Frequently Asked Questions

Your safety at The Christmas Experience

We will be following all government guidelines, including limiting numbers of people we have on site at any one time and entry by pre-booked ticket only. This is why EVERYONE must book in advance to visit, including members.

There are hand sanitiser stations throughout the event, and we encourage visitors to wash their hands where possible too

Yes, we ask that all families and groups visiting maintain the 2m social distance rule when moving around the estate. Please observe markings on the ground, follow the signage and one way systems around the estate.

Yes, all visitors, aged 11 and up, are required to wear a face mask or covering whilst visiting The Elf Village, the House, shops and when leaving Wildlife World (to exit Wildlife World you will pass through the shop so a face covering will be needed), unless medically exempt. Visitors aged eight and up are encouraged to wear a face covering. Masks are not required whilst walking around the 12 Days Walk and Fairy Dell.

Yes, we will have your details from your booking, you will also be asked when entering the café, Wildlife World and House, you will be asked for the contact details of one member of each group. This is being collected as part of the NHS Test and Trace campaign to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Your data will be handled in accordance with GDPR regulations. It will be stored securely for 21 days and only shared with the NHS if someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 has listed our premises as a place they have visited recently.

Unfortunately to allow social distancing we have had to change some of our experiences. Santa’s North Pole has been relocated into the Elf Village, this area is now solely accessed with a ticket for either Santa’s Cabin or Under the Wishing Tree. Sadly we are unable to offer the craft activities in the Elf Village as previous years. There will also be limited access to the house with some rooms and upstairs closed, as there is limited capacity you may be expected to queue to enter.

Both Santa experiences will be socially distanced. We ask all visitors age 11+ to wear face masks. Enough space is available to ensure social distancing from other visitors at all times. Elves will wear visors when in close contact with visitors. There will be a perspex screen between Santa and the children, he will not be wearing a mask or visor. We will do our best to ensure it does not detract from the experience. Only 2 adults are allowed in to visit Santa with the children.

Yes, we will be cleaning the equipment regularly and limiting visitor numbers to ensure that the play areas are used safely, in line with national guidance. We ask that visitors do not eat or drink near or in the playgrounds.

To reduce contact between staff and visitors, we would encourage visitors to use contactless payment where possible, but we can accept cash where contactless payment isn’t available.

Opening Dates & Times

The Christmas Experience runs from 27 November to 3 January. The Christmas Experience will be closed on 25 & 26 December 2020 and 1 January 2021. The House will also be closed from 25 – 29 December.

The Christmas Experience opens daily at 9.30am and closes at 7pm Sunday to Thursday and 8pm on Friday and Saturday. For full times visit the ‘Opening Times’ page.

27 Nov – 23 Dec
Sunday to Thursday
Opens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am6.30pm7pm
The House11.00am6.30pm7pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am6.30pm7pm
SantaPlease see individual booking times
27 Nov – 23 Dec
Friday & Saturday
Opens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am7.30pm8pm
The House11.00am7.30pm8pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am7.30pm8pm
SantaPlease see individual booking times
Christmas EveOpens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4pm5pm
The House11.00am12pm1pm
Wildlife World10.00am12pm1pm
The Café9.30am12pm1pm
25 & 26 DecCLOSED
27 Dec – 3 JanOpens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4.00pm5pm
The House11.00am4.00pm5pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am4.00pm5pm

Santa’s Elf Village – Under the Wishing Tree

  • Opening times for Santa’s Cabin vary. Please check the ‘Opening Times‘ page for more information. Tickets for Santa must be pre-booked.

 

Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village (pre-schoolers)

  • Monday to Friday’s 11:00 – 14:00 from 30 November to 18 December. For full times visit ‘Opening Times’ page. Tickets for pre-schooler Santa must be pre-booked.
27 Nov – 23 Dec
Sunday to Thursday
Opens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am6.30pm7pm
The House11.00am6.30pm7pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am6.30pm7pm
SantaPlease see individual booking times
27 Nov – 23 Dec
Friday & Saturday
Opens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am7.30pm8pm
The House11.00am7.30pm8pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am7.30pm8pm
SantaPlease see individual booking times
Christmas EveOpens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4pm5pm
The House11.00am12pm1pm
Wildlife World10.00am12pm1pm
The Café9.30am12pm1pm
25 & 26 DecCLOSED
27 Dec – 3 JanOpens Last entry Closes
12 Days Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4.00pm5pm
The House11.00am4.00pm5pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am4.00pm5pm

The 12 Days Woodland Walk opens daily at 9:30

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!

