Where to see Father Christmas in and around Cardiff plus other family-friendly festive events 2022


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From where to see Father Christmas, family panto and theatre, to light trails, ice skating and classic Christmas film showings, there is so much going on in and around Cardiff for families this festive season.

I’ve rounded up everything I can in this post – a few of the most popular events are sold out or close to selling out but there is still plenty going on in the run up to Christmas, including free/low-cost events too.

This list is by no means complete – do let me know anything I have missed in the comments below or via any of my social media channels and I’ll do my best to add everything in.

All events are subject to change or cancellation, please check ahead with organisers to avoid disappointment.

I also have a Christmas Events highlight reel on the Cardiff Mummy Says Instagram channel which you may find useful, as I add to that regularly. I also have a general Local Events highlights and one for local days out too. I also share details of events on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.

Don’t forget to like, comment, share or tag your friends and family in my posts. It makes a huge difference in helping Cardiff Mummy Says stay visible in people’s timelines.

Where to see Father Christmas in and around Cardiff

Meet Santa at The Royal Mint Experience

The Royal Mint Experience, Llantrisant, Cardiff

Saturday 26 November-Friday 23 December

Adults £10, children £15, family of four £45, under 18 months free

See The Royal Mint Experience as never before, glistening with snow and ready for the busiest night of the year. Take a magical festive tour to the festive coin factory and discover why we might find coins in our stockings on Christmas morning. Learn where the tradition of sixpences in Christmas puddings came from and see where the elves sort your letters, ready to make the right toys for each child. All children will meet Santa and have the opportunity to have their photo taken, before leaving with a special gift to take home. Plus the chance to strike your own coin.

Santa at the Stadium

Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Friday 2-Saturday 24 December

Adults from £10, under 16s from £12 which includes a gift from Santa; family (2+2) £40

Explore the sacred halls of Principality Stadium before stepping into the magical winter wonderland, and beating heart of the home of Welsh rugby. A place where heroes gather, a place of legends, a place of dreams.

For the first time in the stadium’s history, the Home Changing Room has been transformed into Santa’s grotto. Visitors will follow in the footsteps of rugby legends as Santa and his team of busy helpers make Principality Stadium home for the month of December.

Believe: The Story of Santa’s Little Reindeer

St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Friday 25 November-Saturday 24 December*

Adults £6, children £13 (plus booking fees), under 1s free when accompanying an older paying sibling and if not receiving a gift

The enchanting Believe – The Secret of Santa’s Little Reindeer is back… and so is Norbert, St David’s very special reindeer. Little ones will meet McJingles, one of Santa’s most trusted elves, and Norbert, his magical reindeer friend, to hear Norbert’s story before taking part in a festive craft activity and making ‘reindeer food’ ready for Christmas Eve. Families will then be invited into Santa’s magical grotto to meet Santa and receive a wrapped, age-appropriate gift – and there’ll be an opportunity to capture the memorable moment on camera too!

(*Closed Monday 28, Tuesday 29 November, Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 December).

Santa’s Grotto in aid of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity

Ikea, Cardiff

Saturday 26 November-Friday 23 December

£10 per child with visit and gift, £12 with visit, gift and photo; adults free

The award-winning Santa’s Grotto is back at Ikea Cardiff, raising money for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. No need to book; check the website for opening times and just turn up. Welsh language visits to Sion Corn on Sunday 4 December (with more dates to come) and quiet sessions for children with sensory needs on Tuesday 29 November and Tuesday 6 December, 10am-12pm.

No need to book.

Santa’s Tea Party

Celtic Manor Resort, Newport (Caernarfon Suite, resort hotel)

Selected dates from 27 November-24 December, 12-4pm

Prices vary according to date

The Celtic Manor resort welcomes back Santa and his helpers with a magical experience for all the family. Get in the Christmas spirit with a festive afternoon tea, in magical surroundings, packed with treats and festive cheer. Includes individual meeting and picture with Santa, festive activity packs and a gift from Santa.

Santa Afternoon Tea
Celtic Manor Resort, Newport (Coldra Court Hotel)

Selected dates 3-24 December, 1pm-3pm

Prices vary according to date

Santa and his elves will be setting up their Christmas Grotto at the Coldra Court Hotel. As well as their own special afternoon tea, children will also enjoy a very special visit to Santa’s Grotto to meet Santa in small individual family groups. Santa and Mrs Claus will also give each child a small gift to celebrate the festive season.

Santa’s Grotto

Queen Street, Cardiff

Thursday 10 November-Saturday 24 December,

£8.50 per child including gift

Visit Santa in his log cabin on Queen Street, outside Queen’s Arcade, listen to Rudolph sing, and receive a gift.

No need to book.

