100+ family-friendly events in and around Cardiff this Christmas 2018 – including where to see Santa

Cardiff at Christmas

Post Tags

From where to see Santa and festive ice skating, to Christmas arts and crafts and even a Santa sleigh built entirely from Lego, South Wales is pulling out all the stops this Christmas with its festive events.

I’ve included everything I can find here but let me know anything I have missed in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy

Events are categorised as follows:

Charity events / Where to see Father Christmas / Christmas lights switch-ons / Festive ice skating / Christmas-themed events / Theatre and panto / Carol Concerts / Arts and Crafts / Cinema and film

All events are subject to change and cancellation so please check with organisers to avoid disappointment.

As always, it helps me massively if you can give this post a like a share or a comment on my social media channels.

Have a fantastic festive season folks!

Charity Events


Santa’s Sleigh


Wednesday 28 November – Llandaff

Tuesday 4 December – Whitchurch

Wednesday 5 December – Rhiwbina

Thursday 6 December – Llandaff North

Monday 10 December – Penylan

Tuesday 11 December – Llanederyn

Wednesday 12 December – Radyr

The volunteers of Cardiff Round Table will once again be taking Santa on a tour of the streets of Cardiff. Here are the details that have been announced so far – more areas and full routes to be confirmed. See their Facebook page for full details.


Christmas at the Castle

Cardiff Castle

Friday 30 November, 6pm-8:30pm (doors open at 5:30pm)

Adults £10; children £5

Tŷ Hafan’s festive celebrations at the iconic Cardiff Castle will see guests singing along to contemporary choirs, riot jazz and seasonal soulful sounds under the stars. Children can enjoy festive face painting, entertainment, games and crafts plus a visit from Santa Claus. Start your Christmas shopping and find unique decorations at the festive craft stalls, then feast on street food whilst warming up with a mulled wine from the bar. The evening culminates as the sky lights up with an enchanting firework display above the stunning backdrop of the Castle keep. Performances from: Treorchy Male Voice Choir, Bass 12, Super Choir, Cathays Brass Band, Fit for your Princess (Elsa, Anna and Belle), Vocal Harmony.


Reindeer Run

Whitchurch Village, Cardiff

Saturday 1 December; entertainment from 5.30pm; run starts at 7pm

Adults £15; children £10; under 5s £5; entries close 17 November

A one-mile fun run plus an evening of family entertainment in Whitchurch Village including a screening of The Greatest Showman and a street parade Santa’s grotto and live music. Run, jog, dance, walk or skip the course while raising sponsorship for Cancer Research Wales, providing vital funds for world-class research happening in Wales. The event aims to raise £10,000.


2K Santa Fun Run and 2K Doggy Dash

Barry Island

Sunday 2 December 10am-12pm

Adults £6; children free; dogs £2

Barry Town Council’s annual Santa Fun Run. This year will see the launch of the 2K Doggy Dash which will take place after the 2K Family Fun Run. All adult participants will receive a Santa Suit to complete the course in, all furry friends will receive some tasty doggy treats upon completion and all participants will receive a medal.


Christmas Fundraiser for Mummy’s Star

The Corner, Roath

Friday 7 December, 2-5pm

Handmade Christmas cards and gifts for sale in aid of Mummy’s Star a charity who support women who are diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy and during first 12 months after giving birth. It’s organised by local mum Lisa who says “I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when my twin boys were five weeks old. Although I didn’t need Mummy’s Star to support me directly just knowing they were there was a huge comfort.”


The Admiral Cardiff Santa and Elf Dash 2018

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Sunday 9 December; 10am festivities and check in begins; 12pm Dash begins

£10 per entry; £30 for a team of four

Wales’s biggest festive fun run in aid of Welsh Hearts raises funds for hearts screening in Wales; placing defibrillators in Welsh communites and providing free CPR and defibrillator training. You can walk or run the 5K route across Cardiff Bay with fancy dress is encouraged. Entertainment will come from the Rock Choir and Taff Vale Brass Band.


A Christmas Concert of Seasonal Music and Carols in aid of Noah’s Ark Charity

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 12 December, 7.30pm


An evening of Christmas music in aid of Noah’s Ark Charity. The evening features organist Jane Watts; the brass ensemble of the Welsh Guards; Massed Welsh Hospitals Choir; a local primary school and guest artist to be announced.



Where to see Father Christmas

 Christmas events Cardiff 2018

Santa’s Grotto

Queen Street Cardiff (opposite Queens Arcade)

Saturday 10 November-Monday 24 December; open daily from 10.30am

£6.50 per child including gift; no need to book

Housed in a traditional wooden chalet, dressed perfectly for the festive season, children can meet Santa and his elves. (Pictured above.)


Santa’s Grotto

Caerphilly Garden Centre

Saturday 10 November-Monday 24 December

£7 per child; photos from £3.25 each

Visit Santa in his Grotto at Caerphilly Garden Centre.

No need to book although peak days will be busy so do arrive early do avoid disappointment.


Santa’s Grotto

Woodland Walk Garden Centre Pontypridd

Weekends from Saturday 17 November; Saturdays 9.30am-5pm and Sundays 10.30am-4pm

£7.50 per child; £3.50 per photo

Santa will once again be visiting Woodland Walk this year and he’s bringing his real reindeer with him. No need to book; just turn up. Queue will close at 12pm for lunch and reopen around 1.30pm.


The Magic of Christmas

Pugh’s Garden Village Radyr

Saturday 17 November-Monday 24 December

Adults £5; children £15 including gift; must be prebooked

It’s the award-winning Christmas experience that sells out in record time so availability is very limited – although there are plenty of daytime weekday slots left for those of you with pre-schoolers. The experience includes a 30 minute journey through The Magic of Christmas visiting five different rooms along the way towards and including meeting Santa. A photo opportunity with Santa is available and the photo can then be purchased in a folder from the Toy Shop along with other photo merchandise, starting from £6). This year Pugh’s are raising money to support Bobath Cymru. Pugh’s are pledging to raise £12,000 to provide life changing specialist therapy for 20 babies who have cerebral palsy.


