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Mum's guide to Christmas in Romford 2019


We don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun, so we are publishing our list of all that’s happening in the area now, and will continue to add to it as new events are announced. We have split the guide into sections; Where to see Santa, Sensory Santa Visits, Christmas Markets & Fairs and Other Christmas Events.

*Please note we have tried to ensure that dates and times are as accurate as possible but always check with the website or business provider before setting off*


Where To See Santa

Christmas Special 2019
Audley End Miniature Railway - 23rd November – 24th December 2019
Take the Santa Express deep into the woods of the Audley End Estate where you will be greeted by the elves at Father Christmas’s Winter Wonderland! You can also visit the Activity Area where you can write letters to Father Christmas, post them in the special post office,  join in with craft making, face painting and story telling – oh and don’t miss the dance tent! There are no tickets available on the day so you must pre book.
More details

The Father Christmas Experience
Marsh Farm – 16th November – 24th December 2019
Once you have passed through passport control it’s time to start a magical journey. You will learn your elf-abet and graduate from the Elf Academy, meet Mother Christmas and decorate your own gingerbread man and then enter the Snow Show! Once inside the grotto, you will find out if you are on the naughty or nice list before meeting the REAL Father Christmas. Visit the toy workshop before you leave and make a special furry friend to take home! Pre-booking is essential!
More details

An Elf’s Wish
Nevenden Manor – every Saturday & Sunday from 23rd November to 15th  December; Daily from 21st  December – 24th December 2019
Elf-folk have taken over at Nevendon Manor, spreading Christmas spirit all over the grounds in order to offer a magical, festive experience for your family. You will embark on a unique, continuous trail around the grounds, guided by our resident clumsy elf 'Brumble', who needs your help to make a Christmas wish come true. 'An Elf's Wish' is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story & his whimsical elves. You will, no doubt bump into plenty of quirky characters along the way (perhaps even the big man himself!) as you discover that there's more to Christmas than just presents and Turkey! There is a packed schedule on the day – this is not your average visit to see Santa!
More details

The Santa Spectacular
Willows Farm – 23rd November to 24th December 2019
This is a full day out of festive family fun and the child ticket price includes all the activities and shows plus a visit to Santa and being able to choose a gift from his Toy Shop, making a toy bear in the Create-a-Character workshop and biscuit decorating.  The website does give the opportunity to purchase tickets on the day but they do advise that you book ahead to avoid disappointment as this event is always really popular.
More details

Breakfast with Santa 
Thurrock Garden Centre - 2nd Dec (under 5s), 7th, 8th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd December 2019
Enjoy a cooked breakfast or cereal and toast. There will be activities on the tables and  a meet and greet from  the big man himself. There is a gift and a visit to see the animals too. Tickets will be available from 16th September.
More details

Santa Returns To His Grotto
Romford Shopping Hall - 23rd & 24th November, 30th & 1st December, 7th & 8th December, 14th & 15th December, 21st - 24th December 2019
EXTRA DATES ADDED - 17th, 19th & 20th December

£6.00 per child. Take unlimited photos/videos on your own phone (Please charge it before your visit), a fabulous present too. £1.00 per child will go to the Hornchurch & Upminster Sea Cadets to help purchase their new mini bus!
More Details

The Santa Express Trains
Barnards Railway – 7th & 8th December; 14th & 15th December 2019
Santa Express tickets will be available to book from 12th October.  Watch this space for more information!
More details

Finding Father Christmas
Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning - 7th December 2019
Explore a magical winter wonderland, get crafty with the Elves and meet Father Christmas in his woodland grotto!
More details

Santa's Grotto at The Mercury Mall
Mercury Mall - 10th November - 24th December 2019

One of the most well known Grotto's in Havering, Santa will be back every day, Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm and on Sunday 11am - 4pm (He pop's out for a quick lunch and to check on the Reindeer from 1pm - 2pm!). There are various packages available which include gifts and photos. 
More details

Santa Special Trains
Epping Ongar Railway – Saturdays & Sundays from 30th November – 15th December; daily from 19th December to 24th December 2019
Santa has agreed to return to the Epping Ongar Railway again this year despite being his busiest time of year! This is a magical ride through the Essex countryside on a steam train, a gift for every child and mulled wine for the grown ups! There are lots of characters to meet and time given to write a letter to Santa. A great day out!
More details

