It’s getting to that time of year when we start counting down the weeks to Christmas and we look...
Good news, there is no need to take the family all the way to the North Pole to visit Father Christmas. In Cornwall, he can be found at lots of fun festive places to make your Christmas break special.
A St Ives Christmas tradition, Father Christmas will be arriving by lifeboat with a little help from his friends at the RNLI. Santa will ride the high tide and greet a harbour front full of hundreds of people waving him in. The Mayor is there for a special greeting and then Santa and the elves will ride his sleigh around the harbour to say hello to all the families. See our ‘Christmas in St Ives guide’ and explore more festive activities in the town.
Friday 29th November – 6 pm
Address: St Ives, Harbour Front, The Wharf
Tucked away in his Ice Palace Grotto on the Wharf, visit Father Christmas and his elves. While the family waits for their meeting with Santa, there’s face painting, juggling, snowflakes and the beautiful St Ives Mermaid is making a special appearance.
Saturday 30th November: 11.30 am – 4 pm (1.30 pm – 2 pm closed for Santa to get a pasty)
Address: St Ives, Harbour Front, The Wharf
Cost: £3 per child – Gift included
Imagine a sea of red Santa uniforms running through the streets of Falmouth. Every year, all the Father Christmas’s run, jog, dance and walk either 1.5 km or 3km to support Cornwall Hospice Care. To take part, register your name online and get a FREE Santa suit, families are more than welcome to enter. At the finish line you’ll get a very special medal along with a well-deserved mince pie.
Saturday 14th December: 1 pm start (get there early to warm up)
Entry Deadline: 11th December
Address: The Moor, Falmouth
Cost: £13.50 per adult, £7.50 per child, Under 3’s FREE, £37.50 per family ticket (2 adults x 2 children)
Start your adventure with mince pies, Christmas carols and seasonal drinks on the Bodmin General station platform. While inside the train, Santa will be waiting in his grotto. Climb aboard for an hour-long ride accompanied by the magical elves. During your journey you’ll make your way to Father Christmas’s grotto to have your photo taken and receive a special gift from the man in red.
30th November– 24th December: Selected dates and Booking times
Address: General Station, Bodmin
Cost: From £13 – £15 per person
Santa will be in back in Redruth this year, so the family can meet Father Christmas in a cosy reading corner surrounded by his elves for FREE at the Redruth library every Saturday in December between 10 am and 2 pm.
Bring all the family aboard for a magical steam train journey and receive a gift from Father Christmas when you pay a visit to his grotto. Indulge in a mince pie (gluten-free alternatives available) and a hot drink, with a mulled wine option for adults. Once you disembark, enjoy children’s activities such as card colouring and Christmas letter writing and enjoy entertainment from a balloon artist and much more.
Dates throughout December include:
Cost: £12.95 per adult or child ages 1-15
£7.50 per infant up to 12 months or FREE excluding gift from Santa
While you are visiting the award-winning wildlife sanctuary at Paradise Park, you can book in to see Father Christmas with his fairies and elves. With every child enjoying an individual visit, a quality amount of time with Santa is guaranteed. Plus there’s a very special gift included. Paradise Park is providing FREE parking to accommodate.
From 12 pm to 2 pm on the following December weekends
Then 12 pm to 2 pm every day from the 18th December to the 24th December
Cost: No advance booking. Tickets available on the day from 10 am.
£5.45 per child (includes gift)
Make the most of your trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan this December and take the family through a magical Christmas trail to take part in Christmas craft workshops, including Christmas letter writing. Follow the magical trail to end up in Santa’s grotto where children can show him the letter they have written. With a Christmas themed ‘sensory journey’ through the gardens and carols to add to the festive mood, The Lost Gardens offer a cosy Christmas experience.
14th to 24th of December: 10 am – 4 pm
Cost: Heligan Members/Local Pass holders is £7 per child, £2 per adult
Newquay Zoo is offering lots of special Christmas activities for the whole family, including an all-important visit to Santa Claus. With a candy cane trail, that includes a special gift once completed, and a silent elf boogie disco, there is fun for everyone at the Zoo this Christmas.
Cost: Santa Visit – £7.50 per child, Elf Boogie Day Disco – £3. Normal admission fee applies. BOOK IN ADVANCE
The Eden Project never disappoint with their festive activities. Children can have a sneak peek at Father Christmas’s workshop to see where he keeps all his letters and where the elves sleep. Most importantly, children will get the chance to sit down to have a story with the man in red himself. More relaxed, pre-bookable sessions are available for children on the autism spectrum, accommodating those with sensory and communication needs or learning disabilities.
Book dates and time slots online from Saturday 30th November up to Monday 24th December.
Cost: £8-£10* On top of general admission. *Prices change depending on the number of children and adults.
The Bedruthan hotel and spa are offering a fantastic take on a Nordic style Christmas experience. Father and Mrs Christmas have crash landed and the Cornish elves need help getting the sleigh in the air in time for Christmas Eve. With Christmas crafts, snow angels, caverns and snow covered trees to journey through, lots of energy and magic is needed to reach Father Christmas’s grotto.
From Saturday 30th November till Sunday 23rd December
Cost: £15 – 1 child and 1 adult, £10 – Off-peak, £5 – Additional adult (2 additional adults max)
There are a variety of Christmas memories to be made at a National Trust from armistice remembrance to a Tudor Christmas.
Christmas is magical at Cotehele this year with the traditional 60ft long flower garland complemented with beautiful artwork to remember the Armistice. There’ll be carols, a family trail, crafts and Mother and Father Christmas.
Enjoy a Victorian Christmas with Father Christmas, festive cooking in the kitchen, traditional Christmas decorations in selected rooms, or follow a bike trail.
See the garden illuminated like a Christmas wonderland. There is festive storytelling as you gather around Father Christmas and you can even make your wooden reindeer to take home. Keep an eye out for the real reindeer, too.
The barn restaurant is lit with a sky of hundreds of golden stars. Tudor Father Christmas shares some traditional tales and there are lots of craft activities.
No matter what your age, a visit to see Father Christmas can bring that warm magical glow of excitement that we associate with Christmas, reminding us of the wonderful traditions we grew up with and making new memories for the younger members of our family and friends.
So where are you taking your toddlers to see Father Christmas in Cornwall this festive season?