OK Halloween is over it’s time to get organised and start booking Christmas events before they sell out. Lots of places are selling out fast for their timed meet and greet Santa slots so it’s time to get booked. There are so many magical events happening that I thought it would be a good idea to put them all into one big post so here you will find 30 of the best Christmas events in the east midlands – Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire – where you can meet Santa and more. Plus a few from the surrounding areas. This is a list of 30 of the best Christmas events in the east midlands. With opportunities to meet Santa and more.
Obviously you don’t want the kids to meet Santa every time you go out so I shall also tell you about what else there is to see and do. I hope you will find this post useful.
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Battlefield Line – Christmas trains – Leicestershire
Travel on a first deluxe service or classic service train. Your train journey will last approx. 1 hour 15 minutes. On the first deluxe service you will have your own private compartment with food, crackers and more. Children will get to meet Santa as he walks down the train to visit each compartment. On the classic service train there will be open carriages with a buffet cart and santa’s grotto.
Baytree Spalding – Winter Wonderland – Lincolnshire
Baytree Winter Wonderland now boasts a staggering 26,000 square feet of undercover area. Winding your way through hundreds of snow covered trees, onto Santa’s magic sleigh ride, into the heart of Winter Wonderland. Hop off the sleigh and amble through the lights, past the toy workshop and all Santa’s helpers and friends. Open everyday from the 4th November. Get there early as the queues build fast (we can vouch for that!). You get to meet Santa at the end of your visit and your child will get a gift and a small tree to plant.
Belton House – Father Christmas at Belton – Lincolnshire
Belton House are not only offering the opportunity to book to see Santa in his grotto but they also will be hosting Breakfast and Dinners with Santa. You can book online and find further information via this link. All events are on selected days.
Belvoir Castle – Eat Drink and be Merry – Leicestershire
On Sunday 10th, Monday 11th & Wednesday 13th December from 4:00pm till 9:00pm. Wander through the majestic rooms, filled with seasonal decorations and listen to the beautiful music being performed by a variety of musicians. For the finale of this festive evening everyone will congregate in the guard room to join in a Christmas Carol sing song!
A complimentary mince pie and glass of mulled wine is included in the ticket price, or a tasty brownie and juice for the little ones. Pork Cobs, tempting treats and festive drinks will also be on offer. There is plenty to do for the children with craft sessions in The Old Kitchen, and a visit from Santa on his Victorian Sleigh with a surprise for every child.
Bolsover Castle – Audience with Father Christmas – Derbyshire
On selected dates from 25th Nov – 23rd December. Join in the festive fun with the man himself at Bolsover Castle this Christmas. Meet Father Christmas as he tells tales of Christmas past amidst the yuletide decorations. Lucky visitors will even get a festive treat from him! Additional charge of £4 applies to see Father Christmas for all children aged 0+ (subject to availability). Small present included. This cost is included in the Child prices listed. Father Christmas slots through the day are 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 13.30 & 14.30pm. Booking is essential.
Butterfly House – Santa elves and Sleighbells – near Sheffield
Experience a classic family Christmas on 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th-24th December. Meet Santa in his Grotto (advance bookings online only). Take a free tractor sleigh ride. Visit the Elf Workshop, and enter the Christmas jumper competition. See the Farm Barn Nativity scene.
Butterly Midland Railway – Santa Specials – Derbyshire
On selected dates from the 25th November – 24th December.
As the Festive Season is getting into full swing why not give the whole family an exciting treat by taking a trip on a Santa Special Train. The children get to see Santa, there’s a treat for the adults, entertainment for the whole family and all without queues. This special festive treat features: Santa’s Grotto on your train. A quality gift for every child. A miniature bottle of spirits and a mince pie for every adult, delivered to your seat. Pinxton Puppets Pantomime in a heated and decorated marquee after your train journey. Animatronics tableau. For an even bigger treat we also offer Super Santas, which include a picnic tea delivered to your reserved table.
