Christmas is coming ever closer and two Romford shopping centres are giving kids the chance to meet Santa this year.

The Liberty Shopping Centre is launching its Ice Grotto, where children can visit Santa and his elves and get a Christmas gift in return.

The event will be kickstarted with a parade tomorrow (November 25) that will involve festive characters roaming the town centre.

A spokesperson said music and entertainment will be on offer throughout the day from 11am to 4 pm, followed by an official opening of the grotto.

The Ice Grotto tickets are priced at £5 per child and will be open on selected dates until Christmas Eve.

The spokesperson said all ticket proceeds will be donated to the Liberty’s resident charity, Mitchell’s Miracles.

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The charity was founded by Kristel Huth in memory of her son Mitchell, who died from neuroblastoma cancer. It now supports other families affected by the condition.

An excited Kristel said about the donations: “Receiving the news that their beautiful Ice Grotto would help to make miracles for our charity this Christmas was priceless.”

The Mercury Mall opened its Santa’s grotto on November 13 in the presence of deputy mayor of Havering, Councillor Patricia Brown.

Brookside Theatre’s cast members from The Little Mermaid joined in the celebration.

Centre manager of The Mercury, Spencer Hawken, said: “It’s great to have Romford’s oldest running grotto back and it just goes to show that people will never tire of seeing Santa.

“We will try to make this year as exceptional as we can.”

Booking is not needed for the grotto, which will be open seven days a week until Christmas Eve.

Tickets for Liberty Shopping Centre's grotto can be booked on this link: The Liberty Christmas Grotto - The Liberty  .