20th October 2023

Christmas is just around the corner, there's no time to wait! Santa is loading his sleigh, and he shan't be late! To celebrate this Christmas in style, our friends over at Kent Attractions have compiled the top places in Kent to catch Santa on his travels!

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like taking your children to see Father Christmas in his twinkling Santa’s grotto.

You don’t have to visit Lapland to visit Father Christmas, there are plenty of magical experiences much nearer home.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Santa’s grottos in Kent that (at the time of writing) still have availability. Make sure you book your visit in advance to avoid disappointment!

Night time Christmas train ride with Santa

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Romney

Travel by train to Santa’s grotto and enjoy some seasonal treats.

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway has been running its popular Santa Specials since 1981. Santa Specials include a return train journey from New Romney to Hythe, seasonal refreshments, and the main event – a visit to Santa in his Grotto.

Their quiet train will run on Sunday 26th November at 15:20 this year. This experience will be tailored to passengers with special needs, autism and enhanced sensory needs.

Take a train straight to Christmas...

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

This December you’re invited to step into the centre of the secret world at The Dockyard and help Mrs Claus save Christmas from catastrophe. Your little ones will need to master the supernatural skills and learn the elf code before graduating from Elf Academy and solving the mystery of the missing clausometer. Once you’ve saved Christmas, your journey will end in a magical meeting with Father Christmas. He’ll be so pleased, he’ll present your little ones with a special gift to take home.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

Hever Castle in winter with fair ground ride and lights


Hever Castle, Edenbridge

Whilst the ever-popular pre-booked grotto experience has nearly sold out, there are still some mid-week daytime slots that are perfect for pre-schoolers. For those not visiting Santa there’s still plenty to do. Take a walk through the beautifully decorated castle rooms, discover a heartwarming story on the Christmas trail and enjoy fun fairground rides. If you're are visiting after dark, witness the enchantment of the castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and twinkling lights.

Capture the spirit of Christmas…

Christmas elf waving on train

Kent Life, Maidstone

A festive extravaganza awaits you at Kent Life. Get ready to say, “Ho Ho Ho!” as you embark on a magical journey. The highlight of your visit will be meeting Father Christmas himself in his enchanting grotto. Little ones will be thrilled to choose a special gift from the wonderfully stocked toy shop. But that’s not all! You can immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by graduating from Elf School, taking a ride on the jingle express and watching a Christmas movie or live show.

Jingle on your journey through Kent...

If you already have your visit to Father Christmas booked and are looking for a few more festive days out, then here are a few more ideas!

Enjoy the great outdoors with Christmas lights at Walmer Castle and Leeds Castle. Enjoy festive wreath making at The Powell Cotton Museum and Brogdale or sing along at one of the services and activities at Canterbury Cathedral.