2019 – Where to see Santa in Cardiff and South Wales
Getting to meet Santa is an amazing experience, whether you’re in Wales or the North Pole. Every year Christmas brings a lot of magic and joy to our little ones, and for them, part of the innocence of Christmas is seeing Santa. Whether your child believes Santa is real or understands it’s more of a “In the spirit of Christmas” thing, there’s a lot of fun to be had by playing in fake snow, looking at pretty lights, enjoying some sweet treats and a hot chocolate, and receiving a gift. For parents, a Santa’s Grotto visit offers some great photographic opportunities. Get those cameras out and get snapping! I’d have loved to visit Father Christmas in South Wales as a child and these Santa’s Grotto’s will fill your whole family with delight.
These do get pretty packed and it’s advisable to book as early as possible, especially if you’re thinking of visiting on a weekend.
This where to see Santa or Father Christmas in Cardiff and South Wales guide was written in 2017 and 2018 and I’ve had positive feedback ever since. In 2019 I’m publishing this guide earlier than ever to try and help you get all the information you need. It will be updated regularly as new information is published.
Time of last update: 10th September 2019.
Due to requests for updates and more information, in 2019 I have created a Christmas Mailing List. You will only be emailed updates to posts regarding Christmas events if you sign up for this email list.
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Always contact the business for confirmation before traveling to see Santa!
Visit Santa in Cardiff
Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center, Radyr. Dates to be announced.
Tickets usually go on sale in October. This year the Christmas shop preview evening is 10th October, with the Christmas shop opening weekend on 11th – 13th October.
Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center, Wenvoe. Dates to be announced.
Last year tickets went on sale on 22nd October, so watch this space.
Christmas Cheer at Cardiff Castle. Dates to be announced.
Cardiff Castle always has some amazing Christmas lights, and you could combine this with a visit to the Christmas Market or the Winter Wonderland just a few minutes walk away. Last year Santa’s Grotto was on weekends from November 24th to December 23rd. Tickets went on sale at the end of October.
Father Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens. 6th to 15th December. TICKETS ON SALE 1ST OCTOBER.
Visit with Santa and Christmas Crafts in a beautifully decorated Manor. Dyffryn Gardens also has some amazing autumn and winter walks through the extensive gardens, as well as a large historic mansion to explore. Well worth a visit any time of year!
The Christmas trail is running from 16th November to 25th December, whilst the Meet Father Christmas event runs from 6th to 15th December and costs £8 per child. Tickets go on sale 1st October. Fore more information or to book, visit the Dyffryn Gardens event page.
Santa Tours at the Principality Stadium. Dates to be announced.
Last year this was a must visit for any mini (or big!) rugby fans. As soon as details are announced for 2019, I’ll post them here.
Visit Santa in South Wales
Santa’s Grotto at Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves. 30th November – 24th December (Selected Dates) TICKETS AVAILABLE.
Located about an hour from Cardiff and north of Swansea, Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves is a must visit. In 2019 the dates have been announced for 30th November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December.
Price: Adults £15 includes hot drink and mince pie, 3-12 years £12 which includes Santa visit and a gift, 2 and under £6 which includes Santa and a gift.
Tickets available at last update. For more information and to book, visit their Christmas website.
Santa’s Toy Mine at Rhondda Heritage Park. Dates to be announced.
Rhondda Heritage Park offers an authentic and historic mining experience in a beautiful setting about 30 minutes outside Cardiff. Santa’s Toy Mine at Rhondda Heritage Park is a unique underground Christmas experience for the whole family to enjoy. The kids will follow the clues, through the toy mine, sweet mine and ice cave, to meet Santa.
Last year this ran from 24th November to 24th December
Santa Specials on the Brecon Mountain Railway. Dates to be announced.
For something really special, the whole family could meet Santa on board the Brecon Mountain Railway! All children an adults receive a gift, whilst adults are served minced pies and mulled wine. You’ll travel by steam train from Pant Station to Santa’s Grotto in Pontsticill where everyone gets to meet Father Christmas!
Dates to be announced for 2019.
Victorian Christmas at Aberdulais Falls, Neath. Dates to be announced.
About 45 minutes from Cardiff, this National Trust site offered Christmas visits last year. Dates to be announced for 2019
Magical Wonderland at Cantref Adventure Park. Dates to be announced.
Cantref Adventure Park is located in Brecon, so will be under an hours drive from Cardiff. This is a big adventure farm and park, with plenty to do for the whole family – including heated indoor play areas ideal for the winter weather. Dates to be announced for 2019. In 2018 this ran on weekends in December.
15th, 22nd & 23rd December – Christmas at Lysaght, Newport. TICKETS AVAILABLE.
On the 15th & 22nd December there are two sessions to visit Santa’s Grotto and see his reindeer for £10 per child whilst you can visit and feed the reindeer between 11am and 1pm for £5. On the 23rd December there are 6 sessions to Visit Santa’s Grotto between 10am and 4pm, at £8.50 per child.
