Where to find the best Santa grotto Bristol

Ho Ho Holy moly, it’s that time of year again! Time to knock up some Christmas lists and get them off to the North Pole, or tell a Bristol Father Christmas face-to-face. So where is the best place to meet Santa in Bristol? Well there are a few places in the city, and even more very nearby – including Santa helicopter grottos, cave-dwelling Father Christmases, sailing Santas and Santa trains! To make your job slightly easier, here’s a round-up of places you can find the best Santa grotto in Bristol this Christmas.

Santa claus

Where to find Santa’s grotto in Bristol Christmas 2023

Free Early Years story mornings with Santa & The Festive Elves, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

When? Weekdays 1-15 December 20239.30am / 10.30am / 11.30amSunday 11am

Join Santa in his sitting room in the centre of the lower mall for story-filled festive fun. Santa will be reading Mog’s Christmas among other classics. No need to book, bring your favourite teddy!

Sail with Santa, Bristol Ferry Boats

Search for Father Christmas with the Ferry Elves on their cosy festively-decorated boat (9-10, 16-23 December). Once found, Bristol Ferry Boats’ charming Father Christmas will entertain, dole out individual gifts for the kiddywinks – with mince pies and sherry for the adults – while you cruise around the harbour. Pickup location is The Cascade Steps  – arrive a little early.

Book to see Santa Bristol Ferry Boats 2023 here

Father Christmas experience, Ashton Court Mansion

2023 dates: weekends and selected weekdays from 1-23 December.

A fun, 20-minute interactive experience which starts in the Great Hall. Visitors will meet Father Christmas and receive a gift in the Victorian manor house.

Click here to check availability

Santa’s grotto at The Wave Bristol

Inland surfing lake, The Wave will be having a visit from the big man himself. Book your visit – £7 per child, including a gift and a photograph.

Click here to book a visit to Santa at The Wave

Pictures with Santa, Abbots Leigh

If you’re after some REALLY GOOD photos with Santa, this is where you’ll want to go to see Father Christmas near Bristol. This special themed 15-minute meet-and-greet storytelling experience for the whole family includes a free gift for each child and a professional photograph of meeting Father Christmas.

Photographs will be ready a week later and can be purchased from a secure online gallery where you can order prints, gifts and download the digital files.

Book your Santa photo shoot here

John Lewis Santa Grotto Bristol Cribbs Causeway 2023

Work your way through the interactive grotto with the help of Santa’s mischievous little helpers. Complete your mission and you’ll meet Santa, have your photo taken and receive a very special gift. Open from mid-November to 24 December.

Book John Lewis Father Christmas Cribbs Causeway here

Bristol Santa grotto, Inns Court Softplay, Knowle

Santa is swooping into Boing Soft Play at Inns Court for a couple of sessions (9am or 11.30am). He’ll read the kiddos a story, hand over a gift and have his photo taken with little ones.

Click here to book to see Santa Bristol Boing, Inns Court tickets

Best places to see Santa near Bristol

Santa train at Avon Valley Railway

The Avon Valley Father Christmas will be swapping his sleigh for a vintage steam-hauled train to meet visitors in their own compartments this Christmas (selected dates 25 November-24 December). Tell him what’s on your special list as you choo-choo through gorgeous countryside, he might even have an early gift for good boys and girls! You’ll also be able to get your photo taken with him on return to Bitton. Don’t forget to keep your peepers peeled for festive Christmas donkeys on the lawn!

Book your Santa Steam Specials here

Where to see Santa Claus grotto

Meeting Santa at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

Have your Christmas wishes at the ready and join Avon Valley for a family show packed with festive fun, song and dance (selected dates 3-24 December 2023) before having your photo taken with Santa in his wooden cabin and picking a gift from his toy room. Mrs Claus and her helpers will have gingerbread people ready for you to decorate for Christmas Day and you can also make your own reindeer food to take home.

The Post Room will be open for you to send a letter (or use the Avon Valley SMS – Santa Messaging Service) to send any last minute requests to Santa.

Click here to check availability for meeting Santa at Avon Valley

Cadbury Garden Centre Santa Grotto

Santa’s coming to Cadbury Garden Centre, The Elves are eagerly awaiting your arrival and busy making a gift for you to collect on the way out. Meet Santa in his grotto, go for Christmas afternoon tea or try the breakfast with Santa experience!

Book tickets to the Santa experience here

WWT Slimbridge Santa

Meet Santa at Slimbridge as you tuck into an all-day breakfast beside a flock of flamingos! Once you’ve got your festive fill (including a gift from Santa Claus himself), you can head off into 100-acres of beautiful winter wetlands to spot amazing wildlife.

