Where's Santa in Dorset 2023

Read on for more on Santa's grottos, Santa by Steam and Santa's workshops in Dorset 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 Father Christmas 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 him 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 he 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 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!

Places to See Santa in Dorset in 2023

Abbotsbury Swannery

Father Christmas and Accessible Visits at Adventure Wonderland

Bobby's Bournemouth


Kingston Lacy

Monkey World

Museum of East Dorset


The Polar Express at Swanage

Santa Filled Fun in Weymouth


Brewery Square

Castlepoint, Bournemouth

Farmer Palmer's Farm Park

Sail With Santa

Moors Valley Railway

Russell Cotes Museum and Art Gallery

Shire Hall Courthouse Museum

Breakfast With Santa at The Brewery Tap

Other events to be announced



Featured Father Christmas and Santa events

Dates from 2nd December 2023

Father Christmas at Adventure Wonderland

Adventure Wonderland, Near Christchurch, BH23 6BA


Christmas experience at Adventure Wonderland where participants can meet Father Christmas in his snowy log cabin, receive a great gift plus unlimited play in the Wild Thing indoor play centre.  See Rudolph, meet the elves and get arty in the Christmas Craft cabin.  Then take your seats for the festive family pantomime, 'The Wizard of Oz'.  Availability is limited - book early to avoid disapointment.


2nd December 2023

Accessible Santa Visits and Pantomime Performances at Adventure Wonderland, Bournemouth.

Adventure Wonderland, Near Christchurch, BH23 6BA


The magic of Christmas is an exciting time for everyone but Adventure Wonderland are aware that it can be quite overwhelming for some of their guests and that’s why we are delighted to bring back our exclusive afternoon of Christmas magic for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) on Saturday 2nd December 2023.

They will have a reduced capacity to ensure that guests get a longer visit to Father Christmas inside his snowy log cabin. The reduced capacity will also help to reduce the number of guests in their play centre, Wild Thing. They will turn off the thunderdome ball cannon and music effects which will make the experience ideal for children with special educational needs, or anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment.

The afternoon performances of their pantomime, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ will also be amended for our SEN guests. The house lights in the theatre will remain on during the show and guests can come and go as they please. Guests will get to meet all of the characters before the show starts so there are no surprises. We will reduce the volume of the show and turn off the flashing lights to minimise sensory overload.

“Our Christmas event is always a sell-out success but that means it’s often too busy and too noisy for guests who may have additional needs and sensory processing disorders,” says Andy Brennan, Creative Director for Adventure Wonderland. “We strongly believe that Santa should be accessible for everyone which is why we’re introducing some amendments to the experience on Saturday 2nd December 2023.”

The SEN Santa sessions are 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30 and 17:00.

The relaxed performance of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ will take place at 16:30.”

Find out more at www.adventurewonderland.co.uk


2nd to 22nd December

Abbotsbury Garden's Santa's Grotto

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Bullers Way, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, DT3 4LA


A child's Santa's Grotto ticket includes entry to the Gardens for the child plus one free accompanying adult.  Additional adults can enter the Gardens by purchasing a Winter Offer Ticket on the day.  Meet Father Christmas in his cosy cabin, a festive magical Grotto at the Gardens.  make it an enchanting visit with a talk to Father Christmas and receive a special gift.  After meeting Father Christmas you are free to explore the gardens for a winter's stroll



Dates from 2nd December 2023

Santa's at Bobby's Bournemouth

Bobby's, Bournemouth. 


Experience the wonder of the Christmas season at Bobby’s Bournemouth Santa’s Grotto. Step into a world of enchantment as you visit Santa in his magical dome, receive a special present, and capture cherished memories with professional photos.


· Santa’s Grotto: Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as you enter our cosy and beautifully decorated Santa’s Grotto.

· Meet Santa: Get ready to meet Santa Claus himself. Share your wishes, have a chat, and take a keepsake photo.

· Receive a Gift: Santa has a special gift just for you. Every child who visits receives a memorable present.

Extras (Available for Purchase on the Day):

· Professional Photos: Capture the magic of the moment with professional photos of your family with Santa. Choose from various options, including snow globes, Christmas tree ornaments, or a booklet. These photos make for wonderful keepsakes and gifts.


Dates from 2nd to 23rd December 2023

Christmas at Crealy 2023

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


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 


25th November to 22nd December

Storytelling with Santa at Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy


Santa is stopping at Kingston Lacy this festive season! Make memories, start traditions and come on a fantastical journey with his musical helpers to find his storybook nook, before settling in for a festive tale, an early Christmas gift and a chance to take a picture together with Santa!

Tickets £15 per child (0-12 years old) with one accompanying adult per child.

Five additional accompanying adult tickets are available for each storytelling, £5 per ticket. This is only needed if you have more adults than children in your group. Normal property admission applies for this event.

