Box office: 0113 376 0318
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Frequently Asked Questions


Opening Dates & Times

What dates will the Christmas Experience be at Lotherton?

The Christmas Experience runs from 22 November to 5 Jan. The Christmas Experience will be closed on 25 & 26 December 2019 and 1 January 2020.

What time is the Christmas Experience open?

The Christmas Experience opens daily at 10am and closes at 7pm Sunday to Thursday and 8pm on Friday and Saturday.

For full times visit ‘Plan Your Visit’. You can find a detailed event calendar here.

Please note that between Monday 25 November and Thursday 28 November the house, cafe and estate, including the Elv Village and 12 days of Christmas walk will close at 4pm.

What time is Santa and the Elf Village open?

Santa’s North Pole

  • North Pole opening times vary. Please check ‘Plan your visit‘ for more information. You can find a detailed event calendar here.

Elf Village Opening Times

  • Opens daily from 10:00.
  • Closes 30 minutes before the estate closes
  • Please note that between Monday 25 November and Thurday 28 November the Elf Village closes at 4pm.

Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village

  • Monday, Tuesday and Fridays 11:00 – 14:00 from December 2

For full times visit ‘Plan Your Visit’

What time is the 12 Days Woodland Walk open?

The 12 Days Woodland Walk opens daily at 10:00

Last admission is Sunday – Thursday at 18:30, and Friday and Saturday at 19:30.

TIP! The best time to go on the walk is when the light dims and into the evening!

  • Please note that between Monday 25 November and Thurday 28 November the 12 days walk closes at 4pm.
How long do I need at the Christmas Experience?
We would recommend you allow 3-4 hours to make the most out of the experience. This should allow you time to visit the House, stroll around the 12 Days Woodland Walk, view the Fairy Dell, visit Santa’s North Pole (booking essential), visit the Elf Village and take part in activities, have a hot drink in the café or from the Elf Village Takeaway under the twinkling canopy. If you visit during daylight hours you can pop into Wildlife World and visit Lotherton’s newest residents – the penguins!



Do I need to book?

We strongly advise you book, due to high demand and to ensure you get to enjoy the Christmas Experience booking is highly recommended.

If you are planning to visit Santa in the North Pole please book as early as possible as tickets will sell out prior to The Christmas Experience opening.

Santa in the Elf Village is for pre-schoolers, no pre-booking is required, simply turn up at the Elf Village and book a time slot on the day. Santa will be in the Elf Village on Monday, Tuesday and Friday throughout December and all week in the week leading up to Christmas.

Where can I book?

Booking can be done online on the ‘Tickets’ page or call 0113 376 0318 fro box office

How much is the Christmas Experience?

Christmas Experience General Admission

£8 adult / £4 child

Gains entry into:

  • The estate, gardens and play areas
  • The 12 Days Walk
  • The House
  • Wildlife World (when open, last entry 3.15pm, closes at 4pm)
  • Elf Village (activities extra – see below)
  • The Fairy Dell

Additional Extras

For all the ticket types below a general admission ticket must be purchased first

Santas North Pole

  • £12.95 child
  • Your prebooked Santas visit at The North Pole
  • Approximately 40 minute visit, includes interaction with the elves, craft activity in the elf workshop, family visit with Santa and present.
  • Due to space and comfort for yourself and those around you a max 2 adults allowed in the North Pole per child
  • Activities in Santa’s North Pole are not suitable for babies (under 1), babes in arms can accompany older siblings but will not receive a present.

Elf Village

  • £3 per activity / £10 for 4

Magic Show

  • £3 per person (both adult & children
  • 40 minute magic show in the house

Preschoolers Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village

  • £6.50 child
  • Open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays 11am – 2pm from Monday 2 December
  • An experience for younger visits to see Santa for a present without the full North Pole additions
  • No pre-bookings taken
  • Tickets to see Santa in the Elf Village can be bought from The Little Christmas Shop in the Elf Village itself 
      I have a Lotherton annual membership, do I need to book?

      Members who hold a valid membership card do not need to book to enter the estate and enjoy the 12 Days Walk and other areas under this ticket. However members do need to book for Santa’s North Pole by visiting the ‘Tickets’ page. Booking to visit Santa and the North Pole is essential as this will sell out.

      I have a Max Card
      Max Card holders are allowed free entry onto the estate for the card holder, the carers and two siblings. Santa’s North Pole tickets are charged at standard rate. Ticket prices are here.
      I am having problems booking, what do I do?