SOLD OUT Father Christmas and Friends

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Saturday 10, Sunday 11 and Saturday 17 December

£12.50 per child

Father Christmas and his Elves will be visiting St Fagans Museum once again this year, in the festive setting at Llys Llywelyn, the Museum’s impressive reconstruction of a 13th century Princes Court. Each child will meet Father Christmas individually with time for a chat, a photo and to receive a gift, as well as an opportunity to take photos. There’s also an interactive storytime session and a craft workshop where each child will make their own special decoration to take home. Welsh and English sessions available.



Brecon Mountain Railway

November 27 and 28, December 4,5 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm

Adults £17, children 2-15 £14.75, under 2s free

Travel by a steam hauled train from Pant Station to meet Santa in his grotto. Includes a gift for children and babies.

Meet Father Christmas

Cefn Mably Farm Park, Cardiff

Saturday 26, Sunday 27, Monday 28 November; Friday 2, Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Monday 5, Friday 9, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Monday 12, Friday 16, Saturday 17, Sunday 18, Monday 19, Thursday 22 December

£16 per child

The elves will greet you at the farm, before you get to wander through the magical winter garden and on to the grotto where you will spend time with Santa, have a quick chat (he speaks Welsh too), take a picture (available to purchase) and receive a gift. Plus you can also write a letter to Santa and post it to the North Pole at the farm park’s post box.

Children under 18 months old are free to enter the farm park but if you would like your toddler to have a full experience then please purchase a ticket for the grotto.

Christmas at The Meadows

The Meadows Farm Village Retreat, Groeswen, Cardiff

Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Monday 12-Saturday 24 December

From £11.50-£21

Meet Santa and his reindeer. Say hello to Santa in his cottage in the woods and his reindeer will be ready to meet you from their home at the meadows. The elf work shop will be open and ready to provide your child with a gift and something sweet. Children can also write a letter to Santa, make reindeer food and take part in the Christmas trail to spot woodland animals. Plus full access to the farm is included.

For an additional cost, book for the undercover synthetic ice rink (£8.95 per person for 40 minutes).


Christmas Fayre

St Donat’s Castle, Vale of Glamorgan

Sunday 4 December, 10am-4pm

£12 per car, £3 per person on foot to enter the fayre; £5 per child to meet.

Santa will be making an appearance at St Donat’s Christmas Fayre, where he’ll be giving out selection boxes to children.

The fayre will feature more than 50 stalls, with a mix of handmade crafts and street food exhibitors, with plenty of inspiration for extra special Christmas gifts.

Tickets to the fayre and to meet Santa must be pre-booked.

Santa’s Toy Mine

Rhondda Heritage Park

Monday 19 November-Saturday 24 December, £11 per person

Under 18 months £3 only for the gift

Santa will once again be in his magical underground toy mine. Tour the toy mine, visit Santa’s magical grotto and receive an age appropriate gift for each child. Children can write a letter to Santa. Quiet tours available for those with sensory needs.

Christmas at Cantref

Cantref Adventure Farm, Brecon

Adults and children over 93cm £14, under 93cm £8

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November, Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 18, Thursday 22, Friday 23, Saturday 24 December

Meet the elves and have fun in the workshop, before the elves take you to meet Santa, who will present you with his magical golden key which opens the Present Room where you can choose your own gift. Plus all the usual farm activities.

Santa’s Grotto

Pyle Garden Centre, Bridgend

Thursday 24 November-Friday 23 December

Visit Santa in his festive grotto and receive a gift.

Also see the website for details of Dash to the North Pole on Saturday 26 November and Tea with Santa on Monday 28 November.

Winter Wonderland

Gower Fresh Christmas Trees, Gower, Swansea

Adults £7.95, children £16.75, family (2+2) £44.95

Journey through the Winter Wonderland at your own pace, taking in the sights, sounds and excitement in the grotto. You will see a family of polar bears relaxing in the snow, trees that spring into life and speak, elves busy making toys, Santa’s sleigh being loaded ready for Christmas Eve and you can even sit in it and feel the magic. At the end of your adventure and possibly a snow shower or two, you will meet Father Christmas and his reindeer and receive a present. Plus head outside to see lambs and piglets, reindeer and more, as well as choosing your perfect Christmas tree from the hundreds grown on the farm.

Elf Academy

Gower Fresh Christmas Trees, Gower, Swansea

Saturday 19 November-Friday 23 December,

Adults £2.95, children £13.95, family (2+2) £29.95

A singing, dancing festive experience where Roly Poly the Elf has forgotten his Christmas Spirt and Santa’s helpers need to enlist the help of children to help teach Roly how to be a good elf again.

Santa’s Grotto

Blaenavon Ironworks

£10 per child, free for accompanying adults

English sessions: 3, 4, 17 December

Bilingual sessions: 18 December

Father Christmas 3, 4, 18 December

Mrs Christmas 17 December

Visit Father Christmas or Mrs Christmas in the Victorian grotto at the Ironworks this Christmas for a unique family experience.

