Christmas 2015: 75 festive family-friendly events in and around Cardiff including where to see Father Christmas


Isn’t Christmas magical when you have young children? I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of all things festive. I’m definitely trying to make the most of it for those precious few years while my children are young.

There’s so much going on in and around Cardiff over the next few weeks, from traditional carol concerts and pantomime to Christmas craft sessions, lights-on events and, of course, the chance to meet Father Christmas himself.

This guide to Christmas events in Cardiff and surrounding areas is divided into six sections: Pantomine; Theatre and Live Performance; Carols, Choirs and Orchestras; Lights On Events; Other Christmas Events, and Meet Father Christmas. Clicking on the event name will take you direct to the website for more information.

All events are subject to change, so please check ahead with the relevant organisers.

I’m delighted to bring you this guide in association with The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay.

The Red Dragon Centre is a really family-friendly venue, all undercover, on one level and with free customer parking just outside. Home to an ODEON Cinema, Hollywood Bowl, and several great eateries for families, it’s the perfect place to spend some quality family time away from all the busyness of Christmas.

Christmas events Cardiff 2015

December will see the opening of acclaimed burger chain Five Guys. It will join other restaurants in the centre including Grill’n’Shake (who offer a free children’s meal with every adult main meal purchased on Sundays), Chiquito, Bella Italia, Chicken House, Spice Route, Oriental Garden, and Cadwaladers for great ice cream.

The ODEON will welcome several children’s films in the run-up to Christmas, including The Good Dinosaur (Friday 27th November), Christmas With The Coopers (Friday 4th December) Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie (Monday 21st December) and the much-awaited Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Thursday 17th December). Also look out for the Odeon Kids screenings at weekends and school holidays, where tickets for early-morning showings of selected films (usually those released a few months ago rather than new releases) are £2.50 each. Visit The Red Dragon Centre’s website for full details.



New Theatre, Cardiff

Saturday 12th December – Sunday 17th January


The annual panto offering from the New Theatre reunites last year’s cast, with Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps as Aladdin, Mike Doyle as Widow Twankie, Linda Lusardi as The Spirit of the Ring, and Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas as the Genie. Expect spectacular special effects, stunning costumes and scenery, show-stopping songs plus plenty of humour.


Jack and the Beanstalk

Riverfront Theatre, Newport

Tuesday 1st December 2015 – Sunday 3rd January 2016


Boo, hiss, sing and laugh your way through this traditional pantomime, in a musical and adventurous new production of the classic fairy tale in which the fearless Jack faces the dastardly Giant who lives at the top of the beanstalk.


Beauty and the Beast

The Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

Friday 11th December-Sunday 3rd January


The classic fairytale of the love between the Beast, who has been transformed from handsome prince into an ugly monster, gets the panto treatment as Beauty and her sidekicks try to outwit the arrogant bully Eugene and lift the curse.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

The Gate, Keppoch Street, Cardiff

Saturday 5th December, 2pm; Friday 11th December, 7pm

Family ticket £25, adult £8.50, concessions £6

This family performance is energetic, fun and full of popular music, bringing the classic tale of Snow White to life. This is the sixth annual Christmas show at the Gate from Black Rat Productions, with the show specially created for the venue’s unique theatre space.



Paget Rooms, Penarth

Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th December, 7.30pm; Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December, 2.30pm

Join PODS (Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society) as they head on a magical, musical jungle adventure to the land of Bongo Bongo where Tarzan, abandoned in the jungle as a baby, has grown up with the animals and developed some unusual and primitive behaviour.


Beauty and the Beast

Funtastic Kids Play, Caerphilly

Saturday 5th December, 4.30pm

£9 per child, £6 per adult

The classic fairytale is transformed into a 75-minute show. Ticket price also includes soft play after the show and a kids’ lunch bag.



Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Thursday 17th-Friday 18th December, 7.30pm; Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th December, 2.30pm

£13, concessions £11, family £45

Barry’s amateur dramatics company, BillBoard Ensemble, presents this all-singing, all-dancing traditional family pantomime about Aladdin and the genie in the lamp, accompanied by a live orchestra.


