The festive season is finally here, which means Father Christmas is getting ready to visit different grottos in and around Colchester.

Here are some of the locations the big man himself will be heading to this year.

Colchester Castle, Colchester 

Colchester Castle’s magical grotto is back for 2023. 

Together with his helpers, Father Christmas will be spreading plenty of Christmas cheer this December by meeting the children of Colchester and giving out plenty of festive gifts.

Each slot lasts approximately 10 minutes.

The grotto, open from December 2 until December 23, is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information and to book head to:

Colchester Zoo, Colchester

At Colchester Zoo children will be able to journey through a magical Santa Experience filled with festive scenery and cheeky elves.

They will have the chance to meet Santa himself and take home Spirit, the White Tiger cuddly toy.

During our Magic of Christmas events, children can take part in the magical Santa Experience for the additional cost of £15 per Santa Experience ticket. 

All children who wish to enter the Santa Experience and receive a soft toy will require a Santa Experience ticket. This includes children under 3 if you would like them to meet Santa and receive a soft toy.

For more information and to book head to

Marsh Farm, in Marsh Farm Road, South Woodham Ferrers

Marsh Farm is just one of the locations he will be heading down to on dates between November 18 and December 24. 

Children will first be inducted into the Elf Academy where they will be taught magical and festive spells by real life elves.

Father Christmas will see any child under 12 years old. 

For more information and to book head to

Hasty's Adventure Farm, in St. John's Road, Clacton

From December 2 until December 22, Father Christmas will be making appearances at the grotto in Hasty's Adventure Farm. 

You can make memories with their themed selfie areas, Christmas trail and cute animals, whilst also having lots of fun on their play equipment, including the giant undercover Roundhouse.

For more information and to book head to

Audley End Miniature Railway, Audley End Rd, Saffron Walden

From November 18 until December 24, you can visit Santa in his winter workshop.

You are invited to board the Polar Express and journey deep into the Enchanted woods of Audley End where you will eventually find Father Christmas.

For more information and to book head to