Where's Santa in Devon 2023

Read on for more on Santa's grottos, Santa by Steam and Santa's workshops in Devon in 2023

Updated 28/11/2023

At this time of year Father Christmas becomes an incredibly busy man, but as he’s so friendly and thoughtful he will always find time to listen to your wish lists.

There’s nothing that Santa loves more than talking to children, so he uses his super magical powers to whizz all over the county and can be in many places often at the same time!

You’ll find Father Christmas in cosy cabins, in sparkly grottos, on festive trains and on horse-drawn sleighs in town centres, shopping centres, garden centres and family attractions. As Santa gets exceedingly hungry on his travels he even turns up for breakfast and lunch at some places!

So, along with his many helpers, do look out for Santa at the following locations in Devon this festive season…

PS. Don’t forget to leave out a treat or two for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. The cheeky elves have told us he likes smelly socks, but we think he would rather tuck into a tasty mince pie!

 

**Don't forget to mention Primary Times Devon when making an enquiry or booking***

 

Places to See Santa in Devon in 2023

 

Contents

Affinity Devon

Bear Town, near Cullompton

Bernaville Nurseries

Bow Garden Centre

The Box

Crealy

Santa's Grotto at Greendale Farm Shop and Cafe

House of Marbles

Occombe Farm

Plymouth Winter Wonderland 2023

The Polar Express at Seaton Tramway

Christmas Party at RHS Rosemoor

Wildwood Escot

World of Country Life

OTHER SANTA EVENTS FOR FAMILIES IN DEVON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Santa/Father Christmas events in Devon 2023

Dates from 2nd December 2023

Magical Santa's Grotto at Affinity Devon 

Affinity Devon, Bideford.

www.affinitydevon.com

Enjoy a visit to Santa's Grotto alongside a full schedule of Christmas and festive themed activities.

 

Selected dates from 2nd to 24th December 2023

Christmas at Bear Town 2023

Bear Town, Westcott, Cullompton, EX15 1RZ.

www.beartown.co.uk

Join us for a magical Christmas Grotto Experience on the following dates:

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December
From Saturday 16th until Sunday 24th December

Upon arrival, you will receive your very own Christmas buzzer, a special device that Father Christmas will activate when he’s ready to welcome you into his magnificent grotto! This means more time to enjoy our festive town and no queues.

Once the buzzer twinkles to life, you will embark on an immersive journey through our winter woodland. With the help of a cheerful elf, each child will create their own bag of enchanting reindeer food.

Then it’s time to join Father Christmas in his splendid grotto, where all children will receive a beautifully wrapped present!

Bear Town will be completely transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland, with festive touches around every corner!

Come and enjoy the enchantment of Christmas at Bear Town!

 

Selected dates from 25th November 2023

Santa's Winter Wonderland at Bow Garden Centre

Bow Garden and Aquatic Centre, Bow Bridge, Crediton.

www.bowgardencentre.co.uk

Christmas experience with opportunity to meet Santa, gift craft activity, Treasure Trail, photo opportunities and more.  Pre-booking essential.

NOT ONLY WILL THE CHILDREN GET TO MEET SANTA AND GIVE HIM THEIR CHRISTMAS LISTS, BUT THIS MAGICAL CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE WILL ALSO INCLUDE:  

 

Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 17th December plus 21st and 22nd December 2023

Breakfast with Santa at The Box Plymouth

The Box, Tavistock Place, Plymouth, PL4 8AX.

https://www.theboxplymouth.com/events/food-and-drink/breakfast-with-santa

Get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy a special 'Breakfast with Santa' in The Box Kitchen & Bar on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-17 December, plus Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December. This event has been hugely popular in previous years, so don't leave it too late to book!'Breakfast with Santa' tickets include a sausage/vegan sausage bap, bacon bap or pancakes with tea, Americano or hot chocolate. All children’s tickets include a gift.

