10 Places to See Father Christmas in Cardiff and South Wales 2019 - South Wales Family Photographer
I’m not quite sure where this year has gone. How are we in October already?! I’ve heard a few people asking recently for recommendations of where to take the children to visit Father Christmas in 2019. And while I can’t personally recommend the places below (there are only so many different Santas you can visit in a year!), I thought I’d compile a list of experiences that other people have mentioned to me, so that you have a starting place when searching for an experience that suits your family. You’re probably safer booking quite far in advance as Christmas activities around Cardiff are always popular and tickets seem to go on sale earlier and earlier each year.
1. Cardiff Castle. This year, Cardiff Castle is offering ‘Santa’s Victorian Christmas’, which offers more than a traditional visit to Santa. You’ll be able to visit the decorated Victorian Apartments, follow a Candy Cane Trail, make a Victorian craft, and enjoy mulled wine and a mince pie. Children will meet Father Christmas himself and receive a gift. Tickets are on sale from October the 7th at 10am and are priced at £12.95 per child and £6.95 per adult. *Mae sesiynau Cymraeg hefyd ar gael yn y lleoliad yma*
2. Dyffryn Gardens. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know that we love love love Dyffryn Gardens. Visiting Father Christmas at the house is bound to be magical, and each child has the opportunity of a photo with the man himself and receives a gift. Tickets are on sale now for £8 per child (adults do not need to buy a ticket). Normal admission prices also apply if you’re not a National Trust member.
3. Brecon Mountain Railway. Who doesn’t love a ride on a steam train through gorgeous Welsh countryside?! You can make a whole morning / afternoon out of this experience, which includes a ride on the train, mince pie and a drink, meeting Father Christmas, and a gift for every child (even the babies). Tickets are available now and cost £14.00 per child and £15.50 per adult.
4. Rhondda Heritage Park. I hadn’t heard of this before last week, but now I see it mentioned everywhere! Santa’s Toy Mine at the Museum of Welsh Mining includes a tour of the Toy Mine, a visit to Santa’s grotto, a gift for each child, and a hot drink and mince pie for each adult. There are additional activities available and are charged separately. Tickets for Santa’s Toy Mine are on sale now and cost £10 per person.
5. St Fagans. This year, the National Museum of History is spoiling its visitors with a choice of activities. You can meet Father Christmas, cook with Mother Christmas, write your Christmas letter with the elves, or help them create some Christmas decorations. Each activity is charged separately and tickets are on sale now. Prices start at £5 per child (adults do not need to buy a ticket). Entry to St Fagans is free all year round anyway, so it’s just parking that you’ll need to pay for if you don’t have a season ticket. *Mae sesiynau Cymraeg hefyd ar gael yn y lleoliad yma*
6. Greenmeadow Farm. Father Christmas will be visiting the farm on weekends from early December onwards. This is a whole day out experience, with access to all of the usual farm activities and animals. You can’t book tickets online though - you’ll need to call 01633 647662 for more information.
7. Pugh’s Garden Village. There’s something quite nostalgic about visiting Father Christmas in a garden centre - it’s definitely one lovely memory I have from my own childhood (Holland Arms, Anglesey if anyone’s interested?!). This year, Pugh’s Radyr will help you experience the magic of ‘Christmas Around the World’, while Pugh’s Wenvoe have ‘Santa’s Ice Adventure’ awaiting their visitors. At the time of writing, Pugh’s website wasn’t fully working (the work of those pesky elves?), but I think tickets are on sale now for Radyr and soon for Wenvoe, with prices of £17 per child and £5 per adult.
8. Pyle Garden Village. Why have one mention of a garden centre when you can have two? Pyle Garden Village is just outside of Bridgend and only 5 minutes from junction 37 of the m4. Children can visit ‘Steel Works Santa’ in his grotto and can choose a toy from a selection. Proceeds from this year’s grotto will be split between Alzheimer’s Cymru and Surf School Porthcawl’s Disabled Equipment Fund. Tickets are on sale now and cost £8.50 per child.
9. Gower Fresh Christmas Trees. There are two types of experiences offered this year at the Christmas tree farm on Gower. ‘Standard’ admission tickets will secure your visit to Santa’s grotto and a present for each child, while ‘VIP’ admission tickets offer a visit to Santa’s grotto, a present and goodie bag for each child, reindeer food, hot chocolate and mince pie and a visit to Mother Christmas too. Tickets are available to buy now, priced from £10.50 per child and £4.50 per adult (standard) or £20 per child and £9 per adult (VIP).
10. Margam Country Park. The experiences listed so far are great for children who love Father Christmas and want to meet the big man face to face. But some of you reading this might have children who are slightly anxious about the man in the big red suit, and that’s more common than you’d think. So this final suggestion might be more suited to those who love Christmas, but don’t want a meet and greet with Santa. Margam Park’s ‘Elf Me!’ workshops include games and crafts to transform children into little elves. The ticket price also includes watching Santa feeding the Margam Deer. Tickets are on sale now and cost £15 per child and £4 per adult.
Hopefully this list has given you some ideas on where to start searching for a Christmas experience for your family. Have you been to any of the places I’ve mentioned? What did you think? Have I left out any hidden gems? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below - I always love hearing from you.
Hi, I’m Clare, an Award Winning South Wales family photographer who loves working outdoors with natural light. I cover Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan for maternity, newborn, child and family photoshoots. Get in touch if you’d like to book your family’s photoshoot, I can’t wait to meet you!