Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum – review

Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum – review

19th December 2021 0 By Rachael Stray

We had our first visit to Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum so thought I would share our review.

For Elsie’s first Christmas we enjoyed Christmas at Beamish but didn’t visit Father Christmas’ Grotto.

Last year we only enjoyed Ignite at Gibside due to the pandemic so we really wanted to enjoy the festivities this year to make up for 2020!

After being a little disappointed with our visit to Santa’s Grotto at Lanchester Garden Centre we were hoping for a better overall experience at Beamish.

Beamish Museum

Beamish is a fantastic open air museum which is less than half an hour from our home and they go all out for Christmas.

Unlike previous years, Father Christmas’ Grotto tickets must be purchased in advance on the website with a timeslot for that day and you can also buy your unlimited pass for the year if you need to.

We booked the earliest timeslot and Father Christmas’ Grotto ticket as we could for a Saturday in December as we have swimming lessons on a Sunday.

Our unlimited passes didn’t need renewing so it only cost us £6 for the Grotto.

The unlimited passes last 12 months which is really great value for money. (Ticket information and winter opening hours are at the end of this post.)

Visiting Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum

We were warmly welcomed at the entrance to the museum and were able to use the fast track entrance thanks to already having our tickets.

We headed straight to see Father Christmas at his Grotto which is at at Rowley Station Goods Yard next to the fairground and is clearly signposted.

The queue wasn’t very long when we arrived and our name was soon ticked off the list.

We were chatted to by a greeter in the queue and Elsie enjoyed watching the wooden snowmen and reindeers.

And after a really short wait it was our turn to go through.

A kind lady chatted to Elsie before we went in to see Father Christmas.

It’s quite open but you are asked to wear masks which was absolutely fine with us.

Elsie was shy but Father Christmas was really lovely and patient.

He chatted to Elsie asking what she’d like for Christmas and said he checked the list and she was number one on the good list!

Father Christmas gave Elsie a little gift which she was excited to open.

He happily posed for photos and wished us all a merry Christmas.

It was really well organised and there’s lots of friendly staff on hand to sign post and help keep little ones entertained.

We enjoyed the lovely Christmas trees outside of the grotto.

Older children were given a bit of a noisy gift so just a word of warning!

My overall thoughts on Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum

We really enjoyed our visit to Father Christmas’ Grotto at Beamish Museum.

I think £6 (per child) is a really fair price for a private family visit and the toy was really lovely.

All the staff were so friendly and engaging with Elsie who was shy.

The whole of Beamish feels so festive and is definitely worth a visit not only at Christmas.

What did we do after our visit to Father Christmas’ Grotto?

After visiting Father Christmas we headed into the town for lunch.

I popped to the vintage tea room and nabbed Elsie a children’s picnic bag which consisted of a sandwich, bag of crisps, gingerbread biscuits, raisins and sultanas and a carton of juice for £4.25.

And I also grabbed two brownies for Steve and I to enjoy at home – they are delicious

Elsie ate everything while watching the buses and trams go past and waving goodbye every single time.

While Elsie enjoyed her lunch Steve went to the bakery in search for a Christmas cake but they weren’t on sale any longer.

So he bought some Christmas tree shortbread biscuits, one for each of us.

We had a lovely few hours at Beamish Museum.

All the staff were so friendly and welcoming – the bus and tram drivers were always waving and smiling.

It felt very festive and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Father Christmas’ Grotto information

The Grotto is open every day from 27th November to 24th December, 10am to 4pm (last admission 3pm).

Grotto tickets are £6 (0-16 years) and include a small traditional toy which is age appropriate.

Unlimited passes and a time slot are required to book your grotto tickets.

Where is Beamish Museum?

Beamish Museum
County Durham

Beamish Museum winter opening times

  • 1st November to 17th December (inclusive): Wednesday-Sunday, 10am to 4pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
  • 18th December to 2nd January (inclusive): Open daily, 10am-4pm (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

Beamish Museum ticket information

The Beamish Unlimited Pass is valid for 1 whole year from the date of purchase, and includes daytime events, ensuring you do not miss any of the exciting activities that Beamish has to offer. They offer family tickets as well as senior and student tickets.

Friends of Beamish Membership you’ll get a fantastic package of free entry, free quarterly magazine, discount on a guidebook, plus other great discounts and exclusive offers. There are tickets for couples, young people, families and seniors.

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Other festive related posts

Festive Tales at Woodhorn Museum

I answer all things Christmas in the Christmas Tag

You can find out all about my Christmas family traditions

Read all about how I made my very own Christmas wreath

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