 

9th to 12th November

Greendale Santa's Grotto

www.greendale.com

From 12-4pm on December 9th-12th, and again on the 17th-19th, children can pay a special visit to Santa in his grotto, and receive a gift to take home. They'll be able to let Father Christmas know all about what they'd like for Christmas this year, and take special photos to remember the visit by.

Please book to confirm your 5-minute slot; tickets are £15.00 for each child.

They recommend visiting 15 minutes early to enjoy our Christmassy activities (colouring, singalong and glitter wishes) and to help make sure that everyone is ready to take their turn.

 

 

Dates from 25th November to 22nd December 2023
 

Santa’s Christmas Grotto at the House of Marbles

House of Marbles, Near Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9DS

www.houseofmarbles.com

Step into the enchanting world of Santa’s Grotto, where the magic of Christmas comes alive. Children can embark on an unforgettable journey, meeting Santa Claus and sharing their Christmas wishes. The grotto is beautifully decorated, creating a whimsical atmosphere that fills the hearts of young and old with joy and wonder.

 

Saturday 18th and 19th November 2023

Santa Paws at House of Marbles 2023

House of Marbles, Near Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9DS

www.visithouseofmarbles.com

Take your furry friend on a magical trip through the festive winter wonderland where Santa and his Elves will be waiting to welcome you into the cosy grotto.  Take a photo with Santa and receive a goody bag filled with seasonal treats to enjoy.  50p from each Santa Paws ticket sale will be donated to PDSA.

 

Dates from 12th November 2023

Santa's Grotto at Chaplin's Superstore

Chaplin's Superstore.

https://www.chaplins-superstore.co.uk/santas-grotto/

Stepping through the doors into the grotto, enter a world of selfie opportunities for all the family. Bring your cameras or phones, pose on the throne, take a selfie in front of the tree, sit your dog in the sleigh the choice is yours. Walk on through the grotto and next you will jump into the North Pole with the eskimo and polar bears, and the magical dreams area with twinkling lights and fluffy snow. 

The light tunnel will lead you to the enchanted castle where the fairies and unicorns live. Life size characters to wonder and amaze the little ones. Turn around and look through the windows into Andy’s bedroom. See Woody and Buzz getting up to mischief as the train Choo Choo’s around the track. Turn around and the mirrors will make you laugh at your reflection.

Turn the corner into the gingerbread house and you’re nearly there, Santa is waiting to meet you and make your Christmas wishes come true.

 

Selected dates from 2nd December 2023

Santa's Grotto at Bernaville Nurseries

Bernaville Nurseries, 

https://bernaville.co.uk/santas-grotto-breakfasts/

Visit Santa and his elves in his festive grotto.  Participants can receive a present and a keepsake book to remember your visit including games, colouring and a place for your Polaroid photo.  There will also be a photo opportunity (Elfie selfie) as well as the opportunity to make your own reindeer food.

 

 

 

Sunday 3rd and 10th December 2023

Breakfast with Santa at Bernaville Nurseries

Bernaville Nurseries, 

https://bernaville.co.uk/santas-grotto-breakfasts/

Share a home cooked breakfast with Santa in the Lilypond Restaurant and visit Santa and his elves in his festive grotto at Bernaville Nurseries with adult options as well as regular children and mini breakfasts for different appetites.  The visit includes a present, keepsake book to remember your visit including games, colouring and a place for your Polaroid photo, a photo opportunity (Elfie selfie) and the chance to make your own reindeer food

Dates from 2nd to 23rd December 2023

Christmas at Crealy 2023

Crealy Great Adventure Park, Clyst St Mary, Near Exeter, Devon, EX5 1DR

https://www.crealy.co.uk/events/christmas-at-crealy

Enjoy seasonal Christmas attractions including a Meet and Greet with Santa experience and a LIVE ice show, festive entertainment, lights and decorations. The Santa Meet and Greet Experience comes as part of an additional cost 

Dates to be confirmed for 2023

Christmas at Occombe Farm

Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN.

www.occombe.co.uk

A magical after-hours festive experience for children. Meet Occombe Farmer Christmas in his farm workshop, hear stories with Mrs Christmas, get crafty with our elves!

