Anxious to see Santa on your trip to London this year? He’ll be making an appearance to several grottos and events throughout London for the Christmas 2008 season so you have plenty of opportunities to snap a few pictures with the jolly chap and get into the Christmas spirit. A number of shopping centers, Christmas markets and department stores are hosting their own Santa’s Grotto with caroling, lights and a special place for Santa to meet and greet his fans, but you’ll need a plan to get in front of the lines as Christmas approaches.
Here’s where you can catch a glimpse of Santa, his elves and even Rudolph as you explore London’s festive venues during the 2008 Christmas season:
Visit Santa at the London Aquarium
The London Aquarium attracts kids of all ages throughout the year, but the weeks before Christmas give you a chance to visit Santa in his grotto and watch him take a dive in the fish tanks. The Aquarium will be hosting several events for the 2008 Christmas season including puppet shows, Christmas raffles and Christmas story readings. The fun starts on December 13 and runs through January 6, 2009.
Visit Santa at Selfridges
Want to get a headstart on your Christmas shopping for the kids? Take them to the ground floor of Selfridges on Oxford Street to visit the Toy Shop that is also home to Santa’s Grotto through Christmas Eve. Selfridges boasts one of the largest toy collections in the city with its plush toys, puzzles, and retro toys from days gone by , and the kids can visit with Santa to share their wishlists. Tickets are required to see Santa in person, and you can make a whole afternoon of the event by spending time exploring this multi-level shopping hotspot. Visit the Selfridges website for more information.
Find Santa at Canary Wharf in London
Make your way to Jubilee Place in the Canary Wharf shopping center for a dazzling display of Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the chance to see Santa in action. The Christmas show kicks things off in late November, but you’ll find dozens of special holiday events hosted in the shops and restaurants around this center ever week leading up to Christmas. Santa’s Grotto is located in Jubilee Place, but there will also be cookie-decorating workshops and storytelling events taking place throughout the shopping center. Visit the Canary Wharf website for more information.
Visit Santa at Hamleys in London
You’ll be hard pressed to find a larger assortment of toys and goodies than the roundup at Hamleys, the country’s largest toy store, and this children’s paradise is the place to have breakfast with Santa. Santa’s Grotto is decorated in lights and festive decorations for all to enjoy, but the children can enjoy an extra treat by settling in for breakfast or tea with Santa from November 29 through Christmas Eve. Every child also gets to take home a goodie bag filled with festive treats. Visit the Hamleys website for more information about this special event.