Santa’s grotto has opened up this week in Lincoln’s very own Waterside Shopping Centre.
So far, this year is proving to be even busier than in previous years. Lots of people have already pre-booked slots to see Santa, but you can also turn up and wait in line.
Santa’s elves, Holly, Twinkle-Toes, Sparkles, Gold-dust, and Sugar Plum, who run the grotto, are kept very busy during opening hours.
This is great news for the businesses in Lincoln’s City Centre. With online shopping becoming more and more popular every year, the grotto is drawing more people onto Lincoln’s High Street, helping to drum up business.
Centre Manager, Dean Cross, said: “Every year is busier and more popular than the one before and this year is no exception.”
Twinkle-Toes, one of Santa’s elves, said: “Even with online shopping, I think at Christmas time people love to come in and see Santa, but then they like to go and have a look in the shops too. So I think it’s really good for bringing in business.”
Mum of two, Lucy Beard, said: “The grotto is definitely helping with bringing people into town to do their shopping. They can see Santa and have a nice day out. My girls were thrilled.”
Dominic Groom, who took his son to see Santa, said: “One of the perks for of Christmas for the kids is getting to see Santa and telling him in person what they want for Christmas. This can’t be done online and I think it’s a great addition to the town centre.”
The grotto will be visited by carol singers who are raising money for several charities. The BBC will also be there on December 22 premiering several new TV programmes.
The Christmas period means the grotto will get busier the closer it gets to Christmas. With late night shopping hours on Thursday evenings until December 21 and the Christmas markets this weekend, Santa and his elves will be extremely busy.
Twinkle-Toes said: “We’ve been very busy at the weekend and we’ve got the Christmas Markets coming up so we expect to be very busy. There are lots more boys and girls every year, so we are getting busier and busier.”
A scheme called ‘Christmas Sacks’ is also running in Lincoln this year. You can buy a present and pick one of the tags hanging off the grotto’s fence and help a family by providing presents for people who otherwise might not be getting a Christmas gift.
Pictures, snow-globes and other Christmas ornaments can be purchased to remember your special visit with Santa.
Santa can be found in his Christmas tree grotto on the lower level of the Waterside Shopping Centre. They are open everyday between 11am and 5pm until they close at 3pm on Christmas Eve.
For more information on Christmas events in Lincoln, go to the Visit Lincoln website.