Hurry, Hurry! Lots of places are selling out fast for their timed meet and greet Santa slots so it’s time to get booked. There are quite a few magical events happening this Christmas 2020 in the East Midlands. I’ve put them into one big post so here you will find the best Christmas events in the East midlands – Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire – where you can meet Santa and more. Don’t forget to book in advance where possible.
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Please keep up-to-date with government guidance before booking or visiting. I am unsure of the following attractions policies on cancellations of events. Please check with them in advance. It may also be an idea to check with the attraction that everything is as advertised the day before you visit.
Things to do Christmas – Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire – Northamptonshire – East Midlands
Battlefield Line – Santa Specials – Leicestershire
Things are a little different this year due to Covid-19 and we will be operating our trains in a slightly different format to previous years, with classic and deluxe coaches now on all services, in compartment stock.
Classic – Santa will visit your group in your compartment and hand out gifts to all the children. All adults will receive a small festive drink and a mince pie. Children will get a small packet of sweets and a juice drink. Deluxe includes crackers, hot drunks and a large hamper full of festive treats for everyone.Battlefield line
Address: Shackerstone Station, Shackerstone CV13 6NW
When? 28th, 29th Nov, 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 23rd and 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? Classic from £68-88 for 4 people (prices also available for 5-6). Deluxe from £100-120 for 4 people (increasing for 5-6).
Belton House – Christmas Trail 2020 – Lincolnshire
Following last year’s success, surround yourself with sparkle this Christmas as the after dark trail lights up for 2020. You’ll find new moments to share with friends and family – brand new bright lights for winter nights. Enter a world festooned with seasonal cheer enhanced by a soundtrack of festive classics and wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmas colour.Belton House
Address: High Road Belton, Grantham NG32 2LW
When? Various dates from 27th November until 3rd January
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult ticket £27 for first adult including your car and £19 for each adult thereafter. £13.50 for a child aged 3-16 and 0-2 are free. Prebooking is essential.
Belvoir Castle – Santa’s Grotto – Leicestershire
Twinkling lights, festive decoration and the smell of Christmas trees in the air! You can expect all that and much more when you meet Father Christmas at Belvoir Castle this year.
In a new location for 2020, to ensure more space and a socially distanced experience, we introduce you to The Old Kitchen. A fantastic space which will be transformed into our winter wonderland, imagine a room lined with spectacular trees, snow sprinkled paths, and the most beautiful decorations. Each child can be accompanied by a maximum of two adults.Belvoir Castle
Address: Grantham NG32 1PE
When? Various dates from 21st November until 23rd December
How much/Do you have to prebook? £7.00 per person. You must prebook online in advance.
Bluebells Dairy ice-cream – Santa’s Sleigh School – Derbyshire
Learn to pass your Sleigh Ride Proficiency Test this year with the help of our Elves, Mother Christmas, Betsy Bakewell and Father Christmas!
Take your Sleigh Ride Licence with you on your 2 hour journey and make sure you collect the stamps along the way from those very important North Pole helpers!
At the end of your journey, you will have completed your Sleigh Proficiency Test and be rewarded with a present from Santa through our Magical Chimney!Bluebells Dairy
Address: Locko Rd, Derby DE21 7AR
When? Every weekend in December and 21st-24th December.
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult ticket is £12.95 and £19.95 for a child aged 1-16. There is a discount for members. Prebooking online in advance is essential.
Chatsworth House – Christmas at Chatsworth – Derbyshire
We are delighted to be opening our doors to you for a warm and heartfelt celebration of all things festive from 7 November. Christmas scenes will flow throughout the house with music from all ages, including festive favourites from the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
From a warm and inviting Christmas Eve scene in the State Bedchamber, complete with stockings hung by the fire, to a decadent festive table fit for kings and queens in the Great Dining Room, we invite you to step into the spirit of Christmas at Chatsworth.Chatsworth House
Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP
When? 7th November until the 3rd January
How much/Do you have to prebook? An adult ticket costs £25 and £15 for a child aged 4-16. Under 4’s are free. You will have to prebook.
Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway – Santa Specials – Lincolnshire
Experience a magical return journey to Lapland Central, tuck into seasonal treats and take part in festive activities! Guests meet Santa in his beautiful grotto and receive a quality gift!
Address: Lakeside Station, Kings Road, Cleethorpes, DN35 0AG
When? 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th to 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult tickets are £12 and children £15 each. Pre-booking is essential.
Conkers – Winter Wonderland – Leicestershire
Wrap up warm and get ready for a silly Elf adventure as you arrive at Waterside Winter Wonderland, where Santa’s Chief Elf and his team will lead you through the Enchanted Forest and the Valley of Christmas Lights to discover Santa’s Woodland Grotto. This is your chance to tell Santa that you have been good, and fingers crossed, he may share some pre-Christmas presents!Conkers
Address: Rawdon Rd, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Swadlincote DE12 6GA
When? 28th & 29th November, 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th – 24th December.
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult £12.50 and £14.50 for a child aged 2-15 with a present. Under 1’s no present are free. Other pricing options are available. Prebooking online is essential.
Things to do Christmas East Midlands 2020
Doddington Hall – Christmas at Doddington – Lincolnshire
The Hall will once again be transformed for the festive period and decorated throughout for the theme ‘Secret Garden’. Inspired by our walled and wild gardens, we’ll be bringing the outdoors in to create spectacular scenes for a magical family day out. This is not a Santa experience.Doddington Hall
Address: Main St, Doddington, Lincoln LN6 4RU
When? 21st November to 23rd December
How much/Do you have to prebook? £15 for an adult and £7.00 for a child aged 4-16. Children under 4 are free.
Immersive new Christmas theatrical production on board our steam train, a new performance designed in 2020 to meet the Coronavirus Government guidelines.
Steam train ride from Wirksworth to ‘Santa’s Station’ (approx 5 miles) and back, with a heritage diesel locomotive on the other end. Private compartment for your family seating up to 6 passengers.
Experience the magic from the moment you arrive on the platform to the moment you leave. Sing along with the Porters as they dance, sing and entertain throughout the journey telling the story of Santa’s railway. Look out for Mr Tickets and the Woodland Puppets. Hot Chocolate and Cookies for every passenger on board. Santa will visit the door of every compartment & there will be presents for the children. Show runtime including train ride approx 1 hour 45 mins.Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Address: Unit 1, Wirksworth Station, Coldwell St, Wirksworth, Matlock DE4 4FB
When? 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? Standard class apartment £55-70. First class apartment £65-80.
Garden King – Santa’s Grotto – Derbyshire
Start your experience with our magical woodland walk, an outdoor lit woodland trail with magical displays and decorations, photo opportunities, quizzes and more. Then, see Santa as a family where you’ll have your photo taken before sitting with him at a safe distance whilst he asks you what you’d like for Christmas. Finally, pick your own toy from our toy shop before visiting our photo elf and checking out your photo memories.
Please note: Our woodland walk is unsuitable for wheelchairs & pushchairs, you can skip the woodland walk though if you wish to. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear as our woodland walk is outside and will operate in all weathers.Garden King
When? Selected dates from 21st November until 24th December. They also have three special dates for a Christmas event (£3 more per adult)
How much/Do you have to prebook? Santa’s Grotto children £13.50 and adults £5. Babies up to 12 months £5.00.
Great Central Railway – Santa Steam Trains – Leicestershire
We’re delighted to confirm that Santa will be back at the Great Central Railway in 2020, and he’ll be visiting passengers in our beautifully restored compartment coaches this year to allow for social distancing.
All of our Santa Express and Winter Wonderlight train services have been fully risk assessed and are permissible under the current government regulations concerning the Covid 19 pandemic. As required we will be updating the risk assessments to cover any new regulations that the government may announce during the next few weeks on an ongoing basis.Great central railway
Address: Great Central Rd, Loughborough LE11 1RW
When? Various dates from 28th November until the 24th of December.
