Frequently Asked Questions

Your safety at The Christmas Experience

We will be following all government guidelines, 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.

All our playgrounds and our installations on the woodland walk are sprayed with a long lasting anti-viral spray to protect them and tested regularly, but we do suggest good hand hygiene is maintained.

We politely ask people respect others space and distance.

It is no longer mandatory to wear face masks but we do advise it in indoor areas such as the Hall, shops and cafe. 

The Christmas Experience will be offering the full range of activities it always has done.

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 2 January. The Christmas Experience will be closed on 25 & 26 December 2021 and 1 January 2022. The House will also be closed from 25 – 29 December.

The Christmas Experience opens daily at 9.00am 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
Christmas Traditions 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
Christmas Traditions 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
Christmas Traditions Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4pm5pm
The House11.00am12pm1pm
Wildlife World10.00am12pm1pm
The Café9.30am12pm1pm
25 & 26 DecCLOSED
27 Dec – 2 JanOpens Last entry Closes
Christmas Traditions 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 9:30 – 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
Christmas Traditions 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
Christmas Traditions 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
Christmas Traditions Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4pm5pm
The House11.00am12pm1pm
Wildlife World10.00am12pm1pm
The Café9.30am12pm1pm
25 & 26 DecCLOSED
27 Dec – 2 JanOpens Last entry Closes
Christmas Traditions Walk & Fairy Dell9.30am4.00pm5pm
The House11.00am4.00pm5pm
Wildlife World10.00am3.15pm4pm
The Café9.30am4.00pm5pm

The Festive 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!

The house is open during the Christmas Experience and shall be decorated in all it’s festive glory. The house will be close on particular mornings when we have school visitors. This is to keep both the school children and visitors safe. On these days the house will be open to the public from 12pm.

Currently these school visit days include 30th November, 7th December and 14th December

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.

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

You must book an entry slot if you are a member as the estate will be at a limited capacity until 2 January 2022.

  1. Choose your selected entry date on the ‘Tickets & Times’ tab 
  2. Choose your entry time slot 
  3. Choose the amount of adults and children attending
  4. Once selected please log in with your account details and your ticket prices will be discounted
  5. Continue to checkout, you will not need to pay for tickets.
  6. Please remember to bring your membership card and email confirmation of this booking

Booking can be done online on the ‘Book Tickets’ page or by calling Box Office on 0113 376 0318 (Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00am to 5.00pm.). Tickets will be on sale from 16 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 Festive Woodland Walk
  • The House
  • Wildlife World (when open, last entry 15:15, closes at 16:00)
  • The Fairy Dell

 

Santa visit Under the Wishing Tree

  • Your pre-booked 40 minute experience with the elves ending with a one to one Santa visit with present.
  • An estate entry ticket must also be purchased.

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 group of children 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 4 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 hourly from 9am.

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

The Christmas Experience estate entry
 Price
Adult£8.75
Child (5 yrs +)£4.40
Adult member Free
Child member + under 4Free
Santa’s Elf Village – Under the Wishing Tree
 Child
Sat & Sun
27 – 28 Nov
£13.95
Mon – Fri
29 Nov – 17 Dec
£13.95
Sat & Sun
4 Dec – 19 Dec
£16.65
Mon – Fri (school holidays)
20 – 23 Dec
£16.65
Christmas Eve£18.65
Santa’s Cabin (pre-schoolers)
 Child (under 4)
Mon – Fri
30 Nov – 18 Dec
£8

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. Please call box office on 0113 376 0318 (Tue – Sat 10am – 5pm)

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.

Bookings are none refundable and non-transferable. If you have questions about your booking you need to contact the box office. The box office is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 5pm. The box office can be contacted on 0113 376 0318.

If you have a positive covid test please contact Box Office at your earliest convenience and we can rearrange your visit, where possible.

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 – 16 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 entry’. This ticket allows you to visit Festive Woodland Walk, the Fairy Dell, the House and Wildlife World (during its opening hours – closes at 4pm, last entry 3.15pm)

If you wish for a child to visit Santa’s Elf Village then you need to also add either a Santa’s Cabin ticket (for preschoolers during the daytime weekdays) or Under The Wishing Tree (full 35minutes experience). Children require both the Santa ticket and Christmas Experience entry tickets. 