You’ll be greeted by Mrs Christmas for festive storytelling. Get crafty decorating gingerbread cookies with our cheerful Occombe elves. But perhaps best of all, you’ll meet Occombe Farmer Christmas himself in his charming farm workshop, for your own special meet and greet. The workshop is indoors and warm, perfect for capturing cherished photo memories. As a delightful surprise, every child will receive a special gift from Occombe Farmer Christmas.  And of course, there’ll be plenty of time for festive play and visiting our animal encounters barn, to round off this enchanting experience.

·         Meet & greet with Occombe Farmer Christmas
·         A special gift from Occombe Farmer Christmas for each paying child
·         Gingerbread cookie decorating
·         Storytelling with Mrs Christmas
·         Indoor play (and outdoor play weather permitting)
·         Animal Encounters in the Animal Barn

 

Dates from 24th November to 1st January 2024

Plymouth Winter Wonderland

Central Park, Plymouth, PL2 3DG. 

https://plymouthwinterwonderland.co.uk/santas-enchanted-grotto/

Go and visit Santa in his magical grotto. Receive a special gift and capture the moment with a professional photo!

Open from 24th November until 1st January.

TERM TIME (24th Nov to 19th Dec)
Monday – Friday 3:30pm – 6.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 1pm – 6.30pm

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS (20th Dec to 24th Dec)
1pm – 6.30pm everyday

Other Santa events in Devon 2023
 

To be confirmed for 2023

Connaught@Christmas

Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill Road, Sidmouth, EX10 8RU.

www.connaught-at-christmas.co.uk

Previous events have included an illuminated light event as well as Santa Grotto options but these are still to be confirmed for 2023

 

Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays from 1st to 17th December and every day between 18th and 23rd December 2023

Meet Santa at Marldon Christmas Tree Farm!

Marldon Christmas Tree Farm, Totnes Road

 Book your slot via the Rowcroft website

Rowcroft Hospice has teamed up with Marldon Christmas Tree Farm to offer a magical Santa’s Grotto experience for local children. In the enchanted snow-covered grotto in the North Pole, Totnes Road, Marldon, children will have the chance to meet Santa and his elves, encounter a real reindeer, and receive a special Christmas gift. The cost for the fairy-tale adventure is £16 per child, with all profits going to support the hospice. Staffed by hospice volunteers, the grotto will be open Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 16 December, and all day every day between 18  to 23 December. You can book your slot at www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/santasgrotto or by calling 01803 210821.

 

Selected dates from 24th November 2023 to 24th December 2023

The Polar Express™ on Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway, Seaton, Devon EX12 2NQ

www.tram.co.uk/events/view/the-polar-express-tram-ride

Families can enjoy the magical tram ride to Santa's home at the North Pole in one of the specially decorated single deck tramcars, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, a delicious treat, speak to Santa and admire the lights whilst you walk around the North Pole

 

From 1st to 3rd December 2023

Santa Claus at Westpoint - Christmas Shopping Fayre 2023

Westpoint, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon, EX5 1DJ

www.christmasshoppingfayre.com

Do all your Christmas shopping under one huge roof at Westpoint. Whilst there, take the children to the free grotto to see the great man in red.

 

Dates to be confirmed for 2023

Santa's Lodge Returns to Princesshay

Bedford Lodge, Exeter, www.princesshay.co.uk/santa

It is still to be confirmed as to whether this event will be taking place in 2023.