Click here to meet check ticket availability for Santa’s wetland grotto

Breakfast with Father Christmas, Dobbies Thornbury

This festive event includes breakfast for the whole family followed by games and a visit from Santa, with a gift for every child.

Book Dobbies Santa Grotto

Breakfast with Santa Harvester, Bristol

Head over to the Bristol Harvester breakfast with Santa (3, 4, 10 11, 17, 18, 19, 21-24 December), where your little elves will receive a delicious breakfast, Fruit Shoot, chocolate treat, colouring in activities and a Santa goody bag. They’ll get to share their present list with the Father Christmas too. Pre-booking is essential.

Book Harvester Santa breakfast here

Farrington’s Elf Academy (3-4, 10-11, 17-18 December)

Join the Elf Academy and learn how to be one of Santa’s little helpers before meeting the big man himself. Learn the secret elf wave, how to make reindeer food, plant a magical candy cane seed and create an edible snowman.

Afterwards, Santa will be around to give a gift and certificate to say thank you for helping him with all the elf jobs!

Click here to check availability for Santa’s elf academy

Weston Pier Santa Grotto 2022, Weston-super-Mare

Meet the jolly man himself (selected days from 24 November-24 December), a quarter of a mile out to sea and receive a special Christmas gift.

For a Santa visit with a different festive flavour for your little mischief maker, head over on the weekend of 17-18 December when Mr Grinch is doing a takeover! This green grump will be posing as the magical man himself in an attempt to steal your Christmas spirit.

Book Weston Pier Santa here.

Where to see Santa Claus in Bristol this Christmas
Meeting Santa on the Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare

Father Christmas Weston super Mare Helicopter Museum

Forget the reindeer, this Santa will be arriving by helicopter (4 December)! Come and watch him land, then meet him and his elves in his special Helicopter Grotto and sit in his famous sleigh.

There will also be a Winter Wonderland display, Winter Weather Flight Simulator, open cockpit, charity stalls, a seasonal fayre and free entry for all children.

Click here to find out more information about seeing Father Christmas here

Winter Wonderland at The Crown Inn, Keynsham

Santa will be at The Crown Inn with his elf 9-10 December. Join in with Christmas carols, a festive mini disco and BBQ. Starts 6pm.

Book Christmas grotto at the crown here

Ocean Adventurers Christmas Grotto, Cheddar

Enjoy a magical 2.5 hour experience hosted by one of Santa’s elves. Create your own reindeer food, decorate gingerbread snacks and make a Christmas decoration to take home. Santa Claus will give each child a personalised meet and greet (thanks to a special form), there’ll be snow ball fights with the elves, a special Christmas Lapland Post-Office Pop up, plus a human-size elf on the shelf.

Kids will also be able to have a go on the soft play when not visiting the grotto.

Book here to see Santa this year

Perrygrove Twilight Trains, Forest of Dean

Hop aboard the Twilight Express train (selected dates from 1-23 December) for a magical journey through the illuminated woods, with a stop off to quaff hot chocolate, see Father Christmas at his snowy station and collect your wooden Christmas tree decoration.

Book Perrygrove Christmas here.

Clearwell Caves Father Christmas, Forest of Dean

Enter an underground world where caverns are filled with twinkling lights and Santa is waiting to greet you (selected dates (2-31 December)! Meet Father Christmas, then follow the magical tale of Archie and the unicorn as you walk through the caverns. Children 2-12 years old receive a gift from Father Christmas.

Halfway through, you’ll find Christmas stalls and an underground café with delicious cakes and warming winter drinks!

Book Clearwell Caves Christmas tickets

Longleat Father Christmas (6 November-24 December)

All aboard the Santa Train for the North Pole! Journey past Longleat’s stunning Half Mile Lake before disembarking at an enchanting snow-covered winter wonderland where you’ll find Father Christmas waiting for you in his grotto! Grown-ups can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate and festive mince pie while children will receive a special Christmas gift.

Book Longleat Santa Train

Read more about Longleat Festival of Light

Father Christmas at Wookey Hole Winter Wonderland

Wookey Hole decorate their famous caves with thousands of fairy lights for their festive season, turning it into a magical twinkling grotto (with a few Santas and reindeer thrown in for good measure). Guided tours take you through the spectacular caverns and then you’re free to explore above ground, where you’ll find a giant gorilla, fairy garden, animatronic dinosaurs, festive 4D cinema, circus shows, soft play, Victorian-style arcade and as part of the Christmas festivities, a chance to meet Santa and his elves (selected dates from 26 November).

Book to see Santa at Wookey Hole Winter Wonderland

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