SOLD OUT Steam Santa Specials

Blaenavon Heritage Railway

Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18th December

Join Santa for a steam-hauled journey through the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. Board the train at our festively decorated Furnace Sidings station before making yourself comfortable in your own private compartment. Santa will visit each in turn during the journey, handing out a gift for each child. 


Christmas Experience

Forage, Vale of Glamorgan

Friday 2,, Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Friday 9, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Friday 16, Saturday 17, Sunday 18, Tuesday 20, Wednesday 21, Thursday 22, Friday 23 December; 3.20pm, 4.40pm, 5.20pm, 6.40pm, 7.20pm

Adults (£14+) £10.50, children (3-13) £12.50 including gift, under 3s £3

Forage’s cheeky Christmas elf returns with a festive family show featuring music, magic and dance. As well as the 15 minute performance, there’s an appearance from Father Christmas. Tickets also include meet the alpacas, Christmas crafts and glitter tattoos, write a letter to Santa and marshmallow roasting.

Santa’s Grotto

Woodland Walk Garden Centre, Pontypridd

£13 per child, £4 per adult.

Includes one free photo per group; additional photos £5.

Christmas Wonderland

Lo Lounge, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December

Adult and child ticket from £25 (to include meeting Santa, gift for child, a drink each and food for the child). Various other prices packages are available.

Lo Lounge host a festive family afternoon where alongside meeting Santa and taking photos, you can also toast s’mores on the fire pit, play table games, and watch Christmas films on the big screen.

Brunch with Santa

Future Inns, Cardiff

Saturday 24 December, 10am-1pm

Adults £19, under 12s £9.50, under 2s free

A morning of entertainment featuring a festive breakfast and a visit from Father Christmas. Includes a Welsh brunch, a meet and greet with Santa in his Grotto, Christmas stories and games, table novelties and crackers.

(Lunch with Santa is already sold out)

Christmas Fun Runs

Santa Fun Run

Barry Island

Sunday 10 December, registration 10am, run starts 11am

Barry’s annual Santa Fun Run will see all adult participants given a Santa suit to run in with children under 16 encouraged to dress up and take part in the Mayor’s fancy dress competition. All sponsorship money raised will be donated to the Mayor’s charities. Must register in advance to participate.

St John’s Ambulance Cymru: Festive Fun Run

Roath Lake, Cardiff

Saturday 3 December, 10.30am

Adults £7.50, children £5, family (2+2) £20, under 3s free

A fun-filled festive fun run in aid of St John’s Ambulance Cymru. Walk, jog or run the two mile route at Roath Lake Cardiff. Prizes awarded on the day for the best children’s and adult’s costumes. Be as creative as you wish. All participants will receive a free Santa hat to wear on the day.

Calon Hearts: Santa Dash

Cardiff Bay

Sunday 4 December, 10am

Adults £12.50, children under 17 free

Run, walk, dance or skip your way around Cardiff Bay Barrage in this family-friendly fun run that helps raise money for Calon Hearts, which provides heart screening sessions for young people and helps provide defibrillators. Santa, elf or other Christmas fancy dress highly encouraged.

Light trails

Christmas at Bute Park

Bute Park, Cardiff

Thursday 24 November-Sunday 1 January

From £19.50 for adults, £13.95 for children, family £59.50

After last year’s sell-out success, the award-winning light trail is back with a host of dazzling new installations. As darkness descends, Christmas at Bute Park will illuminate and transform the grounds into a magical winter wonderland. Journey through a spectrum of illuminations, sculptures and special effects, including a ‘hypnotic laser section’ and an ‘epic orb of iridescent colour’, which are some of the new sights for this year. The trail is a 1.4Km route with refreshments available from local street food vendors.

Fonmon Festive Lights

Fonmon Castle, Vale of Glamorgan

Tickets £10-£16, under 3s free

Saturday 16 November-Friday 23 December, 4pm-9pm

Wander through 10 acres of illuminated gardens and dinosaurs, watch the Santa show outside the castle, see Magician Patrick and his tricks, follow the Fon and Mon Christmas story along the trail and interact with costumed staff throughout the park. Visit Mrs Claus to find out what happened when she invited a T-Rex to dinner, take your photo with the Christmas Owls, marvel at the Circus Elf and her juggling, enjoy live music from the Singing Elf, plus arrange a visit with St Nic for a small additional charge, available on arrival on a first come first serve basis.


