23+ magical Christmas events in Surrey for families 2023

by Jan

Are you looking for some sparkly activities to get you in the festive spirit?  Or wondering where to find the best Christmas events in Surrey for families in 2023?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.

There’s an abundance of magical things to do with kids this Christmas in Surrey.  Whether you’re looking for Santa’s grottos, twinkling light trails, train rides, or Yuletide skating, we’ve got something for you.

Here’s our round up of the most magical Christmas events for families in Surrey.  Plus, we’ve added some fun festive activities that are happening further afield.

Also, check out our guides to the best things to do in Hampshire at Christmas and what’s going on in Berkshire at Christmas.

Please remember to come back to our website as we continue to update our Christmas events.

You don’t have to wait until Christmas for fun, here’s our bumper guide to what’s on in Surrey this autumn.

  • Some tickets have previously been gifted but all opinions are our own.
  • This post contains some affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission

Christmas Light Trails in Surrey 2023

Christmas at Kew

Illuminations at Kew, Surrey

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AF

  • Dates:   Wednesday 15th November 2023 to Sunday 7th January 2024 (4.20 -10pm)
  • Tickets:   Christmas at Kew
  • Cost:       from £69 (family of four off peak)

One of the most popular Christmas events in Surrey for families is the magical light trail at Kew.

Enjoy our annual after-dark festivities with family and friends, as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections, and trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

Journey through the mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, spot larger-than-life illuminations and say hello to Father Christmas along the way.

Glow at RHS Wisley

Image of light trail in trees at Glow illuminations at RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey

RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB

  • Dates:   Friday 24th November 2023 – Tuesday 2nd January 2024
  • Tickets:  Glow 2023 at Wisley
  • Cost:      £65.80 (family of four non-members)

Bring all the family for a magical evening at RHS Garden Wisley.   At Glow 2023, see the garden in breathtaking beauty as amazing illuminations light your way on a wonder-filled journey.

Illuminated at Windsor Great Park (Savill Garden entrance)

Illuminated trees reflected in lake at Windsor Park, UK

Windsor Great Park, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, TW20 0UU

  • Dates:   16th November 2023 – 2nd January 2024 (4.30-10pm)
  • Tickets:  Illuminated at Great Windsor Park
  • Cost:       from £64.92 (family of four) + car park

One of our favourite Christmas events near Surrey is Illuminated at Windsor Great Park. 

Join family and friends for a magical evening as the woodland and water of Windsor Great Park come alive with dazzling lights, dancing stars and breath-taking projections. 

Opening on Thursday 16 November, this very special light trail returns to light up the festive season bigger, better and more dazzling than ever with a brand new trail design and spectacularly re-imagined installations.

Ignite Fire & Fantasty at Polesden Lacey

Building decorated like a Ginger Bread House at Poleseden Lacey Christmas, Surrey

Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD

  • Dates:     20th October – 6th November
  • Tickets:  Ignite: Fire & Fantasy
  • Cost:        £tbc (family of four non-members)

IGNITE is a family-friendly, playful wonderland filled with the shimmering effects of fire and light – expect the unexpected.  Experience the enchanting effects of fire, light and lanterns throughout the garden at the National Trust’s gorgeous mansion, Polesden Lacey.

Palace of Light at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU

  • Dates:   7th December – 2nd January 2023
  • Tickets:  Palace of Light at Hampton Court
  • Cost:       tbc

For Christmas 2023, you’re invited on an enchanting festive light experience at Hampton Court Palace.

Encounter curious creatures, from glittering unicorns to polka-dot panthers and from lurking lions to galloping greyhounds, as you wander through the atmospheric gardens and historic palace courtyards after dark.

The Palace of Light at Hampton Court is a chance to experience this unique historic palace like never before.

Christmas Shows and Pantomimes in Surrey 2023

Peter Pan at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

New Victoria Theatre, The Peacocks Centre, Woking GU21 6GQ

  • Dates:   Friday 8th December 2023 – Sunday 7th January 2024
  • Tickets:  Peter Pan
  • Cost:      Tickets from £13 pp

Nothing says Christmas more than a good old-fashioned panto.  Oh yes it does!

The pantomime at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking is always one of our family favourites at Christmas and we hope this year is no exception.  It has a star line up with Anton du Beke as Smee and Paul Chuckle as Starkey and includes all the popular characters from the book.

Join Peter Pan and the characters you know and love this Christmas in this swashbuckling panto adventure. This family treat will include all your favourites including Tinker Bell, Wendy, John and Michael Darling and Nana.

With amazing special effects, stunning sets, beautiful costumes and barrel-loads of laughter, Peter Pan will take your whole family on a magical trip to Neverland like never before!