Chatsworth House – Christmas Twilight Evenings – Derbyshire
On selected evenings from 23 November 2017–
Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway – Santa Specials – Lincolnshire
The Santa specials will run on the 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th-24th December 2017 – pre booking is essential. You will be led by our mischievous elves to Santa’s beautifully decorated Grotto to spend some quality time with the man himself and receive a special gift. After all, Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good! Photography is permitted throughout this experience. Your Santa Special experience will last for approximately 1 1/2 hours, including a ride on a steam train.
Conkers – Winter Wonderland – Leicestershire
On selected dates in December. Arrive at Waterside Winter Wonderland, where Santa’s Chief Elf and his team of elves will lead you through the Enchanted Forest and the Valley of Christmas lights to Santa’s Woodland Grotto. Meet the reindeer and adults get to sample some mulled wine and mince pies. During your visit you can take a trip on the Santa Special train through the tunnel of discovery, meet the balloon modeller (from 1:00pm – 5:00pm) and watch our Christmas show. The snow will be artificial from snow machines – unless we get lucky!
Doddington Hall – Christmas in Wonderland – Lincolnshire
From November the 25th until December 29th (apart from Mondays and Tuesdays) the Hall will be open especially for the festive period. It will be imaginatively decorated for this year’s theme ‘Christmas in Wonderland’. Add that extra bit of magic to the festive season for little ones and book a visit to see Father Christmas in the cosy family setting of the Hall’s Library.
Downtown Garden Centre – Meet Santa and Ice Skate – Grantham, Lincolnshire
From Saturday 25th Nov – Sunday 24th Dec you can meet Santa in his grotto. Explore their winter wonderland and skate on their real ice rink. On selected dates in December you can go in their giant snowglobe and also have supper with Santa .
Great Central Railway – Santa steam trains – Loughborough, Leicestershire
On selected dates from 25th Nov – 24th Dec. Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun filled journey on an enchanting steam train. Ride on board our award winning Santa Specials and let Father Christmas surprise you with an exciting present at your seat and a chat with the man himself! We look forward to welcoming you for some pure festive magic.
Gunby Hall – A White Christmas – Lincolnshire
Join us to discover the Gunby Christmas spirit. We’re steeped in centuries of festive traditions which we’d love to share with you, your family and friends. This year’s theme is: ‘A White Christmas’ – enjoy snow, sparkles and lots of Christmas cheer. Selected days in December.
Lincoln Castle – An Audience with Father Christmas – Lincolnshire
16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd. Experience the magic of Christmas at Lincoln Castle by joining Father Christmas in the Victorian setting of the Bath House at the Castle. Sit back and listen to stories of Christmases past and enjoy finding out more about Father Christmas himself. Every child will receive a Victorian style gift and have the opportunity to share their Christmas wishes. Places are limited so please book your place in advance to avoid disappointment. Each adult ticket includes a free hot drink from Langton’s café here at Lincoln Castle. Audiences last between 30 and 40 minutes.
Plus you could have tea with Santa on the 20th. Or a magical personalised Christmas experience on the 22nd December. Create magical memories for your children by booking a bespoke evening with Father Christmas. Lincoln Castle is offering the ultimate magical Christmas experience for a family to make unforgettable Christmas memories. This exclusive experience includes: VIP evening access to Lincoln Castle. Access to the Wall Walk with Father Christmas – you may even be able to point out your house for Father Christmas to remember on Christmas eve. An individual exclusive time with Father Christmas in his Castle residence for storytelling and a chance to tell him your Christmas wish. Gifts presented to your children by Father Christmas. Festive sweet treats and warming drinks to enjoy with Father Christmas.
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway – Santa Specials – Lincolnshire
On selected dates in December. Their ever-popular ‘Santa Special’ trains will be running on four days this year, with four trains each day. Each child will receive a specially chosen gift from Santa and grown-ups are served mulled wine. Their Santa Special trains fill up quickly so they advise customers to book early to avoid disappointment!
Manor farm park & Woodlands – Christmas weekends – Leicestershire
December 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th & 23rd. Visit SANTA in his cabin, join in our woodland fun and cook toast on our campfire. NEW this year, join Molly the Donkey to hear her Christmas Story, join in the Christmas songs and meet Molly’s friends, Barry & Betty the sheep, Charlie & Mac the Llamas, County the goat. Visit our Christmas craft room to make something to take home. Small extra charge £2.00 to meet Santa, gift Included).