Margam Country Park, Neath, Port Talbot

Thursday 17 November-Monday 2 January (closed Christmas Day)

Monday-Wednesday until 30 November, adults £15, children £11, family £48, carers free. Thirdday to Sunday plus daily from Monday 5 December, adults £19, children £14, family £16, carers free

The spectacular illuminated trail around the historic gardens of Margam Country Park and Castle returns, following a sell-out season in 2021. Immerse yourself in our mesmerising mile long walk, with stunning lighting installations and fabulous interactive elements for the kids (and big kids!) to play with. All re-imagined to amaze you for 2022!

Entry times from 4.30pm-8pm. The trail will take around 60-90 minutes depending on how long you dwell along the way.

Tickets must be pre-booked, online in advance.

Festival of Light

Central Park, Barry

Friday 2-Sunday 11 December

£1.50 for a family ticket (up to five people)

Back by popular demand, this year’s Festival of Light feature majestic mirror balls, a neon ribbon and animal trail, a light show, an enchanted fairy garden and more.

General Christmas experience days out

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

Tuesday 15 November-Sunday 8 January

Funfair, Sur La Piste and Ice Bar, City Hall Lawns, Cardiff

Ice Rink and Ice Walk, Cardiff Castle Grounds, Cardiff

Entry is free but costs apply to attractions

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland returns with festive favourites including the ice rink, funfair attractions, ice bar, food and drink and more.

FREE The Cardiff Bay Gingerbread Trail

Across Cardiff Bay

Thursday 1 December-Sunday 8 January

Look out for the nine gingerbread character statues around Cardiff Bay, plus a gingerbread sleigh in Roald Dahl Plass, with a free, family-friendly sculpture hunt this festive season.  

Saturday 3 December also sees Gingerbread Day In The Bay, with free gingerbread decorating from 12pm-4pm at The Red Dragon Centre, and free crafts and family fun at the Senedd, Norwegian Church, Mermaid Quay and Craft in the Bay.

Plus spot the letters on each of the statues and you could be in with a chance of winning prizes including an overnight stay with breakfast at Future Inns, Everyman cinema tickets, family bowling at Hollywood Bowl, and a meal at Hub Box. Upload photos to social media and you could find yourself winning prize including Odeon cinema tickets, a boat tour with Princess Katharine, a meal at Volcano in the Red Dragon Centre and more.

The Gingerbread Trail is supported by The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Harbour Authority, Craft in the Bay, The Senedd, Mermaid Quay, Giovanni’s in the Bay, Voco St David’s Hotel and the Coal Exchange Hotel Cardiff.

The Big Museum Winter Trail

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

National Museum Cardiff  Closed on Mondays

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Saturday 3-Friday 23 December, 10am-3pm

£1.50 per trail. Visit any of the national museums of Wales this December for a festive, feel-good family trail. Find the Museum Elves to help complete the snow friend, then take it home to transform into a decoration to top your tree. The trail is available at all Amgueddfa Cymru sites and is the same at each site. Trails are bilingual.

Carols in the Chapel

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December, 11am-12pm English, 1-2pm Welsh, 3-4pm English

£6 per person

A sing-a-long carol service in the Museum’s18th century Pen-rhiw Chapel. Expect lots of traditional tunes and a few more contemporary Christmas classics.

Christmas at Tredegar House

Tredegar House, Newport

A whole host of Christmas treats in store at Tredegar House. Please note that the house and gardens are open for long weekends only (Friday-Monday) throughout December, before opening daily from 16-22 December. The café, park and car park will be open every day.

Family-friendly Christmas crafts

Saturdays and Sundays 3-18 December

Self-lead arts crafts in the Orangery where children can make a festive creation to take home with them. Included in regular admission costs.

Christmas Market

Saturday 10-Sunday 11 December, 10am-4pm

Stalls including local produce, from handmade jewellery to artisan cheese; the perfect place to pick up unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Included in regular admission costs.

Magical Music Weekend

Saturday 17-Sunday 18 December, 10.30am-4pm

Find the house and grounds filled with cheerful festive music when you visit just before Christmas. With choirs, pianists and even a few singalongs, musicians from across the community will be adding an extra magical touch as the holidays begin. Performances will be included in the price of admission, however choirs will be free to watch in the home farm.


Saturday 17-Thursday 22 December, 11am-3pm

Mr Scrooge returns to Tredegar House – for every ‘Merry Christmas’ he hears, there’s a “Bah, Humbug!” in response. Look out for his faded night gown and furrowed frown as you wander through the mansion house. Included as part of your visit. 

Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturday 3 December- 10am-4pm

Adults £12.10, children £6.10, family £30.30 (gift aid prices)

Every weekend in December will see choirs singing Christmas classics old and new, plus look out for the decorated trees and festive flowers, baubles, wreaths etc. Visitors will also be able to try their hands at festive games and step into festive pop-up scenes inspired by traditional Edwardian Christmas cards – drive Father Christmas’s sleigh, be part of a winter snowman scene and make friends with the Nutcracker. 

