Father Christmas
Places to go to meet the big man in red - come and say hello to Santa!

For other ideas take a look at the Festive Fun page, and for full listings see the Things to Do section

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Chadwell Heath Baptist Church

Dagenham Trades Hall

Eastbrookend Country Park

Eastbury Manor House

St Mary's Church

Valence House

Altons Garden Centre

Barleylands Farm Park

The Billericay School

Fairy Tale Pony Parties

Festival Leisure Park
Langdon Country Park

Langdon Visitor Centre

Partyman World of Play
Presidents Community Hall

Stay and Play Indoor Children's Play Centre
The View Garden Centre

The Wick Community Centre
The Archer Community Centre
Baytree Garden Centre

Braintree Town Centre

Colne Valley Railway

Cressing Temple

DeVere Primary School

The Grove Shopping Centre

Kiddi Caru Day Nursery

Pioneer Special Needs School

White Court Primary School

Wyevale Garden Centre


Chicken and Frog
Thorndon Country Park.

Weald Country Park

Cedar Hall School

Hadleigh Country Park

Leisure Island Fun Park

The Old Fire Station

The Paddocks

Richmond Hall

The Salvation Army
Frost ChristmasLightsIsland Inflatables

Camelot Day Nursery

Chelmsford Miniature Railway

Frost Christmas

Galleywood Heritage Centre

Great Waltham Primary School

Hanningfield Reservoir

Hylands House & Estate

Island Inflatables

Kiddi Caru Day Nursery

Little Baddow History Centre

The Marconi Club

Marsh Farm

Mace Playce

Natural Foundation
Ramsden Preschool
Rettendon Primary School

RHS Hyde Hall

St Augustine's Church
The Wilderness Foundation

Wyevale Garden Centre
BarnplantsLightsIsland Inflatables

Abberton Reservoir

Ardleigh Village Hall

Barnplants Garden Centre

Cardinal Bourne Hall

Castle Park

Coggeshall Grange Barn

Coggeshall Village Hall

Colchester Castle

Colchester Zoo

East Anglian Railway Museum

Island Inflatables

The Institute Hall

Kiddi Caru Day Nursery

Perrywood Garden Centre
Poplar Nurseries


Williams and Griffin

Epping Ongar Railway
  • Santa Specials:  Santa is coming to the line to hear Christmas wishes on the trains and to give all the good girls and boys a present. Good Mums and Dads get a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine too. Special fares apply and advance booking is strongly recommended, with tickets soon to be available to purchase. Please click on the link above for further details and to book.

Lee Valley Park Farms

  • Farmtastic Santa:  Get in the festive mood and book your chance to see Santa in his grotto at the farms this Christmas! You will also get to meet our festive friends the reindeer and say hello to many of our other farmyard residents. This is all after enjoying a family trip to Santa's Grotto, with a special present for children to take home!

Loughton Town Centre


  • Santa's Christmas Party:  Come and join Santa for his annual Christmas party for the kids.  Santa will be holding a Breakfast/Brunch buffet and meeting children between 2-12 years old. Kids will get an opportunity to take part in Christmas cupcake decorating and walk away with a small gift. 

Tyndalls Garden Centre
The View
  • Santa's Grotto: Book onto our magical Christmas weekend to meet Father Christmas.

The Play PeopleLights

The Harvey Centre
  • Santa's Grotto: Shoppers of all ages will be able to step inside a mini-winter wonderland to meet Father Christmas. Choose from your child’s photo to keep forever or a very special gift with the man himself. Families will also have the opportunity to purchase key rings, fridge magnets, snow globes or snow themed picture frames from the festive shop. 
Kiddi Caru Day Nursery
  • Santa's Grotto: Watch your little ones face light up when you come and meet Santa in his grotto at our free Winter Wonderland event.

Parndon Woods

  • Santa's Grotto: Come see Santa in his grotto and take part in the Christmas fun in partnership with Harlow Council

Pets Corner
  • Nativity Play: Visit Santa and his Reindeer. Live nativity acted out be Phoenix theatre School with star appearances from the Pets Corner animals

The Water Gardens
Ardleigh House
  • Winter Wonderland Spectacular: A huge Christmas event for the local community to enjoy a fun family day out. A santas grotto, live music, children's fairground rides, meet and greets with some of your favourite characters as well as lots of stalls and some yummy food. The perfect start to December to get everyone in the festive mood!

Bedfords Park Visitor Centre
  • Santa's Grotto and the Crafty Elf Workshop: Head to Bedfords Park for a special Christmas weekend. Join the elves in the Crafty Elf Workshop, have a magical walk in the woods, feed the deer and to top it off meet Santa too!

