Blink and you'll miss him...

Blink and you’ll miss him…

We’re all aware Father Christmas gets about. But this Christmas ahead of his international travels on the most magical and exciting eve of the year – Christmas Eve, we find him in and around Norwich and across the county of Norfolk. And he’s doing it in style and in so many different ways. Image credit: Strangers’ Hall Museum

Holkham Hall

Meet Mother and Father Christmas in the most beautiful setting at Holkham Hall in North Norfolk. This is an unforgettable visit for all the family with ukulele playing elves to entertain you with musical interludes whilst taking you on a tour of the State rooms magically decorated for the season. This is not to be missed.


Holkham Santa

Image credit: Holkham Estate


Santa’s Grotto for Dogs

Yes, you did read that correctly… Santa (Paws, sorry couldn’t resist) has decided to chill out with some pooches at the Forum in Norwich. Bring your dressed-up dogs to meet Santa in his Grotto. It’s a barking mad fabulous family outing and the perfect opportunity for a really rather marvellous photo. Of all of you. Promise.

Saturday 14 December, FREE
Times: 11.00am – 15.00pm.
The Forum, Norwich

Santas Grotto Fo DogsImage credit: Santa Grotto for Dogs at The Forum


Santa Cruise

We start off on the Santa Cruise (not to be confused with the ex Manchester City striker, Roque Santa Cruz). Join the team of pixies on the Vintage Broadsman for family festive fun, including a seasonal quiz and Christmas sing-along. Enjoy a mulled wine and mince pies for the adults, and a soft drink and festive cookies for the children whilst Father Christmas attempts to safely and securely land his sleigh on the roof of the boat. Once he’s executed this jaw-dropping stunt, he will climb down into the boat with presents for all the children, which will be named especially for them.

30 November; 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 19 – 24 December 2019.
Broads Tours, Wroxham

£13.00 all tickets, under 1’s go for free. Children under 1 who wish to receive a present can do so for £5.00


Father Christmas Parade at Jarrold

Norwich is steeped in history and tradition and as we’ll all come to know, tradition is most important during the festive season. There has been a Jarrold Father Christmas parade through Norwich since the 1880’s and this year is no exception. Join him as he begins his epic journey from The Forum on 24 November at 10.30am, due to arrive in store at 11am.

Visit the magical Big Man until Christmas Eve. Cost £7.50 – £9.50. Advance booking is recommended.
Jarrold, Norwich

Jarrolds at Christmas

Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Strangers’ Hall – ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Strangers’ Hall visits to Father Christmas in 2018 were a sell out, and this year will be no different. If you like a traditional and joyful Christmas without the commercial furore then this is the place for you. This charming medieval house evokes nostalgia through its green foliage décor – they’re all real – at this beautiful time of year. Arrive through their enchanting courtyard to be greeted by elves who’ll whisk you away to meet the friendliest man around, in his toy workshop.

30 November; 7, 14, 20, 21 December; 10am – 4pm advance booking advised
Children – Father Christmas £8.
Children – Father Christmas & museum £10
Adult – Father Christmas & museum £5.40

Charing Cross Road, Norwich

Stranger's Hall Santa

Image credit: Strangers’ Hall


Banham Zoo, Santa in his Ice Cave

It’s a quick stop at the zoo for Santa when he gets to Banham. Visit Santa in his ice cave between 30 November and 1 December (£6.95 per child). There’ll be plenty of fun too with Christmas crafts and face painting. Why not make a day of it and wish all the animals a merry Christmas whilst you’re there (entry cost).

£6.95 gives every child a present and a voucher for a return trip to Banham Zoo valid until 31st March 2020.

Banham, Norfolk


Father Christmas and his Real Reindeer

At Fairhaven’s Woodland and Water Gardens in the Broads see Father Christmas in a natural woodland setting. Enjoy the historic winter garden and enjoy live music, craft stalls, illuminations and an Elves’ Workshop with Christmas crafts to keep the children busy. Seasonal food is available in the tearoom and marquee.

14 – 15 December; 11am – 5pm.
Garden entry applies for adults and concessions £6.80 with £10 per child to visit Father Christmas and receive a present (includes garden entry from 10am).
Pre-booking is essential to visit Father Christmas.

Christmas at Fiarhaven Woodland & Water Gardens

Image credit: Fairhaven Woodland & Water Gardens


Steam Trains to Santa

All aboard! The train is leaving Wroxham. Take a charming visit to see Father Christmas in his twinkly lit grotto through the Broads National Park on a steam train. Tuck into complementary mulled soft drinks and mince pies for the adults and squash and shortbread for the children as well as taking part in festive activities. The whole experience lasts around three hours.

Various dates 30 November to 24 December. All tickets £17.
Bure Valley Railway, Wroxham, The Broads.

Steam Trains to Santa

Image credit: Bure Valley Railway


ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure

A dinosaur-themed winter wonderland will also arrive at the park on Saturday 30 November. Children can stumble across the magical world of Narnia through C.S. Lewis’ enchanted wardrobe in the Lost World Maze, as well as discover creatures through the festive-themed Dinosaur Trail, filled with hidden candy canes. Christmas arts and crafts will be available for children to take part in and make decorations and cards to take home for family and friends.

Families can step into an enchanted grotto to visit Father Christmas, where Dippy and his little helpers will be on hand to give out gifts. An additional £6.95 (on cost of entry to attraction) will be charged to meet Father Christmas in his grotto, which includes a special gift from Dippy and all the crew at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure.

The winter wonderland will be open for 30 November – 1 December, 7 – 8, 14 – 15 and 19 – 24 December.
Lenwade, Norfolk



Santa’s Magical Journey

Now this is special. This is the most tantalising experiential visit to Father Christmas in these parts. Follow the path through penguins and polar bears, see the giant teddy bears getting ready to load the sleigh, glimpse the elves hard at work in the toy factory – working the wrapping machine. This is truly magical and very memorable, a visit for all the family from grandparents to toddlers. There’s loads of fantasy characters to meet along the way as you head towards the magical forest to reach Santa’s House.

On 24 November (appointments from 9 am-12 noon) there will be a relaxed morning. Queuing will be less, music will be quieter and harsh lighting effects will be turned off.

Various dates and times between 23 November and 24 December.
Adults £11.50; Children with a present £18.50; under 1’s free.
Thursford, Norfolk

Santa's Magical Journey

Image credit: Santa’s Magical Journey


Christmas at Africa Alive

We started in the Broads and finish in (almost Africa). Visit Santa Claus and receive a gift with Christmas crafts and animal handling in the Discovery Centre.

7-8, 14 – 15, 19 – 24 December
£6.95 per child plus entrance, advance booking recommended.
Africa Alive, Kessingland, Lowestoft