Festive Afternoon Tea with Santa
Thurrock Hotel - Sunday 1st December 2019
More details

Breakfast with Santa
Thurrock Hotel - Saturdays 7th, 14th & 21st December 2019
Santa will be coming round the tables and giving a small present to each child. Bring your camera for a photo! The food is an all you can eat breakfast buffet so there is sure to be something for everyone.
More details

Breakfast with Father Christmas 
Orsett Hall – 7th December, 14th & 15th December; 21st & 22nd December 2019
Buffet breakfast where children can do 2 activities with the elves before meeting Santa and receiving their special gift. Booking definitely recommended.
More details

Father Christmas at Barleylands
Barleylands Farm - 30th November - 24th December 2019

Meet Father Christmas in his festive grotto and receive a stunning family photograph with Father Christmas in the grotto to remember the special moment, taken by professional photographer elves. Your child will receive a wonderful gift that is tailored to their age. FREE Farm Park Entry on the day of your booking.
More details

Santa’s Grotto
Bluewater – 14th November – 24th December 2019
This is a very different adventure based on the story of The Nutcracker. You will meet a Toy Solider Guard, the Mouse King, The Nutcracker, Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and many more finishing up with the MOST important visit of all – to meet Father Christmas. Booking is advised.
More details

Santa at Valence House
Valence House - 7th December
Booking is essential for this event. There are several time options.
More details

Santa's Grotto
Wellgate Community Farm – 7th December 2019
Buddy the Elf and Father Christmas will be here for just one day! More details to follow.
More details

Santa visits Liana's Tea Shop
Liana's Tea Shop - 20th December 2019
More details

Santa's Animal Experience Grotto
Thurrock Garden Centre - 16th November - 23rd December 2019
See Santa & his animals: Monday-Friday: 1pm - 5pm; Saturday: 10:30am - 4:30pm; Sunday: 10:30am - 4pm.  £8 includes admission for one child & one adult to see the animals & Santa and to receive an age-appropriate gift. Additional adults £1 each.
See animals only: Monday- Friday: 10am; Saturday & Sunday: 10:30am; (During peak times, this may not be possible.)
Visit the animals only- adults and children £1 each.
(For your own enjoyment, we advise for 'animal only' visits Monday-Friday before 1pm.)

Father Christmas' Grotto
Roomes at Upminster - from 23rd November 2019
Santa will arrive at Roomes after his sleigh ride around Upminster. He will be greeting all the lovely children and will be in his grotto 1.30-5 & then up to Christmas Eve. £5.95 per child with a Christmas gift

Supper & Santa
Thorndon Countryside Park - 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st December 2019
Come and enjoy a visit with Santa in Thorndon Country Park visitors centre! You will get to have one to one time with Santa (to tell him how good you’ve been this year!).
More details

Aurora Explorer Christmas Grotto
Lakeside Shopping Centre - 16th November - 24th December 2019
Bring your little ones down for a magical experience to meet Santa and become an Aurora Explorer! Each visit will last around 25-30 minutes. As part of the enchanted experience, all children will receive a gift when visiting Santa.
More details

Meet Mrs Claus
Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Brentwood - 30th November 2019
Meet Mrs Claus at this drop in grotto on the same day as Brentwood Light Switch On.
More details

Breakfast with Santa 
Harvester (Gidea Park) - 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd & 24th December 2019
For just £5.99 per child, your little ones can enjoy breakfast with their favourite person, Santa Claus! He'll be flying in especially to Gidea Park Harvester  for a special breakfast. Price includes breakfast, drink, special treat and the opportunity to meet the big guy himself.
More details

Santa's Grotto at Altons
Alton's Garden Centre, Arterial Road, Wickford SS12 9JG - 9th November - 24th December 2019
Santa's elves have been busy working in their new workshop, ready to welcome all the children to take a journey through Alton station, the enchanted forest and following a visit to the stables, it is time to see Santa before his reindeer fly off to deliver your presents. You will receive a present and a seedling Christmas Tree once you have given your wish to Santa. Now you just have to be good and you may just get the present you wished for.
More details

Santa's Snowflake Grotto
Westfield Stratford City - 21st November - 14th December 2019
Be magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised Christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto. You’ll meet Santa in his cosy cabin, where every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with him. The visit lasts approximately 20-25 minutes, and photos can be purchased in the Christmas Shop at the end.
More details

Visit Father Christmas 
Myplace, Harold Hill - 22nd & 23rd December 2019
Sunday 10am - 1pm and Monday 10am - 4pm suitable for ages 0-12 years. Each child will receive a small gift a photo and a ticket for the teddy tombola. 

