Top 5 places to visit Santa near Brighton & Win tickets!

I don’t know about you, but since having our girls I have this crazed obsession with making each Christmas better than the last. I put huge pressure on myself to ensure that we have squeezed the most out of every memory maker going. I am painfully conscious of the fact that there are only a handful years when our children will truly believe in The Big Man. The thought of wasting one of those precious years visiting a tin-pot Santa makes me shudder- in all the wrong ways.

This year there are only 6 weekend days in December to cram in as much tinseltastic memories as possible; ergo- planning is everything. Knowledge is power.

So without further ado, I would like to present to you the top 5 places to visit with your families in the greater Brighton area this December:

1) Drusillas Park

*Win a family ticket to Drusillas!*

Location: Drusillas Park, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5QS

Drusillas Park: family ticket givaway


This is one of my families favourite places to visit. We have annual passes and so you could say we know Drusillas inside out! Widely regarded as one of the countries best small zoos, not only can you enjoy seeing a wide variety of animals but the adventure park is something to behold! There is a large indoor play area, cafes, and my girls favourite: Hello Kitty world which has 3 brilliant rides – all included in your ticket price.

Festive Sparkle: A huge winter wonderland display comes to life after dark with an impressive animal themed Christmas light show all synchronised to music. There will also be an opportunity to meet 2 of Santa’s reindeer and husky dogs on selected dates.

Meeting Santa: The star attraction is Santa’s cosy cottage. It does look beautiful and has the winter wonderland laid out in front of it, making it all very magical. – With elves, and a big sleigh to ride too! The early Christmas gifts are really good quality – our girls still love their cuddly polar bears a year on.

Dates: Join the festive fun from Saturday 19th November until Monday 2nd Jan.

Meet Santa from Saturday 19th November (weekends only) and from Thursday 15th December – Friday 23rd December (daily).

Price: Normal entry price, plus £11 to meet Santa.

More information on the Christmas festivities

Book your tickets in advance to bag a better deal

2) Bluebell Railway

Location: The Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex TN22 3QL


Think, Thomas the Tank Engine – with class!! My toddler is train mad, and I think this is where we are going to go this year.

Festive Sparkle: The ‘Santa Special’ trains depart from the Sheffield Park station (East Grinstead on the 23rd) for a ten mile round trip to the beautifully restored Horsted Keynes station with special Dickensian themed activities for you to enjoy.

Santa will be on the train to meet you and give a gift and treat to each child. Once at the station you can have your photo taken with Santa in his special cabin, and enjoy a range of Christmas activities, from Victorian street entertainers, to fairground stalls (20p a go – not bad). A right olde ye Christmas shindig then; lovely!

Dates: Departures from Sheffield Park ONLY at: 11.00am, 11.55am, 1.45pm and 2.40pm
on 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 23rd and 24th December

Departures from Sheffield Park ONLY at: 11.00am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm, 2.00pm and 2.45pm on 17th and 18th December

Departure from East Grinstead at: 12.45pm and 3.30pm on 23rd December

Price: First Class:  Adult £26.00  Child £14.00  Toddler £9.00 (no seat allocated for toddlers) Third Class:  Adult £21.00  Child £14.00  Toddler £9.00 (no seat allocated for toddlers) -Not sure what happened to 2nd class?!

More information on meeting Santa on the Bluebell Railway

Book tickets 

Please call 01825720806 for 1st class ticket bookings – these are very popular, so don’t be disappointed if you have to travel coach, it’s all fabulous.

3) Tulley’s Farm 

Location: Tulley’s Farm, Turners Hill Road, Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 4PE


This farm has an outstanding reputation for its Spookfest, and puts the same incredible effort and detail into it’s Christmas experience. This is a whole day of specially crafted Christmas activities and delights for the whole family to enjoy.

Festive Sparkle: Christmas really did land at Tulley’s. You will journey on Santa’s sleigh, through a forest to reach Santa’s log cabin where you will be read a story by the man himself and the children will receive a gift star.

