Centre MK to unveil Christmas lights and an impressive array of festive activities
Centre MK to unveil Christmas lights and an impressive array of festive activities

All eyes will be on Queens Court at centre:mk on Friday 11th November from 5pm as Milton Keynes launches the festive season with Santa’s arrival and the annual lights switch on.

Kick starting the festivities will be Santa; arriving on the roof of centre:mk to officially open the Grotto and switch on the lights. Specially curated by renowned light designer James Glancy, (who has created the light installations for Regent Street this year, as well previously for London’s Leicester Square and Birmingham). The legendary designer will be bringing his talents to Milton Keynes for the second year running, as part of centre:mk’s Christmas lights scheme.

Heart Four Counties Breakfast favourites Stuart Miles and Katy Hill will host a short ceremony, as crowds gather for Santa’s spectacular rooftop arrival. Santa will board his sleigh on Midsummer Arcade, where thousands of children will be lining the route. On arrival in Middleton Hall, Santa will enter the Grotto Kingdom and light up Middleton Hall with a countdown and button push, illuminating the thousands of lights in Queens Court as well as the centre’s impressive Christmas tree. 

Following the lights switch-on, centre:mk will open the UK’s largest shopping centre grotto experience from Saturday 12th November to Saturday 24th December. The almost 20,000 sq ft, 25 minute fully interactive experience is sure to not disappoint. Featuring a double height carousel, traditional nativity scene and speciality craft cabins; it will provide the perfect backdrop to the extraordinary home of Santa. Festive activities include arts and crafts group workshops, where children can enjoy making Christmas wreaths and decorating wooden angels. Following a visit from Santa and his elves, every child will receive a gift; creating the ultimate family day out.

In addition, centre:mk will host a daily Christmas Market in Queen’s court from Saturday 25th November to 23rd December. The amazing outdoor space will be transformed into a winter wonderland of beautifully lit trees, wooden cabins full to the brim of scrumptious Christmas food, winter warmers and gifts. While for those unsure of what to buy for their loved ones a centre:mk gift card (at a range of price points) can be used in over 150 stores throughout the centre.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director at centre:mk says,“ At the heart of Milton Keynes, Santa’s arrival and our annual Christmas lights switch on is always a key attraction for festive shoppers from the city and beyond. We hope to make this year even bigger and better, with lots of exciting in centre activities from Santa’s Grotto to the Christmas Market, making it the ultimate fun-filled day for the whole family. With Queens Court being a much loved space, it seemed like the perfect location to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. We are confident that Santa’s arrival will be a memorable moment and his parade up the mall.”

Tickets are available to book online in advance now at Centre: MK.

Santa’s Grotto & Train Prices


  • Weekdays before 3.30pm   £7.50 per child
  • Weekdays after 3.30pm      £8.50 per child
  • Weekends                              £8.50 per child


Weekdays before 3.30pm   £8.50 per child

  • Weekdays after 3.30pm      £9.50 per child
  • Weekends                              £9.99 per child
  • 19 – 24 December                 £9.99 per child

(Prices include a booking fee)

Prices include entire grotto experience including crafts and a special gift from Santa.

Adults accompanying children are admitted free with a maximum of two adults per child

Children under the age of 6 months old are also admitted free

Please note: due to space restrictions within the experience, a maximum of two adults are allowed per child

Ticket Help Desk 0843 178 1304

10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat, 11am-4pm Sun


  • £2.00 per person

Due to health and safety requirements, children must be accompanied by a paying adult on the train.

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