Tickets & Bookings

Yes, pre-booking for all ticket types is essential. To ensure comfort and safety we are operating The Christmas Experience with a strict capacity, this means all visitors (including members) must pre-book tickets.

.

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

In line with the new legal restrictions you may only book a maximum of 6 people

Booking can be done online on the ‘Book Tickets’ page or by calling Box Office on 0113 376 0318 (Mon –Fri, 10am – 4pm). Tickets will be on sale from 9 September.

Please note: Members also need pre-booked tickets and will be asked to show their valid membership card on arrival

Christmas Experience estate entry

Gives you a specific date and time entry into:

  • The estate, gardens and play areas
  • The 12 Days Walk
  • The House
  • Wildlife World (when open, last entry 15:15, closes at 16:00)
  • The Fairy Dell

 

Christmas Experience with Santa visit Under the Wishing Tree

Gives you a specific date and time entry into:

  • Child estate entry (see above). Accompanying adults must have an estate entry ticket also.
  • Your pre-booked 40 minute experience with the elves ending with a one to one Santa visit with present.

Accompanying adults must have a estate entry ticket

Important information: due to space and comfort for yourself and those around you a max 2 adults per child allowed in the Elf Village.

 

Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village (pre-schoolers)

Gives you a specific date and time entry into:

  • Child estate entry (see above). Accompanying adults must have an estate entry ticket also
  • A personal visit to meet Santa with present

For little people aged 3 and under

No, we will not be selling any tickets at the event – everyone must pre-book for Christmas Experience Estate Entry and Santa visits too.

Yes, there will be set arrival times during the day to make sure all our visitors can make the most of the event in comfort and safety. These times are:

  • 9.30am – 11.00am
  • 2.30pm – 2pm
  • 3.30pm – 5.00pm

See below full list of prices, or visit the ‘Pricing’ page

The Christmas Experience estate entry
 Price
Adult£8.30
Child (5 yrs +)£4.15
Adult member Free
Child member + under 4Free
Santa’s Elf Village – Under the Wishing Tree
 Child 5 yrs +Child member or under 4
Mon – Fri
27 Nov – 18 Dec
£16.45£12.95
Sat & Sun
28 – 29 Nov
£16.45£12.95
Sat & Sun
5 Dec – 20 Dec
£19.95£15.65
Mon – Wed (school holidays)
21 – 23 Dec
£19.95£15.65
Santa’s Cabin (pre-schoolers)
 Child (under 4)
Mon – Fri
30 Nov – 18 Dec
£7.50

Yes, Members also need to pre-book their set date and arrival time for all ticket types due to limited capacity. You can book by visiting the ‘Book Tickets’ page.

Max Card holder are allowed free entry onto the estate for the card holder, the carers and two siblings. All Santa tickets are charged at standard rate.

Max Card holders need to contact the Box Office directly on 0113 376 0318 to make a booking and cannot do so through the website, a valid card will be required on arrival.

If you are experiencing problems with the online booking system please call 0113 376 0318 Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Bookings are none refundable and non-transferable.

Do not visit if you or another member of your booking are showing signs of COVID or are required to self-isolate due to NHS Test and Trace. You will need to contact box office on 0113 376 0318 to let them know you are unable to attend your booked slot.  You must contact box office before the date of your booked visit. Unfortunately bookings are none refundable, it may be possible to change the date of your booking, please get advice from box office for availability.

Visit the ‘Covid Safe’ page for further information on the safety measures we have in place around covid-19

All ‘Santa’s Elf Village – Under the Wishing Tree and Santa’s Cabin for pre-schoolers’ tickets are available on the day they go on sale – 9 September. If times are not showing as having any availability this means they are fully booked. No further tickets will be released for Santa’s Elf Village. Booking as early as possible is advised to avoid disappointment.