Theatre and live performance


The Snow Dragon

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

Sunday 22nd November, 12pm & 2pm

Age guidance: 3+; £9, family ticket £30

Young goat Billy is looking forward to the annual New Year’s Eve visit of the legendary Snow Dragon, who will bring him lots of goodies. But then he bumps into some hungry wolves in the forest. Will he escape and has be been naughty or nice. This music-filled show comes from Tall Stories, famous for their productions of The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale.



Christmas – The Story

Taberncal, The Hayes

1st-20th December, Mondays to Saturdays


Now in its sixth year, this free 20-minute retelling of the nativity takes place every 40 minutes with performances in both English and Welsh.

Also for the first time, performances will take place in Barry at St Mary’s Church, Holton Road from Monday 14th-Saturday 19th December.


Miracle on 34th Street

New Theatre, Cardiff

Tuesday 1st-Saturday 5th December, 7.30pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees, 2.30pm


A real heart-warming tale and one of the most popular Christmas films of all time, Miracle on 34th Street tells of a lawyer and a young girl who seek to prove that a white-bearded man claiming to be Santa Claus is the real thing.


The Silent Toy Soldier

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Age guidance: 6+; £8

Thursday 3rd-Saturday 5th December, 7pm plus 3pm matinee on the Saturday

In a land that should be full of magic and festive cheer, toys have been disappearing. How can you feel safe when you don’t have a voice? Hijinx’s Odyssey’s show features a vibrant cast of disabled and non-disabled performers, The Silent Toy Soldier follows the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plumb Fairy and other famous festive characters. I’ve seen a few of Odyssey’s performances over the years and they have always been both heart-warming and thought-provoking.


The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

Thursday 4th-Thursday 31st December

Age guidance: 7+; £15-£25

CS Lewis’s timeless tale is adapted for the stage, as four children step inside the wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia, where they meet the kindly Mr Tumnus, Aslan the brave lion and the cruel and wicked White Witch.


The Princess and the Pea/Y Dywysoges a’r Bysen Fechan Fach

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

Saturday 5th December – Saturday 2nd January

Age guidance: 3-6 year olds;

Welsh and English performances available

(also touring South Wales throughout November)

There’s only one way to find out if the lady knocking at the palace on a stormy night is a princess as she claims; put a pea under the mattress as only a real princess would be able to feel such a tiny thing hiding there. Sherman Cymru and Theatr Iolo present this re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale. Informal seating and small audiences make this perfect for under 7s. The Christmas shows for youngsters at the Sherman are always brilliant; you can read my review of last year’s The Ugly Duckling, here.


Santa’s Stressful Day

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Sunday 6th December, 3pm; Monday 7th-Tuesday 8th December 10am & 12pm

Age guidance: 4+; £9 (£5 schools)

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and the reindeer have all got colds might not be able to pull the sleigh. So a worried Santa heads out around the world to try to find some other animals who could do the job instead… or the world’s children won’t get their presents. These performances coincide with the free Christmas Snowsongs performances, carol singing around the foyer tree. See Carols, Choirs and Orchestras section above.


Shrek The Musical

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Tuesday 8th December until Sunday 10th January

Age guidance: 5+ (no admission to under 2s); £18-£56.50

This all-singing, all-dancing stage extravaganza brings to life the award-winning Dreamworks animation, featuring Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey, as they embark on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing, love-sick dragon.


The Wind In The Willows

Lefel 1, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 10th-Saturday 12th December, 7.15pm plus Saturday matinee, 3pm

The classic children’s book gets the musical treatment in this fun adaptation starring young performers.


Bert and Cherry’s Christmas Plum Pudding

Lefel 1, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Friday 11th-Saturday 12th December, 10.30 am & 12.30 pm; £7.50

This interactive show is perfect to introduce young children to live music, as Bert, Cherry and various instrument-playing friends combine festive favourites with catchy songs they have written themselves. We’ve been to a few of Bert and Cherry’s Tiddly Prom and Christmas shows and they are just lovely.


Welsh National Opera: A Christmas Carol

Friday 18th December, 7.15pm; Sunday 20th December, 4pm

Age guidance: 8+; £20

An adaptation of A Christmas Carol, in which Iain Bell turns Dickens’s classic story into a scintillating, one-man tour de force for tenor and chamber orchestra.


