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Where to meet Santa in the Peak District 2023

Where to meet Santa in the Peak District 2023

We’re very lucky that the big man himself, Father Christmas, makes a special effort to visit children in the Peak District on the run up to Christmas Day. There are lots of fantastic Peak District Christmas events taking place this year, but if you specifically want to book at time slot to check in with the Big FC then read on, as here we have compiled all the places in the Peak District to meet Father Christmas this year.

For all other festive events in and around the Peak District National Park, check out our comprehensive Peak District Christmas guide 2023.

Christmas at Chatsworth

Peak District Christmas Events guide 2023

Details of all Christmas events taking place in and around the Peak District from Christmas markets and trails, to festive shows and experiences.

Check out our guide to Peak District inspired gifts

1. Storytime with Father Christmas at Chatsworth

Saturdays and Sundays from 2nd to 23rd December 2023
Session times: 10.15am, 11am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 2.45pm, 3.30pm & 4.15pm
£16 per child | £12 per adult
Click here to book (pre-booking essential)

Father Christmas will captivate little ears with the story of the first Christmas. Children will then be able to help our elves make some reindeer food and receive a small gift to take home and enjoy. 

Includes entrance to the farmyard and playground, Father Christmas storytime, a craft activity with our elves, a gift to take home for children and a hot drink for adults. Gifts are suitable for ages up to 11.

2. Peak Rail Santa and Steam Special

On Saturdays and Sundays in December on the run up to Christmas Day, as well as Friday 22nd December
There is no service on Sunday 24th December
Click here to book online

Santa train Peak Rail

Santa and his Railway Helpers invite you to get Christmas off to a magical start by riding Santa’s festive steam train, through the delightful Derbyshire countryside. Join them on their special train at Peak Rail from Rowsley South Station.

As you sit back and enjoy the journey, a variety of professional entertainers will perform for you, Santa and his helpers will make their way through the train and meet everyone at their seat. Santa will have with him a wonderful age suitable gift for all the children.

 Children will receive a bottle of water and small packet of sweets each, whilst Adults can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine and a mince pie. Dietary requirements can be catered for and bottle of water available upon pre-booked request.

3. Festive Village Santa experience at Matlock Farm Park

2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th 17th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December
Adults £20, child (2-4) £30
Click here to book online

Santa and his Elves will be bringing delights and surprises from the North Pole to thoroughly entertain you as you make your way around Matlock Farm Park’s Festive Village.

First stop will be the Christmas Crafts with the super friendly Mrs Claus and one of her elves! Whilst hearing what’s been happening at back at the Noth Pole this year, children will be able to get stuck in making food for Santa’s Reindeer and take this home with them ready to put out on Christmas Eve. They will also make a decoration perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree or attaching to their stocking – a special keepsake.

Next stop is time with the Chief Elf, gathering around in our cosy setting to hear a wonderful Christmas Story, perhaps ‘Ten little Elves’ or ‘‘Twas the night before Christmas’. After the story, children will then be invited to write the most important letter of the year to Santa, ready to hand over to him in his Grotto…

As you exit the Festive Christmas Village, you will need to try out the Naughty or Nice-o-meter to find out where you sit on Santa’s list! How will the grown-ups in your group fair? Here you will also find a warming cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream for the children and mulled wine for the adults.

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! You will be taken down to meet Santa himself in his beautiful grotto and chat about all of your Christmas wishes. Of course, Santa will provide children with a lovely early Christmas gift and adults will be given a special gift too!

As your experience includes entry to Matlock Farm Park, you can enjoy our lovely animal and playtime activities before and/or after your Christmas experience.

Please allow 1 – 1.5hrs for this experience

4. Breakfast with Santa at Matlock Farm Park

26th November and 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December
Ticket £25pp
Click here to book online

Your day will start with a group welcome from Santa and a delicious breakfast served in the Garden Room Cafe. The Big Man in Red will come along to visit your family during breakfast and knowing the names of the children in your party, have a lovely chat all about them and their Christmas wishes. 

Santa will have his BIG sack of gifts with him and he will provide a gift specially labelled for your young loved one.

Following breakfast, there will be a special story time in a separate room with Santa’s sister, Mary Christmas! Find out more about Santa Claus’s reindeer and the children recieve a bag of magical reindeer food to sprinkle at home on Christmas Eve.

All adults will recieve a hearty breakfast cob of bacon, sausage, egg & hash brown (or vegetarian alternative), plus tea or coffee. Children will have a choice of pancakes with fruit and syrup, beans on toast or a mini full English. These will be able to select when booking.

The event starts at 9:00 am prompt, when breakfast will be served. Including seeing Santa, the event will last up to 1 – 1.5 hours and farm park entry for the remainder of the day is included in this ticket, when children can enjoy lots of animal and playtime fun! 

