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Santa’s grottos in Manchester: where to find Father Christmas in the city in 2018

Santa at Kendals

Now we’re heading full throttle in to the festive season, Father Christmas is all set to become a very, very busy man.

And the good news for families across Manchester is there are lots of opportunities to catch up with the bearded, red suited one in the weeks ahead – in a variety of different settings.

Here we round up some of the best and quirkiest grottos where you can meet Santa in the run up to Christmas Day.


It will be the last chance to catch Santa at his amazing grotto inside Kendals on Deansgate after the sad announcement that the House of Fraser store is to close in January.  But Father Christmas’s winter kingdom on the sixth floor will be just as magical as ever throughout November and December.  There is also the chance for an extra special treat with an audience with Santa at his own breakfasts held in store on selected dates – with the option of the Sixth Floor Restaurant on Saturdays or Italian Cicchetti on Sundays.

Price: £15 for children, adults free.  No booking required, just turn up.   Booking is required for breakfast with Santa (£25) which includes a grotto visit and breakfast – call the store on 0161 832 3414 for details.

Dates:  From 24th November to December 24th.  Breakfast with Santa starts on 1st December and then every weekend until December 23rd.

Manchester Arndale

Credit: Jason Lock

Start your journey in the snow-covered garden of Santa’s Scandinavian log cabin by casting your wishes into the brand new wishing well, and hang out and have fun with the Lapland Elves while waiting to see the main man.

Santa’s grotto will be located on the upper mall near Argos, and each visit includes a special story book to take home all about Santa’s visit to Manchester.

Price: £5.50 plus booking fee, to book click here

Dates: From 22nd November until 24th December

intu Trafford Centre

It’s a magical Peter Rabbit-themed winter wonderland for this year’s intu Trafford Centre Santa’s Grotto.

Price: Adult tickets are priced £5.50 and child prices are £8.50.  To avoid disappointment, families are urged to contact the booking centre directly with details of group size and any special requirements to ensure the best possible experience.  You can book online here.

Dates: From 14th November until 24th December

The Ice Village

(Photo: Mark Waugh)

Visit Santa in his own ice cavern on the Manchester Christmas Markets at the spectacular Ice Village which has come to Manchester for the first time this year.

Price: £7.50 for children, 2 adults go free.  You can book here.

Dates: From November 21st to December 24th

Legoland Discovery Centre

For any of you with Lego-loving children, this looks to be a bit of a treat this year, with a Lego Santa in his own Grotto in Barton Square at the intu Trafford Centre.  You get to meet the big man, have a photo and get a Lego gift as part of the Christmas Bricktacular.

Price: Included in entry price to Legoland. Prices are from £14.35 per person when booking online here.

Dates: December 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th, then every day from 15th to 24th.

Chill Factore

This is the place where you can be guaranteed there will be festive snow for your Santa visit.  Options include visiting Santa in Mini Moose Land, or head into the main snow park for added snowy fun.

Price:  In November, you’ll pay £9.50 for Santa and Mini Moose Land and £25 for Santa and Snow Park, increasing to £11.50 and £27 in December.   To book click here

Dates: From 17th November to 24th December

Selfridges Trafford

Not a grotto per se, but it’s a magical experience for children as Santa hosts a splendid festive breakfast inside designer emporium Selfridges at the intu Trafford Centre over the next two months.

Enjoy delicious food and drink fit for Saint Nicholas as you gather around to hear magical stories of his reindeers, elves and life at the North Pole – and leave with an early Christmas gift.

Price: £30 per child, adults go free. Click here for Tickets.

Dates: Saturdays and Sundays from December 1st to 16th.

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