It's never too soon to start thinking about that special time of year where Santa and his elves begin to set up their workshops. Manchester Mums Group have selected the best places for you to meet the jolly man himself.
Kick start your Christmas celebrations with a steam train ride through a winter wonderland, the Irwell Valley, on what has become a firm family favourite in the North West!
Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere provided by a traditional brass band and carol singing and admire the beautifully decorated Bury Bolton Street Station with its hundreds of Christmas trees. On the journey you will be met by a number of costumed characters and an on-board magician. You will also get to meet Santa and his elves as they travel through the train giving a gift to each child. Mince pie and a festive tipple is available for the grown ups and children get a biscuit and a drink. You can combine the trip with a visit to the transport museum and hunt for clues in the 'Great Christmas Treasure Hunt'.
When: Weekends from the 24th November to the 23rd December, also open on the 24th December
Where: East Lancs Railway, Bolton Street Station, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0EY
Price: Prices date dependent and vary according to age, for more information click here
Wish lists at the ready! Here you are invited to join in with a special half-hour session of festive activities set against the beautiful backdrop of Quarry Bank Mill. This event includes a private family visit to Father Christmas and a gift.
When: 10:30am to 6:30pm every Saturday and Sunday in December (up to and including the 23rd December)
Where: Quarry Bank Mill, Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4LA
Price: £9.00 for each child and two adults are free with each paying child. Admission charges to Quarry Bank are not included in this price
This event starts at the North Pole check where you will be greeted by one of Santa’s Elves who will provide you with your Passport and tokens for your magical journey through the North Pole. The experience lasts for two hours and includes an opportunity to write a letter to Santa with a Christmas list on it, build your own teddy bear to take home, shop in the Elves sweet shop and decorate gingerbread men in Mrs. Claus' kitchen. You can also meet Santa's real reindeers whilst you wait in his grotto.
When its your turn you will be called by the Elves to see Santa in his Grotto, you can chat with him and let him know what you would like for Christmas. Each child will be given a Gold Coin from Santa which can be used to Spend in Santa’s Toy Shop
Once you leave the grotto take the North Pole Road again which will lead you to Santa’s Toy Shop where you can spend your Gold coin!
When: Various times throughout the day every weekend in December up to and including the 23rd December. It is also open for Christmas eve
Where: Cockfields Farm, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8AR
Price: Adults From £14.95 Children from £29.95 Under 1s From £5.95
Christmas is such a magical time of the year and what better way to celebrate the season than with a trip down to Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm for their spectacular Farmer Christmas event!
Here you can take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane, a magical elf high street; meet real life reindeer, visit elf school and stop at Santa's grotto. During weekend events you can also make gingerbread men for a fully festive experience.
When: 10:00am until 6:00pm daily from the 24th November to the 23rd December
Where: Farmer Teds Adventure Farm, Flatman’s Lane, Downholland, Ormskirk, Lancashire. L39 7HW
Price: Date dependent, for further details see here
Jingle all the way to the finest toy shop in the world to join Father Christmas and his loveable elves for fun, magic and theatre at this very special time of year. Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal games and activities, spend time with Father Christmas and receive an extra special gift bag to take home.
When: Selected dates from 24th November to 24th December
Where: Hamleys, Manchester Trafford Centre, 23 Peel Avenue, Manchester M17 8AA
Price: £25 per child
Celebrate Christmas at Gulliver's this year and book one of the wide range of fantastic festive packages available. Here you will be transported to a winter wonderland with a great selection of Christmas rides, shows and attractions throughout the theme park.
Look out for some festive favourites returning this year, including the popular Elf School. Don't miss the chance to visit Mrs Christmas' Kitchen for the chance to cook up some delicious treats. You will also get to pick your own toy once you have seen Santa in his grotto.
When: varies according to day, for more information see here Where: Gulliver's World, Warrington, WA5 9YZ
Price: various packages available, for more information see here