Christmas Trails

Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Wooden Reindeer Trail

Saturdays and Sundays 3, 4, 10 and 11 December


Santa has lost his reindeer in Bryngarw, can you help find them? This outdoor trail features wooden reindeer sculptures for visitors to spot, with the aid of a map you can purchase from reception. The trail takes 30-40 minutes.

A Little Red Christmas

Saturday 17 December, 11am and 1.30pm

£7 per child, book in advance

Age guidance: 3-10 year olds

Festive storytelling with Louby Lou’s and Bryngarw Country Park. There’s a real buzz around Fairytale Forest, as Little Red and some of her story book friends prepare for Christmas Day, but not everything is going quite to plan. Can you help fix things in time for Christmas, in this exciting outdoor adventure?
This event is designed to encourage imaginative play in nature and takes place outdoors.

A Very Merry Princess: Breakfast or teatime treat

Bedwellty House, Tredegar

Saturday 3 December, £15.50 per child, £9.50 per adult

£15.50 per child / £9.50 per adult

Join Cinderella, Elsa and Mirabel for a special breakfast or teatime this December. Guests will have the chance to meet the princesses and get a photo with them. Plus Christmas songs, dancing, crafts, games and glitter tattoos. Call 01495 353397 to make a booking.

Elf Emergency

Bedwellty House, Tredegar

Saturday 3, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Sunday 18 December, various sessions available

£10.50 per child; book online

Interactive storytelling company Louby Lou’s presents a Christmas themed session for adults and children, bringing stories to life using action, sound, props, puppets, role play and parachute work. The sessions have a strong focus on using the imagination & getting lost in the wonderful world of make believe. 

Llantwit Major Christmas Lantern Parade

Llantwit Major

Saturday 3 December, 6pm

See the website for information on lantern-making sessions on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November.

FREE Elf Trail

Across Barry

Friday 2-Saturday 18 December

Santa’s Elves are up to no good, hiding in different shops across the town! Help Santa by picking up a trail map from Barry Library (and other participating stores) and help him solve the name of the Christmas film by visiting participating shops and noting down each letter you find. One lucky child will win a £100 voucher to a local shop of their choice. See above for details on Barry’s Light trail at Central Park.

Christmas Post Office

Barry Library, Kings Square, Barry

£1.50 plus booking fee

Visit Barry’s Christmas Post Office with your child to write and send their Christmas letters. Barry Library will be transformed into a magical Christmas Post Office where children can visit the elves at the Post Office to write and post their letter to Santa.

In each session, children will hear the enchanting story ‘Santa Post’ before popping their letter in the post box to send to Santa.

Elf and Safety Live Science Show

Techniquest, Cardiff

Saturdays and Sundays 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 plus Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December

£2 per person in addition to usual entrance fees

Age guidance: 5+

Techniquest’s Elf and Safety team demonstrate through live science how the latest in elf technology can help prepare Santa for what will be his busiest Christmas yet. As if jetting around the entire world in just one night wasn’t enough to expect, it turns out that the number of children who need a visit this year is higher than ever. If we don’t take some drastic action, we could have the world’s worst delivery crisis on our hands. Now, it’s down to the elves to come up with new clever ideas to help meet this challenge.

Christmas Nativity

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Penarth

Sunday 11 December, 4pm

Eden Church present this live telling of the nativity, around the lake.

Oh Holy Night – Live Nativity

Porthkerry Country Park, Barry

Saturday 17 December, 2pm and 4pm

£10 adults, £6 children

Travel through Porthkerry Park and meet all the traditional nativity characters. with real donkeys, horses, fires and angels, an adult choir, living characters and carols. Although suitable for all ages, it is a long walk and may be muddy and rainy. Ticket holders must be able to walk the length of the park (Approx. 1K) and wear both warm, waterproof (if raining) clothes and suitable footwear.

Christmas events

Caerphilly Castle

Saturday 17-Friday 23 December, 11am-5pm

Activities included as part of usual entry fees

Face painter – Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December

Daily – write and post a letter to Santa plus decorate your own Christmas card and take home an origami star for the Christmas tree.

Robin Robin Adventure Trail

RSPB Newport Wetlands

Saturday 26 November-Friday 6 January (closed 24 and 25 December)

£3 per activity pack

A celebration of Aardman’s festival musical tale about a young robin trying to fit in. Every year Robin joins her family on a big sneak to find food to survive the winter. Complete the trail and you will learn to sing like a robin, find your own superpower and use all your senses to connect with the robin within. The exclusive activity packs will help you complete all the fun challenges along the trail as well as give robin-related activities to do at home, a certificate (for when you become a brilliant robin) and much more.