Little Notes Christmas Concert

The Gate, Keppoch Street, Cardiff

Saturday 19th December, 11am

Family ticket £15, adults £7, children £5

A fun and interactive Christmas presentation for children age 5 and under and their families. From Little Notes Cardiff, who also run popular pre-school classes in the city, this re-telling of the Christmas story includes lots of seasonal songs and carols .


The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Snow Maiden: Saturday 19th-Monday 21st December

The Nutcracker: Tuesday 22nd-Thursday 24th & Sunday 27th-Monday 28th December

Swan Lake: Tuesday 29th-Thursday 31st December & Saturday 2nd-Sunday 3rd January

£15-£34; under 16s £7.50-£17. Family tickets available.

Three classic ballets from The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia.

The over-protected Snow Maiden dances from the enchanted Land of Frost into the human world where she ventures too far and is swept up by feelings of love and temptation.

The Nutcracker is set on Christmas Eve and a fairy-tale world where the toys come to life and the Mouse-King and his arm battle with the Nutcracker Prince.

Swan Lake is generally considered the greatest romantic ballet of all times, telling the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse


The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion

SSE Swalec Stadium, Cardiff

Wednesday 16th December-Saturday 2nd January

Adults £17.50, concessions £12.50, children 4-16 £12.50; suitable for ages 4+

A colourful and chaotic adventure where you’ll meet Sledgehog, Polar Pear and Rock-a-dile, in this family-friendly theatre performance from National Theatre Wales, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, writer Tim Price and director Wils Wilson. You must bring ear defenders for children under 4 due to loud bangs!


Carols, choirs and orchestras

Ty Hafan: Carols at the Castle

Cardiff Castle, 6pm-8.30pm

£10 adults, £5 children

An evening of traditional carols and contemporary choirs, Christmas shopping at the market filled with stalls from local craft specialists, plus a firework display – all to raise money for Ty Hafan, the hospice for children in Wales.


The Promise of Christmas

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Saturday 5th December, 3pm & 7.30pm

£11 / £13 (concessions, £1 reduction); under 12s £5 per ticket

Cambrensis Choir & Orchestra, the St David’s Praise Choir and the Promise of Christmas Youth Choir join forces in a feast of music with favourite carols to join in, new and traditional Christmas songs and music from the orchestra. The youth choir will only be performing in the 3pm concert. The evening programme will be a bit different, with more from the choirs and orchestra and more carols to sing.


City Voices Cardiff: Rejoice And Be Merry

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 6th December, 4pm

£10-£20, £5 for under 12s

One of the city’s top choirs presents an afternoon of seasonal cheer with musical numbers including It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night and Santa Baby.


Christmas Snowsongs

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff

Sunday 6th December, 2pm; Monday 7th-Tuesday 8th December, 1pm


Festive favourites sung by the college’s talented vocalists around the spectacular Christmas tree in the foyer.


Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service Christmas Showcase

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 9th December, 7pm

£6-£10, with £1 off for children and concessions

The counties’ musical ensembles, including high schools orchestra, wind band, and brass bands, are joined by a choir of 250 junior school children for an evening of Christmas musical entertainment.


St Fagan’s Christmas Songsheet

National History Museum St Fagans

Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th December, 6pm & 7.30pm

£5.50, must be pre-booked

A selection of contemporary and traditional Christmas carols and songs on the museum’s 18th century Pen-rhiw Chapel.


Christmas With The Stars: Paul Potts and supporting cast

City Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 13th December, 7pm


A family-friendly festive celebration of the best-loved musicals from the West End and Broadway musicals and favourite opera arias.


BBC Wales Carols For Christmas

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Sunday 13th December, 3pm


The annual festive concert from BBC Wales in aid of BBC Children in Need features a selection of carols, readings by BBC Wales presenters and a massed choir of primary school pupils


Carols at the Museum

National Museum Cardiff

Thursday 17th December, 3pm; free

A full programme of festive songs, accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies.


Christmas Celebrations: BBC National Orchestra of Wales

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 17th December, 7pm


Journey through a musical winter wonderland of classics and sing along to all your Christmas favourites in this family-friendly concert.



