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Where to meet Santa in Preston this Christmas 2023

26 October 2023

Santa holding presents close up

Find the perfect place to meet Santa this Christmas.

With the festive season fast approaching, there are plenty of places to visit Father Christmas with the kids. From your traditional magical grotto set up, through to virtual sleigh journeys, Santa railway rides and cruises, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to meet the big man in the red suit this year.

Santa's Grotto - Preston Markets

  • Dates: Saturday 9 December 
  • Price: Free

Come and meet Father Christmas at Preston Markets for free and let him know what you want for Christmas this year. As part of Preston Markets free Christmas Fun Day, there will be plenty for kids to do on the day. Whilst you're there, why not take a browse around for last minute gift ideas or grab yourself a little bite to eat at one of their fantastic eat and drink stalls.

For more information, visit Preston Markets - Santa's Grotto.

Meet Father Christmas - Chew's Yard

  • Dates: Sunday 10, 17 and 24 December (midday until 2pm)
  • Price: Free (drop in/first come, first served)

Come and visit Father Christmas and his helpful elf. He will be delighting children and adults alike with his tales of worldwide delivering adventures, good and not-so-good children, and the perils of keeping reindeer as pets. Gifts suitable for up to age 8.

For more information visit Chew's Yard.

Meeting Santa is just one of a host of brilliant Yuletide events and activities taking place as part of their special 12 day Christmas pop up running across three long weekends in December. To find out more see The Chew's Yard Pop Up.

Visit Santa - Preston Markets

  • Dates: Saturday 16 December 
  • Price: Free

Keep your eyes peeled for Santa meeting and greeting little ones at Preston Markets. Any children who've made it onto the good list this year could receive a free gift! Whilst you're visiting, don't miss the fantastic festive Victorian carol singers who will be performing on this date within the Market Hall.

For more information, visit Preston Markets - Visit Santa at Preston Markets.

Visit Santa - Fishergate Shopping Centre

  • Dates: 9, 16, 23 December 
  • Price: Free

Meet the jolly man himself set against a super festive backdrop perfect for those seasonal snaps. Share your wish list and enjoy a dose of traditional Christmas cheer.

For more information, visit Fishergate Centre - events.

Santa experiences - Dobbies Garden Centre

  • Dates: various dates through November/December
  • Prices: various

Head on down to Dobbies this season where a host of festive experiences await you. From the traditional Santa's Grotto experience and joining the big man himself for Santa's Breakfast, through to Santa's Quiet Grotto for children with additional needs and Santa Paws for your furry four legged friends.

For more information and how to book visit Dobbies Garden Centre - Dobbies Preston.

Santa's Grotto - Ribby Hall Village 

  • Dates: Sunday 12 November - Sunday 24 December 
  • Price: £25 per child 

Create magical memories with Ribby Hall's enchanting grotto experience. Start your journey with a wonderful woodland walk in search of Santa's elves, which will lead you to Santa's Grotto where you'll gather reindeer dust, cast magical spells and write your Christmas wish list under the guidance of head elf. The magic continues as you step inside to meet the big man himself. Capture the special moment with a souvenir family photo and receive a cuddly toy for the little ones.

For more information and how to book visit Ribby Hall - New Santa's Grotto Experience.

Magical VR Sleigh Ride - Barton Grange 

  • Dates: Tuesday 14 November - Sunday 24 December
  • Price: £6 per person 

Hop on board a magical, virtual sleigh ride, flying through Lapland and around the world. In this 4D virtual reality experience, you will fly through London, over New York, and even into space. The journey lasts five minutes, including a 3 minute VR ride.

For more information and how to book visit Barton Grange - Magical VR Slide Ride.

Santa's Christmas Journey - Barton Grange 

  • Dates: Saturday 25 November - Sunday 24 December
  • Price: £23 per child (2 years or over), £10 per adult 

Get stuck into some festive fun with a team of merry elves who will guide you through a host of interactive activities, enjoy a flight on Santa's sleigh and meet Father Christmas himself.

For more information and how to book visit Barton Grange - Santa's Christmas Journey.