Benhurst School
  • Christmas Bazaar: There will be a raffle with prizes of Christmas hampers, Santa's grotto, food & refreshments, tombolas, stalls selling gifts, crafts, glitter tattoos, games & prizes & lots more.
Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
  • A Crafted Christmas Fair:  Are you looking for gifts that are not on the high street? Handmade quality items created with love and care? Maybe you have a special occasion on the way or you want to treat yourself?  We will also have a delicious Caribbean menu and refreshments as well as a Santa's Grotto.

The Chafford School
  • Charity Christmas Gift Fair and Funday: Come and join us for a day of fun and shop for all your Christmas needs. Meet Santa in his grotto and tell him what you want for xmas! Or meet our Disney princess lookalikes in our photo booth!

Fairkytes Arts Centre
  • Festive Fayre: Santa’s Grotto, face painting, games, live music performances, refreshments, festive stalls

Havering Museum
  • Indoor Christmas Market: Enjoy festive activitites whilst exploring our christmas stalls and galleries. 
  • Santa's Flying Visit: Meet Mr and Mrs Claus at the museum. Make a wish on the wishing tree. Enjoy a story and receive a present from Santa.

Havering Road Methodist Church

The Mercury
  • Santa's Magic Grotto: Have your photo taken or receive and Christmas present from Santa. Why not choose both! Keep a look out for more details!


  • Myplace Christmas Market:  Enjoy browsing through our many stalls, selling gifts, decorations, delicious treats and lots more enticing items. Make time to visit Santa's Grotto, take your little angel to play in our 0-5yrs Soft Play room, take part in a variety of fun and daring Games, challenge a friend on the Dance Mats and lots more....

North Romford Community Centre
  • Christmas Spectacular Fair! (Frozen theme!): Meet and greet Princess Elsa and have a photo with her by Pandora Images! Meet and Greet Santa in his very own grotto! Face painting, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, food, entertainment all available on the day!

Romford Shopping Hall

  • Santa's Grotto: Our Christmas Grotto will open on Thursday 13th November at 3.30. Santa will be there every Saturday and Sunday until 21st Dec and every day until 24th December. Proceeds will go to Bedrock Hospital Radio.

Romford YMCA
  • Santa's Grotto: Bouncy castle, face painting, meet the mascots and more.

The Royal Liberty School
  • Friends of Royal Liberty Christmas Craft Fair: We are holding our first Christmas craft fair, stalls include cupcakes, jewellery, candles and many other gift ideas. We also have a special visit from Father Christmas, and stalls for children including chocolate tombola and decorating Xmas baubles.

St Edwards Primary School

Wellgate Community Farm
  • Christmas Grotto Weekend: Come down to Wellgate Community Farm and visit Santa in our farm style grotto and visit our christmas farm shop for your last minute stocking fillers while supporting your local community farm.

Burnham-on-Crouch Town Centre
  • Burnham on Crouch Festive Fayre: The Festive Fayre was set up to support local businesses. it is away of bringing shoppers to the town to do their Christmas shopping instead of heading off to the large shopping centres. We have street entertainment and a Festive Market with the street filled with stalls supporting local shops and artists. Santa visits and gives presents from the Clock Tower grotto, Brass Band plays Carols.

Mangapps Railway Museum
  • Santa Train Rides: Board a steam train bound for Santa Central at Mangapps Railway Museum in Burnham on crouch.

Museum of Power

  • Santa Special: Miniature steam train rides to see Father Christmas with a present for children included in the cost.

Plume School
  • Christmas Fayre: A Fayre for local traders selling handmade crafts, Christmas goods and plants - you can even order your Christmas tree! Santa will be in his Grotto with gifts for young children and there will be refreshments on offer.Christmas Bazaar, Lady Immaculate School Christmas Bazaar, Lady Immaculate School 

Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
  • A Crafted Christmas Fair: Are you looking for gifts that are not on the high street? Handmade quality items created with love and care? Head over to A Crafted Christmas Fair which will be bursting with amazing handmade items. We will also have a delicious Caribbean menu and refreshments as well as a Santa's Grotto (£1 entry) for the children to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift.

Redbridge Central Library
  • Meet Santa in his Grotto : Come along and meet Santa in his cosy, twinkly Grotto at Redbridge Central Library. His merry elves will be on hand to keep you amused and add some Christmas cheer

Edward Francis School
  • Christmas Craft Family Fayre: There will be a variety of crafts for your younger and older children to enjoy and take home with them. Parent participation required!  Luckily, Santa has agreed to join us so come and pay his grotto a visit. In the main hall there will be lots of shopping vendors selling some great last minute presents not found on the high street for you all to purchase.