ALSO: Robin Robin: Find and Sneak

Saturday 17 December, 11am-12pm and 2pm-3pm

£6.50 for one child and one accompanying adult; extra adults £2

Immerse yourself in the world of Robin and her Christmassy adventures. The session starts with a reading of the story Robin Robin in the Christmas den, followed by a ‘find and sneak’ challenge trail around the reserve to help Robin and Magpie find their shiny treasures. Children will then make their own Magpie star for their Christmas tree.

Reindeer Poo Trail

Caerphilly Castle

Tuesday 27 December-Sunday 8 January, 10am-3pm

Activity included as part of usual entry fee

After another busy Christmas, Santa’s reindeers have been grazing and pooing in Chepstow Castle. Find the poos and discover what each reindeer ate for Christmas, in this fun family trail.

Theatre and other performance

My Fair Lady

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Tuesday 8-Saturday 26 November


Age guidance: 8+

The Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning production of My Fair Lady is coming to Wales Millennium Centre, following a West End run. My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”. But who is really being transformed? This is first major revival of Lerner & Loewe’s much-loved musical on tour for over 15 years and includes the classic songs I Could Have Danced All Night, Get Me to the Church on Time, Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, On the Street Where You Live, The Rain in Spain, and I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.

Blood Brothers

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Tuesday 29 November-Saturday 3 December

Age guidance: 12+


Willy Russell’s legendary musical tells the captivating and moving tale of twins separated at birth, who grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences.

Former X Factor finalist Niki Evans returns to the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone, and starring alongside her will be the touring circuit’s all-time favourite Mickey, Sean Jones, who will be returning to the role for what will be his final ever tour in Blood Brothers.

The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe, Easy Terms and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Saturday 26 November-Saturday 31 December

£16-£27, concessions £2 reduction, children and under 25s half price

Age guidance: 7+

The Sherman’s Main House family Christmas production is a fun and irreverent new take on classic fairy tales. Brought to life by a talented cast of actor musicians, experience the Tales of the Brothers Grimm as you’ve never seen them before.

Goldilocks / Elen Benfelen

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Monday 28 November-Saturday 31 December


The Sherman’s Studio space presents a new Welsh adaptation of Goldilocks in its Christmas show for children aged 3-6 and their families. Providing the perfect introduction to theatre for little ones, this is a fresh look at the traditional tale. Goldilocks is the English translation of the Welsh language adaptation of Elen Benfelen. The show will be performed in the original Welsh at separate performances.

The production has also been touring the last few weeks, with performances coming up at Soar Centre Penygraig Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 November; Memo Arts Centre, Barry Wednesday 23 November; Pontardawe Arts Centre 24 November Thursday.

Robin Hood

The Riverfront, Newport

Tuesday 29 November-Saturday 7 January

Adults £25, concessions £23, group of four £85

Join the most heroic outlaw of them all, Robin Hood, as he strives to win the hand of the beautiful Maid Marion while he and his trusty band of followers outwit the evil Sheriff of Newport. This will be a show packed full of comedy, slapstick, action, adventure, and of course plenty of pantomime magic. ‘Newport’s favourite’ Richard Elis is back as Much the Millar’s son, who is desperate to be one of the Merry Men, and Geraint Rhys Edwards returns as Robin Hood.


The Snow Queen

Paget Rooms, Penarth

Wednesday 30 November-Sunday 4 December


Based on the original Hans Christian Anderson story, this year’s panto from Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society (PODS) follows Gerda’s magical adventures to rescue her friend Kai from the icy grasp of The Snow Queen. Expect singing sunflowers, dancing crows, trolls and not-so-scary pirates in what will be a dazzling and humorous production.

Dr Dolittle’s Wild Adventures

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Thursday 1-Saturday 3 December, 7pm plus Saturday 3pm

Age guidance 5+

Inclusive theatre group Hijinx Odyssey present their annual Christmas production, which sees Doctor Dolittle and friends on a quest to find the legendary Pushmi-Pullyu and save the heart of the forest… and Christmas.

Packed full of comedy and original songs, this brand-new family show features some of your favourite characters, including the Ugly Duckling, Billy Goats Gruff, Three Little Pigs, Nellie the Elephant and Incy Wincy Spider.

Inspired by Hugh Lofting’s iconic doctor and performed by a large cast of disabled and non-disabled actors, Doctor Dolittle’s Wild Adventure is a joyous and vibrant celebration of the natural world and all its colourful creatures.

Christmas Theatre Festival

Cardiff Castle

The Nutcracker Friday 25-Sunday 27 November

Castellana 1 December-1 January age guidance 16+

Santa’s Wish 1-31 December

A trio of live performances take over Cardiff Castle this festive season in the specially constructed ‘Spiegeltent’ (or magic mirrors), the ultimate cabaret and music salon. It is a hand-hewn pavilion used as a travelling dance hall, Bohemian entertainment salon and wine tasting marquee since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They used to be the number one attraction at Belgian funfairs.