Santa by the lake - Brockholes

  • Dates: 25 and 26 November, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 December
  • Price: £13 per child

Come along to see Santa at Brockholes' floating visitor village. After meeting the jolly big man, children with have the opportunity to choose their very own toy from his workshop and there will also be ample opportunities to take photographs.

For more information and how to book visit Brockholes - Santa by the Lake.

Santa Special Steam Experiences - Ribble Steam Railway 

Dates: Saturday 2 December - Sunday 3  December 
Price: £17.50 per person

Ribble Steam Railway are back with their popular special Santa event, where children can meet Father Christmas on a festive vintage train. Snuggle up warm in your steam-heated carriage and be greeted by Santa as he hands you a personal Christmas present.

For more information and how to book visit Ribble Steam Railway and Museum - Santa Special 2023.

Santa Special Cruise - Barton Grange Marina 

  • Dates: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23 December
  • Price: £20 per person

Hop on board either the Santa Cruise or the Twilight Santa Cruise, complete with festive decorations and a visit from Santa, who comes with a present for each child. Hot, cold, soft, and alcoholic drinks can be purchased from the licensed bar on board.

For more information and how to book visit King Fisher Cruise - Christmas Cruises.

Santa Barges In - Guy's Thatched Hamlet 

Date: Sunday 3 December 

  • Time: 12.30pm - 5pm 
  • Price: Free 

Father Christmas will arrive at Guy's Thatched Hamlet by his festive canal barge at 12.30pm, before making his way to his Grotto until 5pm.

For more information visit Guy's Thatched Hamlet - Santa Barges Inn.

A Magical Meeting with Father Christmas - Hoghton Tower 

  • Date: 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23 December
  • Price: £14 per child 

Find Father Christmas by the roaring fire inside Hoghton Tower's Banqueting Hall. He will listen to what the children would like for Christmas, before giving them a gift from underneath the beautiful Christmas tree. There will be time for you to take individual or family pictures in the festive surroundings. 

For more information and how to book visit Hoghton Tower - a magical meeting with Father Christmas.

Christmas Magic - Cuerden Valley Park 

  • Date: Saturday 2 December 
  • Price: £12.50 child, £20 adult 

Start your day with a breakfast or lunch at Cuerden Valley Café. Afterwards children will write their letter to Father Christmas and collect their trail map to find his hidden grotto. After finding Father Christmas, letters will be exchanged for an early Christmas gift.

For more information and how to book visit Cuerden Valley Park - Christmas Magic.

Breakfast with Santa - Riva Showbar 

  • Date: 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 December 
  • Price: £15 per person

Come along and join Santa for breakfast and you will also receive a gift for every child. 

For more information and how to book visit Riva Restaurants - Christmas 2023.

Discover more Christmas events in Preston

To find out what else is taking place over the festive season see Christmas in Preston 2023.

Also take a look at our Christmas blogs for more ideas and inspiration on things to do and see over the festive period.

#VisitPreston - Share your experiences

Share your Preston adventures and discover new places to enjoy using #VisitPreston.

Map addresses for where to Meet Santa for Christmas 2023

Preston Markets, Earl Street, Preston, PR1 2JA.

Chew's Yard, 103-111 Market Street West, Preston, PR1 2HB

Fishergate Shopping Centre, Fishergate, Preston, PR1 8HJ

Dobbies Garden Centre, Blackpool Road, Clifton, Preston, PR4 0XL

Ribby Hall Village, Ribby Road, Kirkham, Preston, PR4 2PR. 

Barton Grange Garden Centre, Garstang Road, Brock, Preston, PR3 0BT. 

Brockholes, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0AG. 

Ribble Steam Railway and Museum, Chain Caul Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, PR2 2PD. 

Guy's Thatched Hamlet, St Michael's Road, Bilsborrow, Preston, PR3 0RS. 

Cuerden Valley Park, Berkeley Drive, Bamber Bridge, Clayton-le-Woods, Preston, PR5 6BY. 

Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, Preston, PR5 0SH. 

Riva Showbar, 53 Tithebarn Street, Preston, PR1 1DJ.