These activities are included in the main child ticket 1-13 years, and slight variations occur for Tiddler tickets and adults which are classed from age 14:

  • Gingerbread Decorating
  • Elves Magical Forest
  • Story time with Father Christmas
  • Build a Bear  or Toy shop
  • Real live Reindeer
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Post House
  • Elf Hunt
  • Puppet shows
  • Christmas Shop

Dates: Daytime dates: 10am-5pm. Every weekend from Saturday 26th November – Saturday 24th December as well as these additional dates: Friday 9th December, Thursday 15th, Friday 16th, and then everyday Monday 19th – Saturday 24th.

Twilight dates: 4.30pm – 7.30pm 10th &11th December and then everyday from Saturday 17th – Friday 23rd.

Price: It’s complicated…

Daytime 10am-5pm: 26th & 27th November: Adult (14+) £8, Child £14, Tiddler (1-) £4

3rd & 4th December, 9th, 15th &16th: Adult £10, Child £16, Tiddler £5

10th & 11th, 17th – 24th: Adult £10, Child £18, Tiddler £6

Twilight 4.30pm-7.30pm: Friday 16th December, Adult £10, Child £16, Tiddler £5

10th &11th and 17th – 23rd December, Adult £10, Child £18, Tiddler £6

More information on Christmas at Tulleys Farm 

Book your tickets and celebrate Christmas, Tulleys style!

4) Preston Manor, Brighton.

Location: Preston Manor, Preston Drove, Hove, Brighton BN1 6SD


Preston Manor is an impressive Edwardian house, which is the perfect setting for hosting a Victorian themed Christmas. There are very few dates available, but this really is a gem of a place and a slightly calmer way to celebrate than my other suggestions. I would say it would be of more interest to children who are school age and above, and ideal for anyone who doesn’t deal well in crowded places.

Festive Sparkle: A beautifully decorated manor house will transport you back in time, with special festive activities like dressing up and listening to stories which will all be going on throughout the house for the children. Father Christmas greets every child with a gift, at allotted time slots which are all pre-booked.

After you’ve met the man himself take a look around the rest of this delightful Edwardian Manor House. The Dining Room table is set as if a grand family of the period are about to take tea and Lady Ellen’s little Morning Room is covered in Victorian and Edwardian Christmas cards, holly and ivy and traditional decorations.

Dates: Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th Dec, and,  20th-23rd December.

Price: £8.50 to visit Santa, plus admission charges – Adult £6.60 Child £3.50

*Brighton & Hove residents will benefit from half price adult admission. Each half price adult can take up to 4 children for free. Please note that ‘visiting Santa’ charges still apply. ID and proof of address needed at time of booking to qualify.

More information on Preston Manor

To book call 03000 290902 or visit the Brighton Pavilion, or Preston Manor.

5) Spring Barn Farm

Location: Spring Barn Farm, Kingston Road, Lewes BN7 3ND


I adore this farm, it has a real family feel to it. It is small enough that it keeps a local vibe but big enough to warrant a full on day out.  There is a large indoor play area housed in a barn along with an undercover small animal petting area, so rain needn’t spoil your day out. The shop is worth a mention here – it’s to die for with fresh local produce and gorgeous gifts.

Festive Sparkle: A large area of the huge barn turns into a winter wonderland for the season. The head elf will meet you at the entrance and take you through to make reindeer food, before writing to Santa. A special Santa-Mail letter box is waiting for your children’s letters amongst the twinkle lights and festive displays. Santa awaits you in his log cabin where children meet with him in family groups. You are then whisked off to the Elves workshop to choose a gift.

Dates: Nov: Booking slots available from 9.45am – 3.45pm on 26th & 27th

Dec: Booking slots available at 9.45am – 3.45pm on 3rd & 4th, 10th &11th, Friday  16th- Saturday 24th (last booking 3.15pm)

Cost: Child £13.50, Tiddlers 2 & under £7.50, Adult £7.50, Senior £6.50 plus admission price.