Lights-On Events

Step Into Christmas, Cardiff Centre

Thursday 12th November, 4.30pm-7.30pm

The official start of Christmas in Cardiff’s city centre. You can see reindeer pulling Santa on his sleigh, leaving Central Library at 4.45pm. They’ll then stay in their pen on St Mary’s Street until 7.30pm. There’s no actual switching on ceremony for the lights, but this is the first time they will light up the city this festive season, accompanied by live music and street entertainment across the centre.

It also marks the official opening of Winter Wonderland, see below.


Christmas Light Switch On

Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 14th November, 1pm-6pm

Carols and songs from Tenovus Cancer Care choirs, street theare from Christmas Pudding and Christmas Ted, plus lots more as the lights get switched on by a special guest at 5pm.


Winter Festival

Wellfield Road, Cardiff

Sunday 22nd November, 3pm-6pm (time to be confirmed)

Funfair rides, a snow machine, local choirs on the main stage, plus a Santa’s Grotto and his reindeer, as well as the lights being switched on at 5pm.


Llandaff North Festival

Thursday 26th November


Santa and his sleigh, live music, a choir and fireworks will provide seasonal entertainment as Llandaff North switches on its lights.


Christmas Lights Switch On

King Square, Barry

Saturday 28th November

Bands choirs and children’s entertainment will get visitors into the Christmas spirit, ahead of the lights switch on at 5pm. There will also be a Christmas market plus a visit from Santa and his sleigh.


Rhiwbina Winter Festival

Rhiwbina Village, Cardiff

Saturday 28th November, 4pm-7pm


Three hours of seasonal entertainment, including a DJ and live acts from 4pm, the Christmas tree lights switch on at 5pm, a lantern parade at 6.15pm, carols around the tree at 6.45pm, plus craft and gift stalls, and Santa’s Grotto.


Christmas Lights Switch On

Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Wednesday 18th November, from 5pm

X-Factor winner Sam Bailey will be switching on the lights at 6pm, and performing live on stage between 7.30pm and 8pm. Shoppers can also meet Christmas characters, watch the firework display, as well as a special children’s entertainment show that features falling snow at the end. The event also marks the beginning of late night Christmas shopping on Wednesdays and Thursdays and the opening of Santa’s Grotto.


Christmas at Whitchurch Switch On

Whitchurch, Cardiff

5-9pm; free

An evening of seasonal festivities as Whitchurch celebrates switching on its Christmas lights. Expect music, a choir, Father Christmas, rides and fireworks.


Other Christmas Events


Winter Wonderland and Ice Kingdom

Civic Centre, Cardiff

Thursday 12th November to Sunday 3rd January

As in previous years, Winter Wonderland will be home to fairground rides, open-air ice skating and an Alpine Village, selling food and drink. New this year is an Ice Kingdom, an awe-inspiring walk through a fantastical world of real ice.


Christmas Opening

Wyevale Garden Centre, Newport Road, St Mellons (on the former Blooms site)

Saturday 21st November, from 9am

Two years after fire devastated the former Blooms garden centre, Wyevale celebrate their opening with a day of Christmas festivities, including a visit from Father Christmas, elf workshops, offers and giveaways.


Elf Workshop Experience

Wyevale Garden Centre, Newport Road, St Mellons (on the former Blooms site)

Saturday 21st November-Thursday 24th December

£5 per child, no need to book

21st & 22nd November – Make your own Christmas advent calendar.

28th & 29th November – Make your own Christmas stocking.

5th & 6th December – Make your snowflake tree decoration.

12th & 13th December – Paint your own glass Christmas character.

19th & 20th December – Make your own Christmas woodcraft.

21st – 24th December – Enjoy a Christmas activity every day.


Christmas events

Cwmcarn Forest Drive

Saturday 21st November – Festive Clay Tree Decorations Workshop

£3, booking advisable, age 4+

Sunday 22nd November – Martha’s Festive Puppets

£4 per child, £1 per adult, booking advisable ages 3-7

Saturday 28th November – Christmas Crackers Workshop

£4 per child, booking advisable, age 4+

Sunday 29th November – Snowman’s Bauble Decorations

£4 per child, booking advisable, age 4+

Saturdays and Sundays 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th December – Christmas Pudding Trail


Christmas Kingdom Ice Skating

Celtic Manor, Newport

Thursday 26th November to Sunday 3rd January

Prices from £10.50 for adults, more at peak times; £8.50 concessions, £7.50 children; 45 minutes sessions, includes skate hire

The rooftop garden once again becomes home to a sparking ice rink with festive music and the opportunity to buy wintery warming treats adding to the Christmassy atmosphere.


