Have you ever wondered why The Historic Dockyard Chatham closes every December? For over 400 years, Dockyard workers past and present have been keeping a heavily guarded Christmas secret.
All over the world dockyards just like ours are on high alert at Christmas time, for deep in the Historic Dockyard is a secret sub station, hidden from plain sight. Here a crew of ingenious elves are stationed, poised to jump into action should Father Christmas run into trouble with his sleigh, need some help with his Santa-Nav or carefully pin-point a child staying away from home.
This December you’re invited to step into the centre of this secret world and help Mrs Claus save Christmas from catastrophe. The elves are shy and hide from sight yet they are excited that humans will be passing through the sub station BUT some of them have been up to mischief…
Your little ones will need to master the magical skills and learn the elf code before graduating from Elf Academy and solving the mystery of the missing clausometer.
Once you’ve saved Christmas, your journey will end in a magical meeting with Father Christmas. He’ll be so pleased with the help you’ve given Mrs Claus, he’ll present your little ones with a special gift to take home.
- A guided Christmas story with interactive activities
- A private meet and greet with Father Christmas for you and your group (Father Christmas will go at your pace, there is no hurry and he won’t be offended if you don’t want to see him)
- A wrapped gift from Father Christmas for each child
- One professional photograph with Father Christmas per group, with the opportunity to purchase further photographs and a special Mission Christmas storybook at the end of the experience (We understand not everyone likes having their photograph taken, please let our staff know if you would rather avoid this).
Although Mission Christmas is an indoor experience, the buildings will be at an ambient temperature, please wrap up warm and wear your best Christmas jumpers!
Eat, Drink & Shop
The Mess Deck Restaurant will be open, serving delicious festive food and steaming hot chocolates.
Our shop will be stocked with Christmas gifts including our special, handmade gift range from the Master Ropemakers.
Mission Christmas and The Historic Dockyard Chatham wishes to be fully inclusive and we make every effort to ensure that we are accessible to as many visitors as possible.
We have developed additional information that explains provisions around the site and help you plan for your visit.
THE SMALL PRINT (TERMS & CONDITIONS)
- All visitors require a ticket for Mission Christmas. Advanced booking is essential as tickets will not be available on the door.
- Mission Christmas is a separately ticketed event and not included within an annual ticket to The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
- Mission Christmas requires all bookings to consist of (at least) one adult and one child per booking.
- Whilst we are operating the Mission Christmas experience, the rest of the galleries and attractions at The Historic Dockyard Chatham will NOT be open.
- Your booking time is the time you will begin your Mission Christmas experience, please ensure that you arrive 20 minutes prior to your allocated time slot. You are welcome to enjoy The Mess Deck restaurant and Shop if you arrive earlier.
- Standard admission charges apply to all visitors; however, admission for accompanying carers or personal assistants is free of charge (1 carer per ticket holder). Carer tickets need to be pre-booked via telephone please call us on 01634 823800.
- The tour is fully accessible, with one section of the tour requiring access via staircase or lift.
- Due to the nature of the historic building and to comply with our evacuation procedures we are only able to facilitate one wheelchair user per session (please call us on 01634 823800 before booking to check availability). Please do let us know in advance if you or any members of your party require any additional support during your visit by calling us on 01634 823800.
THE EXPERIENCE –
- This is a guided experience and there will be up to 15 visitors per tour.
- Mission Christmas has been written for those who believe in the magic of Christmas. Our aim is for all ages to enjoy the experience, but it is most suitable for those aged between 4 – 10.
- Children must be supervised by an adult throughout the experience.
- Much of the experience is indoors but we recommend you wrap up warm and wear suitable footwear as the gallery is at an ambient temperature. There are no lockers or cloakroom available.
- You will be asked to leave pushchairs in the designated Buggy Park.
- The Mess Deck restaurant and gift shop will be available for you to use at your own leisure during your visit.
- Food and drink is not permitted inside the Mission Christmas experience.
FATHER CHRISTMAS –
- Your meet and greet with Father Christmas will be at the end of your guided experience. There may be a short wait ahead of your meet and greet.
- You will visit Father Christmas in your booked group. We are unable to split or merge bookings to visit Father Christmas. If two families wish to visit Father Christmas separately, you must make two separate bookings. Similarly, if two families wish to visit Father Christmas together, you must make one booking (not exceeding our maximum of 8 per group).
- All children with a valid ticket will receive an age appropriate wrapped gift from Father Christmas. Gifts cannot be exchanged.
- A complimentary, professional photograph with Father Christmas is included in your ticket price (per group). This will be printed and presented to you after you have met with Father Christmas.
- There will be the opportunity to purchase two additional professional photographs, complete with a special Mission Christmas storybook for £15.00 at the end of your experience.
- Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds or re-take photos after you have left Father Christmas.
- All bookings are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- If you are late for your allocated time or cannot make your tour for any reason, unfortunately we cannot offer a refund.
- We cannot change tour times and cannot provide refunds for tours missed
- In the event that we are required to cancel or close the experience for any reason beyond our control, we will offer you a full refund or the option to book into an alternative tour (subject to availability).