There are loads of things to do in Staffordshire this Christmas! This is a comprehensive list of the best Christmas days out in Staffordshire. They include places to see Santa and other festive activities both with and without Santa visits. You can jump straight to each event using the links in the table below. Please do let me know if I’ve missed any brilliant days out off the list, I’d be happy to add them in. Advance booking is essential at all attractions unless otherwise stated.
This post covers the Staffordshire area only. If you are looking for Christmas days out in nearby counties, please see below:
Alton Towers Staffordshire
Alton Towers haven’t yet announced their Christmas event for 2023 and there is no indication that one will be taking place. They do usually open up the hotel and in recent years, they have had a light trail through the grounds for day visitors and certain rides have been open. I’ll update this if I see any announcements about the Alton Towers Christmas event and I have linked to the homepage for now so you can check for updates.
Dates: Not yet announced.
Website: Alton Towers
Review: Mini Travellers
Amerton Railway – Santa Specials
It’s all aboard the steam train from Amerton Station to Toyland, where you’ll meet Santa who has a gift for all the children. They will also be given a goodie bag to enjoy as you travel through the Staffordshire countryside. Guests book the whole compartment, rather than individual seats. Money raised goes to the heritage trains charity that maintains the engines. Passengers are on the train for around 25 minutes. Remember to wrap up warm for this one, some carriages are open on one side. Tickets go on sale on 1st September 2023.
Dates: Every Saturday and Sunday in December and Christmas Eve.
Biddulph Grange National Trust Staffordshire – Festive Nights
Biddulph Grange Garden will be festively lit for after-hours exploration this Christmas. Soak up the seasonal atmosphere as you stroll around looking at the beautiful lights. This is an event where Father Christmas won’t be present. There will be a daytime Father Christmas trail for those who are hoping to visit him at Biddulph Grange, but details of this have not yet been announced.
Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th to 23rd, 28th and 29th December 2023.
Website: Biddulph Grange
Churnet Valley Railway – Polar Express
Churnet Valley Railway will be hosting the Polar Express train ride again in 2023. Board the train in your pyjamas at Froghall Station for a magical journey to the North Pole. Sing along with favourite characters from the film as they tell the story. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate and a cookie from a dancing chef as you make your way towards the Northern Lights. When you reach Santa’s village, he will climb aboard to give every passenger the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell from his sleigh. Back at the station, extend the fun with a snowball fight and find out if you’re on the naughty or nice list. The journey lasts around an hour and they recommend setting aside 2 hours for the full experience. Pre-booking is essential and this is likely to sell out.
Dates: 18th, 19th, 24th to 26th and 30th November and 1st to 3rd, 7th to 10th and 13th to 23rd December 2023.
Website: Churnet Valley Railway
Dobbies Staffordshire – Breakfast with Santa
As always, Dobbies have a range of Santa visits that cater for everyone. You can choose between visiting Santa in his grotto or having breakfast with him, and even pick whether to invite your child or your dog – or both!
It’s not fair that children get all the fun at Christmas when there are lots of good boys and girls waiting at home. If your dog has been good this year, treat them to a visit to Santa Paws. They’ll even receive a special gift. If your child and your pup want to meet Santa together, book a children’s ticket too and they can meet him together.
Dates: 2nd, 9th, 10th and 15th to 23rd December 2023.
The whole family can enjoy a tasty breakfast at the Dobbies cafe before children join in with Christmas activities and games and decorate an elf mask. Children will be able to sit down with Santa for a chat before receiving their gift from him. There’s an adults and a children’s menu for breakfast including a vegetarian option for each.
Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th and 16th to 24th December 2023.
Embark on a magical journey to meet Santa. Walk through the enchanting forest with an elf as your guide. Look out for Little Seedlings characters as you go. When you arrive in the wildlife forest clearing, children can make something special to take home. Then, it’s time to meet Santa for a chat and he has a gift for the children too. Photos can be purchased in advance online at a lower price than on the day.
Dates: 25th, 26th and 30th November 2023 and 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th and 13th to 24th December 2023.
Santa’s Quiet Grotto
On Friday 8th December, Dobbies will be offering Santa’s grotto visits for children with additional needs. These must be pre-booked in advance so there will be no queue on the day. A reduced number of families are able to attend in each time slot and there will be no music or twinkly lights. Parents can choose whether or not the child’s gift will be wrapped and Dobbies will email you a photo of the grotto in advance to help children to prepare for the experience.
Dates: Friday 8th December 2023 with slots from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
Dates: Not yet announced.
Drayton Manor Staffordshire – Christmas Wonderland
Falling snow, beautiful decorations and a 35 foot tall Christmas tree bring the festive spirit to Drayton Manor. This year, there are some brand new festive themed shows and attractions. Thomas Land rides are open and visitors can see more than 500 animals in the Drayton Manor zoo. Look out for daily snowfall too! Some attractions incur an additional cost, you can book and pay for the attractions you want to visit online.
New for this year:
- Wishmas Express light trail by train
- Enchanted Christmas grotto: Includes a visit to Santa, family souvenir photo and a sweet treat for all children – adults get a hot chocolate too!
- Rory’s Christmas party show
- Mrs Claus’ end of day Christmas show: Sing along and send Santa off on his round the world trip
- Mrs Claus’ kitchen: Decorate gingerbread biscuits with Cookie the elf
- Christmas evenings with late opening
Magical Christmas dates: Selected dates from 25th November to 31st December 2023.