 

2nd to 24th December 2023 (selected dates)

Santa in The Caves at Kents Cavern

Kents Cavern, Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF

https://www.kents-cavern.co.uk/events/detail/santa-in-the-caves

Interactive pantomime performance throughout the caves finishing in Santa's Grotto where you will be able to meet Santa.  Each child will receive a wrapped gift and adults will receive a complimentary adult ticket to return to see the caves in 2023. See the video preview

 

2nd to 18th December, daily between 20th and 22nd December 2023

Songs and Stories with Father Christmas

Saltram. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/devon/saltram

Storytime sessions with Father Christmas with an opportunity to say hi to Santa and take a selfie at the end and every child gets a very special keepsake to take home.

 

16th, 21st and 22nd December 2023

Relaxed, BSL signed Songs and Stories with Father Christmas at Saltram

Saltram. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/devon/saltram

Relaxed Father Christmas sessions that are slightly smaller and with songs and stories at a slower pace and British Sign Language interpretation.  45 minute storytime session recommended for children over 3 with an opportunity to say hi to Father Christmas, grab a selfie and every child gets a very special keepsake to take home.
 

 

18th to 24th December

Earth Santa at Wildwood Escot

Wildwood Escot, Escot Park, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1LU

www.wildwoodescot.org

Step back into yuletide and experience Earth Santa, a unique medieval twist on Father Christmas.

Nestled in the scenic beauty of Wildwood Devon and featuring authentic Saxon homes, Wildwood Devon’s Saxon Village sets the stage for an unforgettable holiday adventure. Embark on a magical journey into the enchanting Saxon era and experience the holiday magic as if you've been transported back in time.

Visit Santa and his Earth Elves in his Saxon grotto from 18 – 24 December. For the first time ever, they will also be running an EVENING grotto on 22 December.

 

Other Santa events in Devon

30th November 2023

Barnstaple Christmas Light Switch On and Fayre

Barnstaple.

https://www.barnstapletowncouncil.gov.uk/council_events/christmas-fayre/

Christmas Light Switch On signifying the start of late night shopping on Thursdays and the Christmas season, Pannier Market, Christmas Crafts on the Strand and Guildhall Grotto where children can meet Mr and Mrs Claus.

 

Dates to be confirmed for 2023

Breakfast With Santa at Lady's Mile Holiday Park

Lady's Mile Holiday Park, Dawlish, EX7 0LX.

www.ladysmile.co.uk.

Dates and details still to be confirmed for 2023, visit the website to find out more about their festive breaks

 

15th to 18th November

Father Christmas in Exmouth

Exmouth Christmas Village. 

https://www.christmasvillageexmouth.co.uk/

Father Christmas Experience as part of the Indoor Christmas Market.  See the website for details

 

25th November

Christmas Market and Light Switch On

Moretonhampstead Parish Council.

www.facebook.com/moretonpc

Craft, stalls, music, Christmas gifts, Morris Dancing, Christmas gifts, Christmas carols around the Christmas tree, light switch on and Santa’s Grotto at Baskervilles.

 

Dates from 25th November to 3rd December

Father Christmas Experience at Torre Abbey

Torre Abbey

https://www.torre-abbey.org.uk/whats-on/father-christmas-experience/

Father and Mother Christmas  will be joining Torre Abbey  for a selection of dates. Each family will also be able to explore the Abbey and Gardens, visit the Christmas around the World exhibition and take in the festive atmospehre of Winterfest.  This will include a Christmas market in the Spanish Barn and free Christmas crafts for children.

 

10th December 2023

Christmas Family Fun and Arthur Christmas at Seaton Gateway

Seaton Gateway Theatre, EX12 2LE.

www.thegatewayseaton.co.uk

Festive afternoon with Santa’s Grotto, activities and screening of Arthur Christmas

 

Dates from 18th November 2023

Father Christmas visits Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0LT

www.pennywellfarm.co.uk

During this Christmas experience, families are invited to arrive at the North Pole to be greeted by friendly elves and check in where they will receive their Christmas passport as get stamps as they journey through the Christmas experience.  This is then followed by a walking Nativity journey through scenes and animals representing the story of the first Christmas and refreshments.  The Elves Sweetshop will have a bag of sweets for every child.  Attendees will then have a tractor and trailer ride to see if they can spot gingerbread men hiding along the way before experiencing close encounters with some of the amazing animals at Pennywell including their miniature piglets, pygmy goat kids and other furry friends.  Finally the experience comes to an end in the enchanted forest with a visit to Father Christmas who will have a special gift for every child.

