A Magical Christmas Day Out at Drayton Manor

Finding a Christmas day out can be a bit of a minefield, especially when you have a large range of ages to keep happy.

We were invited to Drayton Manor, home of Thomas Land, for a magical Christmas experience and we were not disappointed.

This was our first visit to Drayton Manor at Christmas and they had completely transformed Thomas Land into a winter wonderland, complete with snow on the roofs, christmas decorations and characters wandering around to meet and greet the children.


There was also guaranteed snowfall over the Island of Sodor which the kids were delighted with as we danced along with The Fat Controller and all his Fungineer friends during their show – even Abbey got dragged up to join in.


All the rides in Thomas Land were open and it was so quite we were literally walking onto each one without having to queue which meant the kids never got bored or cold.

Thomas Land

Thomas was decorated with fair lights and cute antlers and the train ride was decorated with Christmas scenes as you travelled from Knapford to Farmer McColl’s Farm.

The larger rides for teens are not open, however you can still visit the zoo, ride on Ben 10 Rollercoaster and experience the Polar Express in the 4D cinema.

Drayton Manor

We were booked in to see Father Christmas at 4pm and were surprised to find no queue at all. We were greeted at the door by a friendly elf who chatted to the children before letting us inside.


You enter a large room with a stack of real toys in front of you with another elf explains that he has been making and are then ushered into a room to meet Father Christmas. Eagle eyed parents will notice there is more than one room but the kids were so transfixed by the toys that they didn’t notice.

I have to say that although the journey to see Father Christmas was a little uninspiring, the visit itself was fantastic. He engaged with the children, took a genuine interest in what they were saying and chatted to them for around 5 minutes.


Santa’s gift to them was a white paper bag which contained a golden ticket to return to Drayton Manor next year, a huge (and I mean HUGE) gold chocolate coin and a cuddly elf which they were instructed to look after and place on the window sill of their bedroom on Christmas Eve so he knew where to deliver their presents.


If you are looking for an experience that lasts the whole day then this is for you. The park closes at 5pm and finishes with a fantastic Christmas parade and show and then fireworks over the lake.

Park entry plus a visit to see Father Christmas costs £12 for age 2-3, £17 for age 4-11 and £22 for age 12+ which is very reasonable considering everything they have on offer – find out more on the website: DraytonManor.co.uk

The Places We Will Go

21 thoughts on “A Magical Christmas Day Out at Drayton Manor

  1. Jo Addison says:

    Paultons and Drayton Manor – your kids are really lucky visiting both these places at Christmas! We went to Drayton Manor in the summer, and loved it and it looks just as good at Christmas too. Love the photos of the engines wearing their antlers!

  2. How great that there were no queues. This makes such a difference when you are visiting a theme park with young kids. It looks like you had a really fun day
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Review: Tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centre – Jack’s Patch, DevonMy Profile

  3. Sonia says:

    We love Drayton Manor but have never been at Christmas so really need to change that soon! Thanks for linking up to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky x
    Sonia recently posted…The Places We Will Go Linky {Dec 16}My Profile

  4. Oh it looks like a brilliant day out! I love that they finish with a parade and fireworks too – what a wonderful end to the day!
    Kate Williams recently posted…What We Wore: Kid’s Hasbro Muck BootsMy Profile

  5. Jen Walshaw says:

    There are so many great festive experience around for little ones at the moment. Mine loved Drayton Manors when they were littler
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…The BFG’s Frobscottle RecipeMy Profile

  6. Cathy Glynn says:

    It sounds like a fun day out and who doesn’t love Thomas. Your photos look great and really festive x
    Cathy Glynn recently posted…Remescar Eye Bags & Dark Circles TreatmentMy Profile

  7. karen says:

    Looks like they had a great time. I love taking the kids to different Christmas events, this year our town is having its first Christmas market which will be open every day until Christmas
    karen recently posted…Your Site, Now in Other Languages: Introducing the Google Translate WidgetMy Profile

  8. Candace says:

    Looks like the kids had such a fantastic time. Wish mine were still this age to believe in the magic

  9. Kerry Norris says:

    I’m desperate to do this. I’ve heard such good reviews about it x

  10. Emma Raphael says:

    This sounds so lovely for smaller children. I love the fact that there is guaranteed snow too, that’s really magical! 🙂
    Emma Raphael recently posted…Lovely LjubljanaMy Profile

  11. Ness says:

    It’s read great to read of a place that does a Christmas themed event well as I’ve read so many horror stories.
    Ness recently posted…Finance Fridays – Black FridayMy Profile

  12. I really thought that Santa was on form this year, he was great with my kids too and they loved it. The chocolate coin didn’t last long though. Can’t believe we didn’t bump into you on the day
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Drayton Manor Park Magical Christmas Review @draytonmanor #DMPMy Profile

  13. What a great day out. It looks like so much fun for the kids. We love everything Christmas-y so I know my kids would love it here 🙂
    clairejustine recently posted…Blackberry, Chia And Lemon Sponge Puddings With Blackberry Custard…My Profile

  14. Rachel says:

    Oh it does look totally magical and I love that Thomas a Rudolph red nose x

  15. What a magical day. I bet you all had a lovely time.

  16. Cerys says:

    That looks amazing – I haven’t visited Drayton Manor since I was a child but heard really good things about it.

  17. This really was a magical visit in the run up to Christmas wasn’t it? As my kids are a bit older now I’d have to wait for the teen rides to be open otherwise I’d probably hear plenty of moaning! When do they open do you know?

  18. Louise says:

    This does actually look really magical. The children look to have really enjoyed it – such cuties x

  19. It looks really fun. Drayton Manor is one of the few theme parks I like, and the price seems pretty reasonable!

  20. Pinkoddy says:

    Sounds like they have improved on things since we went a few years ago and even then the kids had a magical time.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Easy Nativity Craft with White Stuff #adMy Profile

  21. This looks really fun and festive. Looking at your photos reminds me that yep, whether I feel it or not, Christmas is definitely almost here. x
    Dean of Little Steps recently posted…All About the ColdMy Profile

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