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Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre opens Santa's grotto

Youngsters flocked to a shopping centre to meet Father Christmas.

Hempstead Valley in Gillingham threw open the doors of its Christmas grotto at the weekend.

Santa's grotto at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre. Pictured are Aaron Elms, Zac Elms, one, Ariana Elms, five months and Zoe Elms with Santa. Picture: Andy Jones.
Santa's grotto at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre. Pictured are Aaron Elms, Zac Elms, one, Ariana Elms, five months and Zoe Elms with Santa. Picture: Andy Jones.

The big man himself was joined by Derek Moran from Channel 5’s Milkshake, who plays Dandini in Cinderella, at The Central Theatre, Chatham.

kmfm presenter Andy Walker got the crowd ready for the countdown for this year’s launch of the grotto.

Visitors will get the chance to meet Father Christmas every day until Christmas Eve.

Entrance to the grotto costs £5 per child and includes a wrapped gift.

There is no charge for accompanying adults.

Derek Moran from Channel 5's Milkshake with Santa(21989745)
Derek Moran from Channel 5's Milkshake with Santa(21989745)

There is also the chance to purchase a professional photo.

For opening times and to pre-book your visit, (£1.50 booking fee applies), click here.

Parents are advised to allow plenty of time to queue and arrive at least 30 minutes before the grotto is scheduled to close to avoid missing out.

A festive procession will take place in Chatham High Street in a full day of fun on Saturday.

The festive fun doesn't stop there: The Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham will be throwing a grand parade where Santa will be greeting people.

It will begin by the White Lion Hotel at noon. From 9am, the shopping centre will also play host to the Medway Comic and Screen Festival.

There will be stalls of comic, TV and film memorabilia and the chance to meet stars from the silver screen.

From 3.45pm, there will be entertainment to get people warmed up for the Christmas lights switch on, which will take place outside the Central Theatre at 5pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway


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