It’s that time of year again, where we all frantically begin our Christmas preparations. For those of us with children, in amongst the chaos of shopping, wrapping, decorating and getting on with the general day to day stuff, there are lovely little snippets of cuteness. The family photographer in me never rests so I’m always looking for a photo opportunity for the album!

Christmas traditions

We love to choose our own tree, then spend the day decorating it whilst listening and dancing to cheesy Christmas songs. We also started a new tradition last year, of each choosing a new decoration for the Christmas tree each year. We also like to take the kids to see Santa, which obviously they adore too as it build up the excitement of Christmas. As a family photographer, I just love making memories and where I can, capturing these on camera.

What traditions do you have?

There are some really wonderful places that you can take your children to meet Santa in and around Mid Sussex. Here are a few suggestions.

Bluebell railway Santa Specials

A Christmas Visit to the Bluebell Railway is a magical experience!

Enjoy a journey through the Sussex countryside in all its winter splendour. Santa and his elves will be on board with a present and chocolate treat for all fare-paying children (he won’t forget the grown-ups, there’s a mince pie for them!)

Sit back and enjoy the trip to Horsted Keynes Station where you will find…

  • Victorian Fairground – tokens for the games cost 20p each and will be available to purchase at the station
  • Christmas Pantry – serving festive snacks, hot chocolate and mulled wine
  • King George V Buffet – serving drinks & snacks
  • Crafts & activities for the children

Your Santa Special experience will last for 1½ – 2hrs and includes your return train ride and time at Horsted Keynes Station.

November        30th
December        1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th 

Event start times (each day):
Sheffield Park Station – 10:20am, 11:55am, 1:30pm and 3:10pm.
East Grinstead Station – 11:10am and 2:20pm

Book soon as weekend dates are filling up quick

Notcutts Garden Centre – Ditchling

Santa’s Grotto – Garden Pride – from Sunday 17th November – dates and times vary

Christmas magic begins here!

Make your Christmas magical this year with a visit to meet Santa in his Grotto. As well as meeting Santa, your child will receive a Christmas gift, personally given by Santa.

To increase the experience you will be sent a questionnaire to complete. Just hand it to an Elf when you arrive and Santa will wow your child with lots of inside information about what they would like for Christmas.

One ticket per child (max 2 accompanying adults per child). Advance online booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment, bookings may also be possible instore at quieter times.

£10.50 per child plus 50p booking charge

Have Breakfast with Santa! 

Start the day in the best way possible with a delicious breakfast in the company of Santa himself! Expect a fun-filled mealtime including an activity, meet Santa and receive a special present.

Available from 1 Dec

Adult – £7.95 (full English or Vegan Breakfast)

Kids – £13.95 (Breakfast plus small gift) 

Weekend availability going fast, some dates booked up already

Tulleys Farm Christmas Experience

Tulleys go all out at Halloween and Christmas. This isn’t just a visit to Santa, it’s a whole Christmas experience, with a funfair and iceskating to complete the day. Whilst this isn’t the most economical Santa visit, it is a full day out, with food stalls and plenty to entertain the kids and get you all in the Christmas spirit, Wrap up warm as most activities are outdoors, and don’t forget your camera so you can be the family photographer for the day!

  • Reindeer flying lessons
  • Christmas Circus
  • Santa’s Post house
  • Ginger Bread decorating
  • Reindeer food making
  • Elf Hunt
  • Santa Sleigh Ride
  • Story time with Santa
  • The Elves magical Forest
  • Fairground Rides (additional cost)
  • Ice skating (additional cost)

30 Nov – 24 Dec (weekend only until 19/12)

Tickets (prices are date dependant)

Child £29.95 – £39.95 

Adult – £11.95 – £14.95

Ice Skating – Ch £6 / Ad £8


Fishers Farm Christmas Experience

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Imagine walking through a sparkling winter wonderland with a soft lull of those classic festive carols and sleigh bells gently ringing. Children flying down a Zip-wire with flushed winter cheeks. A magical winding pathway, with an array of twinkling lights, guides you towards a cosy log fire in Father Christmas’ Grotto… Sound exciting?

This is only a small part of the spectacular experience that awaits you this December at Fishers Farm’s ‘The Magic of Christmas’…

Meet Father Christmas!

The big man himself, Father Christmas, will be taking residency at Fishers Farm again this year. Come along and meet him in his magical and cosy Grotto. Children will get to pick their own present in our mesmerising Toy Factory which is sure to kick-start the Christmas excitement!

Prices (Includes park admission)

Ch £22 / Ad £12.75 / Under 2 £15

Tilgate Park Magical Christmas – Crawley

Have a magical Christmas for all the family at Tilgate Park this winter. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December plus Monday 23rd there will be a magical winter wonderland with family attractions including a Santa’s Grotto and elves workshop, a Mrs Claus grotto, a Once Upon a Time experience with live actors, a Christmas market, an Alpine-themed bar and live entertainment at various times.

Opening dates and times
Market open 10am – 6.30pm on all days.
  • Fri 29 Nov – Sun 1 Dec
  • Fri 6 Dec – Sun 8 Dec
  • Fri 13 Dec – Sun 15 Dec
  • Fri 20 Dec – Mon 23 Dec

Santa’s Grotto – £12 1stchild / £8 each child after

Mrs Claus Bakery – £8 per child

Limited availability for Santa’s Grotto but still lots of availability for Brunch with santa


Please do share if you have any other great places to visit for Festive Fun in the area, I love a good Christmas market or fete and would love to have you recommendations to share with my readers. Simply leave a comment below.

Enjoy the Christmas run up and remember to take lot’s of pictures, to print or add to an album. Because long after we’re all gone, these memories will remain for future generations. I offer both indoor and outdoor family photoshoots, and would love to capture some precious family images for you. Please do get in touch for more information

Much Love


PS – One of my favourite newborn photographers, has written blog about baby shower & new baby gifts. Maddy creates the most amazing newborn baby photos. Grimsby based, she is local to a lot of my Northern friends so please do check out her work. It’s amazing!