National Space Centre – Small space Santa Special – Leicestershire
Our friends at NORAD are getting ready to track Santa as he heads off, delivering gifts to all the children around the world. He will be making a scheduled stop at the National Space Centre for a special Small Space day for all our youngest astronauts. Come along and enjoy a special Christmas Small Space Day, with songs, stories, games and the whole Centre for the under 5s to enjoy. If you want to drop in to see Santa, tickets are available on the day, for a small additional charge (including a gift).
Nene Valley Railway – Santa Specials – Near Peterborough
On selected days from 25th Nov – 24th December. Your Santa experience starts with a welcome from our station staff and badge team – entertainment is provided at busy weekends. This is followed by an exciting visit to Santa’s log cabin where each child receives a special present from the old gentleman himself. Following a short wait families then join our steam hauled, decorated train for a fun-filled ride to Peterborough and return. We are booked on this and I can not wait!
Pink Pig Farm – Santa Woodland Adventure – Lincolnshire
Visit the Pink Pig Farm every weekend throughout December, then 21st, 22nd, 23rd December for their Santa Woodland adventure.
Head to the enchanted woodland, ring the magic bell, wait for an elf to come greet you, head through the enchanted entrance and meet Mrs Christmas in their Magical Yurt with a real log burning fire! Write letters to Santa and make Reindeer food for Christmas Eve. Then make your way along to woodland walk with their elf, spotting the naughty elves as you go! Finally, visiting Santa as a group in his Grotto, receive the magic key for their woodland toy shop and pick a real quality present to take home. This is such a lovely, organic, natural family experience like no other, what’s more there’s not queues, just arrive at your time slot and you’re good to go! Build a bear and afternoon Christmas teas are also available to book.
Rand Farm – Real Christmas Experience – Lincolnshire
Rand Farm Park is a beautiful Winter Wonderland from 25th November – 23rd December where you can meet Santa, walk through the enchanted forest 3D experience and feel festive with all the magical activities at our Real Christmas Experience. Enjoy Winter Wonderland, Decorate festive biscuits in Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, Train to be one of Santa’s helpers in Elf Academy, Meet real reindeer. Jump aboard Santa’s Express ride to complete your festive family fun day out! Plus so much more.
On Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th, Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th, come along for BREAKFAST WITH SANTA from 9.00am with lots of additional Christmas Surprises (bookings only).
Sacrewell – Christmas at Sacrewell – Near Peterborough
From Friday 1st till Sunday 24th December. Come and Visit Santa at Sacrewell before he boards his sleigh. Each Santa visit includes a present for the children and Christmas themed crafts. Other activities* including Christmas crafts, tractor rides around the farm, and marshmallow toasting by campfire are also taking place. Why not enjoy some Breakfast with Santa this year at Sacrewell? Join in the festive fun with a breakfast from Origin8 and the company of Santa! From 9.30-10.30 on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of December.
Sundown Adventureland – Christmas Spectacular – Nottinghamshire
18th Nov – 24th December. As the evenings draw in, the market square will come alive with hundreds of twinkling lights and decorations. The shops will be full of goodies, (forget those diets it’s Christmas) stocking fillers, small toys, the full range of cherished teddies, piggin’ pigs and snow babies, as well as a large selection of collectors teddy bears and fabulous collectors dolls, Christmas decorations, Santa’s reindeers and lots, lots more.
You must pre book your ride on the magical night before Christmas ride which includes a visit to see Santa.
Tattershall Farm – Feeling Festive Weekend – Lincolnshire
2nd and 3rd December. Father Christmas arrives with his helpers in his grotto. Watch this space for more nearer the time.
Tropical Birdland – Winter Wonderland – Leicestershire
Grab a lantern and take a magical stroll to Santa’s grotto visiting all of his fairy friends along the way. Visit our amazing snow queen in her magical ice cave plus much more. On selected days from 2nd – 23rd Dec. Some dates are also pre bookable.