 

3rd, 10th and 17th December 2023

Santa's Grotto at Boringdon Hall 2023

Boringdon Hall Hotel, Boringdon Hill, Colebrook, Plymouth, PL7 4DP.

www.boringdonhall.co.uk/house-of-christmas

Dance performance, Festive Afternoon Tea, Christmas activities  including gingerbread decorating and meet Santa Claus

 

Weekends from 2nd to 17th December and 18th to 23rd December

Father Christmas at Knightshayes

Knightshayes, Bolham, Tiverton.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knightshayes

Traditional green suited Father Christmas telling stories and giving gifts –booking is essential.  Craft activities will be available.

 

2nd December 2023

Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas

Kingsbridge.

www.kingsbridgecelebratechristmas.com

Free ice rink on the town square, live music, Santa and more.

 

Dates during December 2023

Father Christmas at Heron Valley Christmas Barn

Heron Valley Orchards, Loddiswell, Kingsbridge, TQ7 4EA.

www.heronvalley.co.uk

Meet Father Christmas at the Heron Valley Christmas Barn.  Booking advised.

 

Dates from 9th December

An Audience With Father Christmas

Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/devon/castle-drogo/christmas-at-castle-drogo

Story with one of the elves, an audience with the man himself and one gift.  Early booking is essential

 

Dates from 9th December

A Quiet Audience With Father Christmas

Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/devon/castle-drogo/events/32102c08-0e2c-4317-adde-c7f45ca3e4eb

Opportunity to meet Father Christmas with a session starting before the Castle opens, perfect if your little one is not so keen on crowds

 

Dates to be confirmed for 2023

Visit Santa at Bicton Park

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, Bicton East, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 7BJ.

www.bictongardens.co.uk

Father Christmas experience – see the website for full details - booking essential

 

Dates and event still to be confirmed for 2023

Ullacombe Christmas Market

Ullacombe Farm, Newton Abbot

www.facebook.com/ullacombefarmshop

 

Dates and event to be confirmed for 2023

Fleet Walk Santa's Grotto

Fleet Walk, Torquay.

www.facebook.com/fleetwalkgrotto

Details as to whether this event will be taking place are still to be confirmed

 

 

Event and dates to be confirmed for 2023
Santa Visits Dawlish Christmas Market

The Strand, Dawlish, EX7 9PS

www.dawlish.gov.uk

Visit from Father Christmas with the opportunity to enjoy some family entertainment, free rides and facepainting

 

 

From 9th December 2023

The Magic of Christmas at the Milky Way Adventure Park

Milky Way Adventure Park, Higher Clovelly, Bideford, EX39 5RY

www.themilkyway.co.uk

Journey through the magical snowy forest to Buzzlewicks Elf Emporium in The Old Barn, where all children will get to meet Buzzlewick the Elf and friends, have a go a gingerbread decorating and make reindeer food. Then there’ll be the chance to be invited into Santa’s cosy Christmas Cottage to chat to the jolly fella himself and then collect your special festive gift.

But that’s not all … all visitors to The Milky Way at Christmas can look forward to visiting our garland festooned train station made jolly with festive music and giant Christmas tree for a hot chocolate to enjoy on the Festive Train. Plus, keep an eye out for Santa’s naughty elves as you make your way around the whole park – their mischievous antics are bound to give you a chuckle!

 

Dates and event to be confirmed for 2023

Storytime with Father Christmas

Saltram, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 1UH.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/saltram

Storytime and meet Father Christmas.


