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Where to experience Christmas 2020


Christmas is going to feel a little different this year, with covid-safe guidelines and socially-distanced Santas.  We are expecting that there won't be as many grottos this year (some are already confirmed as not going ahead), so we've expanded our usual "Where to see Santa" article to include other Christmas experiences too. From grottos to pantos, train rides to winter wonderlands  and Christmas markets you can find them all here.  So don't delay and get booking, as some of the most popular ones get booked up very quickly, especially this year when space will be limited.

We will continue to add to this page as more details become available.  We do our best to ensure all these details are correct but from time to time things do change, and this year more than ever the situation remains fluid, so please do check the websites.  Unless otherwise stated we expect that ALL venues will require booking to ensure social distancing can be maintained.  

Look out for the entries highlighted below in pink, these indicate that there are sessions catering for children with additional needs.

Click here for venues that have confirmed their usual events will not take place.

Last updated 12th October 2020

Harpenden Christmas Gift Market
5th December 2020
A new event for this year taking place at the Rothamsted Conference Centre car park.
More details

Harpenden Christmas Farmer's Market
20th December 2020
Although there will be no carnival this year, there will be some Christmas-y entertainment, a craft activity and Father Christmas will be making an appearance!
More details

Santa's Grotto at Burston Garden Centre
28th November - 24th December 2020
Children will walk through Candy Cane lane and get the chance to spot our mini gingerbread men, create your elf name and take an elfie selfie. Each family group will then spend time with Santa, before the accompanying adult will choose a wrapped present from Santa's sack! 
More details 

Santa's Grotto at Burston Garden Centre - Additional Needs Sessions
29th November & 11th December 2020
Come and visit Santa’s Grotto for one of our additional needs sessions, which have been developed to provide a more relaxed and quieter environment for your child.  You’ll findmusic volume dimmed throughout, sessions are the first of the day, which is when our centre tends to be quieter a restricted amount of tickets on sale and no walk in slots available, our grotto is also fully wheelchair accessible.
More details 

Aladdin - Luton Hoo Estate
15th December 2020 - 3rd January 2021
Covid Friendly 'Outdoor Theatre with Indoor Comfort' Pantomime for all the family! Starring Union J's Jaymi Hensley as The Genie.
More details

Willows Farm Santa Spectacular
Awaiting more information.
More details

Meet Santa at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Weekends from 5th December then 19th - 24th December 2020
This December, children are invited to meet Father Christmas among some of the best company the animal kingdom has to offer. See Mrs Claus and our cheeky elves, and join in with Christmas crafts, before meeting the man himself. Tickets coming soon.  Breakfast with Father Christmas also available.
More details

Lunch with Santa
Sundays from 29th November, plus 22nd & 23rd December 2020
Give your family an early Christmas treat with a fantastic lunch at Knebworth Barns, complete with a visit from Santa and a gift for every child.
More details

Van Hage Garden Centre, Great Amwell
Weekends from 7th November then Daily 30th November - 24th December 2020
Children will be enchanted by a traditional Christmas Grotto, meeting Santa, receiving a gift and having a photo opportunity with the big man himself! Santa's Grotto will be bigger this year, to allow for social distancing. 
More details


Wrest Park Christmas Adventure Quest
26th December 2020 - 3rd January 2021
This one isn't taking place until after Christmas, but if you are looking for something to fill the gap between Christmas and New Year then this QR-code quest around the grounds is a chance to get out and about.
More details

Leighton Buzzard Railway - Santa's Steam Specials

Take the train to meet Santa at Page's Park - full details will be announced in the Autumn.
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The Enchanted Christmas Journey - Mead Open Farm, Leighton Buzzard
Discover the Enchanted Forest with Magical Portals, meet Father Christmas and his Elves and of course, all children will receive a Special Gift. Tickets available from 29th September for members and 1st October for the general public.
More details 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ft. Dream Snow, Hertford Theatre

12th, 13th, 15th-20th, 22nd - 24th, 29th - 31st December 2020, 2nd & 3rd January 2021
Expect a very special, live, socially distanced performance over the festive period, perfect for younger children and their families to enjoy together.
More details

Hogwarts in the Snow
14th November 2020 - 17th January 2021
Get into the festive spirit as our annual Hogwarts in the Snow feature returns with more snow than ever!
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The Olde Watermill Christmas Grotto, Barton-Le-Clay, Bedfordshire
Weekends from 28th November, including Fridays from 4th December plus 21st - 24th December 2020
Our new COVID safe Grotto has been specially altered and laid out to offer a 20 to 25 minute private *family experience of up to **6 people! You will be greeted by our resident cheeky Elf, Elfie Selfie, and Tinseltoes, who will help you wish upon a star, make your own Reindeer food, and belly laugh with their naughty antics and magic tricks. Elfie Selfie will then take you through for your Families' one-on-one experience with Santa and Mrs. Claus!
More details

Frosts Garden Centre, Woburn Sands
21st November - 24th December 2020
The Santa’s Grotto will be open again this year, with the introduction of individual family visits to keep you safe. There will be lots of fun and reindeer food making, plus a festive treat from Father Christmas.
More details

Bletchley Park Vintage Christmas Grotto
Weekends from 21st November plus 21st - 23rd December 2020
Your family will have a magical meeting with Father Christmas in the beautifully decorated Mansion, where children can spend time telling him their Christmas wishes and take photos surrounded by vintage toys, Christmas trees, 1940’s greeting cards and decorations. All children will receive a lovely Christmas gift to take home.
More details


Bletchley Park Vintage Christmas Grotto - Autism-friendly sessions
Awaiting confirmation of dates
More details


Christmas at Waddesdon
14th November - 20th December 2020 (Wed - Sun only)
Enjoy an enchanting outdoor extravaganza. Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas with over 80 hand-selected stalls all housed in charming wooden chalets, surrounded by twinkling trees. The Winter Light trail will transform the Pleasure Grounds with dramatic colour and playful installations. Treat yourself to a famous festive afternoon tea of savoury treats and sweet festive fancies. 
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Chiltern Open Air Museum Christmas Weekend
5th & 6th December 2020
Find out a little about how Christmas was celebrated in the past and see some of the Museum's historic buildings traditionally decorated for Christmas. There will be a small artisan Christmas market and the Museum's shop will be full of handmade products made by local crafts people.
More details

Audley End Miniature Railway Christmas Special
21st November - 23rd December 2020
Train ride to meet Father Christmas and his Elves, Gift for every Child, Letter Writing, Christmas Wishing Tree, Mother Christmas’s Interactive Show, talking Gingerbread House and our Adventure Play Area.
More details


Cancelled Events

The following have confirmed that their Christmas events are cancelled this year:
Harpenden Christmas Carnival 
Southdown Lights & Lanterns Extravaganza
Batford Lights-up
Redbourn Christmas Market
The Alban Arena Pantomime
Grove Theatre Pantomime
Knebworth House Christmas Fair
Christmas Wonderland @ Springtime Nurseries, Crews Hill


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