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Sustainable Environment
We support alternatives to single use plastics
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Consumption & Conservation
We harvest rainwater from our on-site reservoirs
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Reduced Carbon Footprint
With 80% of bedding plants grown onsite
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Composting & Recycling
We recycle over 90% of our on-site waste

Coolings Santasaurus Grotto FAQs

Coolings Santasaurus Grotto FAQs

The Santasaurus Grotto will now be unfortunately closed with immediate effect as a result of the government guidelines on Saturday 19th December.

All information below was updated on 19th December 2020 and may be subject to change depending on changes in Government guidelines on Covid-19. For our Terms & Conditions, please see the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Q: What is the latest information regarding the grotto?

Following the UK Government announcement this afternoon (19th December) we now have to close the Santasaurus Grotto at Coolings Green & Pleasant.

We are therefore cancelling all bookings made between 20th December and 24th December. All bookings made on these days will receive a full refund automatically by Thursday 31st December. We will aim to process these as quickly as we can, but with a limited team and a large number of refunds to process please be patient with us.

We are sorry we are not able to go ahead as the team at Coolings have put a huge amount of effort into this years Grotto to make it extra special, and the level of support and positive comments has been fantastic, with one customer saying:

“Was there this morning with my 3 year old son and we both thought it was absolutely fantastic! Elves fabulous, Mrs Christmas wonderful and Father Christmas utterly brilliant! Honestly one of the best Father Christmas encounters we have had!”

We wish all our customers a happy and safe Christmas and may 2021 bring greater cheer to us all. We hope you will consider booking the grotto with us again next year.

Thank you for your support.

Coolings, Santa and all his elf helpers.


T&C’s bit: Your refund will go back into the paypal account that your originally paid on and the same credit / debit card. If you have not received your refund by 2nd January 2021 then please email us at and we will look into this for you.

Q: Can grottos go ahead in Tier 3 Covid Restrictions?

Garden centres are allowed to open within tier 3 restrictions which has been placed upon the whole of the Kent area. However new guidance published by the government on the 29th November 2020 allowed grottos to go ahead. See:

Q: How long will my experience last?

You should allow approximately 25 minutes for your Grotto experience. If you choose to visit the nature trail then allow additional time for this, check opening time details for nature trail before attending. Your Grotto booking time is the time you are required to arrive to start your experience and NOT your booked time with Santa.

Q: What will happen when I arrive for my experience?

We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before your allotted time. Please make your way through the shop and outside to Willow’s Nature Trail. You will need to show your ticket (either on your smart phone or a printed copy) at the kiosk where your experience will begin.

Q: There are limited and single tickets showing on some days?

The total number of tickets that were available per slot when we launched Santa was 6 per slot maximum. As a result as some of these tickets have sold there is now a lower number showing.

It is still possible to book these tickets i.e the 1’s, 2’s. However it is not possible for us to increase the number of tickets per slot as showing online, and due to the current Covid and risk assessments we have undertaken it is not possible to combine tickets from any sessions, regardless of the circumstances. This will be enforced before the event and  by our Elves on all days that the grotto is open.

Q: Do babies need tickets?

We need to ensure that all children have a ticket, which includes babies under the age of one, so that we don’t exceed the number of people in the grotto at any one time. However please be aware that the baby under one tickets are free of charge, they will not receive a present if this ticket type is selected. All entrants must have a ticket and if a baby ticket is not selected then it will not be possible to allow entrance to the grotto because of government restrictions to number of people allowed in a group.

Q: Do carers need tickets?

We need to ensure that all attendees have a ticket, which includes carers, so that we don’t exceed the number of people in the grotto at any one time.  All entrants must have a ticket and so an adult ticket must purchased and paid for, this includes carers. If a ticket is not purchased then it will not be possible to allow entrance to the grotto because of government restrictions to number of people allowed in a group.

Any questions concerning this please contact us in advance of purchasing your tickets.

Q: Will my visit to the grotto be with other families?

Each timeslot allows for 6 people, there may be people from other families with you, but we have spaced the experience out to allow a 2m distance at all times.  Your visit at the end of the grotto experience to see Santa will however just be your family bubble only.

Q: Will my time with Santa during the grotto experience be with other families?

There maybe other families with you for some of the experience (max of 6 total), with social distancing maintained at all times, but your time with Santa will only be your family bubble

Q: What provisions have you made to keep me and my family safe in light of Covid-19?

For everyone’s safety, we ask that all adults wear face masks throughout the duration of their visit. Children under the age of 3 are not required to wear a mask, we would prefer children between 3 – 11 to wear masks for as much of the experience as possible. Whilst the grotto is built so that social distancing can be maintained, it is an indoor experience therefore for the safety and comfort of all visitors and staff we are asking for masks to be worn. We do understand that it may be difficult to ensure the children are wearing masks at all times however our elves can support with this, they will be wearing masks as will Santa himself, and we appreciate your support in keeping all of our staff and other visitors safe should you wish to book with us. Exemption for adults wearing masks is allowed following current government advice.

Hand sanitising stations will be available throughout the experience, and all touch points will be thoroughly cleaned between visits. Staff will wear face coverings in line with current government guidelines, this will include Santa. However before each family group goes in to see Santa, at the end of the experience,  if government guidelines stay at current levels (as per 1st October 2020) they may be the option to remove masks, however this option will be advised by our Elves. This guidance has changed from (29th November 2020) so Santa and his Elves will be wearing masked throughout the experience.

We are asking that anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19, or anyone who has tested positive for the virus in the last 14 days to stay away. We may ask you about symptoms or tests,  please don’t be offended, we are simply trying to keep everyone safe.

Please note that if the Government guidelines for Covid-19 change, we may need to change the format of the grotto at short notice.