Twinlakes – Winter Wonderland – Leicestershire
They have lots of Christmas fun on at Twinlakes this December. All weekends from the 25th November they are having mini magical fireworks. On selected dates you can also book to have breakfast with Santa. Plus on the 16th December they are having a party in the park with Santa with a huge amount of Christmas themed things to see and do.
Twycross Zoo – Breakfast with Santa – Leicestershire
On selected dates from the 2nd – 22nd Dec (23rd & 24th already sold out). Arrive at the Zoo for 8:30am to be greeted with a spectacular plated breakfast, before Santa himself joins you in person for one of the best Santa experiences! Twycross Zoo’s Breakfast with Santa will provide youngsters with the perfect Christmas experience. Be welcomed by a Christmas elf on arrival, before you are invited to Santa’s festive corner to play games with the man himself, and sing along to your Christmas favourites (whilst Santa plays his ukulele!!)
Wheelgate Park – The Christmas Experience – Nottinghamshire
November 25th – December 24th. Join them for the their Magical Christmas Experience at Robin Hoods Wheelgate, Nottingham. Discover a truly incredible experience as Robin Hoods Wheelgate Family Theme Park, near Sherwood Forest, is magically transformed into an enchanted Christmas Experience! The Christmas Experience returns for another year and is now BIGGER and BETTER. Come and see Santa in our extended Magical Fairytale grotto and choose a FREE gift from his workshop. (Included in full admission). Visit the Elves in animal farm and help feed Santa’s Reindeer plus much more.
White Post Farm – Christmas event – Nottinghamshire
From Saturday 25th November. One of the best times of year to visit white post farm. Their special Christmas Barn is full of festive fun with games, crafts, the walk-through Christmas Maze and of course Santa in his Grotto – every day. They have real Reindeer for all to meet and, of course, their renowned interactive Nativity Play where you’re the star!
Woodthorpe Garden Centre – Alford, Lincolnshire
As well as the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto they also have a small Christmas themed train that you can take a ride on. You can also have breakfast or tea, on selected days with Mrs Claus. Their Christmas displays are also well worth the visit. This year their displays promise to be the best ever, an entirely new layout has been created and they will be showcasing the latest seasonal trends from all over the world.
Charnwood Forest Alpacas – Christmas Alpaca experience – Leicestershire
Enjoy a magical Christmas walk experience with one of their friendly “Reinpacas”. With festive lights, Christmas music and warm mulled wine for the grown ups. Their walks will get you in the festive spirit this Christmas. Enhance your experience further and follow up your walk with an indulgent two course Christmas platter feast with all the trimmings (plus free mini mug of homemade salted caramel eggnog for the big kids!)
Christmas in Leicester
There’s a big Christmas planned for visitors to Leicester this month with experiences and events to get everyone feeling festive. Some of the highlights include a fantastic ice rink with real ice, special Christmas lights and a trip on the Wheel of Light for views of the city centre. Now until 6th January Come to the Christmas Market. It’s open until the 23 December at New Market Square and offers gorgeous gifts, quirky crafts, perfect presents and fabulous foods
Special mention – Rainbows Children’s Hospice Christmas events
I also want to give an extra special big mention to the Rainbows Children’s hospice in Loughborough. They have many fund raising fun events to come. Especially for Christmas. If you could help them by going to one of their events then it would be much appreciated. You can find their full list of events here – Across Leicester, Derby and Nottingham they will be hosting Carol concerts. Plus Santa fun runs, fairs and more.
I have also written a post about all the great theatre shows that are on this winter. We can’t forget about the pantomimes right? Check out – Family Friendly Theatre East Midlands – Autumn Winter 2017 – Pantomimes and More Plus why not check out our Ultimate Christmas experiences round up post? Ultimate Christmas Bucket List – 26 Great Family Things to Do – Days Out or 5 Bucket List Family Winter Cruise Destinations to Embark on This Year
If you’re looking for a more low key Santa experience why not check out your local garden centre? Nearly all the garden centres around us have a Santa’s grotto and lots are even offering breakfast with Santa. A lot of places also hold Christmas markets so keep your eye out for these as they can be great for picking up unusual gifts. We especially loved the Christmas market in Lincoln.
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