Top places to visit Father Christmas with the kids, within driving distance of Ely.

Top places to visit Santa this year

‘Christmas!!???’ You bark in disbelief. Yes I know it’s many days away and yes I know we haven’t even got to Halloween, or bonfire night or December even. But here’s the thing, imagine being organised now and booking in for your visit to the man in red so that there is no last minute panic of where on earth can I take the kids and -oh my it’s actually Christmas next week.

I have spent many years doing just that- daydreaming of being organised but being utterly dumbfounded by the idea of getting ready for Christmas with two young kids even without planning a visit to see the big man himself on top of it all.

But fear ye not, with a swift read of the wondrous words below you will find yourself getting those tickets and that date in your diary and thus having one less thing to worry about nearer the time. Sorry I appear to have started speaking like I’m telling a Christmas fable. Well that’s one way of getting into the spirit of it I suppose...

Decorate the tree with a festive photoshoot

Decorate the tree with a festive photoshoot

  • Church farm, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk. A really good option for the budget as this is one of the less expensive choices of but at the same time it is one of the very popular ones. My eldest has been to this on a couple of occasions and loved it each time. The fact they have a nativity barn with real animals to see is a big plus and it’s normally where you wait to see Father Christmas so the queuing part doesn’t even feel like queuing.

  • Thursford, Norfolk. There are two options here, the Christmas spectacular show or entrance to see Father Christmas. The show tickets are not cheap and are more suited to older children (they don’t allow under 3’s) but the visit to Father Christmas is more affordable and comes highly recommend by some of Photographvie’s past customers. There is also the added bonus of some lovely Christmas shopping and a bite to eat in the cafe.

  • Ickworth House, National Trust, Bury St. Edmunds. They host the man in red himself over Christmas and you can come and meet him, explore his festively decorated rooms and then the kids get to sing Christmas songs and receive a gift. There are also Christmas crafts on offer too.

  • Wicken Fen, National Trust, Cambridgeshire. If you like your Christmas visit more on the wild side then head to Wicken Fen and follow the trail to find Father Christmas in the charming little fen cottage and receive a gift. Also see the elves at work in their workshop and join in with some festive crafting. A really reasonably priced option for all the family and comes highly recommend by our customers.

Whilst we’re getting organised - don’t forget Photographvie Christmas photos start in October and run through to mid December.

Whilst we’re getting organised - don’t forget Photographvie Christmas photos start in October and run through to mid December.

  • Scottsdale’s Garden Centres, East Anglia. Join in the festive fun with their annual Santa’s grotto. Santa and his Elves will be on hand to hand out gifts for the kids and the bonus is that the adult price is much less than the children’s ticket. For the Shelford branch (Cambridge) event visit:

  • Audley End Miniature Railway, Essex. This offers a completely magical Christmas Day out. And way up there if your little ones love trains. You will take a train ride into the woods to visit Father Christmas’s winter wonderland, revive a gift and watch a Christmas show put on by the elves. If that wasn’t enough there are crafts, story telling and even a Christmas dance floor boogie to be had all included in the ticket price. A little more expensive than some of the choices as the adult ticket is similar to the child’s but definitely value for money as there are lots of lovely extras.

  • The Polar Express with Mid Norfolk Railway. While we are on the subject of trains the Polar express is in town! Along with your ride on the famous train all passengers receive a silver sleigh bell from Father Christmas and refreshments. This is definitely at the top end of the price range and gets booked up pretty quickly too. The Mid Norfolk Railway runs between Dereham and Wymondham. Find your tickets here:

  • Holkham Hall, Norfolk, host the man in red too and the grand house is decorated in style for the big day. Although pricey, included in your visit is a tour of some of the rooms and stories and music with Father and Mother Christmas. The children receive a present and the adults get a glass of Prosecco. Finally an establishment that recognises adults need alcohol to survive Christmas. Virtual high five Holkham.

  • Mead Open Farm, Bedfordshire. There is so much included in this Christmas experience it puts others to shame. If you get your hands on a ticket, along with a days entry to the farm you will meet and have a story with Father Christmas, go on a Naughty & Nice Challenge Walk Through ( I’ll be honest this baffles me somewhat, I’m guessing it’s not a walkthrough in the 80’s computer game sense) experience a Magical Enchanted Forest and attend a Make a Bear Workshop. Well that sounds enough to wear the kids out into a frazzled heap if you’re lucky and if you’re not-hype them up into a total Christmas frenzy. Swings...roundabouts...

All views expressed on this site are those of Photographvie team members and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated with. If you find offence with anything on this site, please bring it to my attention and I will gladly discuss it further.