Meet Santa at Whipsnade Zoo
Santa is heading back to Whipsnade Zoo this Christmas! Meet the man himself as part of a fun-filled, festive, family day out. Every child who meets Santa will receive an early Christmas gift to take home.
Register your interest for Meet Santa tickets
Tickets for Meet Santa at Whipsnade Zoo will go on sale soon. Meet Santa tickets are strictly limited and we expect demand to be high, so we're asking visitors to register their interest using the form below.
Please note: Ticketing links and details on how to book will only be emailed to those who have registered their interest. Gold members, Fellows, and Patrons who have registered will get priority access on the day of the ticket release.
Please ensure your details are correct before pressing submit. You must tick the marketing consent box on the form below to receive the ticket links via email. If you are a Gold member, Fellow or Patron, please ensure you use the email address associated with your account to ensure you receive the correct email.
This form will only register your interest in Meet Santa tickets at Whipsnade Zoo. If you’re interested in attending our London event, please register for London Zoo here.
All visitors will need a valid Zoo ticket or ZSL membership, in addition to any Meet Santa ticket, in order to enter the Zoo. Members, Fellows and Patrons will be granted Zoo entry on arrival simply by showing their membership card.
TICKETS COMING SOON!
Meet Santa – £15.50
Santa is stopping by at Whipsnade’s cosy Lookout Lodge this year. Little ones can join in festive crafts before meeting Santa in his magical grotto and receive a very special early Christmas gift to take home.
Weekends from 2 December, then 16-24 December.
Gold member, Patron and Fellow Exclusive Meet Santa Sessions will run 25-26 November.
If you are a Gold member, Patron or Fellow and have registered your interest, you will receive an email to book one of these exclusive sessions.
Meet Santa Relaxed Sessions – £15.50
These sessions include the same experience as standard Meet Santa sessions, but with dimmed lighting, quieter sounds and other sensory stimulation to make the area feel more relaxed, specifically designed for those with additional needs.
2 and 21 December.
Please be considerate of your fellow bookers and only book these sessions if you need them as there’s strictly limited availability.
Meet Santa Animal Gift Giving – £40 Child / £12.50 Adult
For an additional treat before meeting Santa, why not join our elves to make tasty gifts for some of our zoo residents, and then head on a tour to deliver your gift and watch the animals get stuck in?
Weekends from 25 November, then 20-24 December. Most suitable for ages 5 and over.
Breakfast Storytime with Santa – £40 Child / £19.50 Adult
Start your day with a little extra Christmas sparkle as you join Santa and his elves for breakfast and a special festive storytelling session, all about how Santa and the elves make Christmas magical for the animals. Visitors will enjoy a warming cooked breakfast and there’ll be craft activities for little ones too, before each child receives a gift from Santa.
Weekends from 25 November, then 20-24 December. Most suitable for children aged under 5.
As well as three reindeer talks per day, throughout the Christmas period we’re highlighting a selection of Whipsnade’s other special animal residents. On all meet Santa dates, kids will be able to get stuck into themed crafts and you can hear from Whipsnade Zoo experts in talks as they give enrichment specific to each animal.
Freshly armed with that knowledge, children will then be able to enter a competition to design enrichment for one of the featured animals and if their design is chosen by our keepers, they’ll win a return trip to make it for real and give it the animals!
Weekends from 2 December, then 16-24 December. Crafts in the Learning Hub (River Room); other activities, including competition entry, at animal exhibits.
- Members, Fellows and Patrons will be granted Zoo entry on arrival simply by showing their membership card. Child members wanting to see Santa will need a Meet Santa ticket. Membership alone only provides access to the Zoo.
- All other visitors, including Under 3s and any non-members accompanying members, will need a valid Zoo ticket in addition to any Meet Santa ticket in order to enter the Zoo.
- A Meet Santa ticket alone does not include Zoo admission.
- For Meet Santa a maximum of 3 children can be added per booking onto a single time slot. If you require more than 3 Meet Santa tickets, you will need to book more than one slot to allow everyone to have enough time with Santa. If two slots are booked within the same session time, you can all still enter the grotto together.
- A maximum of 2 adults per booking can accompany children into the grotto.
