This is a huge list of some of the best Santa’s grottos in and around Milton Keynes. As I write this at the start of October 2020 I’ve had a look and some Santa’s grottos in and around Milton Keynes have already sold out completely or are limited in availability already. Perhaps a combination of there being fewer tickets and people wanting to have something to look forward to I guess. So I thought it would be helpful to do a big list if you are are thinking of booking a Father Christmas in Milton Keynes and try to keep it updated as much as possible. This list is based on some of my own personal experiences and those of you who have contributed via my Facebook page. Do bear in mind reviews are based on what the experiences of previous years and all reviews are subjective. Santas and activities can change, and things may be especially different this year due to Covid-19 so please appreciate it’s only a guide. Check first what is included before booking. If you do find the Santa you had your eye on is already booked up then it’s worth contacting the venue to see if they have a waiting list for cancellations. Or if not save this guide as a reminder for next year.
 
If you do find this guide to Santas grottos in and around Milton Keynes useful then please do consider buying me a coffee to support the running of this website. Milton Keynes Kids is run independently in my own time and there are no adverts.
 

Frosts Garden Centre, Woburn Sands 

Frosts Garden Centres – Woburn Sands, MK17 8UE – SOLD OUT. Generally this is the first one in Milton Keynes to sell out as many people make it a tradition to go every year and like the Santa. This year was no different. Like anywhere though it may be worth contacting them to see if they what they do if they have cancellations. In previous years they did do a free event for Santa’s arrival, but this stopped in 2019 due to the volume of people that went and problems with parking on surrounding roads. As of 1st October they do have their Christmas decorations up which are very pretty – see pictures below.

The Olde Watermill, Barton-Le-Clay – UPDATE 6/10 – More tickets released for 21/22 Nov.

 
The Olde Watermill Shopping Village, Faldo Rd, Barton-le-Clay, Bedford MK45 4RF. This one sold out pretty quick this year. We have been to this one. There are a few Christmas activities and Santa came down a chimney. Overall it was a good experience although the actual time with Santa we felt was quite rushed and only had time for a quick picture. That was in 2018 though. Like anywhere it’s worth contacting them to see what their policy is on cancellations. Otherwise if you’re big Christmas fans then it may be worth a visit anyway – they have a dedicated Christmas shop which should be open by the second weekend of October. It’s a quirky place to visit. Pictures below of Christmas shop 2019. Santa is from 2019 too – thanks to Stefanie for the picture.

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park, Bletchley. 1940s style grotto. £8.50 per child plus the cost of general admission for everyone. The general cost of admission for adults is £21. They do a local residents offer (proof of address needed and you need to live in certain postcode areas within 10 miles of BP) which halves the general admission and it does get you in free for the rest of the year which would make it £10.50 for each adult. Children over 12 are £12.50 or halved with local offer. Children under 12s are free general admission. I took my then 5 year old to this one in 2018. It was a very pretty grotto, excellent Santa and a personalised experience. At that time there was some Christmas crafts and we had to wait a while. Bletchley Park itself once you’ve been to see Santa will probably have wider appeal to children of reading age. I know many of you reading this have enjoyed Santa there too. Kristina says “Santa at Bletchley park is amazing – we went last year and we have booked to return this year using our entry tickets for last year! They’ve been so accommodating as we are a large group split into smaller ‘sixes’ this year but they are allowing grandparents to visit with each of our families of four to accommodate the rules…it’s a whole day out and this year we’ve paid just £17 total for our whole family of 4!”  Bookable by phone. More details on their website.

Centre MK

UPDATED 18/10/20 Centre MK shopping centre in Milton Keynes have announced their Santa’s grotto will be a themed Peter Rabbit one which is new for this year. 25-30 min experience which includes biscuit decorating and a gift. It costs £4.99 per adult and £12.50 or £13.99 per child depending on when you go. The train costs extra as does a photo with Santa. You can’t take your own photos. I suggest you have a read of the FAQs – there won’t be a person in an actual Peter Rabbit costume there.  Tickets on their website.

 

 

Mini Meadows Farm

 
Mini Meadows Farm, Northamptonshire £21.50-£23.50 per child, £8.50 adult. Christmas experience plus day at the farm. Sold out at weekends in December, but availability in term-time and last weekend in Nov. I’ve heard good things – all the comments on the mum to mum Northamptonshire facebook group seem to be positive and it includes various Christmas activities so may be a good option if you’re looking for a whole day out. Book on their website.

Mead Open Farm

Mead Open Farm, Bedfordshire – Non-member tickets now on sale. The Enchanted Christmas Journey. Walk through ‘enchanted forest’, learn how to be an elf, decorate gingerbread and meet animals as well as gift from Santa. Bizarrely you have to book for 6 people even if there’s fewer of you. Ranges from £99-£156 for the slot on their website.

