Christmas at Marwell

Wrap up warm and get closer to the wonders of the natural world with a magical visit to Marwell Zoo this winter. Meet our hundreds of exotic and endangered animals from Amur tigers and snow leopards to meerkats and penguins, run wild in our five adventure playgrounds, and join us as we spread some festive cheer!

We’re delighted to announce Father Christmas will be making some special appearances at the zoo on weekends and select dates in our Gift shop in December (Saturday 4 and Sunday 5, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12, Saturday 18 until Thursday 23 December).

Appearance times: 10.45am – 11.30am and 2pm until 3.20pm. On busy days the queue will close 15 minutes before the end of the appearance time. Timings are subject to availability.

Face coverings are mandatory in shops (exceptions still apply). This applies to our gift shop so please don’t forget to pop your mask on when entering. 

He will settle into his comfy chair inside our Gift Shop ready to say hello and receive your Christmas letters. Don’t forget to download and print out our Christmas letter template ahead of your visit to personalise and post in Santa’s post boxes, either outside Café Graze or at the Gift Shop.

You may also see him on one of our buggies around the zoo throughout the day so make sure to keep a lookout and give him your best wave!

There will also be some magical decorations and festive scenes around the park from an enchanting princess carriage to Santa’s sleigh and flying reindeer, perfect to capture a special photograph for the family album (from Wednesday 1 December).

Join in with our Nordic Gnomes Hide and Seek competition to be in with a chance of winning a special goodie bag! Can you spot all eleven including Gerome the Golden Gnome?

Keep your little ones entertained at home with our Festive Fun downloadable activities pack!

Enjoy festive food and drink options at the zoo; cosy up with a hot chocolate or treat your little ones to some Christmas delights, perfect for warming up on a winter’s day.

We’ll be spreading some festive cheer on our social media channels too with our popular 12 Days of Christmas giveaway, and more. Dress up in your Christmas jumpers and share your selfies from around the zoo with us for a chance to win a Christmas hamper.

We are a conservation charity so simply by visiting you’ll be giving something back this Christmas and directly helping our amazing projects to conserve habitats and species in the UK and around the world.

Festive Fun at Marwell activities are available to all members and non-members included in the standard ticket price. Book your zoo visit online seven days ahead only.

*Please note guests will be able to see Father Christmas in select locations around the zoo, however, we will not be running a Grotto or Meet and Greet event. Guests are welcome to take photographs! Please see signage around the zoo for Father Christmas’ schedule that day!

Click here to download your Father Christmas letter template. Make sure you print your letter ahead of your visit and bring it with you to post in Father Christmas’ post boxes outside Café Graze or inside the Gift Shop.

If you’re looking for Christmas Gift inspiration then take a look at our Annual Passes or Adoption Packages, they’re perfect presents for your family or friends.