Please visit my new and updated article to visit Santa in Cardiff and South Wales in 2019. Any information below is now out of date.
This is the old 2018 article:
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. That’s why I’m publishing my Where to See Santa in Cardiff and South Wales in 2018 guide early this year.
This where to see Santa in Cardiff and South Wales in 2018 guide was updated on October 20th . Please do let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anyone or any details change. Always contact the business for confirmation before traveling.
Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center, Radyr
24th November – 20th December NOTE WEEKENDS ARE SOLD OUT
Visit Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center which is a 30 minute journey through 5 magical rooms, culminating in meeting Father Christmas himself. It includes a tasty treat, a free toy and a discounted hot drink for adults in the brand new for 2017 Santa’s Secret Garden. Pugh’s also has a range of shops and things to see and always puts on a beautiful Christmas display. Although it is one of the more expensive of the options listed here, it’s the one we’re personally looking forward to the most.
As each time slot has a maximum of 6 children, these places fill out quickly, but guarantee it won’t be overcrowded. Tickets must be booked in advance, and are priced at £15 per child and £5 per adult. Pugh’s Garden Center has pledged to raise over £12,000 to Bobath Wales this year – who support babies with cerebral palsy. We visited Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center in 2017 with a 6 month old, and were very happy with the experience even with a young baby who didn’t really know what was going on. He still loved the lights, the singing and his toy!
Santa’s Magical Candyland at Pugh’s Garden Center, Wenvoe
Ticket booking opens 22nd October 10am
In much the same vein as above, there is a candy land at Wenvoe as well. This year, Wenvoe is taking a different format – This year, it focuses on visiting Santa as the main experience, without the prior room-by-room elf journey and is perfect for families who want a shorter one-on-one family visit with Santa. If you are interested in attending a longer experience then our Radyr experience offers a 30 minute journey.” The cost is £10 per child and £2 per adults.
Weekends between 1st and 23rd December and Monday 24th December
Located about an hour from Cardiff and north of Swansea, Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves are putting on a Cave Experiences which sounds fabulous, culminating in meeting Santa in Dan-yr-Ogof Cave or Cathedral Cave. The full site will be open to explore, including the iron age works and the dinosaur display and don’t forget that the Shire Horse Center is just over the road as well. Prices cost £14 for adults including hot drink and mince pie, £12 for children aged 3-12 and £6 for infants under 2.
Santa’s Grotto will be at Cardiff Castle on weekends from Nov 24th to December 23rd, including 4 dates for a bilingual Welsh Santa!
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. Santa’s Grotto is in the Black tower, a magical Victorian setting, guaranteed to amaze and delight. Tickets are £12.95 and include two accompanying adults. This price also includes a gift, Christmas crafts, access to the grounds, and seeing the Candy Cane Trail in the decorated Victorian House, so is excellent value for money.
Babies under 1 can attend free, but will not receive a gift.
Father Christmas is making a stop at the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens on 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th December from 11am to 3:30pm.
Priced at £7 on top of regular entry prices, there are limited places for this 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! There is a brand new gardens trail called “O Christmas Tree” this year.
Dyffryn Garden’s is also hosting a wide range of other fun festive events for little ones, including O Christmas Tree garden tail, Wreath Making workshops, a Christmas Concert with Spectrum Singers and Parties with the Elves.
This is a must visit for any mini (or big!) rugby fans. This year the home of Welsh Rugby – the Principality Stadium – is offering a very unique Christmas experience. You’ll be getting a Christmas themed tour of the Principality Stadium, including getting to see behind the scenes. Then, you’ll visit Santa and children will receive a gift. Santa Tours at the Principality Stadium will cost £12 for children and £6.50 for adults.
Meet Father Christmas at Tredegar House, Newport
Father Christmas will be here on weekends from 24th November to 22nd December
This year father Christmas will be making a stop in the Stables, at a cost of £4 on top of regular entry prices (£5.20 child, £10.40 adult, £26 family with Gift Aid). Tickets are only needed for children to visit Father Christmas. Tredegar house offers walled gardens, parkland to explore and a grand family home to visit. Tredegar House is also hosting several Christmas Traditions events, where you can deck out the house in lavish traditional decorations and have some festive fun. Last year this event required no booking, but this year booking is required in advance either online or over the phone.
Christmas Nights at St Fagan’s Museum
6th – 8th December from 6 – 9pm
St. Fagans Museum is one of my must visit free places to visit in Cardiff but there are also some great Christmas events for both adults and children over the festive season. Christmas Nights offers a traditional Welsh Christmas experience, including carols, performances, writing your Christmas list at the Victorian Schoolhouse and posting it at the post box, riding the Christmas land train, meeting Mother Christmas, seeing the reindeer in the stables, meeting Father Christmas, creative craft workshops and festive food shopping. Your ticket also includes event car parking after 5pm – if you want to spend the entire day here then car parking is £5 and entry to the museum is free during regular opening hours! The cost is £15 for adults, £8 for children under 16 and under 2s are free, but make sure you still book them a free ticket.
This is where we’ll be heading this year!
Santa’s Toy Mine at Rhondda Heritage Park
24th November to 24th December
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. A gift for children is included, whilst’s adults get a mince pie and a hot drink! Yum! Prices start at £5.95 – £11.95 for children and £6.95 to £7.95 for adults. T
24th November to 23rd December, excluding Mondays.
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! Children are £13.75, adults are £15.25 and infants under 3 years old are free but pushchairs can’t be taken on board and you still need to book a ticket. This sounds like a really magical journey and one I’ll definitely be taking when the baby is old enough to appreciate it although the fact he would travel for free does give it that extra value.
Santa Claus is coming to Cariad Kitchen, Cardiff
4pm & 5pm on 1st December
There is a one off special event for the first time this year at Cariad Kitchen and it features the most famous professional Santa in the UK! It’s 45 minutes with Santa, including a photo, gift, cookie, drink and hot dog, and a visit from Santa’s reindeer. Cost is £20 per child, £10 per adult and babies are free.
Victorian Christmas at Aberdulais Falls, Neath
14th & 21st December 5:30pm to 8pm
About 45 minutes from Cardiff, this National Trust site is offering a new family tradition this Christmas, with an after dark candlelit walk, story-telling and festive treats. You’ll meet Mr and Mrs Claus, make a traditional Victorian decoration and spend time in the tea room. This one does include walking after dark, and they advice you wear weather appropriate clothing and bring your own torch. You will need to pay admission charges to Aberdulais Falls which are £3.25 per child, £6.50 per adult and £16.25 for a family, but the actual Christmas event is no additional charge and booking is not necessary so ideal for those who are keeping dates flexible or have found other weekend events booked up.
Weekends from 1st – 24th December
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. This year for Christmas you’ll be able to meet the elves, have fun in the workshop and then meet Santa in himself. Tickets cost £7 for adults, £13.50 for children over 93cm, £8.50 for those under 93cm and £5.50 for 0-12 months, and include entry to the park all day from 10am to 5pm. Discounts for those holding season tickets to Cantref.