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.

All tickets must be booked in advance via the ‘book tickets’ page – all adults and children will need a Christmas Experience 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 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  – from £13.95

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.

Santa’s Cabin in The Elf Village

This activity is for pre-schoolers. Available on Monday to Fridays 11:00 – 14:00 from 3 December to 18 December. Children under 4 – £8.00

Families are greeted by one of our head elves under the Wishing Tree. You will then visitoutside the Reindeer Emporium where you can collect your magical Reindeer feed to take home with you for Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Pop by and say hello to Postmaster Pippin McJingles outside 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 outside his cabin and receive a gift for the journey home.

The experience takes approximately 30-35 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 9:30 – 14:00 from 29 November to 17 December. This is a shorter visit just to see Santa himself, and receive a small gift.

A visit with Santa on Monday to Fridays, 9:30 – 14:00, from 29 November to 17 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 30 – 35 minute interaction with all the elves. It is priced at £8.00 and must be pre-booked via the ‘Book Tickets’ page

The Under the Wishing Tree experience itself with the elves and Santa takes approximately 30-35 minutes. We ask people to arrive no more than 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 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 40 minutes prior to your Santa time slot.

Under the current Government guidelines there will be no restrictions in place. There will be hand sanitiser available and we will be politely asking everyone to respect others space and distance. We are limiting numbers of people we have on site at any one time and entry by pre-booked ticket only. Under the current guidelines Santa will not be wearing a mask. We shall be following Government guidelines and so shall update these if these change.  

Elf Crafts and Mrs Claus

We are running crafts but not in the Elf Village. The elves have found a new home in the courtyard stables where we will be running a few different crafts including Christmas Eve plate decorating.

Mrs Claus has moved into the house and running sessions with the children decorating gingerbread people.

Yes, booking is advised as not to be disappointed. You can book your elf craft or Mrs Claus tickets online when you are buying your estate entry tickets. You can also add them on after booking your tickets by visiting our What’s On Elf Craft and Mrs Claus page

Some tickets maybe available on the day but we cannot guarantee, especially on peak times.

The Elf crafts and gingerbread decorating are just for the children. Adults can assist without having a token if they want but they are children’s activities.  

Mrs Claus will be in the house from 3pm on weekdays and all day on weekends.

Elf crafts are running every day from the courtyard stables from 10am.

Here is a list of the ingredients within the gingerbread. We are currently investigating a vegan option. We suggest doing the Elf Crafts instead of the gingerbread decorating if you have food allergies.

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour (Fortified with Calcium carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamine), Sugar, Margarine (Vegetable oil (rapeseed and palm in various proportions), water, Salt, Emulsifier E475, Colours, E100, E160b flavourings.)

Ground Ginger (1%), partially inverted Syrup, Bicarbonate soda, Milk,

 

Relaxed Santa Visits

Yes, families who have children with additional needs can book a more relaxed visit with Santa and the Elves on Tuesday 7th 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 Festive 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

Unfortunately you cannot bring pushchairs into the house

Yes there is a limit on numbers in the house. We will have a maximum of 200 people inside at one time.

Bags are allowed into the house if they are under A4 size. So a small handbag is fine but not and large ruck sack

The house is accessible to manual wheelchairs. Unfortunately within the house we are not able to allow motorised and electric wheelchairs because of the floors  and the space to manoeuvre through the rooms. We do offer manual wheelchairs to use though. 

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

The Festive 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 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 installations 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 sprayed with a long lasting anti-viral spray to protect them.

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. 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. The main experience is called Under the Wishing Tree where little ones and grown ups can meet Santa and his elves for a 30-35 minute experience. All tickets must be pre-booked.

Pre-schoolers can also visit Santa on Monday to Fridays from 29 November – 18 December, 9:30 – 14:00 in The Elf Village, 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.

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.

During this busy time we ask all visitors to pre-book to secure their visit. Tickets are still free to access the estate to members but booking is essential.

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 Tuesdays to Saturdays 12.00pm to 6.00pm.

Bookings are none refundable. However, you can cancel your booking and need to let the box office know at least 1 day before your booking. The box office is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 12.00pm to 6.00pm, and can be contacted on 0113 376 0318. Bookings may be able to be rescheduled.