      If you are experiencing problems with the online booking system please call 0113 376 0318 Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 18:00.

      Can I change my booking?

      Bookings are non refundable, it may be possible for us to change the date of your visit depending on availability, please call 0113 376 0318 to see what can be done.

      I want to cancel my booking?

      Unfortunately bookings are non refundable, it may be possible to change the date of your booking, please call 0113 376 0318

      Will there be more Santa's North Pole tickets released?
      All Santa’s North Pole tickets are available on the day they go on sale in mid September. If times are not showing as having any spaces this means they are fully booked. No further tickets will be released for Santa’s North Pole. Booking as early as possible is essential.
      Have I bought the right ticket?
      If you want to come along and enjoy The Christmas Experience without visiting Santa’s North Pole please book ‘Christmas Experience General Admission’. This ticket allows you to come in visit The Elf Village, 12 Days Woodland Walk, the Fairy Dell, the House and Wildlife World (during its opening hours – closes at 4pm, last entry 3.15pm) Christmas Experience with Santa’s North Pole tickets give you all the entry into the above plus give you the option of booking a timeslot to meet Santa and his elves in the North Pole. These tickets include the cost of the general admission so only one ticket is required. When visiting the North Pole only 2 adults are allowed to accompany per booking, this is due to safety and comfort of yourselves and others at the same time slot. If you want to visit Santa in The Elf Village on a Tuesday or Wednesday (11am-2pm), please book a general admission ticket to gain entry into the estate. Tickets to visit Santa can then be bought on the day at The Elf Village itself.
      I have booked what do I need to bring?
      Please print your tickets out and bring them with you or have them ready on your phone on arrival. If you are an annual membership holder please bring your valid card and be ready to present to the kiosk when you arrive.
      I have booked but not recieved my tickets

      Please check your junk mailbox to see if the email has gone in there. Failing that call 0113 376 0318 and we will do our best to find your booking and resend the email.



      How much is it to visit Santa?

      Santa’s North Pole


      £12.95 per child (+£4 estate entry for ages 5+)

      Two adults per child can accompany children into the North Pole, spaces are limited due to comfort of yourselves and other people during the timed booking slot.

      Santa’s Cabin in The Elf Village

      This is for activity is for pre-schoolers, Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays 11:00 – 14:00. Santa will also be in the Elf Village everyday in the week leading up to Christmas.

      Children under 4 – £6.50

      What happens at Santa's North Pole?

      Families are greeted by one of our head elves and taken to the workshop where they will help the elves make a gift for them to take home, children can then write a postcard to Santa and chat with the elves while waiting to see Santa himself. They will then get to visit him and receive a gift. The experience takes approximately 30-40 minutes.

      This experience is aimed at all ages, however if you feel your child will not engage with the experience or the craft activity we do provide a drop in Santa in The Elf Village on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays in December, 11:00 – 14:00 for pre-schoolers. This is a shorter visit just to see Santa himself.

      What happens in Santa's Cabin in The Elf Village?
      A visit with Santa on a Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:00 – 14:00, is designed for pre-schoolers and is more a grotto style experience for younger children who simply want a short visit with Santa and not the longer 40 minute interaction with all the elves in the North Pole. It is priced at £6.50
      How long is a visit at Santa's North Pole
      The experience itself with the elves and Santa takes approximately 30-40 minutes. We ask people to arrive 5 minutes prior to their booking time but do our best for there to be no additional waiting time.
      What time should I arrive for my North Pole booking?
      We advise visitors arrive at Lotherton 40 minutes prior to their booking allowing themselves time to park and walk down to the Courtyard where Santa’s North Pole is situated behind. We ask everyone to be at the North Pole Box Office 5 minutes prior to their booked time.
      Why is the North Pole not suitable for children under 1 years of age?

      The experience is designed for young children who can interact with the elves and enjoy the craft activity. The craft activity in the workshop is not suitable for under 1 years of age. However babes in arms are welcome to visit with siblings but will not receive a gift from Santa.

      If you still wish to attend and visit with Santa or receive a present alongside siblings a full price ticket can be purchased (the presents are still suitable for this age), but parents must be aware the experience will be limited.

      We do provide a drop in Santa in The Elf Village for pre-schoolers. This is more of a grotto style Santa for those children who want a shorter visit. For more information on Santa please take a look here.

      Ice Skating


      I have booked online… what happens next?

      You will receive a confirmation email with your unique QR code which will be scanned by a member of staff on arrival to the rink so we can provide with you skates and access onsite. You can bring this email as confirmation on your phone, tablet or printed.