If you haven’t already got your tickets, grab some now!


Santa's on his Sleigh

Santa's on his Sleigh at G live

G-Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA

A brand-new magical Christmas family show written by Justin Fletcher for 2023.

It is Christmas Eve and Santa is finishing off his final preparations. He is checking his list before he hops aboard his trusty sleigh. But just before he takes flight into the night sky to deliver his presents, he discovers that his sleigh has broken down! Can you help Santa fix his sleigh? Time is running out and there are problems to solve and presents to deliver.

Santa’s on His Sleigh! is a brand-new exciting Christmas show starring Santa, Snowdrop the Elf, Rudolph and featuring on screen his virtual little helper Head Elf, Justy, played by Justin Fletcher.

Santa's Magical Gift at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre

Santa's Magical Gift

The Ambassadors, Victoria Way, Woking, GU21 6GQ

  • Dates:     Sunday 17th December – Sunday 24th December 2023 (11am and 14.30pm)
  • Tickets:   Rhoda McGaw Theatre
  • Cost:        from £15.13

Christmas Eve finally arrives and Santa enters his workshop to a huge round of applause. Will the elves decorations be finished in time? Will Holly get her Christmas Wish? and what exactly is the secret of Santa’s Magical Gift?

Find out in this heart-warming festive story that includes exciting audience participation, energetic comedy routines and a present for every child in the audience from Santa.

The Snowman at Guildford Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford, GU2 7UP

  • Dates:     Saturday 16th December (1pm, 3.15pm & 6.30pm)
  • Tickets:   The Snowman
  • Cost:        from £19.78

Make it a Christmas to remember, with a special screening of family-favourite The Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Alongside The Snowman film, a whistle-stop Christmas guide to the orchestra and a visit from the Snowman himself, join everyone’s favourite cheese-loving inventor, Wallace and his trusty companion, Gromit in Aardman’s multi award-winning film, The Wrong Trousers

Where to meet Santa in Surrey 2023

Father Christmas at Godstone Farm

Father Christmas in his grotto

Godstone Farm, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Godstone, Surrey RH9 8LX

  • Dates:  Weekends in December and 16th – 24th December 2023
  • Tickets:  Father Christmas at Godstone Farm
  • Cost:  From £37 per child 2-16 yrs (includes admission to Godstone Farm)

Get ready to unwrap the spirit of Christmas with a magical visit to Father Christmas at Godstone Farm! New for 2023 we’re proud to present ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a live theatrical experience by the Unusual Theatre!

This fantastically festive family show is included in your daytime Father Christmas visit ticket. Based on the much loved and well know poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, shows will take place at 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm on the day of your visit. The show will last approximately 20 minutes.

Daytime Father Christmas tickets give entry to the farm for a whole day of fun, including time in our majestic new Play Barn. 

Click here for stocking filler ideas

A Santa Experience at Bockett's Farm

Bockett’s Farm, Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 9BS

Enjoy a fun and festive family day out at Bocketts Farm Park in Fetcham including a visit to Father Christmas, the Elf Passport Christmas Trail, Reindeer Food Making and the usual farm animals, soft play and adventure playground.

Meet Santa at Priory Farm, Redhill

Priory Farm Estate, Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, Redhill RH1 4EJ

The Father Christmas Experience at Priory Farm is an immersive piece of theatre that brings the magic of Christmas to life. Through storytelling, song and special effects, embark on a journey through different enchanting wonderlands for an unforgettable theatrical experience for all the family.

Christmas ice-skating in Surrey 2023

Ice-skating at Hampton Court Palace

Santa ice skating

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU

One of the best Christmas events in Surrey for families is ice-skating at Hampton Court Palace.  Visit the ice rink after a day at the palace or just pop down for a quick spin.  The ice-rink has a back drop of Henry Vlll’s historic Thames-side Tudor palace,  which is lit in an assortment of colours as dusk arrives.   Surely, this is one of the best views for a festive ice-rink?

Hampton Court will also be hosting its annual Festive Fayre for food-lovers from 1st-3rd and 8th-10th December 2023

Windsor on Ice (Berkshire)

Alexander Gardens, Windsor, Berkshire

  • Dates: December 2023
  • Tickets:  Windsor on Ice
  • Cost:   £12.50 child and £14.50 adult (£46.oo for family ticket)

Just over the border from Surrey, you can enjoy festive ice-skating this Christmas with your family and friends at Windsor on Ice. The magical Christmas experience returns to Alexander Gardens and is not to-be-missed.

Stay dry whatever the weather under the transparent roof, and after your skate enjoy a wide variety of festive attractions nearby.

