The Best Santa Experiences in North East England


Over the past 13 years, we have visited many, many Santas. In our house, we believe that you only meet the real Father Christmas once and you never know when that will be. All of the others are just helpers.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England


While I do believe that we shouldn't put too much pressure on ourselves to book the best Santa or feel like we have to, it is still a question that comes up time and time again so I thought I would share my thoughts on who I think is the best.


Santa at Whitehouse Farm


In my opinion, the Santa at Whitehouse Farm simply is the best. You visit in small family groups and have plenty of time for a proper chat - it isn't rushed and does not feel like a conveyor belt which is often the case.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England  - Whitehouse Farm


Not only does Santa look the part here, but the greeting is all focussed on your family and he takes the time to share lots of little stories. He knows a little bit about each child too which is extra magical.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England  - whitehouse farm build a bear


He even told us that the Queen snores! Your visit to Santa at Whitehouse Farm includes SO much more than just a quick meet & greet at Whitehouse Farm - it is a full day of fun including elf school, Christmas ponies, teddy bear making workshop, wishing tree, crafts, cookie decorating & more.



Expect to pay around £25 per child and £12 per adult. Price includes personal Father Christmas visit, teddy bear making workshop, elf school & access to the farm + activities.

If I had to pick my very best Santa - Whitehouse Farm would be it.



Tickets went on sale at the end of August in 2019 and sold out within a few days.  Read our review from 2019 here.


Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick


Santa on the Rooftop tickets are notoriously difficult to get your hands on but if you manage to be one of the lucky ones, you are in for a treat. Tickets are super reasonable at £11.50 (ish) each (including adults) and I think this experience provides exceptional value for money.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Santa on the rooftop at Fenwick


You visit in groups of six (so may have another family with you) and get to visit the elves, say hello to the singing reindeer, visit Santa in his grotto, decorate cookies and enjoy a hot chocolate and cake/mince pie in the Christmas Cafe.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Santa on the rooftop at Fenwick


There are a few different Santas who visit Fenwick and it is the luck of the draw who you see, I would say that the actual part where you meet Santa isn't the best - there is no gift or personalisation and it can feel a little bit rushed.

However, this experience makes my list as the attention to detail is fantastic and you do get a lot included for your money. The whole experience feels premium and is filled with magic.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Santa on the rooftop at Fenwick


Tickets for Santa on the Rooftop went on sale on the morning of 1 October in 2019 via Eventbrite - they were released a few hours earlier than they were supposed to be so if you really would like tickets, I would keep checking the Fenwick Facebook page for updates.  Read our review of Santa on the Rooftop from 2019 here. 

Santa at Kielder Winter Wonderland


Kielder Winter Wonderland is expensive at around £40 per person (including adults) but it is a full-day premium event which really exceeded my expectations.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Kielder Winter Wonderland


Your day is filled with outdoor theatre, live music and songs, snow tubing, reindeer, hot chocolates....it is lush!

You are in a pretty large group (around 12 children plus their grown-ups) when you visit Father Christmas which may put some people off, but this experience makes our list because the whole setting is just magical and the gift you receive is of premium quality.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Kielder Winter Wonderland


I would recommend booking a late slot if you can as the forest is simply magical when it is all lit up with fairy lights at night.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Kielder Winter Wonderland


After a day of activities, your Santa experience begins in the elf workshop where you get to make your own special toy. A magical elf will then lead you through the enchanted forest meeting a few magical creatures along the way before you finally reach Santas woodland hut.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Kielder Winter Wonderland


Santa shares a few stories, is so warm and kind and shares a little secret about each child. You are provided with an exclusive Kielder bauble and a magic key which you can use to unlock the toy shop and select a special toy to take home. Read our review of Kielder Winter Wonderland here.


Santa at intu Metrocentre


intu Metrocentre makes my list as it is only £1 to visit Father Christmas (£1.50 if you book a time slot in advance) and is a tradition many have followed for years. It is the only experience on our list which does not require pre-booking (although the queues can get pretty long).

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - intu Metrocentre
Credit - intu Metrocentre


All profits are donated to charity and children will receive a decent gift too.

We have always found the Santa at intu Metrocentre to be lovely and you really don't need to spend a lot to have a good experience. Read our review of Santa at intu Metrocentre here. 


Santa at Rising Sun Country Park



The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Rising Sun Country Park




The experience at Rising Sun Country Park was the first time we were wowed by a Christmas experience. If you are looking for something a little less commercialised, this one could be for you.


The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Rising Sun Country Park


Your experience begins with roast chestnuts and warm grape juice around a campfire before you are called into Santas Cabin for a personal greeting where you can spend time with Father Christmas and receive a gift.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Rising Sun Country Park


Afterwards, you will be invited to the Rising Sun Centre to create natural woodland Christmas crafts with the elves.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Rising Sun Country Park

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Rising Sun Country Park


Tickets are just £9.95 per child (adults go free) and the experience lasts 45 minutes - 1 hour. You can read our review of Santa at Rising Sun Country Park here. 

Santa at National Trust Cragside

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - National Trust Cragside


This experience makes our list as it is a day out which doesn't just revolve around the kids. Cragside House is beautifully decorated over the festive period and an absolute joy to walk around for both young and old.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - National Trust Cragside


You can enjoy a winter walk around the gorgeous gardens and indulge in mince pies and hot chocolates in the tea room too.

Father Christmas visits do need to be pre-booked and include crafts with the elves, a personal visit with Santa and Mrs Claus (in 2019, Santa was the old Fenwick Santa) and cookie decorating in the bakery.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - National Trust Cragside


The experience lasts around 30 minutes and all children receive a gift (in 2019 this was a soft toy). Cragside is free to visit for National Trust Members and a visit to see Santa is £16. You can read our review of Santa and Christmas at Cragside here.


Alnwick Garden - One to Avoid 


Father Christmas at Alnwick Garden is perfect -  you receive a personal meeting in his arctic cabin, he shares magical stories and a quality toy.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Alnwick Garden


However the rest of the experience sadly lets the whole thing down and sadly it is not an experience I can recommend. The crafts are low quality / lack any magic, the elves ignore you and the garden just doesn't feel festive and there isn't much included with your ticket price.

I shared my experience a few years ago (you can read about it here) and judging by their recent Facebook reviews, nothing much has changed.

The Best Santa Experiences in North East England - Alnwick Garden


It is SUCH a shame as Santa really is fantastic here and deserves better. The potential for something fantastic is there - it just has not been realised yet. I feel like the Santa experience here is massively overpriced compared with other experiences in the North East. Tickets are £17.95 per child and adults need to pay for garden entry on the day.


I would love to hear where your favourite Santa is based - let me know if yours made our list x


Please note - I have worked with these experiences in the past but they have had no input into this post. This post has not been sponsored/paid for. Prices and details are correct as of December 2019.

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The Best Santa Experiences in North East England

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