Fairytale Forest

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th November, Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Wednesday 23rd December, 11am-4pm


A fairy tale forest will be taking over the centre’s foyer this Christmas, with free craft workshops for participants to create trees, plants, flowers and foliage to fill out the forwesy. Inspired by the world of fairy tales, stories will be woven into the forest as it grows. Fom giant bean stalks to gingerbread houses, big bad wolves to Rapunzel’s Tower, there will be a new fairytale to explore each weekend.


Memo Christmas Festival Market and Santa’s Grotto

Memo Arts Centre, Barry

Saturday 28th November

11am-4pm; entry free to the festival, Santa’s Grotto £6,50

Over 30 stalls selling handmade crafts and gifts, festive film screenings, plus Santa’s post office and grotto, where children can discuss wish lists with the elves, write a letter and post it.


Reindeer Parade


Sunday 29th November, 11am-2pm


Santa’s Grotto, 1.30pm-4pm, free but tickets needed, available from 11am on the day

Father Christmas and his elves will travel through Cowbridge on a sleigh, pulled by reindeer. The parade starts at 12noon, followed by live music. You can also meet Santa in his grotto.


Penarth Christmas Festival

Sunday 29th November, 2pm-6pm

An afternoon of festive celebrations as Penarth switches on its lights.


Coco-Cola Truck

Asda Coryton

Thursday, December 3, 12-8pm.

“Holidays are coming, holidays are coming.” The famous truck is once more coming to Cardiff, this time to Asda Cardiff Coryton. You can take your photo with the truck, get a free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero or Coke Life, as well as soaking up the festive spirit with seasonal music and a snowy winter wonderland setting.


Santa’s Post Office

Mermaid Quay

Weekends during December, plus Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December; free

Let the elves help your children write a letter to Father Chrtistmas, the post in Santa’s enchanted post box and watch its route on the magic map. Santa will reply to all letters himself, although post before Friday 18th to get a response before Christmas.


The Bambino Bazaar and Festive Fun Day

YMCA, Plasnewydd Community Centre, Cardiff

£2 for adults; children free

As well as market stalls selling baby and children’s clothes, toys and equipment, there will also be children’s entertainment throughout the day, including Daisy’s Dressing Up Box, a Christmas decoration workshop with Cwtch Club, face painting and for younger children, sessions with Hartbeeps, Mucky Pups and Party Fizz.


Reindeer Day

Margam Country Park

Saturday 5th December, 11am

Free event; parking £4.70

A chance to meet the Gower Fresh Reindeer, meet Jimmy Juggles the cheeky Christmas elf, buy a Christmas tree and enjoy a winter walk in the park.


Santa Deer Feeds

Margam Country Park

Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Tuesday 23rd December, 10.30am

Must be prebooked; car £15, minibus £55, coach £150

A chance to see Santa feeding his deer in the beautiful setting of Margam Park.


Do you wanna build a marshmallow snowman?

Saturday 5th, 12th and 19th December

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Wenvoe

9.30am-10.50am, in 20-minute slots; £5; must be pre-booked

A chance for little ones to build a marshmallow snowman, with a guest appearance from Frozen character, Elsa.


Velindre Reindeer Run

From Velindre Hospital to Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff

Saturday 5th December, 7pm

A one-mile run through Whitchurch to raise much-needed funds for the Velindre Cancer Centre. Entry costs £15 for adults, £10 for 5-16 year olds and £3 for the under-fives. You need to enter by Monday 30th November – or come along and show your support on the day for those running.


The Great Cardiff Bay Santa Elf Dash

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

Sunday 6th December, 12-2pm

Now in its third year, more than 1,000 Santas and elves will be running or walking 5k to raise money for Welsh Hearts. Pre-register to take part £24 for a family of four), or show your support on the day.


Big Pit Babies Christmas Event

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon

Saturday 12th December, 11.30am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-2.30pm

£5 per child including a gift, must be pre-booked. Suitable for ages 0-5.