Festival Leisure Park
  • St Luke's Christmas Weekend L: The St Luke's Christmas Weekend is coming to Festival Leisure Park this December, come and join in the fun!ots of fun activities to raise lots of cash for the charity. Come and browse the Christmas Shopping stalls, enjoy a Christmas Choir competition, hop on funfair rides and much more. There will also be a special arrival from Santa over the weekend – come and tell him what’s on your Christmas list and meet the real reindeer.

Great Wakering Community Centre
Hockley Town Centre
  • Hockley Christmas Lights Switch On: Hockley Christmas Lights Switch-on Event with Christmas Market Stalls, Hog Roast, Mulled Wine, Charity Stalls, Various Food & Drink Stalls, Face Painting, Punch & Judy, Father Christmas, Stage Entertainment and Fireworks Display. Stage Entertainment to include various choirs and diverse dancing exhibitions. Local shops open.

Hullbridge Community Centre
  • Hullbridge Christmas Lights: Don't miss this Family Event, with activities, many stalls including refreshments / craft / toys/ xmas presents plus lots of entertainment/competitions for all ages including visiting Santa.

Mill Hall

Our Lady of Ransom School

The View Garden Centre
  • Santa's Grotto: Laural our barn owl is helping Santa this Christmas. Come and meet them both and receive a lovely souvenier photo and gift

Wyevale Garden Centre
  • Breakfast & Tea with Father Christmas:  Don't miss this very special chance to meet Father Christmas! It's a delight for children of all ages and grown-ups too. You enjoy a delicious, freshly-prepared breakfast or tea and then join his elves to welcome him as he arrives from the North Pole.

Adventure Island
  • Adventure Wonderland: Father Christmas and all his Elves are back for another festive treat for all you good boys and girls!

Balmoral Pre-School
  • Christmas Fete: Santa's grotto, bouncy castle bacon roll fudge stall sweets, raffles ,face and nail painting decorate xmas biscuits and make your own decorations, teas coffees mulled wine tombola boxes and bows stall and much more!

Belle Vue Church Hall
  • Christmas Fayre: We are holding our annual Christmas fayre in aid of Havens Hospices. Come and join us for lots of fun, activities include face painting, cake decorating, make your own Christmas card, Santas' Grotto, name the teddy plus lots more.

Blenheim Primary School

Chalkwell Park Methodist Centre
  • Christmas Bazaar: Come and join us at our Christmas Bazaar. A wide variety of stalls: gifts, crafts, plants, jewellery, home-made cakes, toiletry gift baskets, Christmas items, Christmas Activity packs for children, books, tombola, soft toy tombola & chocolate tombola, various games for children and raffle. Father Christmas will be there for Story Telling.

Funky Monkeys
  • Funky Monkeys Christmas Party!: We will be making Christmas tree decorations, gifts and Christmas cards, along with painting, gluing, festive play dough, making crackers, Christmas biscuit decorating, Christmas gift stockings, sensory fun, snowflakes, stars and angels, holly and 'mistletoes', snowmen and reindeer's, balloon ball pit, Christmas songs and dancing and a visit from FATHER CHRISTMAS and his elves!

Highlands Methodist Church
  • Christmas Fair: Father Christmas and A Partridge in a Pear Tree Animal Zoo will be there. Many other stalls including gifts, crafts, cakes, cards, books and bric-a-brac. Also there will be refreshments and lunches.


Sealife Adventure
  • See Santa: Come and SEE SANTA at Sea-Life Adventure in his exciting Christmas Grotto!

Southend High Street

  • Christmas Spectacular & Lights: The celebrations get underway with the Southend Christmas Spectacular. There is a day full of entertainment on a specially constructed stage at Victoria Circus, including the award-winning Funky Voices Choir, Glitterball band and BGT Sweet Chix before the big Heart FM switch-on at 6pm

Southend Airport
  • Santa Flights: Stuck for an idea for a Christmas treat for the kids? Or for grandchildren, nephews and nieces? Join us for our Santa flights from Southend,
Southend Pier
  • Santa on the Pier: Come and visit Santa on the Pier in his winter wonderland. All children will receive a free gift and entry includes a free ride on the Pier train with an accompanying adult.

St Margaret's Church Hall
  • Christmas Market: Refreshments, raffles and games. Father Christmas;s Grotto, plus music recital and plenty more.