Members also need pre-booked tickets to visit the Christmas Experience.

If you want to come along and enjoy The Christmas Experience without visiting Santa please book ‘Christmas Experience estate entry’. This ticket allows you to visit 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 Elf Village 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 Elf Village. These tickets include the cost of the estate entry so only one ticket is required. When visiting the Elf Village only 2 adults are allowed to accompany per child, this is due to safety and comfort of yourselves and others at the same time slot.

If you want to visit Santa’s Cabin as part of the pre-schooler session, please book in advance via the ‘book tickets’ page – accompanying adults will need a estate entry ticket

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, you also need pre-booked tickets and your valid card, ready to present to the kiosk when you arrive.

Please visit our ‘Covid Safe’ page as some members of your party may need to wear face masks during their visit

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.

Santa

Santa’s Elf Village – Under the Wishing Tree

Children 5+ – from £16.45 (this includes estate entry too)

Children under 4 (and Lotherton child members) from £12.95

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

 Child 5 yrs +Child member or under 4
Mon – Fri
27 Nov – 18 Dec
£16.45£12.95
Sat & Sun
28 – 29 Nov
£16.45£12.95
Sat & Sun
5 Dec – 20 Dec
£19.95£15.65
Mon – Wed (school holidays)
21 – 23 Dec
£19.95£15.65

Santa’s Cabin in The Elf Village

This activity is for pre-schoolers. Available on Monday to Fridays 11:00 – 14:00 from 30 November to 18 December. Children under 4 – £7.50

 Child (under 4)
Mon – Fri
30 Nov – 18 Dec
£7.50

Families are greeted by one of our head elves under the Wishing Tree for stories and elf tales. You will then visit the Reindeer Emporium where you can pick your own magical Reindeer feed to take home with you for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Pop in and say hello to Postmaster Pippin McJingles in Ye Olde Post Office Central to ensure your letter to Santa is safely on its way

You will then get to visit the main man himself and receive a gift for the journey home.

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 we do provide pre-schooler Santa visits in The Elf Village. These must also be pre-booked and run Monday to Friday 11:00 – 14:00 from 30 November to 18 December. This is a shorter visit just to see Santa himself, and receive a small gift.

A visit with Santa on Monday to Fridays, 11:00 – 14:00, from 30 November to 18 December 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. It is priced at £7.50 and must be pre-booked via the ‘Book Tickets’ page

The Under the Wishing Tree 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.

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 is available on weekdays, and must be pre-booked.

When booking for Santa you will be asked to book estate entry tickets at a set time, if you are given an option of times please allow at least 30 minutes prior to your Santa time slot.

Relaxed Santa Visits

Yes, families who have children with additional needs can book a more relaxed visit with Santa and the Elves on Tuesday 1st and Tuesday 8th December. You can book a 30min arrival window between 3pm and 6pm. You can then explore the Elf Village at your own leisure.

You will be greeted in the elf village by our top elves, where you will have the opportunity to make a Christmas wish under the Wishing Tree. Visit Dizzy Bells in Reindeer Emporium and take home some magical reindeer feed for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Pop by and say hello to Postmaster Pippin McJingles in Ye Olde Post Office Central to ensure your letter to Santa is safely on its way. Finally meet the main man himself in Santa’s Cabin for a special Christmas one to one, and a little present for the journey home.

Although you can explore the Elf Village at your own leisure, there will be one way systems in place for everyone’s safety.

Yes, during your relaxed visit to see Santa you also have access to wander the rest of the event, including the 12 Days of Christmas Woodland Walk, Fairy Dell, House and grounds.

Book directly with box office by calling 0113 3760318

Yes, let box office know when booking that you have a MAX Card, anyone covered on the card will gain free entry into Lotherton. The Santa ticket will then need to be purchased.

Yes, a radar key is needed to access the accessible toilets – this can be requested at the café. If you have your own radar key we would advise bringing that with you for easier access.