Visit Santa at Candy Cane Lane

Pugh’s Garden Village, Wenvoe

Saturday 24 November-Sunday 23 December

Adults £2; children £10 including gift; must be pre-booked

While Pugh’s Radyr focuses on the half hour experience this year the Wenvoe centre offers more of a traditional visit. The focus is on visiting Santa as the main experience, without the prior room-by-room elf journey and is perfect for families who want a shorter one-on-one family visit with Santa. Take a magical meander down Candy Cane Lane towards Santa’s Cosy Cabin where you will enjoy one-on-one time with just your family and the man himself. A photo opportunity with Santa is available and the photo can then be purchased in a folder from the Toy Shop along with other photo merchandise, starting from £6. Also raising money for Bobath Wales.


Santa’s Grotto

Cardiff Castle

Saturday 24 November-Friday 22 December

Child £12.95 (includes two accompanying adults)

Experience a traditional Christmas as Santa returns to Cardiff Castle this winter. Visit the magical grotto in the 13th Century Black Tower and explore the Castle in all its festive splendour. The ticket includes a visit to Santa in his Grotto and a traditional gift as well as Christmas crafts and a candy cane trail in the decorated Victorian house.

(Sadly all slots have sold out but I’m including this in case you want to bookmark it for next year. This year tickets went on sale on 15 October. Follow the Castle on social media to be kept informed on 2019 dates.)


Santa’s Toy Mine

Rhondda Heritage Park

Saturday 24 November-Monday 24 December

Santa is once again setting up his Toy Mine at the former colliery. Children will be guided on a magical journey with surprises around each corner. They will get to meet the great man himself and receive a special gift to take home.

Accompanying adults will get a hot drink and a mince pie upon arrival.

Activities include; Make-Your-Own Teddy Bear Workshop and the opportunity for Photos with Santa (additional costs apply).


Father Christmas and his reindeer

Cefn Mably Farm Park

Weekends from Saturday 24 November-23 December

£6 per child plus usual entrance fee

Book in advance to see the man in red and his reindeer plus enjoy the rest of the farm’s attractions including farm yard animals, a petting corner, plus indoor and outdoor play areas.


Meet Father Christmas

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November; Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December; timed slots 10.30am-4pm

Adults £10.40; children £5.40; family £26 or free to National Trust members

£4 per child in addition to usual entry prices.

Father Christmas will be stopping over in the stables at Tredegar House this year as he makes preparations for his busiest night of the year. Tickets will only need to be purchased per child and families may bring as many additional members as they wish. You can book in advance or turn up on the day subject to availability.

See below for details of Christmas Traditions and Christmas market at Tredegar House.


Santa’s Grotto

Pyle Garden Centre, Bridgend

Selected dates between Saturday 24 November and Sunday 23 December

£7.50 per child

Children can spend some quality moments with Santa and submit their Christmas wish list! Ticket price includes a child’s toy worth £5.99.


Tea with Santa

Pyle Garden Centre, Bridgend

Selected dates between Monday 3 and Thursday 20 December; 5pm-7pm

Adults £7.99; children £14.99

Meet Santa and friends for Tea at The Olive Tree. Professional entertainers will make sure children have a unforgettable experience. Entertainment, food, drink and a present are all included within the ticket price. Children have a choice of meals while adults can order a sandwich of choice and a cup of tea/coffee.


Santa Claus Tours

Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday 1-Monday 24 December

Children £12, adults £6.50, family (2+2) £34

Follow in the footsteps of Wales’ rugby heroes as you explore the halls in search for Santa Claus and the magical Christmas grotto. As you wander through the stadium halls and historic rooms picking up vital clues along the way, the sights and sounds will immerse you into the world of Welsh rugby that will be an adventure for the whole family, not just for kids. Feel the buzz of the Ray Gravell press room and stand in the footsteps of international players in the team changing room before completing the last piece of the puzzle and discovering the entrance to the illusive Santa’s Grotto. The enchanting grotto will delight and surprise, filled with festive fun, twinkling lights and Christmas characters, not forgetting Santa Claus himself. There is no official photographer on the Santa Experience however you are welcome to take your own pictures of your little ones.


Santa’s Grotto

Ikea Cardiff

Saturday 1st-Saturday 22nd December

£8 (visit and gift); £10 (visit, gift and photo)

All proceeds go to supporting the life-saving care of premature and critically ill babies at the University Hospital of Wales neonatal unit. No need to book; see website for opening hours.


Afternoon tea with Santa

The Olive Tree at The Celtic Manor Newport

Saturday 1-Saturday 22 December

Monday-Thursday Adults from £26 children from £8; Friday-Sunday adults from £30 children from £15; under 2s free

A magical festive afternoon at The Olive Tree, where grown-ups and children alike can tempt their tastebuds with a host of delicious seasonal sweet and savoury treats. As well as their own special afternoon tea, children will also be able to enjoy a very special group story time with Mother Claus and write their ‘wish list’ to Santa, before the big man himself drops in to say hello to the group and deliver a small gift before Christmas.

An audience with Mother Claus and Santa is a group experience, which last approximately 30 minutes, with a session starting at 2.30pm and a further one starting at 5.30pm. On Friday and Saturday the sessions will start at 2.15pm and 3.15pm.

This a group experience so there will not be time for photos with Santa.  A number of Elves will be on hand to entertain the children and help them to write their letters to Santa.

The Celtic Manor is also offering a Willy Wonka Afternoon Tea on weekends from 1-22 December.


Green Santa

Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December


Visit Green Santa, wearing his traditional green robes in an enchanting and natural outdoor setting for a magical Christmas experience. The journey starts at the Visitor Centre, before guests are taken up to the Grotto in the wood for craft making. Then each child receives at least three minutes with Santa, complete with a gift.

See Christmas Events section below for details of Wooden Reindeer Trail.


Father Christmas Grotto

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22, Sunday 23 December 11am-4pm

£5 per child including a gift; entry to the Ironworks is free; must be pre-booked

See Father Christmas in the grotto at the Ironworks. English and Welsh sessions available. Pre-booking essential. Free Christmas trail also available on site. Last entry 3.30pm


Nutcracker Christmas

The Royal Mint Experience, Llantrisant

Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December; 10am-5.30pm

£12 per child and £2 per adult

Every weekend in December The Royal Mint Experience will host storytelling with Santa, crafts with Mother Claus and a coin hunt through the exhibition.

Each child will receive a gift from Santa (included in ticket price).

Tickets are priced at £12.50 per child and £2.00 per adult.