 

Green Dragon Eco Farm

 
Green Dragon Rare Breeds Farm & Eco Centre, Buckinghamshire – £14.95 child, £5.95 for Christmasland Experience. Farm cost extra although you get a third off. Bookable here. 
 
Chloe says “We went to Green Dragon Eco Farm in December 2018. Feeding the reindeer the moss is lovely, we first dug in the fake snow for a coin to get the moss from an elf. Then we decorated a paper star with pens and glitter to hang on the surrounding trees. After that there was a little waiting area with 2 face in hole boards. Then we went up onto Farmer Christmas’ red wooden tractor where it was just us as a family. We had to take our own photos though which meant no family photo sadly. We stayed to enjoy the farm afterwards which is always a lovely day out”
 
Riverside Hub, Northamptonshire – £5 adult, £12-£19 for kids depending on age. £5 for photo. See their website. 
 
Rebecca says “We went to last year & are going again to the Riverside Hub, it was great. Fun activities before you got to see the big man, your choice of gift from the shop plus play afterwards in the hub. Santa was very realistic & was amazing with the kids. He asked them to think of a wish, he held his glove to their ear, the tip lighted up & that was their wish which went on the tree to be sent to the elves.”
 
 

Woburn Sands Emporium 

 
Woburn Sands Emporium, Milton Keynes – Breakfast or tea with Santa sold out. Availability for story-telling on their website.
They also do ice-skating there. Indoors there is a Christmas shop with a pretty bus, front of train and a couple of moving animals. 

Dobbies Garden Centre, Milton Keynes

Dobbies, Milton Keynes – Not sure how much Santa is without filling the form in but I think its £12.99 per child. Quite a few other Christmas events too with availability on the Dobbies website.

Thanks to Kath for the photo below.

Wardown House

Wardown House, Museum and Gallery, Luton, £14 child, £6 adult. Story with Holly Claus, gift from santa, milk and cookies with elves. Book here.

 

Wappenham Farm

 
Wappenham Farm, Northants – Grotto near Towcester £30 for a family bubble. Tickets here.

Milton Keynes Museum

Milton Keynes Museum, Milton Keynes – Santa costs £8.50 per child. 10 min slots in the gallery on selected dates. You need to book in advance on their website. The museum has said “we won’t be able to have the usual Christmas carols in the parlour and associated activities for obvious reasons”. The cost does not include entry to the museum which you have to book separately. The cost for the museum is £12 adult, £8 a child, Under 5s go free. They do a family ticket too for £36. 

Santa Cruise, Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire 

There’s a 90 minute Santa Cruise which runs on selected dates in December. It costs £20 each and includes a mince pie, pass the parcel, Christmas crackers and present for children. Louise went last year, she says “We did a Santa cruise in Stoke Bruerne last year which was good fun and a bit different as we like to mix it up a bit each year. It’s lasts 1.5 hrs and was a mini Christmas party with pass the parcel, Christmas crackers and Santa appearing half way through the cruise waving from a bridge then coming aboard to surprise the children. Adults get mulled wine and a mince pie and the children get Rice Krispie cakes and a drink as well as a present from Santa. Santa even danced. It was a great atmosphere, I highly recommend it. The only thing to highlight in case this affects some people’s decision making is that Santa didn’t have a real beard”

Willows Activity Farm, Hertfordshire

No details at the time of writing but do keep an eye on their website.Nicole went last year, she says “It was great! Obviously there’s less animals as it’s too cold but there were 2 elf shows, ice skating (this was the worst bit it was plastic tiles on the floor) tractor ride, 4d video, gingerbread decorating, letter to Santa writing, create a cuddle (build a bear), walk through enchanted Forrest to visit to Santa in a room just your group/family then you get given a key to the toy shop and choose your gift. There was a stamp book to complete during the day to make sure you attended all the activities. My son was just over 3 and absolutely loved it! You had access to the whole farm including Peter rabbits play park, the jcb ride on diggers, soft play plus all the Christmas activities! Hoping to go back again this year- they have confirmed it’s happening but haven’t announced any further details yet.

EDIT 18/10/20 – Tickets now on sale, it costs £27 adult and between £44-£49 for each child making it at the upper end cost-wise of the Santa experiences. Santa WON’T be meeting families individually but the experience includes lots of different activities. More details on their website.

 
 
 

Ikea MK – No news yet

In the last couple of years there has been either a free Santa at Ikea or bookable breakfast with Santa. The Santa himself has been excellent – we saw him in 2019. There is no news yet on whether he will make an appearance.

Xscape Milton Keynes – no news yet 

In the last few years there has been a free Santa at Xscape MK. There is no news yet about whether there will be this year. 

Xscape MK – no news yet 

In previous years there’s been a free Santa at Xscape MK but I haven’t heard anything as yet. 

I'm Laura, mum to two boys aged seven and five. I run this website independently and free from advertising in addition to my day job. If you have enjoyed this post and found it useful, here are some ways you can say thanks and support Milton Keynes Kids. 

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