When will Santa’s Grotto be open in 2019?
Father Christmas will be
arriving in Magic Alley on Sunday 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.
the experience different in 2019?
Yes it is! We are very excited to announce some major
changes to the experience for this year. Everything you expect from us will still be there of course: the real Father
Christmas; the specially commissioned book as a gift; a sleighbell for every child; the snow room and the Christmas Quiz -
but this year there are some exciting changes. We will once again be offering you the chance to "Make A Christmas Wish"
with the elves, but this year you will also be immersed into this years specially commissioned story (A Dickens of a Christmas)
as you meet some of the characters at the very beginning of your experience in an immersive theatrical performance.
do I purchase tickets for 2019?
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.
We are unable to reserve or hold booking slots.
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. Under 1's receive a magical keepsake gift.
All other tickets
cost £11.00 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 last somewhere
between 35 - 60 minutes in total (not including time you wish to spend looking around the Magic Alley store). The time you
take will vary dependent on the age of your children and whether or not you take part in the activities along the way.
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.
Please note: you are not able to skip through the first sections
of the experience and go straight to see Father Christmas, nor will you be able to go back to complete sections of the Christmas
Quiz that you may have missed on your journey through the experience. Late entries
are not possible, if you miss your timeslot you will not be allowed in.
We’re fully grown adults who still love the magic of Christmas – is this experience
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!
And yes, every adult who visits receives a copy of this years book as well!
I have elderly grandparents, is this experience suitable for them?
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 and is completely wheelchair friendly - 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 there is no storage area and they will not be permitted into the experience.
How much are the tickets?
Tickets cost £11.00
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. Additional tickets purchased on the door will cost £11.00 per person irrespective
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 five 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 6th 2019 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 copy of this years' specially commissioned book to be read together on Christmas Eve. The book is
a continuation of the Christmas adventures of Alice, Will and her friends and this years' book is called "A Dickens
Of A Christmas".
We appreciate that not every child will be able to read the book for
themselves, but every child (no matter what their 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
magic. The book is not a picture book and is a traditional style storybook.
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 100 years
old! Some of the puzzles and questions in the Christmas Quiz 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 Christmas Quiz encourages families
to work as a team. And of course, the snow room is suitable for everyone! The experience is designed for full family participation
- if you don't take part, then you won't get the benefit of the full experience and your visit will be
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 storybook. We do not provide
sweets, chocolate or cheap plastic toys as gifts
My child is 15 and would still like a present from Santa
Everyone receives a copy
of this years' storybook - as long as they're not on the naughty list that is!
How 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 or café.
arrive in advance of our booking time?
Yes! Please aim to arrive as close to your timed entry ticket
as possible (we suggest up to 30 minutes before your timed entry slot to allow you to browse the store
before you enter the experience). There will be plenty of time to browse the Magic Alley store after your visit
to Father Christmas as well. Remember this is a very busy time for Father Christmas and your visit has a timed
entry, so please don’t be late as you will not be admitted to the experience if you miss your time slot!
What should I wear?
The Father Christmas visit
is entirely indoors so you can wear whatever you wish!
happens if I’m late?
Due to the nature of the experience in 2019 you will not be
admitted to the experience if you are late and you may miss the experience completely. No refunds will be given if you
miss your timeslot, so it is important to arrive early.
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 late for
your timed entry slot we cannot guarantee entry and if some of your party are running late, they may miss the experience
completely as only those present at the entry time on the ticket will be admitted. You cannot join the experience half
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 up to two 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 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.