Different plans for Christmas this year

Crawley Borough Council has made the difficult decision not to host Tilgate Park’s Magical Christmas this year.

Regrettably, the rise in coronavirus cases and prioritising the health and safety of visitors and staff has left the council with no choice but to cancel the event.

Launched in 2018, the event offers a magical Christmas experience, welcoming children and their families to get into the Christmas spirit. For the past two years, families have enjoyed thousands of twinkling lights and entertainment from local dance and musical theatre groups, all free of charge, with a market selling locally made gifts, food and drink. The event also offered free walkabout meet and greets with Santa and Mrs Claus, and the option to buy private grotto tickets followed by arts and crafts with Santa’s elves, funfair rides and immersive outdoor theatre.

This year’s event, with social distancing guidelines in place, would have meant restricting entry by ticketing and as a result would not have been able to host the number of families who normally come without tickets, dampening the magical atmosphere of the event.

Cabinet member for Wellbeing, Councillor Chris Mullins, said: “We are deeply disappointed to cancel this year’s event. However the safety of our visitors is paramount and most of all, we wouldn’t have been able to offer the special Christmas experience that the public have come to expect.”

The council is looking into alternative festive events at Tilgate and in the town centre for residents and visitors to enjoy safely. More information will be provided at a later date.


Due to the safety measures required during the pandemic we are unable to confirm any plans yet for Tilgate Park events this year. This website will be updated when we have more information to share.

Santa’s Grotto – SOLD OUT

If you’ve missed out on the Grotto, there’s still time to get tickets for Brunch with Santa but hurry as there’s not many of those tickets left.

Remember that Mrs Claus’s Bakery grotto will be open from Saturday at 11.50am.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme

We are proud to announce that Tilgate Park is registered with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme in readiness for Tilgate Park’s Magical Christmas.

Our staff have had some training and will recognize what it means for anyone who wears the official Sunflower lanyard or wristband to the event and throughout the year.

Let us know how we can help you to have a great experience when you visit Tilgate Park and Nature Centre.

Mrs Claus is coming to visit!

We received this letter from Mrs. Claus and wanted to share it with you. It’s very exciting. Here’s what she said.

To all the lovely children at Tilgate Park.

I’m coming to visit!

Santa asked me if I could join him on his visit to see the children at Tilgate Park this Christmas.

We’re busy getting ready for a wonderful Christmas and can’t wait to see you all. Some of the elves are coming to visit too!

I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in my Bakery. I’m arriving on Sat 30th Nov and staying until Sun 22nd Dec when I have to dash back to the North Pole and deliver my baked goodies in time for Santa’s deliveries.

See you soon,

Mrs. Claus

Letter from Mrs Claus