 

Dates from 27th November 2023

Santa's Grotto/ Christmas at The Castle at Powderham Castle

Powderham Castle, near Exeter.

https://www.powderham.co.uk/events/view/christmas-at-the-castle-3

Christmas Grotto experience which must be bought with admission tickets - see website for details

 

Dates to be confirmed in 2023

Santa's Grotto in Fenny Bridges - Charity

Fenny Bridges, EX14 3BL.

www.hospiscare.co.uk/events/santas-grotto-in-fenny-bridges/

Event in aid of Hospiscare.

 

24th December

Santa Saves Christmas

The Landmark, Ilfracombe.

www.queenstheatre-barnstaple.com/event/santa-saves-christmas/

Interactive festive, musical, Christmas production where all children get a present from Santa most suitable for ages 2 to 8 .  Meet Santa after each performance in the Landmark Pavilion. A family ticket event offer is available.

 

Dates to be announced for 2023

Olde Father Christmas

Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, PL20 6EY.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/buckland-abbey

Dates to be announced

 

18th November

Barbican Lights Switch On

The Barbican and Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, PL1 2LS.

www.visitplymouth.co.uk

More details to follow and be confirmed

 

 

Dates from 25th November to 23rd December 2023

Christmas at Woodlands 2023

Woodlands Leisure Park, A3122, Totnes, TQ9 7DQ

https://www.woodlandspark.com/events/christmas-2023/

Meet your elf guides and adventure through the magical forest meeting all of Santa's festive friends before arriving at his toy workshop. 

Your Christmas Grotto ticket includes, an interactive journey through 10 rooms of Santa's Grotto, free gift from Santa for children, photo opportunities, free reindeer food to take home, free festive drink for adults, free sweet treat for children, opportunity to bring in a pre-written Christmas letter to be posted in Santa's postbox, entry to Woodlands including all of the open winter fun rides and attractions.

See also an after-hours Magical Christmas Nights on select evenings to 5th to 21st December

 

Selected dates from 2nd December

Santa's Grotto at Dartington

Musson Room, Dartington Trust, Dartington. https://www.dartington.org/event/santas-grotto/

Father Christmas will be parking his sleigh and settling into a magical Grotto in Dartington’s historic Courtyard. He cannot wait to meet little ones and tell them all about life in the North Pole, how Rudolph and friends are, and about all the hard work his helper elves are doing to get ready for the “big night”. Santa will of course be giving out little gifts too!

 

Dates from 9th December

Breakfast with Santa at Lady's Mile 

Lady's Mile Holiday Park. www.facebook.com/ladysmileholidaypark

Take along the little ones and let them hand their Christmas wish list to Santa Claus with a breakfast to tuck into. 

 

Dates from 3rd to 23rd December

Lady's Mile Winter Wonderland

Lady's Mile Holiday Park. www.facebook.com/ladysmileholidaypark

During every Wednesday and Sunday throughout December.  The Winter Wonderland experience includes cake decorating, gingerbread house making, Christmas car creating, Letters to Santa then meet the big man himself

 

Dates from 1st December

Christmas experiences at Hoburne 

Hoburne Devon Bay. https://www.hoburne.com/holiday-parks/discover-more/christmas/

Experiences including Sammy Meets Santa, Mr and Mrs Claus Experience and A Very Pirate Panto.  See the website for details of the packages

 

Dates from 2nd December

Santa's Grotto at Darts Farm

Darts Farm, nr Topsham. https://shop.dartsfarm.co.uk/collections/events/products/santas-grotto?variant=44125563355357

Santa's Grotto with opportunity to take festive photos and receive a special Christmas goodie bag as well as the chance to write a ltter to the North Pole and do some Christmas colourin

 

 

Other Events to be confirmed for 2023

Santa's Grotto will not be taking place at Otter Nurseries near Ottery St Mary for 2023 - see statement here

 

 

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