Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience

Please note that Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience has limited availability on Thursday 21 December and is now fully booked for Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December. 

A new Christmas experience at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. 
Selected dates from 1 - 23 December. Timed 1-hour sessions from 10:00-17:00

A special portal has been discovered at the Science Centre which leads directly to the North Pole. Santa's Elves invite children and their families to join them on a special tour of the Elf Invention Studio, meet Santa at his home and take part in a science-themed toy-making workshop.

Santa's Elves love the Science Centre almost as much as they love Christmas. A sprinkling of Christmas magic will run through the Science Centre exhibition and into the planetarium with a free Elf Trail and a new Christmas-themed live, Elf-led planetarium show.

All-inclusive tickets include general entry to the Science Centre, the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience and a planetarium show. We recommend you allow 3 hours for your visit.

Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience

Take a journey through a special door and discover how Santa and his elves prepare for Christmas. Visit the Elf Invention Studio and see Santa’s Master Elf experimenting with whizzes, fizzes, colours and bangs in the laboratory as they use science to create the colours of Christmas. Visit Santa’s house to take part in a toy-making workshop where children will be able to put into practise some of the science they've learnt from the elves, and of course, meet Santa. 

This is a magical and immersive Christmas experience. Santa will be present throughout the workshop so children can enjoy meeting him first as a group before being invited to say hello in person and to tell him what they're hoping to get for Christmas. Children will take home the toy they've made and a themed gift from Santa. The science theme 'colours of Christmas' will run throughout the experience and gifts.

Duration: 1 hour
Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-10 December, daily from 15-23 December.**
Times:  10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 13:00, 13:45, 14:30, 15:30, 16:15, 17:00

*If arriving after 3pm Monday to Friday for Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience you will be given a complimentary voucher for a free return visit to the main exhibition.

**Please be aware that there will be no Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience sessions on 
Monday 18 December as Santa and the Elves will be visiting Naomi House, so there will be no sessions at 14:30, 15:30, 16:15 and 17:00. 

Reindeer Round-up in Space (live, elf-led planetarium show)

Santa's Elves have lost the reindeer and are hoping to get them back before Santa and Mrs Claus find out. Clues lead to all the planets within the Solar System. With help from children and their families, can the Elves manage to round-up the reindeers in time for Christmas Eve?

This live planetarium show offers an immersive exploration of the Solar System, with a fun Christmas twist, using the incredible 360 fulldome screen.

Duration: 30 minutes
Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-10 December, daily from 15-23 December.
Times: Reindeer Round-up will be presented at 11:30, 13:30, 15:40

Reindeer Round-up in Space planetarium show tickets can be purchased separately

Elf Trail

Santa’s mischievous Elves love Christmas and are keen to share the fun with all families visiting the Science Centre. Take part in an Elf Trail around the main exhibition area and see how the Science of Sport zone takes on a new role as the Elf Gym. 

This is a fun free trail that encourages exploration of the main exhibition area. 

Duration: allow 30 minutes to complete the trail although time in the exhibition is unlimited.
Dates: 1-23 December


Carers: visitors with disabilities pay the standard ticket price but may bring a carer/companion with them free of charge where this is required to enable access. This also includes Gateway Card holders. When booking a carer, please call 01962 863791 stating your booking confirmation number, your request to add a carer place to the booking and the type of documentation you will be bringing on the day to support this. 

Foster carers: foster carers are welcome to Annual Pass holder ticket prices, subject to availability and presentation of a foster carer card. 

Group bookings: groups are welcome but must book online and pay in full at time of booking. 

Age suitability: the experience has been designed to be enjoyable for all children. Very young children (2 years and under) will find it visually exciting with fun and friendly Christmas characters whilst older children will be able to enjoy and understand the Colours of Christmas science theme and activities. 

Babies: the experience is limited to 34 people per session which includes babies. A charge is therefore made for all people attending. A soft play space will be provided for babies and a gift will be given to an accompanying adult.

Seniors and students: we do not have a concession rate for this event. Adult admission will apply.


All-inclusive tickets include a timed visit to Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience, a choice of either the live Christmas planetarium show  or pre-recorded fulldome film and time to explore the hands-on exhibition floor and Elf Trail. Reindeer Round-up in Space planetarium show tickets can be purchased separately. Find out more here. 

For visitors booking the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience, Santa will be visible throughout the gift making workshop but each child will be given time to see Santa with their family individually.

Annual Pass holders all-inclusive tickets: 
Child age 0-2: £10
Child age 3-15: £16.80
Adult: £10.50

Standard all-inclusive tickets:
Child age 0-2: £10
Child age 3-15: £24.50
Adult: £21.50





Accessibility: Disabled bays are available at the top of the main car park (level access to main entrance) and also closer to the Centre if you follow the road around to the left (access via a short flight of steps or sloping path).

Parking is currently free but a parking charge of £2 will come into effect in January 2018. Free on site parking for Annual Pass holders.

On-site parking is available, however during the February and October half term holidays and the Christmas holiday when the Science Centre is busy, a free shuttle bus service will be provided. A satellite car park is available for customers, situated just 2 minutes away and with a regular shuttle service to and from the Science Centre. 

We will be operating a new satellite car park and free shuttle service to the Science Centre on 9-10 December, 16-17 December, then 20 December to 4 January. To find out more information about this service please click here. On-site parking during this time will be guaranteed for those who have pre-booked the Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience. 

During these times, we ask that customers who are able to use the shuttle bus service do so in order to allow those unable to use the bus service to park on-site. We ask that visitors please do not attempt to walk from the satellite car park to the Science Centre. 

If you have booked an activity or experience, such as a planetarium show or a Christmas workshop session, that starts at a particular time, please aim to arrive early for your booking. Winchester is a popular destination for Christmas shopping and festive activities, there can sometimes be traffic getting into the centre of Winchester so please check traffic reports on the day of your booking to make sure that you do not arrive late.


Round off your Christmas Experience at the Science Centre with a festive feast at Holiday Inn Winchester.
Preview their Christmas menus below.

Sunday Lunch menu - available for all Sundays except 17th December
Sunday lunch with Santas Little helpers – for adults and children and only available on Sunday 17th December (must be pre booked and includes a gift for all children under 12)

All other days 
Table d’hote menu – available every day except Sunday lunch time
Childrens menu – available all day everyday (except lunch on Sunday 17th December)

For more information or to make reservation, visit or call 01962 670 700.   

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