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Take the Family › Top 10 Places to Meet Santa Around the World

Top 10 Places to Meet Santa Around the World

© Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.© Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.

Whether you’re staying in the UK or venturing further afield – or are looking for some inspiration for a Christmas trip – we’ve sought out some of the most brilliant Santa encounters to be had in 2016.



For the best Santa’s grottoes in the British capital, see our feature Top 12 Things to Do in London this Christmas.
Stay: One Aldwych, which as well as luxurious family accommodation and a pool is offering a festive twist on its fabulous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea, plus festive films in its private cinema. 

LaplandUK, Whitmoor Forest, Berkshire

Now in its 10th year, this award-winning recreation of Santa’s Arctic homeland has an enchanted forest, elf village, toy factory, gingerbread-house making in Mother Christmas’ kitchen, ice rink and, of course, the chance to meet Santa in his hidden log cabin.
Stay: Coworth Park Hotel & Spa

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Wakefield, Yorkshire

Meet Santa in a unique setting – at the bottom of one of Britain’s oldest working mines, 140 metres underground at the end of a snowy walkway (helmets and lamps are provided).
Stay: Cottages in Yorkshire (with an exclusive discount for Takethefamily readers).

Back to Backs, Birmingham

Lure kids into a tour of these 19th-century ‘back to back’ courtyard houses – decorated as they would have been in different eras – with a promise of meeting Santa in his grotto after they’ve learnt all about how working-class kids would have experienced the festive season. Some tours are candlelit; all need booking ahead.
Stay: Aparthotel Adagio Birmingham City Centre


Disneyland Paris

Disney goes whole hog at for its Enchanted Christmas (even opening on Christmas Day itself), with meet-and-Greets with Santa and other Disney characters and the chance to snap a selfie and pose with Jack from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas in his Santa suit. Father Christmas also features in Disney’s Christmas Parade and in the carol sing-a-long. Meanwhile, Disney hotels and restaurants will be hosting festive meals and entertainment in the company of Disney characters and Santa.
Stay: The Disneyland Hotel

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finnish Lapland

For true festive ambience, you can’t beat Lapland – especially this site with its glass and snow igloos sleeping up to four (some with private saunas and kitchenettes), rustic log cabins for up to 10, traditional Finnish house for four, and turf chambers for two. There's also the chance to meet Santa in his home, a picture-perfect red cabin. Activities include skiing and snowboarding, reindeer safaris, horse-riding or horse-sleigh rides in the snow, snowmobile or snow-tank safaris, aurora-hunting and ice-fishing. There are also two husky farms next door.
Stay: On site, or at the Hotel Snowflake in Saariselkä.

Santaworld, Sweden

Lapland’s other mega-resort dedicated to all things festive, ‘Tomteland’ near Mora also claims to be Santa’s year-round home and enchants young visitors with its troll kingdom, elves’ area, plays (the likes of ‘Hansel and Gretel’), dancing round the Christmas tree and prank school (‘no adults allowed’!). 
Stay: Mora Hotell & Spa


Rockefeller Center, New York

A much-loved tradition among New Yorkers, Breakfast with Santa is available at both the Rock Center Café and The Sea Grill in this landmark building, followed by the chance to cut some spins, twirls and crazy-eights with the man himself on the famous ice rink (bypassing the queues). Tuck into the likes of brioche French toast, applewood-smoked bacon, classic bagels, gingerbread men and chocolate fountain goodies – and, for parents, Bloody Marys and Mimosas! – as Santa and his elves do the rounds of the tables.
Stay: The Kimberly Hotel and Suites

Stanley Park, Vancouver

The Canadian city's Bright Nights Christmas Train takes you through the forest decked out with festive displays, accompanied by entertainment by live performers and photo opportunities with Santa. Munch on hot buttered popcorn or book a package including dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Proceeds go to local firefighters.
Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver

Myer, Melbourne, Australia

Behind the themed window displays of this upmarket department lies Santaland, where kids can buy a ticket to board the Santaland Express and travel through snowy tunnels to meet the man himself and hand over their Christmas list. There are also Santalands at Myers in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.
Stay: The Westin Melbourne

Check out our hand-picked recommendations for best active winter holidays with kids, including organised family holidays to see Santa in Lapland.

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