Younger visitors will meet Mother Christmas and find out what’s been happening in the Christmas household. Has Rudolph been a good reindeer this year? Has Father Christmas finished painting the sleigh.


Family Christmas Craft Activities

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December, 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm; free

A chance to make a special Christmas decoration in this free, drop-in workshop.


Family Festive Fun

National Museum Cardiff

Saturday 12th December, 11am-4pm, free

A day of craft activities, storytelling and face-painting, plus a chance to meet Santa at 3pm.


Party Fizz Christmas Parties

All Saints Church Hall, Rhiwbina

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December

Must be pre-booked; £8 for one baby/child or £12 for 2 or more siblings)

Party sessions for ages 0-5 with themed music and activities, action and movement songs and dances, party games, parachute games, bubbles, snow machine and much more.


Discotots Christmas Parties

Saturday 19th December – Whitchurch

Monday 21st December – Heath

£7 per child, £2 extra per walking sibling; suitable for ages walking to four years.

Christmas songs, dancing musical games and festive treats in Discotots’ annual Christmas parties, perfect for pre-schoolers.


Christmas Fun Day

All Nations Church, Heath, Cardiff

Saturday 19th December, 3pm-5pm


Christmas crafts and activities for all the family.



Where to see Father Christmas

*Last year, Father Christmas was also at Tesco Extra, Western Avenue Cardiff; Tea with Santa at John Lewis Cardiff. No details available as yet, but I’ll update these and any others as soon as I can.


Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Radyr, Cardiff

Saturday 7th November until Wednesday 23rd December

£10 per child and £3 per adult

The award-winning winter wonderland at Pugh’s returns, with an extra 10 magical minutes, giving families an enchanting 30-minute adventure through Santa’s Enchanted Forest.


Santa’s Frozen Garden

Pugh’s Garden Centre, Wenvoe

From Saturday 14th November until Wednesday 23rd December

Children £7, babies under 2 years £3.50, first adult free, additional adult £ each

Visit Santa in his Frozen garden, as his elves take you on a magical journey before meeting the man in red for photos and gifts.


Santa’s Grotto

Queen Street, Cardiff

Thursday 12th November-Thursday 24th December

£6 per child, including two adults.

Visit Father Christmas in his log cabin and listen to Rudolph sing.


Christmas Kingdom Santa’s Grotto

Celtic Manor, Newport

Thursday 26th November-Thursday 24th December

From £12.50 per child (more at peak times) or opt for the afternoon tea package

A winter adventure in Celtic Manor’s Christmas Kingdom. Children not only get to meet Santa but help Mrs Claus decorate gingerbread Christmas trees in her kitchen. Write and post your letter in the North Pole post box and visit the reindeer.


Santa’s Grotto

Cefn Mably Farm Park, Cardiff

Open from Saturday 28th-Sunday 29th November

£6.50 per child including gift (plus regular farm admission)


Meet Father Christmas

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th, Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Wednesday 23rd December, 10.30am-2.30pm


Father Christmas will be meeting and greeting children in his grotto at Wales Millennium Centre.


Afternoon tea with Santa

Adults £12, under 12s £8

You can also book for afternoon tea of sandwiches and sweet treats with him in WMC’s Ffresh restaurant on the same days.


I Met Father Christmas

Hamleys Toy Store, St David’s 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Saturday 28th November-Thursday 24th December, 10am-7pm

Children will get up to one hour with Santa at breakfast, brunch, lunch and tea events (not all events available on all dates), take part in seasonal activities, sing festive songs and listen to stories, enjoy snacks and receive a special gift bag from Father Christmas to take home. Read my review here.


Christmas Weekends

Tredegar House, Newport

Saturdays and Sundays 28th & 29th November, 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th December, 11am-4pm

Usual entrance fees apply plus £2.50 per child to see Father Christmas

It’s A Christmas Carol themed festive period at Tredegar House, with traditional crafts, games and activities on offer around the house. You can stir the Christmas pudding in the Great Kitchen, make a pomander and hang your wish on the Christmas tree. Father Christmas will be visiting – but beware as Scrooge might be lurking around the corner!


Meet Father Christmas

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Saturdays and Sundays 28th & 29th November, 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th December, 11am-3pm

£4 per child, must be pre-booked

A chance to meet Father Christmas in the beautifully decorated National Trust mansion.


