Santa’s Grotto will go online this year as retail outlets across the country are forced to cancel traditional Christmas events.
Families across the UK are reportedly flocking to book virtual appointments with Santa as retailers like Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, which usually host St Nicholas, are forced to shut under the country’s second national lockdown.
Companies like Santa’s Grotto Live, which offer Zoom calls with Santa, have seen bookings jump more than 1000 per cent so far this festive season.
“We know how magical it is for children to meet Santa at Christmas time, so we are delighted to be able to offer a safe way to do it,” the company said.
“Since launching we’ve been flooded with demand from families keen to keep the Santa’s Grotto tradition going with their own private video call. Friends and family are able to join on some packages, allowing everyone to share the magical experience together.”
Other organisations, including toy retailer The Entertainer, are also offering virtual experiences to replace Santa’s Grotto.
Talktosanta.com and Santascallingyou.co.uk have also been set up by unemployed Santas, enabling families to virtually chat to Mrs Claus, Santa and elves via video call.
Santa’s Lapland, which usually books real tours to Finland, is also offering 10 minute video calls to Lapland, where they can look around Santa’s grotto and meet real reindeer.