For the last couple of years my local council have gone all out and organised a 'Winter Wonderland' theme in the city which is bascically an ice rink and amusements, rides for the kids and food stalls, etc all out in the open.
I took my daughter there today to see Santa Claus. I have been disappointed in the past by Santa's Grottos but this one was really good. Santa was in a wooden cabin, surrounded by a beautiful christmas tree, a small fire (and lo and behold the Santa wasn't a spotty teenager) but it set a lovely theme for the kids. It was real Christmassy. After queing for half hour my daughter was asked to knock the door and one of the helpers (not an elf) let her in and Santa said 'Hello', she almost ran a mile!!! I ended up having my picture taken with Santa whilst trying to restrain my daughter from running out the door!! I will try and post the pic if I can figure it out.