Santa Specials

Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway

Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December

£12 per person

Enjoy a train ride to Blaenavon High Level, where, next to a roaring fire, you will meet the big man himself in the station grotto. The train will return to Furnace Sidings following a non-stop run (through Furnace Sidings) to Whistle Inn (please check opening times of the Whistle Inn Pub if you are planning to visit, as this is not part of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway). As well as the opportunity to meet with Santa, each child will receive an age appropriate gift. For the adults there will be sherry and a mince pie. The buffet carriage will be transformed into a festive waiting room along the platform, so you can stay warm while waiting for the steam train to return.


Breakfast with Santa

Bedwellty House and Park, Tredegar

Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December 10am-12pm

Adults £6.50; children £12.50; must be pre-booked

Enjoy a scrumptious family breakfast with Santa every Saturday and Sunday in December.

As well as meeting Santa in his Ice House Grotto, there will be festive crafts and soft play
Suitable for children aged 3-12 years.


Breakfast/afternoon tea with Santa

The Crepe Escape Penarth 

Breakfast – 10am Saturday 1, 8, 15 and 22

Afternoon tea – 4pm Sunday 2, 9, 16, 23 December

The Crepe Escape, Cardiff Bay

Breakfast – 10am Sunday 2, 9, 16, 23 December

Afternoon tea – 4pm Saturday 1, 8, 15, 22 December

Singalong with Santa’s Elves to lots of Christmas songs. Enjoy a festive afternoon tea or breakfast. Each table will meet Santa,  receive a gift and have the chance to take photos.


Family Festive Afternoon Tea

Bedwellty House and Park, Tredegar

Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December, 3pm-5pm

Adults £20; children £15; must be pre-booked

A traditional Bedwellty Afternoon tea with a festive twist. There will be a variety of festive crafts and activities to keep children entertained and the Bedwellty Elf will take them to see Santa in his Ice House grotto.

£20 Adults / £15 Children


Children’s Party Afternoon

Bedwellty House and Park, Tredegar

Sunday 9 and 23 December 23, 3pm-6pm

Adults £6.50; children £10

Enjoy a buffet tea and children’s disco, plus the Bedwellty elf will make sure children have time to visit Santa in his Ice House Grotto.


Santa’s Sleigh


Saturday 1 December-Thursday 20 December

Barry’s Round Table will be taking Santa on a tour of the streets of Barry visiting a different area every night. See the Facebook page for routes and locations.


Christmas at the Farm

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December; 10am-3pm

£3 per child in addition to usual entry of adults £6.50; children £5.40; under 2s free; family (2+3) £23.50

Father Christmas will be taking residence in his cosy farm grotto and meeting children. There will be other festive activities including an animal nativity daily at 11.30am.

Father Christmas will also be present at the Twinkley Twilight Christmas Celebration evening on Tuesday 11 December between 4pm and 8pm


Santa’s Winter Wonderland

Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre, Crosskeys

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23rd December
Cost to be confirmed

Walk through the snow covered valleys in Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Marvel at the twinkling lights of the villages, cascading waterfalls and hidden animals… all in the warmth of the centre. Bookable sessions are available and price includes a gift off Santa for your child.


Father Christmas Grotto

Raglan Castle

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December 12pm-3.30pm

£5 per child in addition to usual entrance; includes gift

Adult £6.90, children £4.10, family (2+3) £20; free for Cadw members

See Father Christmas in his Raglan Castle Grotto. English and Welsh sessions available. Pre-booking essential.


Meet Father Christmas / Star-themed Christmas Weekend

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December, 11am-12pm and 2pm-3.30pm

£3 per child

Christmas this year in the Museum will be out of this world! We’re celebrating hosting the Tim Peake Soyuz space capsule with a star themed Christmas event.

There will crafts, activities and music all with a little sprinkling of stardust!

Father Christmas will also be bringing his reindeer into land at the Museum. Come and meet the man himself in his grotto for a special Christmas treat from 11am-12.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm both days and costs £3 per child.


Meet Father Christmas

Big Pit National Coal Museum Blaenavon

Sunday 16 December, 10.30am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm

£5 per child to include a gift; no need to book

Be amazed as Father Christmas arrives at Pit Top at 10.30am, travelling 300ft UP from underground on his way to Lapland. Once he’s arrived (and found his elves!) there’ll be an opportunity to visit him in his cottage, from 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm, and tell him what’s on your Christmas list. Music will also be provided by Blaenavon Town Band. No booking necessary.

See Christmas-themed section for details of brunch or breakfast with Mother Christmas.


Meet Santa Claus

Tee-Rex Adventure Golf Cardiff, Cardiff

Saturday 22 December, 10am-6pm

£3 per child plus usual admission costs

Santa Claus will meet little ones at Tee Rex Golf. Each child will receive a dinotastic toy to take home. Also includes glitter tattoos, face painting, write and give your letter to Santa, crafts and colouring at the Elf table.




Christmas Lights Switch Ons


FREE Rhiwbina Christmas Festival

Rhiwbina Village

Saturday 24 November; 4pm-6.30pm

Celebrate the start of Christmas in Rhiwbina with a family-friendly festival of events.

Meet Father Christmas from 3.30pm; Christmas lights switch-on at 5pm; lantern parade 5.15pm.

The Juboraj, The Olive Branch, Whittaker Rooms, Upstairs in Beulah, the Secret Shed, Gateway of India and Snails will all be open late serving food and drink for you to enjoy. Food on the go comes from Signore Twister (potato twisters); Dusty Knuckle (pizza), Taste of Wales (burgers, etc), Snowcone (slush puppy drinks and candy floss), Holy Yolks (Scotch eggs) and Manjit’s (Indian snacks). Entertainment after the parade from Rock Choir.


Barry Christmas Lights Switch On Weekender

Holton Road, Barry

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November, 11am-6pm

The two day Christmas Weekender will feature a festive Christmas Market on both days with gift ideas fro local crafters and retailers, food and drinks. The Christmas Light Switch on is at 6pm on Saturday evening. King Square will be full of festive cheer with live music and street entertainment. On Sunday at 4pm Central Park will feature an Open Air Cinema showing the classic family favourite ELF. There will be flooring, outdoor heaters and plenty of festive food & drink to keep you warm but bring blankets and wrap up in your festive best to enjoy the show. Alternative venue will be available if the weather turns.


Reindeer Parade


Sunday 25 November 11am-5pm

Cowbridge’s high-street will be transformed into a winter wonderland, as crowds line the streets to see Santa and his reindeer pass through town in this popular annual event. The parade starts at 12pm and includes a nativity performed by pupils from Y-Bont-Faen Primary School, a marching band playing classic tunes, and elves, who make way for Santa himself whose sleigh is pulled by a herd of reindeer. Children can then visit Santa in his grotto to tell him their Christmas wishes, and see the reindeer up-close in their pens behind the town hall. There’s live music in front of the town ha; with the lights switched on to a fireworks display.