How much/Do you have to prebook? Tickets start at £69.00 for a compartment for up to 4 people and £76.00 for a compartment of up to 6 people, Bookings are being taken online only at present.
Mini Meadows Farm – Christmas Experience – Northamptonshire
Experience Christmas like never before! You’ll be greeted by our elves and transported into our magical world of Christmas wishes and wonder. All you need is to believe. Let our elves lead you through the candy cane maze as you start your enchanted journey.
Enter the magical elf forest and be sure to make a wish at the well. Be amazed and amused in the elf village and look into their homes to see what they’re up to. But be prepared, they are very keen on elf and safety. Stop by at the sweet shop and don’t forget to also top up your adults with a festive drink and mince pie.Mini Meadows Farm
When? 28th November to 23rd December
Address: Naseby Road, Northampton NN6 6HZ
How much/prebooking? Child 1-16 years from £21.50 to £23.50. Adults £8.50. Other pricing options are available. Prebooking online is essential.
Northampton and Lamport Railway – Santa Specials – Northamptonshire
Come along and ride with Santa on a train ride along the Northampton & Lamport Railway from Pitsford and Brampton station.
As there are a large number of children (and adults) who want to meet Santa, he has asked us to make appointments for your visit. These start at 10:00 then at an hour and a half intervals until 16:00.
This year Santa will be travelling along on the train greeting everyone as you travel through the Northamptonshire countryside. Refreshments will be served onboard. For children, a soft drink, and biscuits and adults will receive a glass of sherry (or soft drink if preferred) and a mince pie (please help us prepare by selecting what you will like from the checkout page in your order). After the train ride, every child will receive a present from the platform before you leave to enjoy the rest of your ChristmasNLR railway
When? Pitsford Rd, Chapel Brampton, Northampton NN6 8BA
Address: Selected dates from November 28th to 20th December
How much/prebooking? Tickets for a table of 4 are £55.00. Prebooking online is essential.
Pink Pig Farm – Christmas – Lincolnshire
Our magical woodland Santa experience means no queues, lots of space and no crowding. Meet our amazing elves and visit the great man himself in his spacious woodland grotto.
Events are not currently live due to Corona but pop the dates in your diaries and we’ll let you know on our socials as soon as you can book!Pink Pig Farm
Address: Holme Hall, Holme Ln, Scunthorpe DN16 3RE
When? Tentative dates from 5th to 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? TBC
Rand Farm Park – The Real Christmas Experience – Lincolnshire
For your safety, we’ve reduced the number of tickets available so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Included in every Christmas visit; Within the time slot you have booked: Meet Santa in his Grotto. Santa’s Secret Toyshop (present for every child ticket bought). Nutcracker Suite: NEW FOR 2020. Enchanted Forest: NEW FOR 2020. Santa’s Sorting Office: NEW FOR 2020. Meet Real Reindeer. Available throughout the day – Elf Academy. Visit Mrs Claus. Elf Village.
They will also be hosting Breakfast With Santa.Rand Farm
Address: Rand, Market Rasen LN8 5NJ
When? Selected dates from the 28th November until the 23rd December.
How much/Do you have to prebook? An adult ticket is £11.95 and from £16.95 to £19.95 for children age 2 and over. Prebooking is essential.
Sundown Adventureland – Glorious Christmas – Nottinghamshire
Here at Sundown Adventureland, We’re not going to be beaten by this pesky Corona Virus, so the whole team have devised a Christmas event that we think you’re going to love. There will be a few small changes from previous years but you can rest assured that all of the favourites will be there and it’s going to be great fun for kids and families alike.