- Babes in arms are welcome with their parent/guardian/carer – no ticket is required. However, if you wish for them receive a gift or participate in the experience in any way, you must book them an Under 3s Meet Santa ticket.
- Zoo admission T&Cs apply.
Meet Santa Frequently Asked Questions
Meet Santa runs on weekends and school holiday dates between 25 Nov and 24 Dec at Whipsnade Zoo. Upgraded sessions, breakfast storytelling and relaxed sessions are available on a limited number of dates. Please check higher up this page for full details and the latest availability.
Gold member, Fellow and Patron exclusive sessions are happening on the 25 and 26 November at Whipsnade Zoo. This includes an exclusive relaxed session on 26 November.
Please see descriptions and latest availability higher up this page.
We appreciate that the Zoo and our events can be quite loud or overwhelming for some visitors. Our Meet Santa Relaxed Sessions offer visitors with additional needs a more comfortable experience. This may mean less lighting, reduced noise, and off-peak times to limit the number of visitors on site.
There’s a maximum of three children per booking, but if you wanted to book for more children, you’d just need to make two online bookings. If booked into the same time slot, we’ll do our best to allow the children to enter together; the limit per booking just allows us to manage the time slots and capacities of the event.
At Whipsnade Zoo, due to limited space around the grotto cabins there is a maximum of two accompanying adults per booking. Please add your free adult tickets when you make your Meet Santa booking.
If you don’t wish for them to meet Santa or receive a gift (e.g. babes in arms), they do not need a ticket. If you wish for them to participate in the experience in any way, you must book them an Under 3s Meet Santa ticket.
The Meet Santa ticket alone does not include Zoo admission.
Members, Fellows and Patrons will be granted Zoo entry on arrival simply by showing their membership card. Child members wanting to see Santa will need a Meet Santa ticket. Membership alone only provides access to the Zoo.
All other visitors, including Under 3s and any non-members accompanying members, will need a valid Zoo ticket in addition to any Meet Santa ticket in order to enter the Zoo.
The Meet Santa experience at Whipsnade takes place at Lookout Lodge. Although the Meet Santa experience itself is indoors, there may be a short wait outside while waiting for your grotto timeslot and other elements of the Christmas experience are outdoors. While offering a magical location amongst woodland and with beautiful views, being on a hilltop it can also be exposed to wind, so please dress appropriately for winter weather.
Breakfast storytelling will take place in the Base Camp restaurant. Participants will be able to park in the nearby railway/Basecamp car park where they will be met by an elf.
Since these sessions start before normal zoo opening time, if you have a booking for these sessions you may drive into the zoo and park at the nearest car park to the activity – the Base Camp/railway car park for Breakfast Storytelling and the Europe car park for animal gift-giving. Please have your tickets ready for checking at the gate by our friendly security staff. Zoo staff will be on hand to give directions from the entrance and greet you where you park. Please arrive approximately half an hour before the start time for your Christmas activity.
Meet Santa and Meet Santa relaxed sessions will last 30 minutes in total, during which time each booked group will have their own exclusive meeting with Santa. Upgraded Meet Santa sessions will last approximately 1.5hrs.
Meet Santa is accessible, with ramps leading into the event area and the room with the grottos. There’s also accessible toilets and a changing facility located nearby. As part of the Enrichment/Animal Gift-Giving experience, there is a tour lasting up to 15 minutes. It’s not yet confirmed which animals will be a part of this tour, so we can’t yet confirm if enrichment sessions are fully accessible.
Once a session time has sold out, unfortunately we won't be able to release any more tickets for that session. On rare occasions we may be able to add extra dates and if we do so, these will be available on the same booking links – please check this website for any updates.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Tickets are only valid at the Zoo the booking was made for.
Confirmation emails can take a little while to come through so please be patient and check Junk or Spam folders. If there’s still nothing, you can access your booking details and download your tickets using your booking number and email address through the SEE Tickets customer support centre:
If you have already made a booking and have a query about your booking, please quote your booking reference in the SEE Tickets Customer Service portal:
If you do not already have a booking and your question is not answered in the FAQs, contact ZSL’s Supporter Contact team on 0344 225 1826 or [email protected]