Llantwit Major Lights Switch On

Llantwit Major town hall car park

Sunday 25 November 12pm-5pm

Food and craft stalls starting at 12pm. Stage and entertainment starting at 1.30pm. Children’s free craft area (upstairs town hall) 1.30pm. Santa will arrive at 2pm. Lantern parade leaves the precinct at 5.30pm to arrive at town hall carpark by 6pm ready for community carol singing and switch on of lights at 6pm (by the chamber of trade). 6.20pm fire show.


FREE St Athan Christmas Lights Switch On

St Athan

Sunday 2 December 3pm-5pm

Family festive activities to celebrate the lights being switched on.



Festive ice skating

Cardiff's Winter Wonderland

Admiral Ice Rink at Winter Wonderland

City Hall Lawn, Cardiff

Thursday 15 November 2018 – Sunday 6 January 2019

Adults £8.50-£11; children £7-£9; family £27-£35

The Civic Centre is once again home to Winter Wonderland. Expect fairground rides and games, festive food and drink – plus the famous ice rink once with is clear-span roof, meaning the weather won’t dampen your skating plans. Winter Wonderland is free to enter. Cost of rides varies. Advance online booking is advisable for skating.


The Great Skate

Celtic Manor Newport

Friday 23 November-Sunday 6 January

From £6 per person

Glide across the glistening ice rink, sponsored by Castell Howell, under a crystal clear roof in the spectacular setting of the resort’s Rooftop Garden, warm up with delicious hot chocolate or a festive tipple from the licensed bar, sponsored by J2O, and savour the tasty delights of the Bratwurst Grill. Sessions are 45 minutes. Children under three are not permitted on the ice.



Ice Skating

Caerphilly Castle

Friday 23 November-Sunday 9 December; 12pm-9pm weekdays and 10am-9pm weekends

Adults £7 children under 14 £5; family (2+2) £22

Caerphilly Castle will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland, where guests can enjoy outdoor skating on a real ice rink, indulge in treats from a pop-up pancake house and visit Father Christmas in an enchanting medieval grotto (Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December only).

Autism friendly sessions will take place on Sunday, 2 December at 10am and Monday 3 December at 12pm.


Christmas-themed events


Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

City Hall Lawn Cardiff

Thursday 15 November-Sunday 6 January 2019

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland returns with ice skating; fairground rides including the new The Drop Tower and a new bigger two-storey wooden chalet bar. See website for prices and further details including how to book ice skating.



Christmas activities

Celtic Manor Resort Newport

10 November-21 December

A whole host of activities for children from Christmas ceramic crafts; Christmas chocolate creations; elf workshops and more. Plus see ice skating section above for details.


Christmas Traditions

Tredegar House, Newport

Adults £10.40; children £5.40; family £26 or free to National Trust members

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November; Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December; 10.30am-4pm.

Travel through time at Tredegar House this Christmas and explore traditions past and present. Get stuck into traditional Christmas activities, soak up the festive atmosphere, see the lavish decorations and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

See above for details of Father Christmas at Tredegar House


Christmas market

Tredegar House, Newport

Usual entry fees apply: adults £10.40; children £5.40; family £26 or free to National Trust members

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November; Saturday 1, Sunday 2, Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December; 10.30am-4pm.

Pop into the small but carefully curated market to browse a selection of local foods and crafts just in time for Christmas. Head to the Home Farm behind the gift shop to browse through a range of foods and crafts.

See above for details of Father Christmas at Tredegar House.


O Christmas Tree

Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturday 24 November-2 January

Adults £11; children £5.50; family £28

Discover our brand new Christmas trail, explore our gardens and see 12 alternative Christmas trees, each one telling a different part of Dyffryn’s story.

We’re celebrating the history of the Dyffryn Gardens estate with unusual and unique Christmas trees. See suspended parrots, heaps of coal and a dose of flower power.

(Meet Father Christmas and Tea With The Elves events already sold out)


Meet the Elf on the Shelf

Hamleys St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November; 12pm-4pm

Meet Santa’s official Scout Elf at Hamleys toy store, an official The Elf on the Shelf® adoption centre. Celebrate the festive season and this much-loved Christmas tradition, with a fun-filled day, which all the family will love. After meeting The Elf on the Shelf® mascot, enjoy storytelling, colouring, games and capture memorable family selfies with the Scout Elf. What’s more, the first 50 customers who adopt The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition boxset will receive the holiday classic DVD An Elf’s Story.


FREE Lego Santa with his sleigh and reindeer

Mermaid Quay Cardiff Bay

Saturday 1 December-Thursday 3 January

Let Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen whisk you away on an adventure like no other. Santa, his sleigh and all eight reindeer are all made with Lego bricks – a total of 500,000 of them. The incredibly detailed, full contact models, which took three months, to build will be on display in Tacoma Square. Visitors can sit alongside Santa for the perfect Christmas selfie!


FREE Christmas – The Story

Tabernacl Welsh Chapel, The Hayes Cardiff

Saturday 1-Saturday 22 December (Mondays to Saturdays)

Christmas – The Story is back for its ninth year in Cardiff city centre. Each 20-minute performance tells the nativity story using both actors and puppets. Performances are every 40 minutes from 10am-5.20pm. No need to book (unless you’re a school or group trip).

Also at the following venues; check online for performance times

Green Street Methodist Church, High Street, Aberdare

Monday 3-Saturday 8 December

Tabernacl Chapel, Derwen Road, Bridgend

Saturday 8-Saturday 15 December (except Sunday).

St Mary’s Church, Holton Road, Barry

Monday 10-Saturday 15 December

English Baptist Church, Lammas Street, Carmarthen

Monday 10 – Saturday 15 December


Christmas Experience

Thornhill Farm Shop

Throughout December

£2 per person

See Thornhill Farm Shop’s barn transformed into a nativity scene with real goats, donkeys, cows, sheep, with Baby Jesus in the manger.


FREE Fantastic Beasts

The Red Dragon Centre Cardiff Bay

Sunday 2, 9 and 15 December; appearances at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm

Celebrating the launch of the new Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald film The Red Dragon Centre has some Christmassy fantastic beasts of its own ready to meet visitors this December. (Parking is free to customers for up to six hours subject to minimum spend.)

