Where to See Father Christmas in Norfolk in 2023

by Anisa // 0 Comments
close up of Father Christmas's face

When the kids are young, Christmas is all about Father Christmas. They want to make sure they are on his nice list and get those presents they have been dreaming about. If only they could see him and tell him what they want.

There are several places in Norfolk where kids can meet Father Christmas and you can get that keepsake photo.

Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter here to find out about the best events happening in Norfolk.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Please see disclosure for more information.

Places to See Father Christmas in Norfolk

Father Christmas spends a fair bit of time in Norfolk during the holidays, so there are many opportunities to see him. In most cases, you will need to book a time in advance because he is popular.

While you may also see him at some of the Christmas Markets, in some of the Christmas shows and at some of the Christmas Light Switch-Ons, the events listed here allow you to book time so your child can talk to Father Christmas. In some cases, your child will receive a gift and you may be able to take photos.

Read about more of the best Christmas events in Norfolk.

Note: Details for some of the 2023 Father Christmas events have not yet been announced and are listed here as TBC. I will update the post as I get more information.


When: Select days 19 November – 23 December

When you see Santa at Thursford, you also get to go to the Enchanted Journey of Light. Please note the lantern trail is at its best when dark. Children’s tickets also include a present from Father Christmas and they must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

For children 8 and older, you might want to consider combining seeing Santa with going to a performance of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Get more information here.

Wroxham Barns

When: Select days 25 November – 24 December

Children get the opportunity to spend quality time with Santa, Mrs Claus, and their Elves. They can go to Elf College and receive an Elf School Diploma Certificate and an Elf Hat to take home! There will also be a fun Christmas craft that the children can make and take home too.

At the real animal Nativity, they can see donkeys and other animals. They can visit Mrs Claus’ Kitchen workshop to see how great (or not) she is at baking and decorate their own Gingerbread person to take home.

Then it will be time to meet Father Christmas for story time and Reindeer Food making. After that, they will head to the Christmas tree lined Snow Storm Barn and walk through a snowstorm (courtesy of snow machine). Finally they get to go to the Toy Shop to choose a gift. If you like, there is the option to also add Build a Teddy with the elves to make the day out even more memorable.

Get more information and purchase tickets here.

*If you plan on visiting Father Christmas at Wroxham Barns, be sure to also check out some of our recommendations for things to do in Wroxham and Hoveton.

Jarrolds in Norwich

When: 1 – 24 December

The children’s department on the third floor will be home to Santa’s grotto complete with a festive mailbox for your letters. You can meet Santa and get an extra special gift to take home and enjoy.

Get more information and book in advance here.

*If you plan on visiting Father Christmas at Jarrolds, you might want to also check out our recommendations for things to do in Norwich for Christmas.

Cromer Pier

When: Select days 2 – 23 December

Father Christmas takes over the Cromer Pier stage for a few mornings in December! You can meet him in his unique grotto in the same place where the Cromer Pier Christmas Show takes place.

It’s an intimate experience that the whole family can join in on and you can take your own photographs and videos. Children will also get a personalized age-appropriate gift.

You will need to book a timeslot in advance here.

*If you plan on visiting Father Christmas at Cromer Pier, you might want to also check out our recommendations for things to do in Cromer.

North Norfolk Railway

When: Select days 25 November – 23 December

Enjoy the ride as your train steams non-stop from Sheringham to Holt, before travelling back to Weybourne where you will visit an enchanted Christmas Tree Kingdom before meeting Santa and receiving a special gift. Get into the festive spirit with complimentary onboard refreshments served to your table, activity packs for each child, and a team of elves to help keep you entertained!

Advance booking is essential. Get more information here. Note this is different from the Norfolk Lights Express.

Maid’s Head Hotel in Norwich

When: 10 December

The whole family will want to go to Santa’s Sunday Lunch served in the WinePress Restaurant at the Maid’s Head Hotel. After lunch there will be a special visit from Father Christmas who will be bringing gifts for all the children.

You should book in advance to avoid disappointment. Get more information here.

Wells Maltings

When: 25 – 26 November

After Father Christmas arrives at the harbour in Wells-next-the-Sea on the high tide with a firework salute, he will be coming ashore and making his way to his grotto at Wells Maltings to meet everyone.

Each session will be around 30 minutes, and will include a festive story from Santa himself to the group. Children will have an opportunity to speak to him in person, have photographs taken, and receive a small gift.

You need to book in advance here. It’s best for children 3 years old and up, due to lighting, bursts of music and nature of the event.

Broads Tours in Wroxham

When: Select days 2 – 22 December

Santa Claus will be back in the Norfolk Broads for a festive cruise to remember. His elves have built a grotto aboard the Queen of the Broads, that you can only see at Christmas!

All children can visit Santa in his grotto and receive a present from Santa himself! Children over three years old will also get a gift bag from Santa’s Elves which has a juice box, activity book, crayons, and a festive treat.

Santa hasn’t forgotten about all the adults aboard, who get a glass of mulled wine along with a festive treat.

You’ll be able to enjoy the festive music and activities aboard as you cruise to Wroxham Broad. The trips last 1.5 hours and leave from the boatyard in Wrxoham.

Get more information and book here.

Norwich Puppet Theatre

When: Select days 2 – 23 December

Meet Father Christmas in his festive toy workshop at the Puppet Theatre. Kids will get to choose a puppet gift from his magical tree to take home with you.

This experience is recommended for children 2 years old and older. Children under 2 can join their older family members for free if they are not receiving a gift from Father Christmas. 

Get more information and book here.

Carrow Road

When: 3 December

You can meet Santa and enjoy a Sunday carvery lunch at Delia’s pitch view restaurant. It’s a must for young Norwich City Football Club fans.

