Christmas at Kew – evening event information
Dates, opening times and essential information for your evening visit.
Please note, there are a limited number of tickets for each session on the illuminated trail. We recommend booking in advance as we cannot guarantee availability on the night.
Christmas at Kew dates and times
Christmas at Kew is open from 4.30pm and closes at 10pm on the following dates:
- Thursday 28 November – Sunday 1 December
- Thursday 5 December – Sunday 8 December
- Thursday 12 December – Sunday 15 December
- Thursday 19 December - Monday 23 December
- Thursday 26 December - Saturday 4 Jan 2014
Illuminated trail time slots
The illuminated trail operates on a timed entry basis so everyone can enjoy the experience to the full. There are nine timed trails per evening, and each walk takes approximately 75 minutes. The first trail starts at 4.45pm and subsequent trails run every 30 minutes with the last trail starting at 8.45pm. Choose your preferred time slot at the point of booking.
Frequently asked questions
- How do I get there?
Please note that Kew’s Brentford Gate car park is not in operation on Christmas at Kew evenings and we strongly recommend that you travel to Kew’s Victoria Gate by public transport. More information about getting to Kew Gardens by public transport.
- What gate should I arrive at for Christmas at Kew?
Arrive at Victoria Gate - find out where the gate is located.
- Can I join the illuminated trail at any time slot?
To get the best experience visitors should aim to start the illuminated trail at the start time stated on their ticket. We reserve the right to refuse admission until your booked time.
- What time should I arrive?
Whenever possible we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time for your visit to the illuminated trail.If you are coming to the 8.45pm slot we recommend you give yourself additional time in advance of your trail entry time to enjoy the Christmas village, as the event closes promptly at 10pm.
- Is the trail covered?
No. All visitors are reminded that this is an outdoor event and the weather may be inclement. It is their responsibility to wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear. You may bring umbrellas.
- Will I need a torch?
All visitors should bring a fully charged torch or head torch for the walk as some areas will be very dark. Torches will also be available for sale at the event.
- How long does the illuminated trail take?
The walk takes approximately 75 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace, but you are free to spend more time on the trail if you wish.
- Are there any facilities for disabled visitors and their carers?
- What other Christmas at Kew attractions will I be able to enjoy during my visit?
Allow plenty of time before or after your visit to the illuminated trail so you can enjoy our Christmas village with its seasonal food and drink, gift stalls, Santa's grotto*, and traditional rides.
* Santas Grotto is open until the 23 December 2013
- Can I visit the Gardens during the day using my Christmas at Kew ticket?
You are welcome to visit the Gardens on the day of the event, but please note that your illuminated trail ticket does not include day visitor entry to the Gardens. Kew Gardens closes to day visitors at 4.15pm (last entry 3.45pm).
- Do I have to book a ticket for my child under the age of 5?
Yes. All visitors need a ticket, including those who come free.
- I am visiting the Gardens during the day. Will I have to leave the Gardens before entering again for the evening?
When the Gardens close at 4.15pm visitors will be able to remain within the Victoria Plaza area, whilst the rest of the Gardens are closed down. Here visitors will have access to the Christmas village – shopping within the Christmas Market and Kew shop, food and drink including the Cafe at Victoria Gate visitor centre, to the rides, as well as to the toilets.
Christmas by day - event information
- On what dates and at what times is the Santa by day Grotto open?
The Santa by day Grotto is open from Saturday 7 December to Monday 23 December 2013. The Grotto opens at 11.30am and the queue closes at 2.45pm.
- How much does the Santa by day Grotto cost?
Free, with entry to Kew Gardens.
- Where is the Santa by day Grotto?
The Grotto is situated at the North End of the Princess of Wales Conservatory in the Film Room (Ref O7 on the Gardens map).
- Do I need to book a time slot with Santa?
No, these are group sessions, offered on a first come, first served basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
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