Bjorn the Polar Bear – Sunday 2 December

A life-size and incredibly life-like bear, Bjorn is a gentle giant who loves children and being petted.

Christmas Reindeer Elf – Sunday 9 December

Pickle the elf and Santa’s helper Araura will be inviting children at the Centre to meet and help train their new reindeer Nena, check if they are on the good list, and dance to their music

Snow Lion – Sunday 16 December

Measuring two metres high and five metres long, the magical Snow Lion combines cutting-edge animatronic puppetry, sound effects and music for breathtakingly realistic appearances.


Christmas Nights

St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Thursday 6-Saturday 8 December, 6pm-9pm

£15 adults, £8 children (under 16), under 2s free

Must be booked in advance and likely to sell out quickly

An evening of traditional Welsh Christmas celebrations including the Mari Llwyd and the Hunting of the Wren. Also expect carols in the chapel, traditional Welsh Plygain singing in the church and a brass band on Gwalia Green. Little ones can meet Father Christmas. You can write your Christmas list at the Victorian Schoolhouse then pop it in the box at our post office. Ride the Christmas land train down to the Llwyn Yr Eos Farm to meet Mother Christmas in her kitchen. Be sure to check the stables while you’re there for some special four legged guests. Get creative at craft workshops, including family friendly gingerbread decorating and more. The evening will end with carols in the Atrium. All included in entry price. Charges apply for traditional funfair and Christmas markets.


FREE Christmas Tales

Caerleon Baths

Saturday 8 December; 11am, 1pm and 3pm

Festive tales from a traditional storyteller.


Breakfast or Brunch with Mother Christmas

Big Pit National Coal Museum Blaenavon

Saturday 8 Sunday 9 and Saturday 15 December 10am or 1pm.

£10 children £5 for adults; must be pre-booked on 029 2057 3650

Dine with Mother Christmas at an extra special festive breakfast or brunch. Her helpers will be serving up a delicious menu of pancakes, crumpets, mini Danish selection and maple syrup, fruit bowl served with a regular filter coffee or Welsh brew tea for adults and unlimited squash for children. Children can visit the elves workshop to make a Christmas decoration or a toy to take home as well as having a photo with Mother Christmas be posing for photographs with children as well as giving them each a present. See above for details of Father Christmas visiting Big Pit.


Christmas at the Farm

Amelia Trust Farm Barry

Saturday 8 December 10am-4pm

Cosy to be confirmed

A jam-packed day of Christmas festivities. The Farm will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a visit from Father Christmas. The day will include the chance to see more than 20 species of animals; Christmas Carols; winter walks along our trails; pets corner where you can meet and greet some of the animals; the 12 Days of Christmas Trail; write a letter to Father Christmas in the Elves’ house post it to the North Pole and receive a letter back; unique gifts handmade by the young people who work on the farm in their new shop; mulled wine and mince pies. Plus meet Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a gift. More information on booking and detail of activities will be announced on the website shortly.


Wooden Reindeer Trail

Bryngarw Country Park, Bridgend

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December; 11am-3pm

£3 per child; no need to book – pay on the day cash only

Santa has lost his reindeer in Bryngarw – can you help find them? Collect your map from the visitor centre, along with your bag of reindeer food and then head out onto the trail to find the lost reindeer. Collect a sticker for each reindeer before heading back to write/post a letter to Santa. The trail takes about 30-40 minutes and is muddy in parts. Due to the terrain, parts of the trail are not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.

See Father Christmas section above for details of Green Santa.


Elf Me Workshops

Margam Country Park, Port Talbot

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December, 9.15am and 11.30am; 75 minute workshops

Children £15; adults £2 (includes a ticket for Santa Deer Feed)

The ultimate Christmas experience which will transform participants into a Margam Park elf. Perfect for budding elves aged 3-12 years old who want to become official little helpers of Father Christmas. Expect fun, laughter, games, arts & crafts. Transform into a certified elf, complete with rosy red cheeks ready for Christmas action.


Santa Feeds the Deer

Margam Country Park, Port Talbot

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Saturday 22 December, arrive at 10.30am for an 11am start

Car £15, minibus £55, coach £150

Come and watch Santa as he feeds Margam’s deer.


Victorian Christmas

Aberdulais Falls, Neath Port Talbot

Fridays 14 and 21 December 5.30pm-8.30pm

Adults £6.50; children £3.25; family £16.25 or free to National Trust members

Visit Aberdulais after dark for a candlelit walk, story-telling and traditional festive treats. Wrap up warm and take a candlelit walk to the waterfall and see it all lit up. Enjoy story-telling with Mr/Mrs Claus, make a traditional Victorian decoration to take home or cosy-on up in the tea-room with a hot drink and mince pie.


FREE Christmas Weekend

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December, 11am-4pm

Christmas this year in the Museum will be out of this world! We’re celebrating hosting the Tim Peake Soyuz space capsule with a star themed Christmas event.

There will crafts, activities and music all with a little sprinkling of stardust!

Father Christmas will also be bringing his reindeer into land at the Museum. Come and meet the man himself in his grotto for a special Christmas treat from 11am-12.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm both days and costs £3 per child.

With mulled wine and minced pies in the café, what better way to spend the day?!


Christmas Pomander Making Workshop

Castell Coch Tongwynlais

Adult £6.90, children £4.10, family (2+3) £20; free for Cadw members

Saturday 15-Sunday 16 December; 11am-4pm

A drop-in workshop to turn oranges, cloves, gilded pine cones, cinnamon sticks and ribbons into a festive scented swag or fragrant pomander. All natural materials will be supplied.  A small charge will apply for the decorative materials.

(Meet Father Christmas on 8 and 9 December has already sold out)


Festive Family Trail

Chepstow Castle

Saturday 15-Monday 31 December; 10am-4pm/11am-4pm Sundays

Adult £6.90, children £4.10, family (2+3) £20; free for Cadw members

Follow the festive family trail around the castle.


Christmas Jumper Party

Parc Play, Cardiff

Friday 21 December; 5pm-7pm; must be pre-booked

Adults £1; children aged 4-12 £8; 2-3 £6.50

A fun-filled festive evening for the family. Children’s prices include a hotdog, juice and gift. Members just pay £3 for hotdog, juice and gift.






Festive arts and crafts

Cwmcarn Visitor Centre, Crosskeys

Festive Tiny Tots Friday 23 November 10.30am-12.45pm

£2 per child; suitable for ages 18 months+; must be pre-booked

Make a melted snowman picture.