19th and 20th December

Santa is Coming To Monkey World **SOLD OUT**

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre. 


On the 19th and 20th December Santa’s sleigh will touch down at the park!

As well as meeting Santa and receiving a special present from him, your little monkeys can enjoy festive fare, a Christmas trail around the park, and even make a present for the primates with Santa’s elves! The gift shop is stacked full of new items, ideal as presents and stocking fillers- and of course you’ll be able to see their 250 primates during a quieter, peaceful time at the park.



Dates from 2nd December 2023

Moonacre Christmas Experience 2023

Sturminster Marshall, Dorset - use What3Words for directions - https://w3w.co/that.slanting.pizzas


Step into a winter wonderland like no other for a  Santa’s Grotto experience at Moonacre. 

Visit Santa Claus: Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you pay a special visit to Santa Claus in his magical Dome. Each child will receive a special gift.

Gingerbread Decorating: Get creative and decorate your very own gingerbread. Each ticket includes one gingerbread, icing & festive sprinkles per paying child, perfect for all ages.

Mrs. Claus Story Time: Gather around as Mrs. Claus shares heartwarming Christmas stories that will captivate the imaginations of young and old alike.

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows: Sip on a cup of hot chocolate topped with fluffy marshmallows to warm your heart and hands.

Soft Play for Under 3s: Let the little ones explore and have fun in the safe and engaging soft play area designed specifically for children under 3.

Back Garden Bubbles Inflatable for Under 7s: Kids aged 7 and under can slide, bounce, and have a blast on our exciting inflatable slide

SEN Session available to book - 19th December 

 Adults and older children who are accompanying a paying child can enjoy the festivities for free, allowing everyone to tailor their visit to their liking.

Optional extras include:

· Family Photo Opportunity with Santa: Capture the joy with a professional family photo alongside Santa Claus, available in a snow globe, booklet, or as a Christmas tree ornament.

· Festive Food Truck: Indulge in the flavors of the season with our festive food truck. Enjoy a variety of mouthwatering treats, There’s something to satisfy every craving and keep your energy up for a day full of festive fun.

· Face Painter: Let your imagination run wild with our talented face painter. Transform into a reindeer, a snowflake, or any other festive character you desire. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of whimsy to your visit and get into the Christmas spirit.

· Christmas Raffle: Join the festivities and participate in with the enchanting Christmas raffle


2nd and 16th December

Visit Santa: Make Christmas Magical

Museum of East Dorset.


Visit Santa at the Museum – spend 45 exploring and enjoy the festive trail and opportunity to make Christmas crafts as well as writing a letter to Santa before being led to the Garden room where Santa will tell an interactive story to the group and pass out a gift.

Dates from 17th November to 30th December

The Polar Express at Swanage Railway

Swanage Railway. 


Themed experience consisting of an hour long train journey to meet Santa, leaving from Swanage Railway Station where there will be singing, dancing and interaction as well as a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie on the journey and a special present on the return journey



15th to 17th December

Santa Filled Fun in Weymouth

Weymouth. weareweymouth.co.uk/christmas-in-weymouth-2023/

Santa Claus the Party on 15th December. Meet the real Santa Claus at Cineworld on 16th and 17th, street entertainers, carols, Christmas trail. Chase the Pudding Run on 17th December.



Other Santa themed activities in Dorset


Dates from 9th December 2023

Breakfast with Santa at Cliffhanger Restaurant

Waterford Road, Highcliffe, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 5JA.


Kids will receive a special present from Father Christmas while enjoying breakfast.  Afterward there will be a reading of  "The Night Before Christmas", a selection of festive songs and photo opportunities with Santa


2023 Dates to be confirmed

Santa at Castlepoint Bournemouth

Castlepoint Bournemouth, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, BH8 9UZ.


More details to follow.


2023 Dates to be confirmed

Santa at Brewery Square

Brewery Square


More details to follow


Dates from 9th December

Christmas at Farmer Palmer's 2023

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6EU


Various different experiences available - Weekend and Holiday Farmer Christmas Experience, Christmas at Farmer Palmer's Farm Park and Twilight Experience


Dates from 2nd December

Sail with Santa 2023

City Cruises Poole, Poole, BH15 1HJ


Santa will walk around the boat meeting all the children and giving out gifts as you pass Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Studland Bay and more with Christmas carols playing in the background.  


Dates from 2nd December

Santa Specials at Moors Valley Railway

Moors Valley Railway, Near Ringwood, BH24 2ET


Step aboard one of the Santa Specials and be transported to a Winter Wonderland with a return train journey from Lakeside to Kingsmere Station with Santa's Railway Grotto, a Christmassy Winter Wonderland, refreshments and more.  There are relaxed experiences for people with additional needs on 9th December


6th, 9th and 10th December

Father Christmas at the Russell Cotes

Russell Cotes Museum. www.russellcotes.com

Visit Father Christmas in the beautifully decorated Dining Room and receive a small gift.  Pre-booking is required.