Hampton Court will also be hosting its annual Festive Fayre for food-lovers from 1st-3rd and 8th-10th December 2023

National Trust Christmas events in Surrey 2023

Walking with the Snowman at Winkworth Arboretum

Christmas Snowman

Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming, GU8 4AD

  • Dates:   16th December – 3rd January 2024
  • Tickets:  Winkworth Winter Welly Wander
  • Cost:       £2 for National Trust Members (just turn up)

Join in and play a range of welly based games that’s fun for all the family. Don’t forget to bring your wellies!

A fairy tale Christmas at Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD

  • Dates:   25th November – 7th January 2024
  • Tickets:  Timed entrance for Santa visits
  • Cost:       Free entrance for National Trust Members (£3 for carousel rides)

Head to Polesden Lacey for a show stopping fairytale Christmas experience in the Surrey Hills.  The house is sumptuously dressed for Christmas with a 20ft Christmas tree and elegant dressings around the Edwardian house.

Follow the immersive Christmas displays through the house to see a different fairytale scene in each room.  You’ll spot all the best-loved characters, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and Aladdin.  Plus, you can book a session to meet everyone’s favourite, Father Christmas.

The Snow Queen family trail at Claremont Gardens

Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG

  • Dates:   25th November – 2nd January 2024
  • Tickets:  n/a
  • Cost:       Free entrance for National Trust Members

Explore the fairy tale family trail, The Snow Queen, at the picturesque landscape of Claremont Gardens.  Come and join Greda on this special festive trail to rescue Kai from the Snow Queen’s palace.  The garden will be transformed into a magical outdoor world with installations reflecting scenes from the story.

The free trail follows the half-mile lake route – perfect for little legs!

Other Christmas events in Surrey 2023

Santa's Victorian Parlour at Haslemere Museum

Christmas Chocolates

Haslemere Museum, 78 High Street, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 2LA

Come and visit Santa as he takes time out before Christmas to relax in his charming Victorian Parlour. Let Santa know all your Christmas wishes and if you are on his good list, you will receive a gift to take home for Christmas!

A Winter's Tail at Chessington

Chessington World of Adventures, Leatherhead Road, Chessington, KT9 2NE

Make magical memories this Christmas at Winter’s Tail, enjoying festive family fun with your nearest and DEERest at Chessington.

With the help of our jolly elves and reindeer, meet Father Christmas in his log fire grotto and revel in all the Christmas cheer that a traditional panto and carollers offer. Plus, NEW for 2023, visit the charming residents of Enchanted Hollow as they prepare for a magical Christmas. 

Christmas Crafts at Gatton Park

Gatton Park, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0TW

  • Dates:   Tuesday 19th December  2023
  • Tickets:  Gatton Park
  • Cost:       £8.50

Get the sparkle out for lots of Christmas craft creativity. Christmas Craft making session for younger children of 3 – 7 years 10-11.30 am or 1.30-3.00 pm 

Santa Cruises at the Basingstoke Canal Centre

Basingstoke Canal Centre, Mychett, Surrey

  • Dates:   28th November to 23rd December 2023
  • Tickets:  Basingstoke Canal Centre
  • Cost:       £18 pp (peak time) (maximum age is 12 yrs)

Climb aboard our boat Rosebud and take a gentle cruise to the start of the tinsel trail in the woods.  Little ones lead the way and follow the trail to find Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a special gift!

Afterwards, cruise back to the Centre and head into Santa’s Workshop for Christmas colouring activities, warm drinks & mince pies for all.

Alice in Wonderland Trail at Painshill Park

Painshill Park, Cobham, KT11 1BE

  • Dates:   18th November – 7th January 2024
  • Tickets:  Alice in Wonderland Trail
  • Cost:       £31 (family of four)

Alternatively, help the white rabbit find Alice at Painshill’s Alice in Wonderland Trail this winter.  Follow the trail around the landscape and meet some familiar characters along the way. 

Explore the gardens of Painshill and the magical Crystal Grotto while you visit.

Chobham Adventure Farm's Magical Christmas

Christmas Illuminations

Chobham Adventure Farm, Bagshot, Chobham, Woking, GU24 8DB

The interactive magical Christmas experience is set to return for 2023.  The Ice Rink – which proved a huge hit last year – will return for more skating fun! Professor Caraticus will be back with another fantastic invention, and the Reindeer Lodge will once again be housing Rudolph and his team. And of course the chance to see the Big Man himself before heading into his well-stocked toy shop!!

What are your favourite things to do in Surrey at Christmas?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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Avatar for Jan
Laureen+Dixon 10th November 2021 - 5:06 pm

Excellent summary of places to take children in the Christmas period.

Avatar for Jan
Jan 10th November 2021 - 7:50 pm

Thanks – we’re looking forward to some festive fun!


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