      Can I change my booking?

      Please contact the box office on 0113 376 0318 who will be able to advise on exchanges, please allow 48 hours prior to your booking.

      I haven’t received my ticket?

      Please check your spam mailbox as our email may have gone there. Not there? Please email our customer service team on and we will assist you or call on 0113 376 0318.

      How long is the session on the ice for?

      Sessions last for 45min on the ice and 15min for skate exchange and session change. Please arrive at the Skate Exchange 30 minutes before your session time to allow ample time to put your skates on and store belongings.

      When should I arrive?

      Please arrive at the Skate Exchange 30 minutes before your session time to get ready to take to the ice and store belongings.

      Is skate hired included?

      Skate hired is included.

      Can I bring my own skates?

      Skate Hire is included in the ticket price. You are able to provide your own skates if preferred. Arena Group is not responsible for your skates, shoes or property when skating at our rinks. There is no reduction in price if you bring your own skates.

      What are your skate sizes?

      Our skate sizes go from size J8 to size14.

      How old do you have to be to Skate on the Rink?

      To skate on our rinks you have to be at least 3 years old.

      Skaters aged between 4 and 10 are classed as children and must be accompanied by an adult (18+) on the ice. Children between 10-12 years of age must be accompanied at the site with adults who are watching at all times. A ratio of 1 adult to 5 children will be accepted. You can skate on our rink up to any age, although you are responsible for skating safely and it is not recommended for anyone with serious illness, heart conditions or pregnant mothers to be.

      What should I wear?

      We recommend wrapping up in warm outdoor clothing and please wear gloves. On all outdoor ice rinks there is a risk of getting wet as there is surface water or if you fall over and have any contact with the surface of the ice rink.

      What if the ice is wet?

      The rink is prepared for changing weather conditions. It is still safe to skate on the ice during rain and snow, this does not affect the ability to skate on the rink

      Should I pre-book a session or can I turn up on the day?

      We recommend that all sessions are pre-booked online to avoid disappointment and avoid queues on site at busy periods. Tickets can be printed at home from the online system. This will guarantee your selected session time. There is a box office on site which is open daily, although will have varying lengths of queue at peak times. Tickets can be purchased for future sessions at the box office in addition to the website.

      Can I book a Skate aid?

      Due to health and safety we have a limited number of skate aid penguins available per session, which can be booked on a first come, first served basis on site at the ice rink. They are £5 each to hire. PLEASE NOTE – These are limited in number and availability at the rink, subject to business levels and we cannot guarantee their availability.

      Do you have skate marshalls?

      Our Ice Skate Marshalls are on the ice rink to monitor safe skating and will assist when possible if you are a novice.

      When is the best time for me to skate?

      Please refer to opening times. It is usually quieter during the weekday sessions, but please be aware that occasionally Mon-Fri 11am-3pm we may have a school group skating, maximum of 60 kids per

      Will I get wet when skating on the rink?

      On all outdoor ice rinks there is a risk of getting wet, if you fall over and have any contact with the surface of the ice rink. As the rinks are open-air, rain or snow is also a possibility so please wrap up warm in appropriate outdoor clothing, with hats, gloves and scarves! It is still safe to skate on the ice during rain and snow and this does not affect the ability to skate on the rink.

      Is there a spectator area?

      Yes, the rink is open sided and non-skaters can stand to the side of the rinks.

      Do I have to pay to be a spectator?

      No, this is an open area.

      If I cannot make it to my booked session, will I get a refund?

      Unfortunately, we cannot offer any refunds for non-attendance. Where it is possible, we will try to accommodate you in another session, with 48 hours advanced notice. Please contact the box office on 0113 376 0318, to arrange but note this will be subject to availability and ticket category and is not guaranteed.

      If the weather is poor, will I be able to skate?

      Usually the outdoor ice rink is open in all weathers. Our advanced cooling equipment keeps the rinks frozen and operational in most weather conditions. In the unlikely event that extreme weather conditions force us to close the rink we will arrange for you to book into an alternative session. Our manager will make this decision in the interests of your safety. No refunds will be given.

      Can I skate on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day?

      Unfortunately, we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day but we are open all other days shown on our website.

      Is there wheelchair access?

      Yes, the ice rink is fully accessible for wheelchair users.