The Nutcracker gives the classic Christmas ballet a Welsh twist, featuring a rich cast of recognisably Welsh characters, including Uncle Idris, Bop Sheila & Bopa Linda and The Mari Lwyd. The production also features the signature showpiece Snowflakes as seen at Cardiff’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and featuring choreographer Jamiel Laurence’s unique take on dancing, tumbling, avalanching and flying snowballs. Audiences are invited along for a magical ride through the William’s Family Christmas and into the dream world of lead protagonist Carys.

Castellana (age guidance 16+) is a sensational blend of cabaret, burlesque and comedy with a hint of naughtiness with anthemic music and a storyline set in a magical mystical world filled with intrigue and suspense. Prepare to be welcomed and delighted by the cheeky magicians, shapeshifters, high-flyers, fiery angels and dazzling demons of Castellana.

Santa’s Wish – A Magical New Musical sees Snowflake the magical elf in a really tricky spot. Santa’s sleigh has crashed and he is nowhere to be seen. Can Snowflake the Elf conjure up a plan to get Santa home in time and save Christmas? This heart-warming family musical adventure is enriched with original songs, immersive storytelling and a sprinkling of circus magic.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Saturday 3-Friday 9 December


Perfect for fans of Philip Pullman. Malcolm is a very ordinary 12-year-old. That is until he finds himself in the middle of a manhunt. It’s 12 years before the start of the Northern Lights trilogy, and Lyra Belacqua is just a baby. As the waters rise, and powerful adversaries conspire, Malcolm knows he must protect this baby at all costs.

Featuring puppetry and live music, don’t miss the Welsh premiere of Bryony Lavery’s adaptation, which brings Pullman’s wonderful and fantastical world to the stage.

Robin Hood

Metropole Theatre, Abertillery

Thursday 8-Sunday 11 December

From £16.50

Some say the legend of Robin Hood was only a folk tale, told at bedtime to wide-eyed children on cold winter nights. But Robin Hood did exist and still lives on in the hearts of those who believe that bullies must be confronted and goodness will always prevail against evil forces.

Will Robin Hood rescue the children before the Big Bad Wolf finds them? Will Robin and Marian ever be reunited? Will the evil Sheriff get his just desserts – and will Frankie and Benny provide it?

There’s only one way to find out in this show for all the family, produced by Welsh entertainment legend Owen Money.

Snow White

Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Wednesday 14-Sunday 18 December

From £16.75

Barry’s BillBoard Ensemble present their annual panto, Snow White, featuring lots of laughs, catchy tunes, special effects and theatrical magic. This is a family show with bangs and flashes, a couple of scary moments, and some good old panto innuendo, as Snow White seeks to free herself of the Evil Queen’s malice and find true love.

Clara and the Nutcracker

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Saturday 17 December, 1pm and 5pm

Adults £7.50, children £17, family £49 (2+2)

Ballet Academy Wales present this interpretation of the classic Christmas ballet. Clara and her Nutcracker is an enchanting family ballet set on Christmas Eve. Follow Clara on her magical journey where toys come to life, battling mice, and dancing with Winter Nymphs in the enchanted Land of Snow.

Kinetic School of Performing Arts: Step Into Christmas

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Saturday 17-Sunday 18 December


Local performers from Kinetic School of Performing Arts (The Theatre School Students, Youth Academy & Company) present this Christmas showcase, featuring some special guests and alumni as they bring in the holiday season with song, dance, drama and plenty of festive cheer, accompanied by live orchestra.

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Saturday 17 December-Sunday 8 January

The Grand Pavilion presents its panto adventure, Jack and the Beanstalk. The Trotts are so poor they don’t have a bean to their name and what’s more, there’s an evil and greedy giant terrifying the village. Will they really have to sell Daisy, the family cow just to survive? Can Jack defeat the giant, win the heart of the girl he loves and turn the Trotts’ fortunes around? A family panto with a dastardly villain, a hapless comic and a hilarious panto dame, as well as fabulous musical numbers and bags of slapstick fun.


Peter Pan

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Tuesday 20-Friday 23 December

£13-£16, family (2+2) £52

Local performers from Kinetic School of Performing Arts present their annual pantomime, Peter Pan the boy who never grew up. Join Peter, his friends the lost boys, sassy Tinkerbelle, the one handed Captain Hook and sidekick Smee for a swashbuckling family adventure this Christmas.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

New Theatre, Cardiff

Sat 10 December 2022 – Sun 8 January 2023


Steps’s Ian ‘H’ Watkins, rugby legend Gareth Thomas and panto dame extraordinaire Mike Doyle star in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs following a triumphant season at the New Theatre last Christmas appearing in Aladdin. The line-up also includes Coronation Street and Emmerdale star Siân Reeves, and comedy ventriloquist, BGT finalist Steve Hewlett. 

