When will Santa’s Grotto be open in 2018?
Father Christmas will be
arriving in Magic Alley on Saturday 17th November and will then
be in residence until Christmas Eve. Please telephone to check
availability and book your tickets on 01789 290969. Please do not just turn up.
do I purchase tickets for 2018?
Tickets are available by phone: 01789 290969
or in person at Magic Alley. Weekends in December and the last week before Christmas will probably sell out well in advance
of the date - so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets must be prebooked and paid for in full at the time of booking, please do not just turn up.
What do I need to bring with me on the day?
All you need to do is bring the tickets you have been sent or quote your booking number.
Do I have to pay for my child who is under 1 years old?
Children under 1 go
free, but they must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other tickets
cost £10.00 and include a specially commissioned storybook as a gift. Everyone receives a copy of the same book to be
opened together on Christmas Eve in order to encourage a good old fashioned quality story time on Christmas Eve before Father
Christmas visits whilst you are all asleep.
How long will
my visit to Father Christmas last?
The elves will guide you through and it should take around 35
- 60 minutes in total (not including time you wish to spend looking around the Magic Alley store). You will get to see Father
Christmas somewhere in the middle of your magical experience!
During busy periods, your experience may last a little longer, and you may have to queue for a few minutes at various
stages, so please bear with us. Father Christmas is very busy but he will spend some quality time with you and your
family before giving each of you a gift.
fully grown adults who still love the magic of Christmas – is this experience for us?
This event is truly for
everybody who believes in the magic of Christmas – it is suitable for both adults and children alike - in fact every
year we regularly get adults visit without their children!
have elderly grandparents, is this experience suitable for them?
We have endeavoured
to make this whole experience as inclusive as possible. In
our new home in Bell Court there is a lift from the ground floor to the first floor and everything else is accessible for
those with mobility issues - although there is likely to be some queueing and a lot of standing. There are no seats in the
experience. Please do not bring pushchairs as they are not admitted to the experience and there is no storage area.
How much are the tickets?
Tickets cost £10.00
per person, with under 1’s going free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult. The ticket price includes a
visit with Father Christmas and entry to the Christmas Experience. Everyone who visits Father Christmas will receive a gift.
We do not offer free carers tickets for Father Christmas, as the carers will also receive a gift.
Can I buy tickets on the day?
It is extremely unlikely
on the week running up to Christmas or at weekends. Entrance to this event is strictly by timed entry,
and although we will do our utmost to not disappoint those who turn up on the day we cannot guarantee entry if you have not
prebooked. Tickets purchased on the door will cost £10.00 per person irrespective of age/date.
Please call to check availability
and prebook your ticket. Tickets must be paid for in full at the time of the booking.
After I book, when will I receive my ticket?
Once you have made your
booking, tickets will be sent as soon as possible, the first of which will be in September. If you are visiting within three
days of your booking we will not be able to send tickets and you will be given a booking reference to quote. Bookings made
after Friday December 7th 2018 will not have tickets sent and will be given a booking reference only.
Will my child receive a present?
Yes, in line with our policy
of encouraging quality family time together, everyone (including the adults) will receive a specially commissioned book
to be read together on Christmas Eve.
We appreciate that not every child will be able
to read the book for themselves, but every child (of any age) loves to listen to a story, and the tale has something for everyone
as it will ignite that precious spark of Christmas magic within all who have imagination, hope for the future and belief in
My child is quite young, is it suitable?
The experience we offer is not a massive Department Store grotto, nor a manufactured Shopping Centre grotto - it
is a traditional family centred Christmas Experience with elements that will appeal to children of all ages, whether they
be just a few weeks old or nearly 80 years old! Some of the puzzles and questions in the Frostmakers Passport are aimed
at each age group (from counting questions, to ciphers and word puzzles). Younger children love to interact with older family
members and the Frostmakers Passport encourages families to work as a team. And of course, the snow room is suitable for everyone!
The gift that Father Christmas
gives is specifically aimed at encouraging families to read out loud together, and for those with limited reading skills it
is aimed at stretching their ability whilst retaining traditional Christmas elements and family values. We recognise that
not everyone enjoys reading, and that our younger visitors are still learning to read - however, we believe in encouraging
a traditional family storytime in every household on Christmas Eve.
Everyone receives a copy of the same story. We do not provide sweets, chocolate or cheap plastic toys as gifts
child is 15 and would still like a present from Santa
Everyone receives a gift - as long as they're
not on the naughty list that is!
long will the visit last?
You should allow at least 35 minutes for the entire experience,
which includes a meeting with Father Christmas, although you can spend as long as you wish within the experience. The
average visit time is approximately 35-60 minutes which is entirely dependent on your interaction with the exhibits, completion
of the quiz and the age of your children (those bringing children purely under the age of 4 may find that the experience
lasts approximately 20-25 minutes). This does not include time in the Magic Alley store.
Should we arrive in advance of our booking time?
No, please arrive as close
to your timed entry ticket as possible (we suggest about 5 minutes before your timed entry slot).
There will be plenty of time to browse the Magic Alley store after your visit to Father Christmas. Remember this is a very
busy time for Father Christmas and your visit has a timed entry, so please don’t be late!
What should I wear?
The Father Christmas visit
is entirely indoors so you can wear whatever you wish!
happens if I’m late?
We’ll do our best to accommodate you, but must warn you
that we can’t guarantee admission if you don’t arrive at the time booked and you may miss the experience completely.
If you are running late - please call us at the earliest opportunity so that we can do what we can to assist.
Large Groups must arrive together. If you are
travelling from different locations please allow adequate time to get to Stratford, park and use the towns facilities before
you enter the experience. Remember, if you are more than 10 minutes late for your timed entry slot we cannot guarantee
Can I cancel my booking?
Unfortunately not, tickets
for visits to Father Christmas are non-refundable and non-transferable. Any alterations to the booking time or date will incur
a £5.00 administration charge per alteration. If you are unable to travel due to extreme weather conditions we
will do our best to reschedule your booking, however we are under no obligation to do so if we are still open as normal.
Can I add people to my booking after I’ve made it?
You can add additional people to your booking by calling us in advance of your booking slot. If you are adding more
than three members to your party you will probably be required to move to a new timeslot. There is no administration charge
to add people to your booking you just pay for the extra tickets.
What about photos?
Of course you are welcome to take
as many photos of your experience as you wish. There are no professional photographers and no hidden extra
You may also film if
you accept group bookings?
Yes, we accept bookings of all sizes up to 30 people,
subject to availability. Please note that group bookings will be offered on a first come first served basis and
may not be available every day. There are no discounts for groups.
Groups must arrive together. If you are travelling
from different locations please allow adequate time to get to Stratford, park and use the towns facilities before you enter
the experience. Remember, if you are more than 10 minutes late for your timed entry slot we cannot guarantee entry.
Is the visit to Father Christmas wheelchair accessible?
Yes! Our new home in Bell Court is completely accessible. Please
ensure that you notify us if any of your party will be in a wheelchair to ensure we give you an appropriate time slot.
Will there be space for me to bring my child’s buggy to
No. Please leave all buggies, pushchairs, prams and children's strollers
at home or in the car as there is no storage area. If you turn up with a pushchair or buggy you will not be admitted to the
experience, nor allowed to visit Father Christmas. There are
no exceptions to this requirement.
Do you have toilet/baby changing facilities on site?
No. Please ensure that you allow adequate time to be fully refreshed after you arrive in Stratford and before your
visit to us starts.
Are you in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire or Stratford in London?
Every year we get asked the same question. Magic Alley is in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
- it is NOT at the Westfield Centre in Stratford, London.