5. Santa’s Grotto at Poole’s Cavern

READ: Poole’s Cavern REVIEW
Click here for updates on ticket releases

Poole's Cavern Santa's Grotto

Parents have raved about their experience of Santa’s Grotto at Poole’s Cavern in past years. This ancient natural limestone cavern is transformed into a magical grotto complete with elves and bright twinkling lights. And you will be able to meet the big man himself! Kids will receive a gift and there are lots of photo opportunities.

Poole’s Cavern is part of Buxton Country Park and it is worthwhile combining your visit with the short Solomon’s Temple walk, which is great for kids with it’s magical wood carvings, plus the views from the top are fantastic. Afterwards, you may want to head into Buxton itself for a bite to eat or play at the playgrounds in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. Check our our guide for things to do in Buxton.

6. Breakfast with Santa at the Wheatsheaf Bakewell


The Wheatsheaf pub chain is known for being family-friendly and so there’s no surprise that Santa stops here for a visit on the run up to Christmas. Situated in the heart of Bakewell, sit down to enjoy a breakfast as a family before a chat with Santa.

Need to walk off the big breakfast afterwards? Then how about doing our Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk. Or if you’re up for the challenge, the 10km loop walk to Chatsworth from Bakewell.

7. Breakfast with Santa at Ilam Park

Sat 9, Sun 10, Sat 16, Sun 17, Mon 18 December
9.00am – 10.00am
Click here for more information

Enjoy a traditional English breakfast in the tea-room with your family and meet special guest, Father Christmas!

A morning of festive joy with food, activities and special gifts given to the children by Santa. After breakfast you can enjoy a story read by Father Christmas himself. Relax and listen, or join in and take part in some audience participation, whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Adults £20 Includes tea and coffee and full English breakfast. Children £15 Includes full English breakfast, juice and a present from Santa. Under 2’s £5 includes present from Santa and beans or egg on toast.

All the money raised from our Christmas events goes towards conservation in the Peak District and helping us look after the places you love. Thank you for your support.

Perhaps combine your breakfast date with our pram friendly Ilam Park walk.

8. Breakfast with Santa at Longshaw

Sat 2, Sun 3, Sat 9, Sun 10, Sat 16, Sun 17 December
9.00am – 10.00am
Click here for more information

Breakfast with Santa at Longshaw

Meet Father Christmas over a cooked breakfast.

Longshaw Cafe is one of Father Christmas’ regular cafes when he’s in the Peak District, often popping by with presents for the children he meets here.

Ticket price includes cooked breakfast, a story, meeting Santa with gifts for the children, and parking.

These breakfasts often sell out, so booking early is advised. Assistance dogs only. Please indicate when booking if you have any specific dietary requirements.

9. Santa’s Grotto at Peak Wildlife Park

Saturday 25th November and Sunday 26th November
Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd of December
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th of December
Thursday 21st until Friday 24th December

Prices from £12.95 per child (20% OFF if you book before 10th October).
Click here for more information and to book

This Christmas bring the whole family to Peak Wildlife Park to meet Santa in his magical grotto! The elves have some Christmas crafts planned for all to enjoy and are on hand to help you write your letter to Santa before visiting the man himself for an early festive treat.

10. Santa Sleepover at Alton Towers

Last weekend in November, first three weekends in December, then 18th to 23rd December
From £85pp
Click here to book

Book into the Alton Towers Santa Sleepover to meet Santa in his Grotto and experience an overnight stay at one of Alton Tower’s fabulously themed hotels with dinner and breakfast included. Plus for this year, there is a panto too!

Santa Sleepover Alton Towers

But as this is Alton Towers… there is so much more on offer and it really is a magical Christmas experience!

Enjoy a whole host of family rides and attractions across three fantastical themed Lands including the UK’s only CBeebies Land, The World of David Walliams with Gangsta Granny: The Ride, as well as Mutiny Bay, plus more including HEX and Spinball Whizzer (check out our guide to visiting Alton Towers with kids age 6-10). Then jump into the Alton Towers Waterpark where splashtastic giggles are guaranteed!

11. The Secret Workshop of Torr Vale Mill

3rd, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th & 17th December – 12pm – 6pm (3rd and 15th hours differ, see tickets)
Torr Vale Mill, New Mills
Tickets from £17
Click here for more information and to book

Father Christmas is taking some time off to welcome you to his secret workshop at Torr Vale Mill. Children and families can discover magical secrets and the true spirit of Christmas. All children will take home a special gift and adults can enjoy a free hot drink at the onsite bar – Torr Vale Tap!

You may also want to read:
Twixmas in the Peak District 2022: what to do between Christmas + New Year
Family pub walks in the Peak District
Things to do on a Peak District rainy day