Expect comedy, sensational song and dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery. Throw in a magical mirror, seven friendly dwarfs, a beautiful princess, a handsome prince and plenty of audience participation and you have the perfect recipe to outwit the Wicked Queen and let love prevail in this glittering festive treat for all ages.

Snow White and the Beanstalk

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Friday 9 December-Sunday 11 December

£13.50, under 16s £11.50

The Unknown Theatre Company are delighted to return to Lefel 1, St David’s Hall more informal performance space, with their brand-new family pantomime Snow White and the Beanstalk, written by Kieron Rees. Find out what happens after Snow becomes Queen. Is Charming really charming? Join Dame Trott and a host of fairy tale characters as they sing and dance their way through this traditional family show.

Les Misérables

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

13 December-14 January

From £22.50

Age guidance: 8+, no under 2s

Back by popular demand following a sell-out run, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables returns to Cardiff.

This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm and has been hailed “Les Mis for the 21st Century”. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes the songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more.

Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Peter Pan On Ice

International Convention Centre, Celtic Manor

Thursday 15 December-Sunday 1 January

From £18

Age guidance 4+, no under 2s

Take a journey to Neverland in this classic tale of magic and make-believe, spectacularly staged on real ice. J M Barrie’s well-loved story of Peter Pan comes to life with breath-taking skating, flying and special effects.

Join Peter – the boy who never grows up – as he and Tinker Bell whisk Wendy and her brothers from their London home off on a magical journey to Neverland, where they enjoy thrilling adventures with the Lost Boys, encountering the evil Captain Hook and his pirates as well as a hungry crocodile!

With state-of-the-art animated scenery, dazzling costumes, fire-on-ice and original music and songs from Tim A. Duncan and Edward Barnwell, this narrated Peter Pan on Ice is a thrilling show for all the family.

Neverland-themed afternoon teas also available.

The Tiddly Prom

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Saturday 17-Tuesday 20 December, 10.30am

£8.50, free for under 1s

This interactive live musical show is an ideal way for the under 5s to re-introduce the adults they look after to Christmas. In this special performance from the Tiddly Prom team Bert, Cherry and many of their musical friends unite for fun and frivolity, featuring songs from Bert’s three popular Tiddly Proms alongside festive favourites. Bert is in a festive mood; the Christmas tree is up and he’s wrapped everything ready for the big day. Cherry is coming to help put the finishing touches to the decorations and all their friends will be popping in too. As usual expect a lively story, lots of silly songs to sing along to and a large helping of musical plum pudding.

Varna International Ballet & Orchestra

St David’s Hall, Cardiff


Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December 2pm

This light hearted tale of mistaken identity and confused lovers follows mischievous Swanilda, her impetuous suitor Franz and the eccentric toymaker Dr.Coppelius. Perfect for families and everyone.

The Nutcracker

Monday 19-Saturday 24 December

This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family begins as night falls on Christmas Eve.

Swan Lake

Tuesday 27-Saturday 31 December 2022 – Sat 31 December 2022

The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score.


Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 December

From £25

This supersized arena spectacular based on the Hollywood blockbuster film features amazing film backdrops on a huge LED screen plus a mobile stage that travels the auditorium, so everyone gets a close-up view of the action. Plus get ready for Santa’s flying sleigh, an audience snowball fight, an indoor snowstorm, a giant candy cane journey from the North Pole, aerial cirque stars and giant TV screens so you don’t miss any of the spectacle.

Festive film events

Festive Films and Brunch/Afternoon Tea

St Donat’s Castle, Atlantic College

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December

From £19 per person

Choose from favourite Christmas films Elf and The Grinch and enjoy a festive feast as well as seasonal songs and piano in St Donat’s dining hall.

Free family films

Chapter, Cardiff

Saturday 26 November – Bend It Like Beckham

Saturday 3 December – The Wizard of Oz

A chance to see classic films on the big screen for free.

CBeebies Panto: Dick Whittington and his Cat (U)

Chapter, Cardiff 

Sunday 4 December, 11.20am and 1pm


CBeebies is once again taking to the stage for Christmas 2022, with a unique adaptation the classic tale. Join our heroes as they travel to London for the Lord Mayor’s Christmas parade, only to discover a trio of cheeky rats intent on ruining everyone’s fun. Can Dick and his cat save the parade with the help of all their CBeebies Friends? Recorded in front of a live audience at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre, the show will be bursting with catchy songs, festive fun, and a host of CBeebies stars, making it a theatrical treat for the whole family.

Christmas Films

Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Friday 23 December

11am – The Muppets Christmas Carol

2.30pm – Elf


Classic Christmas films on the big screen at Barry’s Memo Arts Centre.

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