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Trafford Centre Christmas grotto is now open – what to expect

Santa is back at his Trafford Centre grotto with a new "COVID-secure" reindeer lodge - here's everything you need to know to plan a visit

Now that lockdown restrictions have eased and all shops are allowed to reopen, the Trafford Centre‘s popular Christmas grotto has reopened to welcome families in a COVID-secure attraction.

This year, bosses have created a new Reindeer Lodge where kiddies get to meet Norbert the magical reindeer, as well as meeting Father Christmas of course.

To comply with ongoing coronavirus restrictions, social distancing is being strictly observed with limited bookings and a maximum of five families on each time slot to ensure plenty of space as you walk through the lodge.

All adults and children aged over 11 must wear masks throughout the Reindeer Lodge.

So what’s the Reindeer Lodge like?

Children will love the new reindeer lodge room where the magic starts – a cheeky elf talks to all five families (assembled on socially distanced benches) and gives everybody their own funny festive name.

Then you are all encouraged to sing festive songs to lure shy Norbert the apprentice reindeer out of hiding – who has a magical secret.

It leads through to a reindeer feed room, where kids get to scoop out their own reindeer feed to take home with them to encourage a visit from Santa and his sleigh on Christmas Eve.

Then, of course, it’s the big moment – meeting Santa Claus himself.

What about the Grotto?

Naturally in this weird old 2020 we’re having, there’s going to be no sitting on Santa’s knee this year.

But Reindeer Lodge’s clever elves have come up with a cunning way to let the kids get close to the big red-suited bearded one without noticing they’re not actually that close at all – by sitting in a giant sized sledge with Santa.

It makes for great photos – although be warned you’ll have to pay for the official photos separately in the merchandise area when you leave the grotto.

You do get an age-appropriate gift for each child as well as part of your ticket price.

How much is the merch?

There’s a variety of packages for photos – and you can get them in a snow globe, bauble or just as a regular mounted photo.  Prices start from £8.

Where is the grotto?

The grotto is located next to the main dome on the upper level – next to Office shoes and opposite the Pandora shop.

Which is the nearest car park?

The closest to the grotto is Regent 1’s Upper Level next to Selfridges.  If you have a pram and need to use the lower car park, there are lifts at the far end (closest to Selfridges).  All parking is free at the Trafford Centre.

If you’re using the tram, get the main intu Trafford Centre stop – and then walk through the Selfridges entrance to get to the grotto.

Read more: Christmas drive-in for festive fun

What days and times are the grotto open?

Saturday 5th December – 9am to 7pm

Sunday 6th December – Thursday 10th December – 10am to 7pm

Friday 11th December – Thursday 17th December

Fri – 10am to 7pm

Sat – 9am to 7pm

Sun – Thurs – 10am to 7pm

Friday 18th December – Thursday 24th December

Fri – Wed – 9am to 8pm

Christmas Eve – 9am to 5pm

How do I book and how much are tickets?

Tickets are priced at £10.50 per child and £5.50 for each adult (plus booking fees).  Each booking is limited to five tickets and everyone must be from the same household with a maximum of two adults allowed with each group.

All booking must be made online here.

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