17th December, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December 2023

Breakfast with Father Christmas at Shire Hall Courthouse Museum

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, DT1 1UY


Enjoy a special festive treat for all the family and have breakfast with Father Christmas.  More dates have been added for 2023


Dates from 9th December 2023

Breakfast With Santa at The Brewery Tap

The Brewery Tap, Hall and Woodhouse Brewery, Bournemouth Road, Blandford Forum, DT11 9LS. https://tinyurl.com/hj39mwz9

Enjoy a breakfast, story time with Santa Claus or Mrs Claus, a gift and photo opportunities as well.   Book online


22nd December

Christmas Party Night at The Ark Poole Park

The Ark Poole Park. http://www.thearkpoolepark.co.uk/news-events/events

Evening of exciting games, prizes and entertainment including a disco, soft play, party games with prizes to be won, craft workshop, glitter tattoos and facepaints as well as a special visit from Santa


Dates from 2nd December

Christmas on the Farm at Nick's Farm

Nick's Farm, Throop. https://www.facebook.com/nicksfarmthroop/posts/pfbid0ZGaEibUK83yFf3yCNN7kb9YhRt9uq7q3ED6WeuLXZxDoYYsxGar6UoMbVUh6n7Bml

Sant'as Grotto - meet Santa and his elves, and receive a special gift.  Booking is available via the website or Facebook Messenger.  SEN Visits 


30th November to 3rd December

Santa's Grotto at Creekmoor Charity Shop - SOLD OUTAnchor

Julia's House, Creekmoor Charity Shop. www.juliashouse.org

Santa will be helped by his Christmas elves and very special guest, Olaf, who will be joining in the seasonal fun. Share your Christmas wish lists and watch little ones eyes light up in our sparkling Santa's Grotto. Each child will receive a Christmas gift.

Book your ticket for our magical Santa's Grotto for free online and consider making a donation to Julia's House on the day of your visit. Your support will help us create magical memories this Christmas for families caring for a seriously ill child.


20th and 21st December

Father Christmas Experience at Lollipops CafeAnchor

Lollipops Cafe, Bournemouth. https://lollipopscafe.com/christmas/

Sessions available where children can have fun on the soft play, visit Father Christmas and enjoy some Christmas snacks. Each child will receive a small gift and have an opportunity for photos with Father Christmas.


Dates from 25th November to 5th January

Santa's Enchanted Winter Experience at Avon Heath Country ParkAnchor

Avon Heath Country Park, Ringwood. https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/avonheathenchantedevents

Visit Santa in a colourful world as you embark on a magical journey in the enchanted forest. The experience includes a visit to see Santa and a present for the children


Dates from 9th December

Santa at Swanage PierAnchor

Swanage Pier. https://www.swanagepiertrust.com/events.aspx#

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by one of Father Christmas' Merry Elves who will entertain you in the winter wonderland grotto. You can write your letter and post it in the magical post box, before meeting the man himself!


Dates from 24th November

Christmas experiences at Nutley FarmAnchor

Nutley Farm. www.nutleyevents.co.uk

See the website for details and opportunities to access the Christmas Lights and Reindeer Experience


14th to 24th December

Santa's Grotto at Fantasy Island Fun ParkAnchor

Fantasy Island Fun Park, Weymouth https://fantasyislandweymouth.co.uk/santas-grotto-2023/

Santa's grotto experience - see the website for details


Dates from 2nd December

Moonfleet's Winter Wonderland GrottoAnchor

Moonfleet Manor Hotel. https://luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk/event/santas-grotto/

Visit Father Christmas in his magical Winter Wonderland Grotto, where you will meet the man himself and his helpful elves. Each child will have their own five-minute meet and greet with Father Christmas to share their Christmas wishes

Each child’s ticket includes a visit with Father Christmas including gift and reindeer food, hot chocolate and cookies, tea/coffee and mince pie for accompanying adults, and access to the indoor play area for the afternoon.


Dates from 9th December

Santa at the Farm at Foxdown Children's Farm

Foxdown Children's Farm. www.foxdownfarm.co.uk

Festive Santa experience to include a visit and a present from Santa for kids and a hot drink and festive snack for adults. Festive animals and activities in the barn.


10th and 17th December

Afternoon Tea with Santa at Boo's Toy ShopAnchor

Boo's Toy Shop. https://www.facebook.com/events/1388708768664430

Afternoon tea event with Santa - booking essential


2nd December

Meet Father Christmas at Boo's Toy Shop

Boo's Toy Shop. https://www.facebook.com/events/299587452913847

Father Christmas event - see website for details.




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