Festive Midi Tots Friday 23 November 1.30pm
£2 per child; suitable for ages 4-6; must be pre-booked
Make a melted snowman picture.

Reindeer Baubles Saturday 24 November; sessions available from 11am

£4.50 per child; suitable for ages 4+; must be pre-booked

Make a beautiful reindeer bauble in this festive workshop.

Snow Dough Jars Sunday 25th November 2018; sessions available from 11am
£4.50 per child; suitable for ages 4+

Bring along a jam jar and decorate with lots of Christmas glitter and fill with homemade snow dough.

Plus see Father Christmas section above for details of Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Cwmcarn.


Craft Club

Winding House Museum Caerphilly

Saturday 1 December 11am

£2.50 per child; must be pre-booked

Make a few homemade Christmas decorations in this family craft workshop.


Make a Snow Shaker

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm

£3.50 per person

Turn a jam jar into a beautiful, glittery winter scene to treasure.


FREE Track the Reindeer Trail

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Saturday 1 December-Sunday 6 January 2019, 10am-4pm

Eight of Santa’s reindeers have taken off without their sleigh and have got lost in the Museum. Search the galleries to track them down in time for Christmas Eve.


FREE Reindeers, Crafts and Carols

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Saturday 8 December, 12pm-4pm

Enjoy the perfect festive afternoon, sprinkled with seasonal magic and the chance to meet real reindeers in the museum’s main hall!


Christmas Slime Special

Margam Country Park, Port Talbot

Sunday 2 December, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm; must be booked in advance

£7 per child

Learn how to make festive slime and why it works with the ingredients. The children will have lots of fun getting creative and messy. They will also learn how to make swirls, bubbles and waves.


Theatre and pantomime


Little Red Riding Hood / Yr Hugan Fach Goch

Sherman Theatre Cardiff

Friday 9-Saturday 10 November and Monday 3-Saturday 29 December

£9; ages 3-6

Following success in previous years Sherman Theatre has chosen another classic fairy tale for its Christmas theatre show for young children. The show will be previewed in November touring across Wales and then returning to the Sherman in December with separate English and Welsh language performances available. Visiting her beloved Granny on her own for the first time, Little Red Riding Hood rushes through the woods. A chance meeting with the hungry Wolf makes her realise she’s missing all the beauty in her surroundings. She slows down and weaves her way to Granny’s picking flowers as she goes. It’s taken such a long time to get there, will she be too late?

Tour dates:

Thursday 15 Nov: Pontardawe Arts Centre

Friday 16 & Saturday 17 November: The Drill Hall, Chepstow

Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 November: Soar Centre, Penygraig

Wednesday 21 November: The Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Thursday 22 November: Maesteg Town Hall

Friday 23 November: The Beaufort Theatre, Ebbw Vale

Saturday 24 Nov: Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil

Monday 26 November: Blackwood Miners’ Institute

Tuesday 27 November: Canolfan Garth Olwg Centre, Pontypridd

Wednesday 28 November: The Welfare, Ystradgynlais

Thursday 29 November: The Drill Hall, Chepstow



Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Tuesday 20-Saturday 24 November


Age 12+; contains strong language.

Humanequin is a play about gender, identity and finding your family in the unlikeliest of places. With director Jain Boon and writer Kelly Jones, the actors worked alongside members of TransForm Cymru and students from Radyr Comprehensive school to devise Humanequin. They shared their common and individual stories and experiences to create a performance which educates, challenges and provokes conversation about what it means to be trans in 2018.


Alice in Wonderland Sherman Theatre

Alice in Wonderland

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Friday 23 November-Saturday 29 December

£16-£26; ages 7+

Continuing its Christmas tradition of bringing classic children’s novels to the stage Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland is adapted by Mike Kenny and directed by Rachel O’Riordan. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole to meet all of your favourite characters. Catch up with the White Rabbit (he’s still running late) or join the Mad Hatter for tea; just mind the Queen of Hearts doesn’t see you or it will be “off with your head”. A talented cast of actor-musicians, stunning sets and costumes, and (tea)pots of fun combine to bring this much-loved classic to life in a curious adventure that you will remember for a lifetime.

Every Saturday in December you can also book  a children’s afternoon tea in Wonderland at 4pm priced £10 per child.


Orbit Theatre: Singin’ in the Rain

New Theatre, Cardiff

Wednesday 28 November-Saturday 1 December 2018

Evenings 7.30pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Matinees 2.30pm


One of Wales’ leading amateur dramatics companies present this toe tapping, rain splashing stage adaptation of the ‘Greatest Movie Musical of all Time’. Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are silent movie hot property but behind the scenes, things aren’t always as they appear on the big screen. When ‘talking pictures’ take Hollywood by storm, Lina’s squeaky voice might be the end of her career without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her. This stage adaptation is filled with every memorable moment from the film and a unforgettable songs including Singin’ in the Rain, Good Morning and Fascinating Rhythm.



Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Thursday 29 November-Saturday 1 December 8pm

£12/£10  (£8.50 for school groups)

Cascade Dance Theatre in co-production with Taliesin Arts Centre presents a compelling new adaptation of the ultimate gothic fantasy as told by five performers and two musicians. Celebrating 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Cascade breathes new life into a story that has become so much more to us than its 19th Century origins. Visceral and engaging, Cascade’s production brings to the stage all the potency, drama and tragic inevitability that has made the original novel beloved of generation after generation. Frankenstein: the tale of the monster made of and by man. A cautionary tale, a creation story, an outsider story…a love story


Rhondda Symphony Orchestra: The Planets by Holst

BBC Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 1 December 7pm; £10-£12

Rhondda Symphony Orchestra celebrate their 50th anniversary by performing Holst’s The Planets as well as other works including Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. Also on stage will be the students of Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda, who will be collaborating for the first time with the RSO in a performance of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols.


Little Red Riding Hood / Yr Hugan Fach Goch

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Monday 3-Saturday 29 December

£9; ages 3-6

Following its success in previous years Sherman Theatre has chosen another classic fairy tale for its Christmas theatre show for young children. The show will be previewed in November before going on tour across Wales and then returning to the Sherman in December with separate English and Welsh language performances available. Visiting her beloved Granny on her own for the first time, Little Red Riding Hood rushes through the woods. A chance meeting with the hungry Wolf makes her realise she’s missing all the beauty in her surroundings. She slows down and weaves her way to Granny’s picking flowers as she goes. It’s taken such a long time to get there, will she be too late?