Website: Drayton Manor
Review: Plutonium Sox
Foxfield Railway have not yet announced what’s on for Christmas 2023. However, their events page goes up to the end of October at present, so it’s worth checking back for updates.
Dates: Not yet announced.
Website: Foxfield Railway
Georgie’s Canal Cruises
Two different cruises with Santa take place for Christmas 2023. Choose between breakfast and afternoon tea!
Breakfast with Santa cruises
Bring the family and cruise down the Staffordshire and Worcester canal with Santa. Look out for the presents he has dropped along the route and colour in pictures to create a Christmas collage. This two-hour long cruise goes to Acton Trussel and a continental breakfast is served onboard, or you can upgrade to a full English. Children can take part in activities at Shuthill Lock, including a treasure hunt for presents. Santa then joins the cruise and he will have a gift for all children.
Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 16th, 17th and 21st to 24th December 2023.
Afternoon tea with Santa
Treat the family to an afternoon tea onboard a two hour cruise. Onboard activities include a present hunt with Santa. He will also have a gift for every child.
Dates: 17th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December 2023
Website: Georgie’s Canal Cruises
Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses – Breakfast stories with Santa
Santa dresses in his traditional green outfit to visit Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses in December 2023. Meet him for breakfast to listen to him telling festive stories inside one of the caves. He’ll be accompanied by woodland elves who help with the storytelling. Visitors can enjoy a drink and a pastry before the stories and children will receive a gift at the end. Stories are aimed at children aged up to 8 years old. This is a group Santa visit but children can have their photo taken with Santa individually when they receive their gift.
Dates: 2nd and 3rd December 2023.
Website: Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses
Review: Plutonium Sox (this is a review of a family visit to Kinver Edge, not the Christmas event).
Lower Drayton Farm – Jingle Ville
Jingle Ville is a magical Christmas extravaganza set in the Lower Drayton Winter Wonder Farm, a place of seasonal joy where families can make memories. Give children’s names when booking the experience for some extra festive magic. A Jingle Ville ticket includes play admission.
Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th to 11th and 15th to 24th December 2023.
Website: Lower Drayton Farm
Review: Amazing Adventures Blog
National Forest Adventure Farm – North Pole Adventure
Get ready for a North Pole Adventure at the National Forest Adventure Farm this Christmas. On arrival, every child will receive a personalised ticket from Santa. Then, collect some elf coins and a special passport before you set off through a magical portal en route to the North Pole. Explore a Victorian High Street with a sweet shop, help Santa’s elves to sort out parcels in the post office and ring bells to keep them on time. Head to the Northern lights to meet a talking polar bear before fixing the toy machine to save Christmas.
Silvermist the reindeer is on hand to sing some festive songs with visitors and mother Christmas will help children to decorate gingerbread. Then, it’s time to meet Father Christmas and choose a present from his gift room. The experience lasts around an hour and a half and tickets include National Forest Adventure Farm entry for the whole day. Tickets need to be booked online in advance and go on sale in the summer.
Dates: 25th and 26th November and 1st to 3rd, 7th to 10th, 14th to 17th and 21st to 24th December 2023.
Website: National Forest Adventure Farm
Review: The Ladybirds’ adventures
National Memorial Arboretum – Illuminated Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum will come to light after dark this December, with festive lights across the 150 acre woodland. Explore the beautiful display and enjoy a takeaway and a hot drink from the restaurant.
Dates: 7th to 23rd December 2023
Website: National Memorial Arboretum
Regent Theatre – Jack and the Beanstalk
Look out for fabulous sets, stunning special effects, impressive costumes and plenty of humour at Regent Theatre in Stoke-On-Trent. It’s panto time, so join Jonathan Wilkes on his adventure up the beanstalk to Cloudland.
Dates: 15th December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
Review: Stoke on Trent Live – a review of last year’s production as this year’s has not yet started.
Snowdome, Tamworth – Santa’s Winter Wonderland
2023 sees Santa back at the SnowDome in Tamworth for the 18th year running, with a brand new Winter Wonderland stage show. Expect real animals, real snow and a delightful theatre show. Visitors can explore the real snow trail with slides, an enchanted forest and snow tubes for sledging down ramps. Animals are waiting to meet you beside Santa’s House in the Christmas village. This year, there’s a traditional carousel and you can post your letter to Santa in his talking post box.
Winter Wonderland dates: 11th, 12th, 17th to 19th and 22nd to 30th November and 1st to 31st December 2023 excluding Christmas day.
Review: Plutonium Sox
Statfold Railway – Magical Santa Express
Board the Magical Santa Express at Statfold this Christmas and enjoy a festive family day out. Start out at the North Pole Post Office for children to write a letter to Santa. His elves are on hand to help little ones with their writing. Then, put the letter into a magical post box before boarding the festively lit train and heading off to see Father Christmas himself. Help Mrs Claus decorate sweet treats, make a batch of reindeer food and visit Santa’s toyshop to choose a gift. Festive food is available to buy and Santa’s singing reindeer is at the Oak Tree Halt platform. Earlybird tickets are on sale now.
Dates: 26th November to 23rd December 2023
Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire
A variety of events take place on individual dates at Trentham Gardens this Christmas, so I have linked to the events page so you can find them all. Events include the Christmas light switch-on, Christmas Makers’ Markets, meeting Father Christmas, Elf School and a Christmas festival including an elf-trail, live music, food and a market.
Dates: Various from 16th November to 24th December 2023.
Review: Birmingham Mail