soon to avoid disappointment.

♥  The Reindeer Centre

Visit Santa and his real reindeer at The Reindeer Centre. Meet and greets will run from 13 December until Christmas Eve 2021.

Ticket sales update: With the exception of Christmas Eve, The Reindeer Centre aren’t doing ticketed events – just turn up on the day.


Father Christmas Kent & East Sussex

More info about these places to see Father Christmas Kent and East Sussex coming soon…

♥   Millbrook Garden Centre – Staplehurst

Millbrook Garden Centre normally do a lovely Santa event. Keep an eye on their website over the next few weeks for further details.

♥  Penshurst Place

Penshurst Place are yet to release their Christmas event details. As soon as we have the intel., we’ll share it here.

♥   Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures

Details for seeing Santa (as well as a host of pantomime characters) at Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures should be released very soon. Keep an eye on their website for more details.

♥  Sussex Country Gardener

We love Sussex Country Gardener’s Father Christmas grotto. We hope they’re running it again this year – we’ll pop details here as and when they become available.

♥  Royal Victoria Place

We don’t have information about Royal Victoria Place yet. Fingers crossed we hear sleigh bells outside M&S again this year. We’ll keep you posted with anything we find out.

♥    The Hop Farm

The Hop Farm are sure to have a big Christmas event on this year. Details to follow soon.

A couple of other Christmas options! 

♥  Bedgebury

Bedgebury Pinetum is always on our Christmas itinerary – Christmas at Bedgebury is absolutely magical. You can often glimpse the original Father Christmas (dressed in green) outside his log cabin, which you can find along the lit trail.

Ticket sales update: Tickets went on sale some time ago, so are now very limited. Book via their website.

Chessington World of Adventures

Further afield, Chessington World of Adventures are hosting Father Christmas and his merry elves this year. Meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, encounter the elves in the Toy Workshop and enjoy a selection of rides and attractions. You can also visit the zoo and Seal Life centre while you’re there.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale now.

♥   Tulleys Farm

Tulleys Farm are doing a lovely Father Christmas event this year with reindeer-food making, a write a letter to Father Christmas session, a 3D light display and even ice skating.

Ticket sales update: Tickets are on sale now.


If you know of any other places to visit Father Christmas Kent and East Sussex which you think should be included in this blog post, please do let me know by emailing clare@mytunbridgewells.com or by commenting below!

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