Santa visits Collier Row
Various roads in Collier Road area - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th & 11th December 2019
Santa will visit many roads in Collier Row and the route are available to see in the link below. 
More details

Bonnetts Breakfast with Santa
Bonnetts Garden Village - 30th November, 7th, 14th, 21st, 22nd & 24th December 2019
Each child will receive a breakfast and a drink along with a visit from Santa and an activity with the Bonnetts Elves! Child’s ticket for £7.99 each. Mums and dads can also join in, they will receive a breakfast with unlimited regular tea or coffee for £5.99 each. 
More details

Bonnetts Santa Grotto
Bonnetts Garden Village - 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 21st, 22nd & 24th December 2019
The Elves have been busy working to get Bonnetts Garden Village ready for Santa. Join us this festive season and meet Santa in his magical grotto! Don’t forget to tell him what is on your Christmas wish list, be quick he sure is busy! £10 per child, adults go free – price includes a present. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your booking. If you would like to book for more than one child please book the applicable amount of sessions, they will be able to see Santa together – if you wish.
More details

Breakfast with Santa & Elsa
Plant Perfections Upminster 30th Nov, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd December 2019
Santa and Frozen's beautiful Elsa will be visiting us every weekend in December. Bookings can be made over the phone or made in person at Plant Perfections.
More details

Steam with Santa
Colne Valley Railway - 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd December

Santa travels on a luxurious train and every child gets a gift!
More details

Breakfast with Santa and his Elves
The Harrow, Hornchurch - 21st & 22nd December
🎄 Santa Is coming to the Harrow 🎄.
Meet Santa, have breakfast and a drink plus received a Christmas activity pack all for just £5. Please note you must book in advance.


Sensory Santa Experiences

There are many children who find the experience of visiting Santa all too stressful. We are so fortunate that this year there are a range of places where you can take your child to see the big man in red and those sensory needs will be catered for. 

Sensory Santa Grotto
The Sycamore Trust, Liberty Shopping Centre - every Wednesday from 20th November until 18th December 2019
An autism friendly grotto where children and adults with learning disabilities or autism can meet Santa in a welcoming and calming environment. This is a FREE experience and donations are encouraged in aid of The Sycamore Trust, Haven House Children's Hospice and Cancer Research UK.
More details

Relaxed Grotto
Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Brentwood -24th November 2019
A special relaxed Christmas grotto for children with sensory needs. This is free but you do need to book.
More details

Relaxed Santa Visit
Romford Shopping Hall -  23rd & 24th November, 30th & 1st December, 7th & 8th December, 14th & 15th December, 21st - 24th December 2019
The REAL Father Christmas will be here again this year and you can arrange a quieter session for those children who find it all a bit overwhelming. You can also book group sensory sessions which Santa loves doing. Email [email protected] to make a booking. 
More details

Sensory Santa Grotto
The Mercury Mall, Romford - 12th, 19th & 26th November,  3rd, 10th & 17th December 2019
Visits to see Father Christmas can be impossible for some families due to the mix of flashing lights, festive music, long queues and for some children, even just seeing grown-ups wearing beards or costumes. You can book onto one of our sensory friendly grotto visits on the dates listed at the help desk, management suite, the Grotto or email: [email protected] (open 11th November- 24th December)
Siblings & family members welcome. Time: 15 mins sessions between 5pm-6pm
More details


Other Christmas Events

Robin Hood Pantomine
Queens Theatre– 28th November – 5th January
Deep in the heart of his foreboding Castle, the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham is taxing the poor to pile up his gold, whilst imprisoning brave Maid Marian and her hilarious Nurse Nellie.
More details

Olaf's Christmas Cracker
Mercury Shopping Centre - 24th November
More details

Sparky The Elf & The Secret Toy Shop
This will be happening at a secret location again this year!
More details

Christmas Carol Service 
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary – 22nd December 2019

