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Santa’s Grotto FAQs

Will Santa's Grotto be different this year?

Yes. Your experience will be a unique one for 2020. We have worked hard to make sure our Grotto Experience is better and more magical than ever while complying with current Scottish Government restrictions and guidelines. Prepare for a Santa experience you’ll never forget, and one of the high points of your 2020.  As is the norm for these times, we may have to change things subject to government announcements and guidelines.  If you or your family are showing any symptoms of Coronavirus, a full refund or change of date will be made as long as we know ahead of your session.

Who can come into the grotto?

Santa has requested that only two adults per “bubble” come into his grotto. For example, if Buddy the Elf has 2 sisters and a brother, that bubble of four children can still only bring a maximum of two grown-ups with them.

When should I arrive and where should I go?

You can arrive as early as you like (the earlier the better!) and take advantage of the stunning views from our Winter Garden café, which is found right beside the entrance to Santa’s Grotto. We would ask you to begin queuing as per our socially distanced system in the Ballroom, no sooner than 5 minutes before your scheduled Grotto session. The grotto is not first-come, first-served so there’s no advantage to being first in line. Everyone that has booked a session will get the same experience as long as they’re not late! Just remember to be on time for your Grotto experience or you may miss it and we cannot guarantee entry onto a later session.  Please use the hand sanitiser provided before entering our grotto and afterwards.  We will sanitise the Grotto in between each session using our specialised fogging machines

How will you manage social distancing?

All our Christmas events have been carefully planned to account for current regulations. Locations and procedures have been chosen with this in mind. Visual markers, as well as our staff, will be there to help you maintain distance without ever detracting from the experience! We will employ a one-way system for entry and exit to the grotto, with entry and exit managed by our staff.

Will Santa and his Elves be wearing face coverings?

As per current restrictions, even magical creatures like Elves have to wear face coverings for your safety – but these ones are very festive, straight from the North Pole, to bring you plenty of holiday cheer! Santa is a wily old codger and has figured out a way to hide his amongst his bushy beard whiskers – so even though Santa will be wearing a face covering, you won’t even know it’s there! That’s why he’s Santa Claus and we’re all just silly Elves, I guess!

Who is required to wear a face covering?

We ask that all adults and children over 5, who are able to, wear a face covering in the Grotto. Children under 5 do not have to wear a mask. They must be worn by adults, even in photos. The only thing we want to spread this year, is holiday spirit and Christmas cheer!

Do I have to wear a face covering for my photos?

All adults (anyone aged over 5) must wear a covering, even in photos. Under 5’s do not need to wear a covering.

Can I still have my photo with Santa?

Of course you can! Santa and his elves will be delighted to pose for professional photographs with you in the grotto, but at the recommended distance of 2m. What better time than this Christmas to get creative with your unique 2020 Santa pictures – start thinking now about the silly poses you could have with old Saint Nick and his naughty elves!

Can we have a family photo?

Santa loves taking photos, and if it’s at all possible to squeeze in a photo with the entire family, we will do our best but we can’t absolutely guarantee it due to time constraints and the current circumstances. If you’d like a family picture, please ask one of our Entertainment helpers in the Red Shirts and they’ll see what is possible. If a family photo is possible, it will be the last photo your household takes in the grotto, so when the last child in your household/bubble has had their present and photograph, the other children and grown-ups will be invited to the photo area to pose for our professional photographers.

Can I take my own photos?

No – we ask that no pictures are taken in the Grotto!  But don’t worry, a minimum of three photos will be sent digitally to you so you can share on social media or print out for family members.  If you’re sharing online, we’d love you to use #merrycrieffmas

Will there be music or songs?

As per the current regulations in Scotland, there will be no musical performance involved in the experience this year, but we certainly plan to make up for that in other ways!

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