Christmas may be a little different this year, but the man in red will be taking up a very special residence at Bletchley Park’s Vintage Grotto to bring festive cheer for families of all ages.
Father Christmas and his helpful elves will be taking centre stage in the Bletchley Park Mansion’s Ballroom, a beautiful, spacious wood-panelled room used by Codebreakers in World War Two.
Children can spend time telling him their Christmas wishes and take photos surrounded by vintage toys, Christmas trees, 1940s greeting cards, decorations, and festive lights. Every child who comes to visit will also receive a lovely wrapped present from one of Father Christmas’ helpful elves to take home.
Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes has received Visit Britain’s We’re Good to Go accreditation and one-way systems, timed entry slots, and social distancing measures will be in place to help keep families and Father Christmas safe. Full details on all the measures in place for a safe day out are available on the Bletchley Park website: https://bletchleypark.org.uk/
Father Christmas will be in residence on selected weekends and weekdays from Saturday 21 November to Wednesday 23 December, 10am-3.30pm. Tickets for the Grotto cost £8.50 per child plus general admission ticket.* Tickets can only be booked by contacting the Bletchley Park bookings team on 01908 272673. Tickets went on sale on Friday 25 September at 9am. Phone lines will be busy so if you can’t get through, please leave a message including your name and contact details and the bookings team will call you back as soon as possible.
Dawn Barlow, Head of Operations at Bletchley Park said: ‘Our Vintage 1940’s Christmas Grotto is one of our most special events on site, and we’re really pleased that Father Christmas will be back once again to bring some much-needed festive cheer. Tickets to our grotto sold out fast last year, so we recommend booking early. A visit to Bletchley Park this December is a special day out for children and adults, who can also enjoy the festive feel of our historic site and delicious food and drink at the Hut 1 kiosk and Hut 4 café.’
Bletchley Park also plans to run a dedicated session for children with autism or other sensory conditions. Further details on this event will be announced shortly.
Residents living within 10-mile radius of Bletchley Park can take advantage of 50% off general admission tickets until 31 December 2020. All visitors only need to pay for entry once to enjoy a free Annual Season Pass allowing them to return again and again to enjoy free on-site activities, one-day events and changing displays.
To book tickets to the Grotto visit www.bletchleypark.org.uk/whats-on/vintage-christmas-grotto and for a full list of what’s on visit the Bletchley Park website https://bletchleypark.org.uk/whats-on.
*All visitors to the Christmas Grotto need a general admission ticket to Bletchley Park. General admission prices: Adults £21.00, Children (12-17) £12.50 and children under 12 free. If you are a Friend or existing Annual Season Pass holder, you will just need to book tickets and a timed entry slot for the Grotto. Tickets for the Grotto cost £8.50 per child. As an independent charity that relies on visitors for over 95% of its income, the temporary closure due to Covid-19 has had a huge impact on Bletchley Park Trust’s finances. Income from the Christmas Grotto will help support the ongoing work of Bletchley Park Trust.
Image: Vintage Christmas Grotto, © Bletchley Park, credit Jakob Ebrey