There’s a free Santa at Xscape in Milton Keynes up until Christmas Eve. Xscape is the big building in the centre of MK which houses the Snowdome. Watch our video below and then scroll down for more information.
Are you sure the Santa at Xscape in Milton Keynes is free?
Yes, it’s the second year in a row they’ve done a free Santa. Last year it wasn’t so well organised, but this year it seems much better. Xscape is a leisure destination which houses the cinema, bowling alley, ski slope and lots of restaurants among other things. I imagine they do it to attract families who perhaps otherwise wouldn’t have gone in there and hope that it’s a good way of seeing what else is on offer, and possibly stay around to enjoy other stuff which you may pay a good amount of money for. It’s also good PR if lots of people think they’re doing a really good thing.
What’s the Santa experience at Xscape Milton Keynes like?
It’s Santa without the bells and whistles. So if you don’t want the price tag and paraphernalia of the garden centres, farm parks and shopping centres then it’s worth doing. It’s quick and our chat and photo with Santa literally lasted a few minutes. It’s certainly a good option if you’re either on a budget or think your kids might be scared of Santa. Santa is very visible and not hidden in any way so children can see exactly what’s happening. If you went last year then this Father Christmas is not as authentic as last year’s. The one last year I think took most people by surprise – he was brilliant and my eldest son – then three and a half – was absolutely blown away. The one this year is ok, plays the part well enough, and doesn’t have a real beard. Considering it’s free, the grotto is actually well done. There is a massive teddy bear, animatronic creatures and a good backdrop for photos – all of which is better than last year’s. My sons – aged four and two – had a nice chat with Santa before being given a small gift. We were allowed to take our own photos during the chat, and at the end the elf was very happy to take a photo of our whole family. Make sure you ask! If you’re like us you may have very few photos of you all in them. Want to know what the gift my children received? I’ll mention it right at the end of the article so don’t read that far if you want a surprise.
How can we see the Santa at Xscape MK?
You can do one of two things. And depending on when you’re reading this article then you may only have one option. We booked in advance which incurred a 50p admin fee per child. Here is the booking link. Or you can turn up on the day and queue. Santa is there between 11am and 5pm every day until 24th December 2017. We took a print out of our tickets but I think you can show it on your phone and they have their own list. They have two queues. One for people who booked in advance. And one for people walking up. I had assumed all the people who had booked in advance would see Santa first. That wasn’t the case. They alternated between each queue. It’s just that the advance queue was very short. Our allotted time was between 12pm and 12.30pm and having got there at 11.55am we were seen at 12.07pm. If you do go on the day then be aware you could be waiting for some time if it’s popular. The postcode for Xscape is MK9 3XS. You do pay to park. Check which colour bay you’re in and make sure you pay at the appropriate machine.
What gift did we get at Xscape?
Ok I’m about to tell you what we received so look away now if you don’t want to know….
We were very impressed. The boys both got a mini pop up pirate toy. My 4 year old loved it. My 2 year old less so – I think he was hoping for chocolate! I don’t know what other gifts they have but we thought it was very good considering it was free.
What else can you do cheaply at Xscape?
Walk around to the ski slope, it’s quite good fun watching people skiing, but there’s also a small free soft play area there. You can also walk up to the wind tunnel and watch people flying. And if you then fancy a stroll over to Centre MK and Intu MK shopping centres you can read what to expect on from their Christmas displays on my shopping centres blog post.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.