Where is the best Santa’s Grotto in Sheffield?

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It is the festive trip that childhood dreams are made of - a visit to a chuckling Father Christmas in his beautifully decorated grotto.

So we sent our mini experts out and about into four grottos to get their opinions on Sheffield’s Santas.

Five stars: Santa at Weston Park Museum.

Five stars: Santa at Weston Park Museum.

All the youngsters were thrilled to meet the man in red, have a chat about wish lists, and receive an early present.

But their parents were slightly more critical when it came to cost, value and in particular photography.

We all know that the days of photos of small children sitting on Santa’s knee are long behind us - but the days of taking your own photo are fast disappearing too.

In fact at most grottos you should double the amount you expect to pay if you want a basic photographic memento.

So, wherever you decide to go, make sure you check out the cost first and have a look at the quality of the photos you are spending your Christmas cash on.

Ho, ho, ho... Merry Christmas everyone.

Santa at the Museum, Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum is where you will find Sheffield’s jolliest Father Christmas. His laughter booms around the museum and he is absolutely delightful. He takes time to make each child feel important and you’ll find him in a very festive igloo.

There’s no technical wizardy or animatronics but the children were pleased with their present and left filled with festive cheer.

Entry and gift: £5 per child

Photography: Take your own photos, no extra charge

Rating: 5

Rocket the Reindeer 4D Grotto at Crystal Peaks

The first reaction to this grotto was surprise that adults have to pay too. There is a short 4D movie, which the kids loved, before you go in to see Santa and the youngsters were delighted with their soft toy gift of one of the movie characters.

The magical helpers are all great, as is Santa.

Our tip is sit near the front if you want the full effect of the 4D bubbles. Everyone who sees the movie together sees Santa together, so it isn’t the most intimate conversation, but fun none the less.

Entry and gift: £3 per adult, £4 per child or £12 per family ticket

Photography: £5 for one or £8 for two, and you aren’t allowed to take your own

Rating: 4

Santa’s Snowflake Hollow at Meadowhall

Plenty of effort has gone into making the Meadowhall grotto magical. From the talking owl at the ticket office - press the play button to see our video - to the Snowflake Guard and making snow with the Snow Queen, there is lots to keep the children entertained and to build the excitement ahead of meeting the main man himself.

Allocated times keep queueing - outside in the cold, unfortunately - to a minimum, but the wait is worth it, with the excellent Snow Queen slightly overshadowing a pleasant enough Santa. Nice, age-appropriate gifts ensure the children leave happy.

Entry and gift: £4 per child - includes free gift and activity book.

Photography: Allowed in the grotto with the Snow Queen, but not in the cabin with Santa. Cheapest photo option is a £4 fridge magnet or keyring (or £5 photo mount)

Rating: 3

Santa’s Grotto, Fargate

This magical looking grotto stands right in the heart of Sheffield city centre but, while the outside looks brilliant, it isn’t quite as impressive inside.

It could do with a bit more sparkle and a bit less black background.

Santa was nice enough though and took time to chat to each child, not matter how shy. The kids were thrilled to receive a bag each containing three presents.

Entry and gift: £4.50 per child

Photography: You can’t take your own photos but they’ll sell you one for another £4.50

Rating: 2.5

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