More information on Christmas at Spring Barn Farm

Book Tickets

Have a brilliant time visiting Santa and getting all festived-up.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win tickets for a family of 4 to the fabulous Drusillas Park:

Drusillas Park: family ticket givaway

Posted by

I am a Muma to 2 little girls, aged 5 & 2. We are seaside dwellers, and I 'only work inside the house' according to my eldest. I love to share the funny side of parenting as well as boldly going where no right minded parents of toddlers would go: to restaurants. Seeking out the most child friendly joints and passing on my findings to all of you to enjoy! I'm basically blogging my way back to sanity!

30 thoughts on “Top 5 places to visit Santa near Brighton & Win tickets!

  1. We have only just started thinking about taking Mia to see Santa as she’s 3 now and understanding what Christmas is. A really handy list of places to see Santa, I like the idea of taking Mia out for the day to a farm or an adventure park and then seeing Santa there so I will have to have a look at what’s near to us 🙂

    #TriedTested

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I love the look of the Bluebell Railway! Shame we’re so far away! 😦 We visited Santa at our local zoo last year, and will do the same this year. I’m hoping this year Little Man will be a bit more “knowing” of what’s going on and hopefully interact a bit better! Though he could also run a mile screaming, so we’ll see! #TriedTested

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s always the fear isn’t it- that the kids will just run scared!!
      There are so many brilliant options to choose from, I loved writing this post! We have booked Bluebell railway this year, our nearly 3 ur old girl is train mad! We’ll be going to Drusillas as well, we are annual pass holders! Love it! Enjoy planning your Santa trip! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! My little man will be 18m at Christmas and he’s recently started the “hide behind mummy and daddy when there’s strangers” stage. So I’m guessing thats going to be Christmas for us! 😂 we’re annual pass holders for the zoo so we only have to pay £5 for the santa gift, which is how much the toys are in the zoo shop, so definitely worth it! X

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s so worth getting a pass for your nearest zoo isn’t it!! Love ours, and helps support it as well which is always a nice feeling… Oh yes Stranger Danger does get in the way of the Santa sessions hehehe.
        Good Luck! Xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Definitely! My little man will be 18m at Christmas and he’s recently started the “hide behind mummy and daddy when there’s strangers” stage. So I’m guessing thats going to be Christmas for us! 😂 we’re annual pass holders for the zoo so we only have to pay a small amount for the gift from santa, which is the same price they sell the items in their shop, so definitely worth it! X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. #drusillasgiveaway we try to space things out over christmas so the little ones don’t get overwhelmed, overtired or overfed! our little chap loves Drusillas!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. #drusillasgiveaway Love going out to do Christmas things with the children, but there are plenty of fun things to do at home too, like Christmas baking, making reindeer food, handmade gifts

    Liked by 1 person

  5. #drusillasgiveaway every year for the past few years we have had a winter wonderland near up set up in local grounds where its decorated as a winter wonderland with real reindeer’s for the children to stroke and feed and to see Santa. even now mine are almost all grown up we still visit without fail but now we have a grandson to take with us to enjoy it too

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review – Love Drusilla’s especially! will be entering the comp and fingers crossed, but we are off to Tulleys at the end of the month to meet santa!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. #drusilasgiveaway

    Plan and shop early. Take it in turns in regards to Christmas meal venue/s, booking restaurant seems to have been a favourite for some. We rotate so as to be able to spend some time with family who are not keen for going out to restaurant, more comfortable at their home etc.

    Minimise presents bought for extended family saves money and time. Santa present from whole family ( three – four generations) etc. Give Xmas present to Gran, Thank -You for support throughout the year. Can be cheaper than buying frequent presents throughout the year, and easier to organise.

    Take offers of help, money etc. It all helps to make life easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. #drusillasgiveaway – always book events like visiting Santa well in advance as the good ones always sell out quickly – one local to me sold out by the end of September! Also, try to go for earlier slots – as the day goes on your little one may become tired and Santa may be running late, causing unneccessary upset.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. #drusillasgiveaway I’ve not “nailed it” yet I don’t think, my daughter does do the honorary gasp on Christmas morning but unfortunately, I think they just expect to get spoilt at Christmas don’t they? I’d really love to surprise her. I did try tredding in talc last year so she’d think it was Santa’s snow but that didn’t do the trick! Maybe i’ll have to dress up as Santa this year!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s