Cosy Christmas Grotto

Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran

Sunday 29th November (opens at 12noon)-Wednesday 23rd December

10am-3.33pm Monday-Thursday; 10am-5pm Friday to Sunday

Normal admission applies plus £3 per child to visit Father Christmas.

A chance to meet Father Christmas at

You can also watch the animal nativity every day at 11.30am plus meet the beautiful reindeer of Lylac Ridge on Sundays 6th, 13th and 20th December.


Santa Specials

Brecon Mountain Railway

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Wednesday 23rd December

Adults £13.75, children 15 and under £11.75, babies under 36 months free (but must be booked). Booking essential.

Now in its 30th year, families can travel by steam train from Pant Station to Santa’s Grotto where everyone will received a present from Father Christmas.


Tea Party With Father Christmas

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Tuesday 22nd, 11am, 1pm and 3pm (Saturday 11am sessions conducted in Welsh)

£14 per child including gift and one adult entry; ages 4-12

A tea party where you’ll be greeted by elves and join a tea party hosted by Santa and Mary Christmas. Santa will greet all children individually and then you can head to the school house to write your letter to Santa and post it in the post box at Blaenwaun, Wales’s smallest post office.


Santa’s Grotto

Cardiff Castle

Saturday 5th-Wednesday 23rd December

From £7.50 per child

All the English-language sessions have sold out, and there’s limited availability for Welsh language sessions. You might want to bookmark this one for next year!


Santa Claus Tours

Wales Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday 5th-Thursday 24th December (excluding Sunday 6th)

Did you know that the grass on the pitch is grown an inch longer each December and that the roof is left open so Santa can touch down and restock his sleigh in Cardiff, while his reindeer have a quick graze on the pitch? A festive highlights tour of the stadium, visiting yhe press suite, dressing rooms, players tunnel and pitch.


Santa Trains

Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway

Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th-Monday 21st December

From £9

Take the steam engine to see Santa in his grotto. Each child receives a gift and there’s a mince pie and sherry for the adults.


Santa Claus’ North Pole Grotto in aid of the Noah’s Ark

Ikea, Cardiff  Bay

Saturday 5th-Wednesday 23rd December

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

Meet Santa and his elves in his grotto, with all proceeds going to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity, which supports 100,000 sick and vulnerable children in Wales each year.

Ikea will be celebrating Santa’s arrival at 11am on Saturday 5th December, with special guests Anna and Elsa from Frozen, carol singing from Willow’s High School, and can also have their face painted.

No booking required but please be advised that Santa will be busier during popular periods.


Santa Special – Cardiff Model Engineering Society

Model Railway, Heath Park

Sunday 6th December, 11.30am-4pm

Unfortunately, this one is already sold out, but I’m including it in case you want to bookmark it for next year. Tickets go on sale in September and sell out within a couple of hours.


Father Christmas at the Grotto

Pontypool Park

Sunday 6th December, from 12pm

Father Christmas will call in to meet the youngsters of Pontypool in the mystical Grotto, high on the hill in Pontypool Park.


Father Christmas at Big Pit

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon

Saturday 19th December, 12pm-4pm

£5 per child, to include a gift. No booking necessary.

Father Christmas will arrive at Pit Top, travelling 300ft up from underground on his way to Lapland. Children can visit him in his cottage and tell him what’s on their Christmas list.


Tea With Santa at John Lewis Cardiff

£8; tickets available from the gift list area on the first floor.


Santa’s Sleigh – Cardiff Round Table

Various dates around Cardiff, with more to be announced.


Santa’s Sleigh – Barry Round Table

Various dates around Barry, with more to be announced.


So many events! Which ones are you going to be attending?

Enjoy the festive season and thanks for reading Cardiff Mummy Says – I appreciate all of your support. If you could help me share this post across social media, I would be so grateful. If you’re new to Cardiff Mummy Says, do come join us on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, follow me on Instagram or tweet me on @cardiffmummy

For other family-friendly activities in and around Cardiff, visit the Cardiff section of my blog.

For all my Christmas posts, click here.


5 Comments to Christmas 2015: 75 festive family-friendly events in and around Cardiff including where to see Father Christmas

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