Donald Gordon Theatre, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Tuesday 4 December 2018-Saturday 12 January 2019


Age guidance 6+; no under 2s (pictured above)

Seen by over seven million people and the winner of over 85 international awards this is Matilda The Musical’s first UK tour. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s show is inspired by the beloved Roald Dahl book and is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a clever mind, is determined to change her own destiny, even if it means being a little bit naughty.


Sleeping Beauty

The Riverfront, Newport

Tuesday 4 December to Sunday 6 January

From £6.50-£21

Panto fun for all the family. Trouble is brewing at Newport Abbey. The Evil Dowager Aunt Draig (Lowri-Ann Richards) is searching for the missing Princess (Alice Rose Fletcher). Lord Griffin of Newport (Michael Geary) and his son the right honourable Dylan (Jack Ayres) with help from Mrs Midges the Housekeeper (Liam Tobin), Muddles the Gardener (Richard Elis) and Chortwood the mysterious Butler (Richard Nichols) make sure that true love wins out in the end.


Beauty and the Beast

Canolfan Soar Canolfan Soar, Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil

Tuesday 4 December-Saturday 8 December 7pm plus Saturday matinee 2.30pm

Adults £10; concessions £8; family (2+2) £32

CAST Performance Academy and Howell Entertainment proudly present Merthyr Tydfil’s only professional pantomime featuring local actors and children. Expect a classic cast of characters, toe tapping songs and hilarious slapstick comedy.


Hansel, Gedeon and the Grimms’ Wood

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

Thursday 6-Saturday 8 December 2018 7pm plus Saturday matinee 3pm

£9; under 16s £6; age guidance 6+ (no under 2s)

Featuring a cast of disabled and non-disabled performers from Odyssey, Hijinx’s community theatre group, and pupils from Woodlands High School follow Hansel and Gedeon on their adventure in the woods, in a sparkling new family production, written by Llinos Mai.

Forbidden by their parents from stepping foot in the woods, Hansel and Gedeon had only ever heard of the dangers which lay within it. But one day, armed with only each other, they decide to venture into the woods to see for themselves.


Treasure Island

The Gate Arts Centre, Keppoch Street, Cardiff

Thursday 6-Saturday 8 December

Thursday 4.30pm; Friday 7pm; Saturday 10.30am

£5 child; £8 adult; £22 family

The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company presents this tale of treasure and treachery on the high seas. Join Jim Hawkins as he spins his yarn of plotting pirates and potty parrots.



Paget Rooms, Penarth

Thursday 6-Sunday 9 December

Thursday-Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 1pm and 5pm; Sunday 1pm

From £10 per ticket

Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society present Pinocchio for their annual panto. The show follows Geppetto, a toy maker who has always wanted a son. His toy puppet, Pinocchio, is transformed into a boy – but every time he tells a lie, his nose grows. Meet comedy dame Mama Macaroni, the evil Stromboli, a puppeteer, and little Jiminy Cricket who tries to save the day.


Peter Pan

Blackwood Miners’ Institute, Caerphilly

Friday 7-Sunday 30 December

Rainbow Valley Productions bring to the stage a colourful adaptation of a much-loved classic tale. This year’s fun-packed pantomime stars Owen Money as Smee* and a whole cast of talented actors, singers and dancers. Prepare yourself for a fun-packed, joke-crammed, song-filled, fast-moving, laugh-a-minute ride through the magic and mayhem of panto land. (*For all schools performances Smee will be played by Adrian Gregory).


Beauty and the Beast

New Theatre, Cardiff

Saturday 8 December 2018-Sunday 13 January 2019


Lisa Riley, Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas, Ben Richards, Mike Doyle, Danny Bayne, Adam C Booth and Stephanie Webber head the cast for the New Theatre’s 2018/19 pantomime. Expect lots of laughter, stunning sets, sensational special effects, beautiful costumes, music, comedy, dancing, and audience participation. Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a cursed castle and held captive by a hideous beast. To her surprise, the castle is full of magical characters placed under a spell by an evil enchantress. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose? Or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl who has melted his heart?


Elf – The Christmas Spectacular

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Friday 14-Sunday 16 December


The West End and Broadway musical based on the blockbuster movie starring Will Ferrell is to be supersized into a Christmas spectacular touring the UK – including Cardiff. Pop legend David Essex stars as Buddy the Elf’s father; Love Actually star and singer Martine McCutcheon is Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie; and Buddy will be played by comedy actor Tam Ryan, West End star Louise English will play Buddy’s stepmother. The cast also features Father Christmas and a line-up of 70 performers, including children from local Pauline Quirke Academy stage schools.


Tiddly Prom: Bert and Cherry’s Christmas Plum Pudding

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Saturday 15 and Monday 17 December, 10.30am and 12.30pm

Expect a lively story and lots of silly songs to sing along to in this interactive live musical show. It’s is a great way for the under 5s to re-introduce the adults they look after to Christmas.  This special performance from the Tiddly Prom team brings Bert, Cherry and many of their musical friends back together 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 up 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.


Sleeping Beauty

Grand Pavilion Porthcawl

Saturday 15th December 2018-Sunday 6 September


A magical telling of Sleeping Beauty with spectacular sets and costumes, fabulous songs and dances and bags of slapstick fun.


The Addams Family: The Musical

Richard Burton Theatre, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Tuesday 18-Thursday 20 December 7.30pm

£14; £12 concessions

Kinetic Theatre Company follow on from success with Chorus Line, Legally Blonde and Footloose with The Addams Family: The Musical.  Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.


Beauty and the Beast

Memo Arts Centre Barry

Thursday 20-Sunday 23 December

Thursday and Friday 7.30pm; Saturday 11am and 2.30pm; Sunday 2.30pm

£14; £12 concessions; £45 family

Barry’s amateur drama company, BillBoard Ensemble, present their annual Christmas Pantomime with hilarious comedy, lavish costumes and set, live orchestra and featuring some familiar songs. An arrogant young prince and his castle’s servants fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress, who turns him into the hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle enters the Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father Maurice. With the help of his enchanted servants, Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out.



Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Thursday 20-Monday 31 December

Age 3+; £10 per person

A reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling with a message of tolerance and self-acceptance at its core. Family-friendly glamour and glitz takes centre stage as critically acclaimed cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat breaks out of his shell in his first work for children, a classic tale of identity and belonging. Set in an animal circus, we join him on an adventure of self-discovery, asking questions of the ‘happy ever after’ in a celebration of difference. Walking a little differently? Sounding a bit strange? Watch Duckie triumph by realising these are his strengths.