You’ll be greeted by the elves and the ever friendly Mrs. Claus and when it’s your time, you’ll be invited to meet the big man himself. When you meet him, you’ll find out whether you’re on the naughty or nice list and if you name’s on the right list (it normally is, so don’t worry!), you’ll receive a lovely individually wrapped present and the chance to share your wishes with him.Sundown Adventureland
Address: Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford DN22 0HX
When? 21st November to 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? An adult ticket is £16-18 and £18-20 for a child 90cm-10 years. Other pricing options are available. Prebooking is essential, they sell out fast. (a lot of tickets have already been sold)
Tattershall Farm – Woodland Grotto Lincolnshire
More Details Coming Soon… Santa arrives in his Woodland Grotto and stays until Christmas Eve, meet his Real Reindeer, make magic Reindeer Food, Write a letter to Santa and follow our Candy Cane Trail and solve the puzzle to claim your reward
Address: Marsh Ln, Tattershall, Lincoln LN4 4JR
How much/Do you have to prebook? TBC
Christmas Events East Midlands 2020
Tropical Birdland – Winter Wonderland – Leicestershire
We are excited to announce that our Christmas winter wonderland is back by popular demand! Grab a lantern and take a magical stroll down to Santa’s grotto visiting all his fairy friends along the way.
This year the snow queen will be out of her snow cave meeting and greeting our lovely guests alongside our mischievous mascots! So book your tickets now to avoid disappointment and join us for some Christmas festive fun.
To keep Santa safe we are asking all visitors including children over the age of 4 years to wear a face mask inside the grotto & the north pole station where social distancing cannot be adhered in bad weather conditions.Tropical Birdland
Address: Lindridge Ln, Desford, Leicester LE9 9GN
When? 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd December
How much/do you have to prebook? £16.00 + per child and £2 + per adult. Prebooking is essential.
Twycross Zoo – Christmas Spectacular – Leicestershire
Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland at Twycross Zoo’s Christmas Spectacular Event this December! Join Mrs Claus in her kitchen for a festive feast before venturing deep into the North Pole with our cheeky Elves.
Join our Ice Queen in her Ice Castle as she casts an icy spell across the land and stop by our Cheeky Elves workshop and help get the reindeer’s food ready all before joining Santa in North Pole Plaza with our troupe of cheeky elves for story-time, meet and greets, snowball fights and more!Twycross Zoo
Address: East Midland Zoological Society, Burton Rd, Atherstone CV9 3PX
When? 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th December
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult and child ticket £35 each, infant £25 and member £10. Prebooking online is essential.
Wickstead Park – Magical Wickstead – Northamptonshire
Take a magical journey on our Festive Train to meet Mr and Mrs Claus on their reindeer.
Magical Journey includes;Wickstead Park
– Festive Train Journey
– Reindeer food making
– Meet Santa’s reindeer
– Visit Mr & Mrs Claus in their cosy cottage
– Gift from Santa in the Elves workshop (for the children)
When? Throughout December
Address: Barton Rd, Kettering NN15 6NJ
How much/prebooking? TBC
Wollaton Hall – Illuminated Trail – Nottinghamshire
Light up Christmas at Wollaton Hall as the park is transformed into an enchanting light spectacle new for 2020! Experience a trail of discovery through four magical lands, specially designed to fit into the natural landscape of the Hall and Gardens.
Visitors of all ages will be captivated by this brand new, visually stunning multi-sensory experience of light, fire and sound. A seasonal classic with a contemporary twist.Wollaton Hall
Address: Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum, Wollaton Park, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2AE
When? 27th November to 6th January
How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult ticket is £19.25 and £13.75 for a child aged 3-16. Other pricing options are available. Prebooking is essential.
Struggling for gift ideas this Christmas? We are all for experiences over toys, please check out my post on 25 great non toy gift ideas. Or if you want even more ideas for things to do in Lincolnshire over Christmas please see – 25 + Things to do in Lincolnshire over Christmas. If you are looking for East Midland Halloween events please check out – Best Halloween Events East Midlands 2020 | Things to do
Regular Christmas events not happening or not yet announced in 2020: Baytree Garden Centre, Belton House, Bolsover castle, Lincoln castle, Lincolnshire wildlife park, Lincolnshire wolds railway, Markeaton park, Midland railway Butterley, Manor Farm park and woodlands, National Space Centre, Rand farm park, Tattershall castle, Tropical Birdland, Twinlakes, Wheelgate, Winter wonderland Nottingham and Woodthorpe Garden centre.
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