Adults get a three course lunch while children under 12 have a two course lunch and get a gift from Father Christmas. There will also be a children’s disco, games and entertainment.

Get more information and buy tickets here.

The White Hart Swaffham

When: Select days in December

Enjoy breakfast with Santa at the White Hart. There will be plenty of times to take photos with him in his grotto.

A deposit is required when you book and the spots are limited. Get more information here.

Church Farm Stow Bardolph

When: Select days 30 November – 23 December

Meet Father Christmas and get entrance to the Farm. You can make it a full day of fun as you can check out the indoor and outdoor play areas, animal encounters, undercover petting pens, our animals in traditional nativity scenes, “snow time,” and more.

There will also be a Christmas gift shop and mini festive market.

You must book a time slot in advance here.

Bawsey Country Park

When: 2 December

Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Bawsey Country Park with the whole family. You can visit Santa in his Grotto. There will also be fun and games, hot and cold refreshments, and toilet facilities available.

Tickets are only £1.50 and you should book in advance to get a discount code for free parking. Get the details here.


When: 3 December

Come and visit Santa in his festively decorated Grotto in Plowright Place in Swaffham. He will have his elves with him and you can tell Santa how well behaved you have been this year and what you would like for Christmas.  

Between 10:00 and 12:00 the Grotto will be a little quieter and less busy to allow those with extra needs or SEN a chance to visit Santa. 

It’s best to book a timeslot in advance here, otherwise you will probably have to queue. Tickets are only £3.50 plus a small booking fee.

Mid-Norfolk Railway

When: Select days 11 November – 23 December

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is coming back to the Mid-Norfolk Railway with all the magic of the 2004 film re-created so you and your family can be feel like you are part this classic children’s tale. You are encouraged to wear your pyjamas for this event. 

Your conductor will invite you aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ and before long, scenes from the film will come to life as dancing Chefs and Waiters arrive to serve cookies and hot chocolate. While you are enoying your treats you will listen to the Polar Express story.

Once you approach the North Pole, look out for Santa’s sleigh, a bag of toys and a giant Christmas tree. When the train stops, Santa will join you on board for the return voyage.

Santa will present each passenger with their very own “First Gift of Christmas”, a silver bell from his sleigh and everyone will sing Christmas Carols as the train heads back to Dereham Station. When you get off the train, you can check out the gift shop with exclusive Polar Express Merchandise.

Get more information and book tickets here.

Highway Garden & Leisure

When: Select days 18 November – 10 December

At Highway Garden Centre just a short drive south of Norwich, you can visit Santa in his grotto. During your visit, you’ll journey through the starry night sky, explore rabbit tunnels, wander through enchanting woodlands, venture into icy caves, and traverse mystical lands. Every child will receive a gift and have a delightful conversation with the jolly man himself!

Quiet dates are available. Get more details and book here.

Bure Valley Railway

When: Select days 2 – 24 December

Take a one hour festive steam train ride. Grab refreshments and board the train at the Aylsham Station. You will get your own private heated compartment. The train will take you to the Brompton Station, which is decorated for the occasion.

It will turn around and take you back to Aylsham where Santa will be waiting in his sleigh. Each child will receive a personalized gift.

Advanced booking is essential, get tickets here.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

When: Select days between 25 November and 23 December

There are two events where you can meet Father Christmas at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure – Dippy’s Christmas Celebration during the day and Sparkle at Roarr at night. Whichever one you choose, advanced booking is essential, get tickets here.

Dippy’s Christmas Celebration

ROARR! will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland offering a cornucopia of seasonal surprises and delightful activities bound to warm the hearts of even the grumpiest grinches.

As soon as you step into the Park, the festive spirit surrounds you. Imagine the air filled with seasonal melodies, towering Christmas trees adorned with oversized decorations, and, believe it or not, even dinosaurs getting into the holiday spirit!

With each admission ticket, daytime guests can revel in a range of attractions, including the candy cane trail, the Dippy and Friends Christmas Show, the synthetic ice skating rink, and gingerbread decorating with Mother Christmas. Please note that there is an additional charge for the meeting Father Christmas that should be booked separately.

Sparkle at Roarr

Once the sun goes down (at 16:30) the Sparkle event begins on specific dates, with complimentary access to the Park. Here, visitors can get in the holiday spirit by indulging in a range of activities such as workshops, the acclaimed Grotto Experience, and a synthetic ice skating rink. Dippy’s Theatre will stay open well into the evening, featuring festive films to enjoy when the weather turns chilly. On select days, you can also browse through a delightful Christmas Market.

It’s important to note that these activities are not included in the free entry and must be reserved separately. Also most ROARR! play activities and attractions will not be open.


When: Select days 2 – 24 December

When you visit Bressingham during the Christmas season, you get a ride on the Steam Train on the Fen Railway, a spin on the Gallopers and a visit to Father Christmas, including a present, for children up to the age of 12 years.  

You can also wander round a very Christmassy Walmington-on-sea in the Exhibition Hall to see the Dad’s Army display and vehicles decorated especially for the holidays. There are also festive treats available from the café and the gift shop will also be open.

Get more details and purchase here.

Fizz & Fromage

When: 9, 10, 16, 17 December

Enjoy a delightful Fizz-infused full English breakfast experience, featuring a special visit from Santa right at your table. Each child will receive a wonderful gift as part of this magical encounter, all for just £12 per person. While you eagerly await Santa’s arrival, indulge in some festive colouring activities, and be in with a chance to win a prize for the most creative masterpiece.

Get more information here.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we will receive a small commission for some purchases made using links in our blog with no additional cost to you.  Please be assured we would not promote any product unless we believe that our readers will also benefit.  The commission does not influence the editorial content of this site.

If you found this article helpful, join our email list to learn more about Norfolk and find out about exciting events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}