The House

Sadly we do not allow pushchairs in the house but we have a buggy park undercover outside you can leave them in. It is at your own risk leaving belongings outside the House.

Yes, for safety reasons we have to limit numbers in the House, therefore only social bubbles of up to 6 people will be allowed entry at the same time. We do have a maximum capacity allowed in the House at any one time so at busier times there may be queues to enter the House.

Yes, there are one way systems in place inside the House, hand sanitiser stations throughout and we ask that families/groups adhere to the social distancing guidelines in place. Only one social group at a time will be allowed into each room.

Any persons over the age of 11 must wear face masks while in the House, unless exempt.

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 advise leaving bags bigger than this in the car.

Yes the house has facilities for wheelchairs including ramps.

Electric wheelchairs/scooters will not be allowed access to the House

Upstairs of the house, including the Fashion Galleries, is open on a seasonal basis from March to mid-October each year.

The 12 Days Woodland Walk

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.

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.

The walk is lit with fairy lights along the paths and special lighting around each 12 Days installation making it bright enough to see your 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.

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.

Yes, hand sanitiser stations will be positioned throughout the Woodland Walk, and interactive instalments will be cleaned on a regular basis too. We also ask families to adhere to social distancing guidelines when on the Walk.

Yes, but must be kept on a lead at all times.

The Elf Village

The elves have welcomed Santa into their home in the Elf Village, after finding the North Pole a little too small in these COVID-times. The Elf Village will allow little people and their grown-ups to visit Santa and his elves with that little bit more room (and extra safety precautions), to ensure everyone can stay safe whilst enjoying the magic The Christmas Experience has been known to deliver over the previous years.

Pre-schoolers can also visit Santa on Monday to Fridays from 30 November – 18 December, 11:00 – 14:00 in The Elf Village, this is £7.50 and time slots must be pre-booked.

The Elf Village can only be accessed if you have a Santa booking.

The Elf Village is only accessible as part of your Santa booking, it is no longer open to estate entry ticket holders.

Food and Drink

The Stables café is open during full opening times of the estate. This serves hot and cold drinks, meals and snacks.

The Courtyard Takeaway Kiosk will be open at weekends for hot drinks and cold snacks / sandwiches.

Yes, social distancing must be adhered to at all times. Please follow signage and advice from staff when using the one way system in place.

Any persons over the age of 11 must wear face masks while in the cafe, unless exempt.

Accessibility

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.

There is three electric scooters on site which can be hired, however we cannot guarantee availability. 

Electric wheelchairs/scooters will not be allowed access to the House

Yes, a radar key is needed to access the accessible toilets – this can be requested at the café. If you have your own radar key we would advise bringing that with you for easier access.

Lotherton Members

Yes, members need to pre-book for Santa and for General Estate tickets. You can book by visiting the ‘Book Tickets’ page.

The protection of our visitors and team is our priority at this time. Due to the extra safety measures in place around covid-19 there are a limited number of visitors we can have on site at any one time. Pre-book tickets helps us manage this.

Yes, however you must pre-book your date and arrival time for the General Estate ticket – no cost will be added when this ticket is added to your online basket.

Members can only purchase tickets under membership for the quantity the pass covers eg family membership allows general entry tickets for two adults and two/three children (depending on your membership). Single adult membership allows one adult ticket only. This only covers general estate entry tickets, Santa visit tickets must be bought in addition.

Please print your tickets out and bring them with you or have them ready on your phone on arrival.

As an annual membership holder, you also need to have your valid card, ready to present to the kiosk when you arrive.

If you are experiencing problems with the online booking system please call 0113 376 0318 Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm

Bookings are none refundable and non-transferable.

Do not visit if you or another member of your booking are showing signs of COVID or are required to self-isolate due to NHS Test and Trace. You will need to contact box office on 0113 376 0318 to let them know you are unable to attend your booked slot.  You must contact box office before the date of your booked visit. Unfortunately bookings are none refundable, it may be possible to change the date of your booking, please get advice from box office for availability.

Visit the ‘Covid Safe’ page for further information on the safety measures we have in place around covid-19