Christmas Lights Switch On
Romford Market - 14th November 2019
Hornchurch - 16th Novmeber 2019
Upminster - 21st November 2019
Elm Park - 28th November 2019
Harold Hill - 2nd December 2019
Rainham - 5th December 2019
Collier Row - 6th December 2019

Havering Christmas Land
Harrow Lodge Park - 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th. 15th. 16th. 17th 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December 2019
Local mental health charity Havering Mind presents a unique and magical Christmas attraction for the local area......Havering Christmas Land!
More details

FREE Christmas Events on Romford Market
Romford Market - 14th - 23rd December 2019
The Narnia Experience, Mini Concerts, Mini Fun Fair and Meet the reindeer. All events are FREE for everyone!
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Noak Hill Christmas House Switch On 2019
Noak Hill Road, Romford. 1st Dec - 1st January 2020
Santa & his helpers will be visiting to switch on the lights! Last day will be Wednesday 1st January 2020 at 10pm. Lights are on daily from 4pm-10pm Keep an eye out for special character days on the Noakhill Christmas House page. Tag us in your photos #NoakHillChristmasHouse 
More details

Christmas Cracker Hunt
Thorndon Countryside Park South - 7th December - 5th January
Get some fresh air this Christmas and take part in our fabulous Christmas Cracker Hunt! Can you find all the crackers hidden around Thorndon South - there's a great prize for you if you can?
More details

Christmas Tree Festival
Upminster Methodist Church - 30th November - 8th December
You we welcome to view this beautiful sight of 30 decorated trees for 7 days, openings times are on the poster. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite tree

Frankie's Fun Run
Fairlop Waters - 8th December 2019
In aid of Saint Francis Hospice - even if you aren't running, go along and support those taking part. Visit the market stalls, see Santa and have a lovely family day out!
More details 

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
Myplace - 20th & 21st December 2019
A magical family pantomine!
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Peter Pan The Musical
Brookside Theatre - 11th - 21st December 2019
Musical Theatre at its best.
More details

Christmas Carols 
Collier Row Gospel Hall - 22nd December
Cottons Park - 15th December
Holy Cross - 21st December
North Street Halls- 18th December
North Street Halls - 19th December
Thames Chase - 15th December
St Laurence Church - 22nd December
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary - 22nd December
Ed's Place, Romford (meet outside) - 20th December
St Chad's, Chadwell Heath - 18th December
St Chad's, Chadwell Heath - 22nd December
RCCG, Hornchurch - 24th December
Carols by Candlelight - 22nd December

Christmas Markets & Fairs

Essex Festive Food & Gift Show – 2nd & 3rd November
Brentwood Centre

Essex Christmas Fair - 9th & 10th November
Cressing Temple Barns 

Mini Christmas Market - 15th November
Hornchurch Library

Gift & Craft Fair (&Pamper) - 16th November
CLC Centre, Wickford

German Christmas Market - 7th November - 23rd December
Meadow Croft Garden Centre

Christmas Fair - 16th November
St Lawrence Church, Upminster

Christmas Fete & Shopping Event - 16th November
Cranham Community Centre

The German Christmas Market - 22nd Novmeber - 23rd December
Meadowcroft Garden Centre, Battlesbridge

Christmas Gift Fair - 22nd - 24th November
RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Christmas Craft Fair – 23rd  & 24th November
Calcott Hall

Christmas Food & Gift Fair - 23rd & 24th November
Chelmsford City Racecourse

Christmas Fair - 23rd November
Sawyers Church Brentwood

Festive Craft Fayre – 24th November

Nordic Fair - 23rd November
The Mercury Shopping Centre

Christmas Craft Market Galleywood - 24th November
Galleywood Heritage Centre

Winter Wonderland Christmas Fayre & Market – 30th November
Harold Wood Primary School

Christmas Market raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital – 30th November
North Romford Community Centre

Valentines Mansion Christmas Fair - Friday 29th November – 1st December

Christmas Bazaar - 30th November
St Alban's School

Christmas Market - 1st December
High Street, Billaricay

Epping Christmas Market – 6th December
Epping High Street

Christmas Fete – 7th December
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Rainham Christmas Fayre - 7th December

Christmas Sunday Market – 8th December
The Market Place, Enfield. Includes Santa’s Grotto

Shenfield Christmas Fayre – 8th December
Hutton Road, Shenfield





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