A Magical Santa’s Grotto Experience for the Whole Family

The festive season is a time for magic, and there’s no better place to experience that magic than at the Gloucester-based Moments By Katie Mitchell Photography Santa’s Grotto. If you have small children then surely one of the most important Christmas events is a family trip to meet Santa and we (and many of our clients) think that one of the best places, if not the best place in Gloucester to visit Santa is right here in our photography studio which for one weekend only will be transformed into Santa’s Grotto.

This year, we’re taking things up a notch with brand-new festive sets, a surprise snow machine, and even more photo opportunities. We offer a truly unforgettable and unique Christmas experience for the whole family.

Christmas Photoshoot Gloucester - Moments by Katie Mitchell Photography

When you arrive at our studio in Longlevens, Gloucester, you’ll be greeted by our friendly elves and ushered through into our magical grotto. There, you’ll meet the one and only Father Christmas, who will be waiting to hear all about your child’s Christmas wishes. Santa loves to meet children of all ages; he’ll take the time to chat with each and every one of them and he’s always happy to answer all your Christmas-related questions.

During your visit with the big man, Chief Elf Katie will be subtly taking photos in front of our festive backdrops. This year our backdrops are Santa’s North Pole Workshop and a woodland lodge festive lounge.

Behind the scenes at Santa's Grotto Gloucester

We know that meeting Santa can be incredibly exciting and sometimes overwhelming, especially if it is their first time but we are incredibly experienced in helping children to relax and be themselves which allows Katie to snap some beautiful, natural images. There’s no need for you to worry about trying to persuade your little ones to pose, you can just concentrate on enjoying the magical time they are having.

“We first met Katie this year and booked a Christmas shoot with Santa. It was magical from start to finish and Katie was fantastic. The photos are incredible and I just had to order the package because I just couldn’t choose!! My girls loved every minute of it. Katie worked really hard making these moments last and I’d highly recommend her.”


We always run our Santa’s Grotto Experience early so that you will have plenty of time to select and purchase your images and for them to be prepared for you in time for Christmas. This year’s event is on Saturday 4th November, for a full day of photoshoot slots.

Priority access to tickets is always given to members of our VIP mailing list. This year’s tickets will go on sale at 8pm on Friday 1st September. General booking will be made available at 8pm on Sunday 3rd September if there is any availability left. We are expecting to sell out so make sure you book early.

[UPDATE: 2023’s event is now FULLY BOOKED. You can sign up to our mailing list to be notified in the event of cancellations (and be in the right place all ready for 2024’s event!) here.]

On the day of your grotto experience, each slot lasts for 20 minutes so you will have lots of time but please make sure you arrive promptly as we will not be able to make up any time that you miss.


The Santa’s Grotto Experience will take place at the Moments by Katie Mitchell Photography Studio, Longlevens, Gloucester. We’re in a great location, just off the main route between Gloucester and Cheltenham. We’re only ten minutes from Gloucester city centre and 15 minutes from central Cheltenham too. We also have free on-street parking right outside the door.

How much?

The photo experience costs just £14 per household. This is for a 10-15 minute private meet and greet with Santa Claus, professional photography during your session with a mixture of posed and candid shots, and each child will receive their own gift. At the time of booking, you will be able to add to your order a personalised Nice List Medal for each child. These are priced at £9.99 for one but the more you buy, the cheaper they are. Not only are the medals a lovely surprise for the children, but they also make great Christmas decorations. Mrs Claus is particularly proud of how wonderful the medals look!

Our Nice List Medal for 2023 - Christmas Photoshoot Gloucester - Moments by Katie Mitchell Photography

After your Father Christmas experience, your photographs will be available for you to view a week later in the comfort of your own home while you relax with mince pies and a hot drink. Prices for photographs start at just £55 and there will be a range of packages available for you to choose from. There is absolutely no obligation and no pressure to purchase photos. Digital images will be available for immediate download once purchased from your online gallery.

What makes it special?

These days everywhere you go has a Santa’s Grotto; town centres, garden centres, the high street, Christmas markets, shopping centres, Christmas parties.. the list goes on. Unlike all these other places we only have one family per session. This means that you’re not rushed through with only a few moments to get everyone in position, pose and then leave with one mediocre image. We run a truly unique experience that will allow you to spend quality time together as a family with Father Christmas.

Throughout the whole session, Elf Katie takes a range of photos while the other elves help to relax and engage your children. Katie has a real knack for capturing stunning shots of the most fleeting moments so even if your children don’t feel like striking a pose, you will still receive some beautiful images. Not only will these pictures serve as precious memories of a magical experience, but they will also allow you to cross a little bit off your Christmas shopping list by ordering some wonderful Christmas gifts for loved ones.

Here are some tips for making the most of your magical festive period experience:

  • Book your tickets early as they tend to sell out quickly.
  • Arrive promptly, so you don’t miss your time slot.
  • Dress your children in their Christmas best.
  • Be patient with your children, as they may be a little overwhelmed at first.
  • Don’t forget to pick up your child’s special gift from Santa before you leave!

Tickets for our Santa’s Grotto experience in Gloucester are on sale from 8pm on Friday 1st of September. Book yours today and experience the magic for yourself! This really is a festive event that’s not to be missed.

I hope this blog post has inspired you to book a visit to Moments By Katie Mitchell Photography Studio’s Santa’s Grotto. We can’t wait to see you there!



Fantastic experience! I took my family for a shoot with Katie & she was amazing from start to finish. My toddler was a terror and my daughter a diva but some how she worked her magic and we have beautiful digital photos, prints and a lovely big frame for the wall. We had a lovely viewing where we were able to select the photos we wanted, we couldn’t possibly chose from them so we bought them all! 🙂 She made us all feel very welcome and my children and even my husband enjoyed the experience. Highly recommend! I will be back for more photos as my family grow. Thank you Katie