Tickets were available at last update. Click here for more information or to book.
Visit Santa at Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower Peninsula. 30th November – 24th December (Various dates). BOOKING AVAILABLE NOW.
This beautiful hotel on the coast will be hosting afternoon and evening sessions where you can Visit Santa in his grotto, have your photo taken and receive a gift. Afternoon visits are free with a purchase of a child’s meal from the Festive menu, whilst evening visits include crafts, story, fancy dress and a 2 course meal. Adults £24.95, Kids £14.95
Various dates between 30th November and Tuesday 24th December, please visit their website for more details. Available to book now. Sold out on some dates.
Non Grotto or Single Day Events where your children can still see or interact with Santa
7th, 14th, 21st, 23rd December 2019 – Breakfast with Santa and Santa’s Grotto at Cedar Tree Farm, Cardiff Bay
Breakfast will be served between 8am and 11am, with Santa joining the festivities between 9:30am and 11:30am. There will be a Grotto set up for photos and presents. Cost is £7.49 per child to visit the Grotto, plus your breakfast costs as you order on the day. Booking a table in advance is essential and payment is required in advance. See the Facebook Event Page for more information.
8th December 2019 – Cardiff Santa and Elf Dash, Cardiff Bay
On the 8th December thousands of people dressed as Santa will turn up for the Cardiff Santa and Elf Dash, which is a 5K race to raise money for Welsh Hearts. Warming up at 11:30am, the race will kick off at noon at Roald Dahl Pass. You can cheer from the sidelines and watch lots and lots of festive costumes whilst supporting a great cause. Whilst not strictly a Visit Santa event, it’s certainly a magical way of supporting charity at Christmas! This is a free event for spectators.
8th December 2019 – Santa Splash at Rhondda Sports Centre
Welsh Heart’s is proud to launch the first ever SANTA SPLASH event at Rhondda Sports Centre. The charity, which fundraisers for life saving Defibrillators throughout Wales and across RCT, is inviting the community to take part in a fundraising swimming event. Visit the Facebook Event Page for more information.
8th & 15th December 2019 – Sunday Lunch with Santa and Santa’s Grotto at Future Inns, Cardiff Bay
Running from 12pm to 4pm, this is a 3 course festive lunch with tea or coffee, children’s disco and a visit to Santa in his Grotto. It’s £19.95 for adults and over 12s, £9.95 for under 12s but free for under 5s! For more information visit their event page.
8th & 15th December 2019 – Sunday Lunch with Santa at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff Bay
Culley’s Restaurant at the Exchange hotel will be hosting Santa for sunday lunch between 12pm and 2pm on Sunday December 8th and 15th. Cost is £25 per adult (3 course meal) and £15 per child (2 course meal and a gift from Santa). For more information visit their event page.
14th December 2019 – Help Santa at John Lewis, Cardiff.
On Saturday 14th December, 2 Wish Upon a Star are providing children’s entertainment in store from 10:30am to 12:30pm, culminating in a visit from Santa. This is a free event.
17th & 18th December 2019 – Tea Time with Father Christmas at Parkway Hotel and Spa, Cwmbran
Details to be announced.
22nd December 2019 – Santa Sunday Lunch at voco, St David’s, Cardiff.
Children’s games, and an early visit from Santa Claus himself, with a special treat for the little ones at voco in St David’s, Cardiff. Adults £35, Children 3-12 years £17.50 and children 2 and under are free. See the Facebook Event Page for more information.
22nd December 2019 – Festive Sunday Lunch and Santa’s Grotto at New House Hotel, Cardiff
Enjoy a festive 3 course lunch a visit to Santa’s grotto and a fun disco for the little ones. Arrival from 12 noon, lunch from 12.30. £27.95 adult, £15.95 child. Visit the Facebook Event Page for more details / to book.
23rd December 2019 – Brunch with Santa at New House Hotel, Cardiff
Enjoy a Full Welsh cooked breakfast with all the trimmings with unlimited Tea or Cafetiere coffee. Presents from Santa and fun face painting or Glitter Tattoos. £14.95 adult, £12.95 child. Visit the Facebook Event page for more details / to book.
Christmas Events at St Fagan’s Museum. Dates to be announced.
St. Fagans Museum is one of my must visit free places to visit in Cardiff but there are always great Christmas events. Dates to be announced.
Christmas at Tredegar House, Newport. 30th November – 22nd December.
In 2018 you could visit Father Christmas at Tredegar House. However for 2019 they have announced Christmas at Tredegar house with no specific mention of a visit to Santa. It seems that the house will be decked out in festive decorations from 30th November to 22nd December but without a specific Santa’s Grotto in 2019.
So what do you think? Are you going to be seeing Santa anywhere in South Wales this year?