Covid-secure Santa’s grotto to save Christmas at popular Colchester garden centre

PUBLISHED: 11:21 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 16 November 2020

Santa and his elf at Poplar Nurseries' Santa's Grotto in Colchester (photo: Poplar Nurseries)

Santa and his elf at Poplar Nurseries' Santa's Grotto in Colchester (photo: Poplar Nurseries)

Poplar Nurserie / Kat Marketing

As many upcoming events are cancelled due to Covid-19, Poplar Nurseries is planning a socially distanced Santa visit to bring festive cheer to Colchester this Christmas

*Covid update* Unfortunately, due to the introduction of lockdown 2.0, Poplar Nurseries has taken the difficult decision to cancel this year's Christmas Grotto


With many Christmas events and parties already shelved for 2020, Poplar Nurseries garden centre in Essex has worked tirelessly to put processes in place to make sure Poplar Nurseries’ magical Grotto can go ahead safely, spreading some much-needed festive cheer - and nothing else!

Poplar Nurseries, a family-run business spanning three generations, is renowned for transforming its garden centre into a winter wonderland full of festive treats, attractions and decorations.

‘We love Christmas at Poplar and are delighted to bring Father Christmas himself to the garden centre to meet little ones and bring festive cheer in what has been a tough year for everyone,’ said Elaine Willis, Manager of Poplar Nurseries.

‘It’s been a mission to get everything in place to be able to offer a COVID-secure Santa’s Grotto, but it’ll all be worth it when we see children’s faces light up when they find out they are on the big man’s good list.’

To remain COVID-secure, visits to Santa’s Grotto will have to be booked in advance via the garden centre’s new online booking system, and guests will be asked to adhere to strict measures from temperature checking to pre-booked timeslots to avoid queueing.

Prior to meeting Father Christmas, visitors will be able to take a stroll through Poplar’s magical wonderland, shop for Christmas gifts and dine at the restaurant.

Tickets are £10 per child including a gift and a miniature Christmas tree.

To book, see



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