Q: Can I get a refund if I am self-isolating at the time of my visit?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer refunds for anyone who is self-isolating at the time of their visit. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, we will try to rearrange your visit if possible. We ask you to contact us at least 24 hours before your original entry time in order for us to try and move your booking. Please note that this is strictly limited to availability.

Q: Can I get a refund if the Government guidelines change meaning I cannot attend?

If the Government impose a lockdown meaning that we are required to shut the grotto we will issue a full refund. This will happen automatically with your money being refunded back into the account you paid from.

Q: Can I take photos in the grotto?

In order to keep the magic of Santasaurus’s Grotto a surprise for other people, we ask that you refrain from taking photos other than when you are invited to do so by the elves in the Ice Cave, where we are happy for photos to be taken.

However our elves will also be taking photos during your time with Santa and there will be an opportunity to purchase these.

Q: What presents are included in the ticket price?

Each paying child will receive an age appropriate gift from Santa. This is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.

Q: Is the nature trail / Willows Bird of Prey part of the grotto experience?

The nature trail is included in the ticket price, but is not part of the grotto experience. For this reason you do not have to visit the nature trail. However if you wish to visit Willows Bird of Prey / Nature Trail this must now be pre booked in advance of your visit. This is due to changing COVID restrictions. Entry is still free and you will have been sent with your ticket a valid discount code for entry.

If Willows Bird of Prey / Nature Trail is fully booked then your free entry is still valid up until Sunday 10th January, just remember to book in advance. To Book (Click here)

The opening times of the Nature Trail are as follows:

Monday – Saturday (9am – 4pm) with last entry at 3.30pm

Sunday – (10am – 4pm) with last entry at 3.30pm

Christmas Eve only (9am – 2pm) with last entry at 1pm

Q: Is there somewhere to leave buggies?

Due to the current situation with Covid-19, we ask that buggies are left in the car during your visit.

Q: Are there toilet facilities nearby?

There are toilet facilities available in the main building.

Q: Can I add more people to my booking?

This depends on the booking slot you have booked. The maximum per booking slot is 6 people. So if there is still spaces available in the slot you have booked then you should be able to book more child or adult tickets.

However this may not be possible online as you have to book a Child with an Adult. In this case please contact us at stating your, booking reference, name, time and date of current booking, what tickets you would ideally like to add.

But please before contacting us, check the time slot and day online of your current booking, as if these is no spaces showing available online for this slot then unfortunately we will not be able to add any additional attendees, and so any request for additional tickets would be unsuccessful.

Q: Will there be food and drink available?

Our Blueberry Cafe will be open only for takeaway options this will include a selection of cold drinks, hot drinks, cakes and some light savoury snacks.

A full menu is not available due to current tier 3 restrictions. The cafe will only be open until 4:30pm and will not be open later into the evening as had originally been offered.

Q: Is there a discount for Willow Birds of Prey Annual Members or Coolings Family?

There are no discounted tickets available for the grotto experience.

Q: Can I only book online?

The quickest and preferred method to book tickets is via our website at (click here) . 

However if you are unable to book online then please visit any of our centres where you will be able to book tickets at the tills points.

Q: Where is the grotto held?

The grotto is only at our Coolings Green & Pleasant site the full address:

Coolings Green & Pleasant

Main Road,



TN14 7LJ.

Please note this is not Coolings The Gardener’s Garden Centre on Rushmore Hill.

Q: Who should I contact if I have any queries about my booking?

If you have any queries about your booking, please call us on 01959 532269 or email .



Q: What are your Terms & Conditions?

Terms & Conditions

We’re sorry if we sound strict but in the current circumstances, we want to ensure we provide everyone with a safe experience, in order to do this, we need to implement a few rules…

  • Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19, or who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 14 days must not attend.
  • Facemasks must be worn at all times whilst on site for adults and children over the age of 3. The requirement for children to wear masks where possible differs from current government advice (1st October 2020), but as this is an indoor experience for the safety and comfort of all our visitors and staff we would prefer masks to be worn where possible for the duration of the experience. Exemption for adults wearing masks is allowed following current government advice.
  • As part of the NHS Track and Trace we will keep visitor details for 21 days. These details will not be shared with any third party other than NHS Track and Trace.
  • All visitors are asked to keep a minimum 2m distance from staff and other visitors at all times.
  • Children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult and must be supervised at all times while on site.
  • Visitors may not bring bags into the grotto; we kindly ask that these are left in the car.
  • You must present your ticket (either on your smart phone, or a paper copy) on arrival. Entry without a valid ticket will be refused.
  • If you do not have enough tickets for everyone in your party then entry will be refused, this includes babies under 1 years old who must have a place booked with a free of charge ticket.
  • Please aim to arrive 10 minutes before your allocated time, late arrivals may result in entrance being refused. Due to additional Covid safety measures allocated entry times are being strictly adhered to.
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance, there will be no tickets available for purchase on the event days
  • Tickets for differing sessions, times and days cannot be combined / transferred or moved on the day of the event.
  • Tickets are non-refundable unless we are unable to open the grotto for any reason.
  • Tickets cannot be changed or exchanged.
  • Photos are not permitted inside the grotto other than in clearly defined areas when instructed by our Elves.
  • Grotto gifts will be given to all full-paying child ticket holders. They are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.
  • The nature trail is included in the ticket price, but is not part of the grotto experience. For this reason you do not have to visit the nature trail. However if you wish to visit Willows Bird of Prey / Nature Trail you can on for free on the same day as your grotto ticket booking. The opening times of the Nature Trail are as follows:
    • Monday – Saturday (9am – 4pm) with last entry at 3.30pm
    • Sunday – (10am – 4pm) with last entry at 3.30pm
    • Christmas Eve only (9am – 2pm) with last entry at 1pm