St Thomas More School
  • Huge Gift and Craft Fair With Recycled Christmas Tree Forest: Enter through the wardrobe that leads to Narnia and walk through the forest of trees all made from recycled materials. A truly diverse and imaginative display will take you on an original journey through the forest, with each tree conveying its own depiction of Christmas.An optional opportunity to visit Santa's grotto at the end of the forest.

Thorpe Greenways School
  • Christmas Spectacular: Thorpe Greenways Christmas Spectacular. FREE ENTRY and open to everyone who wants to come along we'll be having an Ice Skating Rink, Christmas Craft Stalls, Special Santas Grotto.

Toddler Sense
  • Toddler Sense Christmas Party: Our fabulous Christmas parties include lots of festive cheer and activities, seasonal refreshments, a present from Father Christmas as well as face-painting, a photographer and so much more.

The Victoria Shopping Centre
Wesley Methodist Church

All Saints Church
  • Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival: A visit from St Nicholas (Sinterklaas), who will come in his horse and carriage bringing gifts, scores of lit and decorated christmas trees, gift shop. pantry, cakes and refreshments, hot chestnuts, mulled wine, quiz, music and carols.

Bradfield Community Centre

Clacton Factory Outlet

Clacton Pier

Frinton Chapel Pre-School
  • Christmas Family Fayre: Come and get in the Christmas Spirit at our Family Fayre! Lots of fun stalls including Lucky Dip, Face painting, Biscuit decorating, Toy sale, Cake stall, Christmas craft, Guess the name of the Snowman!.....and Father Christmas has promised to visit with his Elf!

Hearts Delight Garden Centre
  • Santa's Reindeer Experience: Take a journey through our Frozen ice tunnel and visit our three reindeer in Santa's barn before seeing the man himself.

Holland Park Primary School
  • Christmas Bazaar: Come and visit Father Christmas, we also have over 25 stalls including tombolas, game stalls, crafts, BBQ, refreshments, a huge range of second hand toys, books, board games and much much more. Most of our games are only between 20p and 50p a go so come and join our traditional festive fun!

St. Clare's School
  • Christmas Fayre: We will have a Santa's Grotto, games, craft activities and a secret present room called 'Elfridges'.

  • Thorpe Christmas Festival: Santa's Sleigh starts the event at 6pm and travels along The High Street (Frinton end) to Thorpe-le-Soken WI Hall (Colchester end) where he will be delighted (there is an entrance fee) to meet children in his Grotto. On his way through the village he will pass: Street entertainment, Dancers, Singers, Brass Band and a variety of Stalls.

Walton and Frinton Yacht Club
  • Christmas on the Quay: Bring the family and join us for Hot Chocolate, Mulled Wine and Christmas Fayre. Children can visit Father Christmas and be entertained by Marcel. Enjoy our Christmas Craft Market and the Lifeboat Stall for your Christmas Cards and gifts.

Barnards Miniature Railway
  • Santa Specials: Father Christmas will again be visiting the BMR and handing out presents to good girls and boys. Good Mums and Dads get a free drink in the barn. Avanced booking is required.

Chafford Gorges

  • Winter Wonderland: Walk through our magical wonderland and meet Father Christmas, receive your gift, Christmas craft workshop, Sit in Santa’s Sleigh where you can take your own photos

The Chafford School

The Inn on the Green
  • Christmas Festival: Carol singers, ice rink, Jen's Ace Face Painting, craft stalls, hog roast, kids' fairground rides, real ale festival.

intu Lakeside

The Old Regent Ballroom
  • Christmas Market and Crafts: We really do have the best offerings from our stalls, always hand picked with huge variety: some hand made, some commercial lines, items for men, women, children and babies,  mulled wine to help get you into the festive spirit with us. Also music to sing along to while browsing and a visit to Santa for our younger guests.

St John's Church
  • Christmas Fair:  Children's activities, refreshments, raffle, stalls, Santa and sweet treats!

Thames Chase

Thameside Nature Park

Thurrock Garden Centre
  • Santa Visits: Starting in December we will be holding our 'Breakfast with Santa' as well as the opportunity to visit Santa and his wonderful live animal friends
Walton Hall Farm

William Edwards School and Sports Centre

  • Move It Dance School Christmas Fayre: Father Christmas, arts and crafts for the children to make and do. Glitter tattoos, face painting, loombands, Tombolas . Lots of lovely stalls for your christmas shopping needs.


Audley End House and Gardens

Audley End Minature Railway

Catholic Church Hall

Hatfield Forest

Little Learners Pre-School
Market Street

Newport Village Hall
Saffron Walden Town Centre

This list is still being updated with events for 2014 so keep checking back for more festive fun!
If you would like to add an event, please send details to  louise@essexmums.org or add it here


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