Snow Maiden: The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 19 December, 7pm; Thursday 20 December, 2pm and 7pm

Protected from the outside world by Father Frost, the exquisite Snow Maiden plays innocently amongst the dancing snowflakes in the enchanted Land of Frost.  Based on a traditional folk-tale, set in the snow covered landscape of the Russian countryside, this seasonal sparkler from Tchaikovsky follows Snow Maiden as she dances into the human world.  Captivated by the colourful village and the people who live there, she ventures too far and is swept up by feelings of love, temptation and betrayal. When finally she surrenders herself completely and warms to love, her heart melts in a tragic embrace.



The Nutcracker

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Friday 21 December 2pm and 7pm; Saturday 22 December 2pm and 5.30pm; Sunday 23 December 2pm and 5.30pm; Monday 24 December 2pm

This most famous of fantasy ballets, written by Tchaikovsky, begins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems, toy dolls spring to life literally off the set, the Mouse-king and his mouse-army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins.


Cinderella: The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia

St David’s Hall Cardiff

Sunday 30 December, 2.pm and 5.30pm; Monday 31 December, 2pm

The world’s favourite rags to riches fairy-tale where dreams can come true is a magical mix of Prokofiev’s energetic score, lively choreography and colourful costumes. Whilst her mad/bad stepmother and her ill-mannered daughters prepare for the Royal Ball, graceful Cinderella can only dream of dancing with the dashing Prince. Later that evening, her rags become a glittering gown and she is swept magically to the Ball. From that very moment the Prince is smitten, midnight strikes and one lost crystal slipper later, he must now embark on a journey to find his lost love.


Carols and concerts


Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Festive Brass

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Friday 7 December, 1pm

£6 in advance; £7 on the day

This popular family friendly concert returns to St David’s Hall for another lunchtime filled with traditional carols and festive favourites, guaranteed to have you singing along.


The Promise of Christmas

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Saturday 8 December, 3pm and 7.30pm


With the Promise of Christmas Youth Choir at 3pm and special guest soprano Katy Treharne at 7.30pm

The Promise of Christmas has been a regular part of the Christmas season in St David’s Hall every year since 2000. This year the large forces of Cambrensis Choir and Orchestra and the St David’s Praise Choir bring audiences Christmas music suitable for the whole family. The Promise of Christmas Youth Choir will be singing in the afternoon performance and the evening features soprano Katy Treharne.

Expect familiar carols and Christmas songs, music from the choirs both traditional and modern, along with rousing music from the orchestra.


FREE Christmas Carol Concert

National Museum Cardiff

Thursday 13 December, 3.30pm

Celebrate Christmas with a traditional carol concert performed by the Museum choir in the beautiful surroundings of the Main Hall. Buy a glass of mulled wine and a minced pie to give that warm festive glow as you listen. Readings and carols in this event will be bilingual – Welsh and English.


City Voices Cardiff: 10th Anniversary Christmas Concert

St David’s Hall Cardiff

Saturday 15 December, 3pm

£13 adults; £5 childre

A festive choral celebration of 10 years of City Voices Cardiff sees the choir choosing their favourite festive songs they have performed over the last decade. From the traditional to the contemporary expect a veritable potpourri of musical genres and styles. All this and the ever popular audience participation Twelve Days of Christmas. The night will be raising funds for Touch Trust, Velindre Cancer Centre, The Forget-Me-Not Chorus, Ty Hapus and Child Bereavement UK.


Christmas Concert with Spectrum Singers

Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturday 15 December, 7.30pm-9pm

Adults £15; under 16s £10; under 2s £2 on lap

Get into the festive spirit with a Christmas carol concert in the beautifully decorated Great Hall of Dyffryn House. Included with your ticket is a glass of fizz and mince pies during the interval. The evening will support the revival of Dyffryn.


BBC Wales: Carols for Christmas

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 16 December, 3pm


The BBC National Chorus of Wales and the Masses Schools’ Choir feature BBC Wales’ annual festive concert returns to St David’s Hall with a selection of popular carols, readings by BBC Wales presenters and a massed choir of primary school pupils.


Side by Side at Christmas

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 19 December, 6.45pm


Side by Side is a community choir who aim to support all those around the autism spectrum, whether they be on the spectrum, a family member, friend or autism professional/care worker. Side by Side at Christmas will include repertoire from festive favourites and hits from modern musicals.


Cinema and film-related


Christmas Cinema

Cardiff Castle

Sunday 16 December

Home Alone –10.30am and 2.30pm SOLD OUT

Elf – 12.30pm 4.30pm and 8.30pm SOLD OUT

Gremlins – 6.30pm

(Most films sold out sorry – I’m including this in case you want to bookmark it for next year.)



Festive Films

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

FREE All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride

Sunday 2 December, 2pm

A traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Immerse yourself in this atmospheric, breath-taking and hypnotic journey, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

FREE Toddler Time Monthly Movies: The Gruffalo’s Child

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Wednesday 5 December, 10:30am

A free fun movie screening each month exclusively for preschool children and their parents or carers. A little Gruffalo ignores her father’s warnings and tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse…

FREE Festive Films: Stickman (U, 2015)

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Saturday 8 December, 1:30pm and 3:00pm

Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three, and he’s heading on an epic adventure across the seasons. Will he get back to his family in time for Christmas?

FREE Festive Films: It’s a Wonderful Life (U, 1946)

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Sunday 16 December, 2pm

Including an introduction from film historian Anthea Symonds. Set on Christmas Eve, James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a small town man, dreaming of adventure and travel, but frustrated when circumstances conspire to keep him from his dreams.  When an impending scandal sends him to despair, he is visited by an angel who helps him see what life would have been like if he never existed.



Santa & The Polar Express

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Friday 21 December, 6:30pm

£7.50 per person (under 2s free); must be booked in advance

A festive film night with an extra sprinkle of seasonal magic including a special trail, gift-box making and a sing-a-long with Santa. Hunt for the giant gifts nestled in the galleries to complete a magical trail; make a festive gift box; sing a long with Santa; enjoy a hot chocolate on the house with a choice of special extras from the toppings station; a Gallery screening of The Polar Express. Plus a gift for each child.


TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs

Leave a Reply