      If you are skating with someone who has a disability, please contact us before you session on

      I have further questions that have not been answered here…

      Please see below contacts for further queries:

      Ticket related questions:       0113 376 0318 

      Ice Rink related questions:    hello@ARENA-ICE.COM

      The House

      Can you bring pushchairs into the House?
      Sadly we do not allow pushchairs in the house but we have a buggy park undercover outside you can leave them in.
      Are numbers limited into The House?
      Yes, for safety reasons we have to limit numbers in the House, therefore during busy times queuing maybe required. For those who can visit during the week or in the evenings these are our quieter times.
      Can I bring bags into the House?
      Bags can be brought into the House but we limit the size of bag to no more than the size of an A4 piece of paper. We do provide lockers for bags or advise they are left in the car.
      Is the House wheelchair accessible?
      Yes the house has facilities for wheelchairs including ramps.
      Why is the Christmas Experience only available downstairs in the House?
      Upstairs of the house, including the Fashion Galleries, is open on a seasonal basis from 1 March to mid-October each year.

      The 12 Days Woodland Walk

      How long does the walk take?
      Including the Fairy Dell the walk is just short of a mile and takes 30 – 40 minutes as you stop along the way to look at things or play with the interactive elements.
      Is it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs?
      Yes, the paths around the walk are fairly flat, solid and wide, making it easy to access for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There is one part of the walk that is a short slight incline, we do have electric scooters on site which you can borrow if available.
      How dark is the walk?
      The walk is lit with fairy lights along the paths and special lighting around each 12 Days installation making it bright enough to see you way around the paths easily. Should you have children who maybe particularly nervous in the darker areas it might be worth bringing a torch or using the light on your phone. However we feel this may spoil some of the magic but we want visitors to feel safe and comfortable.
      Are each of the installations interactive?
      Not all the 12 Days installations are interactive, but over half of them are. Some are just enjoyable to look at and some are great to play with. But please follow the safety notices and treat our 12 Days with care as not to break anything and spoil it for other visitors.




      Are there any areas in the site that are not accessible?
      We aim to make each area of the site as accessible as possible for wheelchair users and those who need assisted walking. The only area where it is an issue is inside the Fairy Dell as this is situated in the sunken rock garden, however you should be able to view elements of it from the outside path around the Fairy Dell.
      Do you have electric scooters to hire?
      There is three electric scooters on site which can be hired, however we cannot guarantee availability.

      Food and Drink

      Where can I get something to eat and drink?
      The Stables café is open during full opening times of the estate. This serves hot and cold drinks, meals and snacks. The Elf Village takeaway is open during Elf Village opening times where you can get hot drinks and snacks and enjoy them under the twinkling canopy in the Elf Village. The Courtyard Takeaway Kiosk will be open at weekends for hot drinks and cold snacks / sandwiches.

      The Elf Village

      What is the Elf Village

      The Elf Village is a wooded area situated near the playground. Come wander in between the log cabins and view the elves in their workshops, take part in the craft activities* or listen to our story telling* elf, browse the Little Christmas Shop and enjoy a hot chocolate or mulled wine under the twinkling canopy.

      Pre-schoolers can also visit Santa on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays in December, 11:00 – 14:00 in The Elf Village, this is £6.50 and time slots are booked on the day. Santa will also be in the Elf Village everyday in the week leading up to Christmas.

      Activities charged at £3 each or £10 for 4 – purchase tokens in the Little Christmas Shop.

      We also have Christmas craft and gift stalls every weekend, where you can pick up something special for your loved ones or find those finishing touches and stocking fillers.


      Do you have to pay extra for the Elf Village

      The area itself is all part of the estate entry fee, you can wander around, peek through the windows of the workshops, and browse the Little Christmas Shop.

      If you would like to take part in the activities with the elves these are £3 each or £10 for 4 – tokens can be purchased on the day at the Little Christmas Shop.

      Enjoy hot drinks and snacks from the takeaway under our twinkling canopy.

      School Bookings 

      We are pleased to offer school bookings for The Christmas Experience 2019.
      We are a school, can we visit as a group?

      Yes, we will be happy to book in school groups. We can tailor the package to meet your school’s needs. A child’s ticket is £8.50 for the North Pole and teachers get free entry. Please contact Lauren Wilson on

      Extra Activities

      Do you have any additional events or activites programmed?
      Family Magic Shows will be taking place across some of The Christmas Experience dates. You can find all dates and times here. There will also be Christmas market stalls in the Elf Village at weekends.
      Is there a charge for additional activities?
      There is a small fee for the children’s entertainer in the drawing room of £3 per person (children not to be left unaccompanied). These tickets can be prebooked online.