We have put together a list of the most popular places you can visit Father Christmas and his elves in Cornwall this Christmas, 2018.

Good news, there is no need to take the family all the way to the North Pole to visit Father Christmas. In Cornwall, he can be found at lots of fun festive places to make your Christmas break special.

Father Christmas on a Lifeboat in St Ives

A St Ives Christmas tradition, Father Christmas will be arriving by lifeboat with a little help from his friends at the RNLI. Santa will ride the high tide and greet a harbour front full of hundreds of people waving him in. The Mayor is there for a special greeting and then Santa and the elves will ride his sleigh around the harbour to say hello to all the families. See our ‘Christmas in St Ives guide’ and explore more festive activities in the town.

Friday 7th December – 6 pm

Address: St Ives, Harbour Front, The Wharf

Cost: FREE

Ice Palace Grotto in St Ives

Tucked away in his Ice Palace Grotto on the Wharf, visit Father Christmas and his elves and whilst the family waits there is face painting, juggling, snowflakes and the beautiful St Ives Mermaid is making a special appearance.

Saturday 8th December: 11.30 am – 4 pm (1.30pm-2pm closed for Santa to get a pasty)

Address: St Ives, Harbour Front, The Wharf

Cost: £3 per child – Gift included

Santa In Cornwall

Santa Fun Run in Falmouth

Imagine a sea of red Santa uniforms running through the streets of Falmouth. Every year, all the Father Christmas’s run, jog, dance and walk either 1.5 km or 3km to support Cornwall Hospice Care. To take part, you register your name and get a FREE Santa suit, families are more than welcome to enter. AT the finish line you get a very special medal along with a well-deserved mince pie.

Saturday 15th December: 1 pm start (get there early to warm up)

Entry Deadline: 11th December

Address: The Moor, Falmouth

Cost: £13.50 per adult, £7.50 per child, Under 3’s FREE, £37.50 per family ticket (2 adults x 2 children)

Santa by Steam at Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Starting with mince pies, Christmas carols and seasonal drinks on the Bodmin general station platform, Santa will be waiting on the train in his grotto. Climb aboard for an hour-long ride and experience the magical elves and make your way to Father Christmas, have your photo taken and receive a special gift.

1st – 24th December: Selected dates and Booking times

Address: General Station, Bodmin

Cost: From £13 – £15 per person

Christmas Grotto in Redruth Public Library

Santa has chosen a new place to visit this year and will be in Redruth, so the family can meet Father Christmas in a cosy reading corner surrounded by his elves for FREE at the Redruth library every Saturday in December between 10 am and 2 pm.

Saturday 1st December
Saturday 8th December
Saturday 15th December
Saturday 22nd December

Address: Redruth Public Library, Clinton Road, Redruth

Cost: FREE

Santa in Cornwall under Christmas lights with glasses

Santa Special at Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Bring all the family aboard for a magical return steam train journey and receive a gift from Father Christmas on your individual visit to his grotto. Indulge in a mince pie (gluten-free alternatives) and a hot drink, with a mulled wine option for adults. Children’s activities such as card colouring and Christmas letter writing, are taking place with Harry Kazzam entertaining with balloon making and much more.

Dates throughout December include:
Saturday 8th
Sunday 9th
Saturday 15th
Sunday 16th
Thursday 20th
Friday 21st
Saturday 22nd
Sunday 23rd
Monday 24th

Cost: £12.95 per adult or child ages 1-15

£7.50 per infant up to 12 months or FREE excluding gift from Santa

Santa’s Grotto at Paradise Park, Hayle

Whilst you are visiting award-winning wildlife sanctuary Paradise Park, you can book in to see Father Christmas with his fairies and elves. With everyone having an individual visit, a quality amount of time with Santa and a gift included, Paradise Park has FREE parking to accommodate.

From 12 pm to 2 pm on the following December weekends
Saturday 1st
Sunday 2nd
Saturday 8th
Sunday 9th

Then 12 pm to 2 pm every day from the 15th December to the 24th December

Cost: No advance booking. Tickets available on the day from 10 am.

£5.45 per child (includes gift)

Santa in cornwall

Father Christmas visits The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell

Make the most of your trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan this December and take the family through a magical Christmas trail to take part in Christmas craft workshops and end up in Santa’s grotto where children can show him the letter they have written. With a Christmas themed ‘sensory journey’ through the gardens and carols to add to the festive mood, The Lost Gardens offer a cosy Christmas experience.

15th to the 24th December: 10 am – 4 pm

Cost: Heligan Members/Local Pass holders is £7 per child, £2 per adult

Silent Elf Disco and Visit Father Christmas at Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo is offering lots of special Christmas activities for the family, including the all-important visit to Santa Claus. With a candy cane trail that includes a special gift once completed and a silent elf boogie disco, there is fun for everyone at the Zoo this Christmas.

Saturday 15th: 10.00am – 4.15pm
Sunday 16th: 10.00am – 4.15pm

Cost: Santa Visit – £7.50 per child, Elf Boogie Day Disco – £3. Normal admission fee applies. BOOK IN ADVANCE

‘Behind the Scenes’ with Father Christmas at The Eden Project

The Eden Project never disappoint. Children can have a sneak peek at Father Christmas’s workshop to see where the letters are kept, where the elves sleep and most importantly will sit down to have a story with the man in red himself. More relaxed, pre-bookable sessions are available for children on the autism spectrum, accommodating those with sensory, communication needs or learning disabilities.

Book dates and time slots online from Friday 30th November up to Monday 24th December.

Cost: £8-£10* On top of general admission. *Prices change depending on the number of children and adults.

Bedruthan Sugar and Spice Grotto, Bedruthan

A fantastic take on a Nordic style experience, Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas have crash landed and the Cornish elves need help getting the sleigh in the air in time for Christmas Eve. With Christmas crafts, snow angels, caverns and snow covered trees to journey through, lots of energy and magic is needed to reach Father Christmas’s grotto.

From Saturday 1st December till Sunday 23rd December

Cost: £15 – 1 child and 1 adult, £10 – Off-peak, £5 – Additional adult (2 additional adults max)

Santa waving in grotto in cornwall

National Trust Christmas Illuminations, Cornwall

There are a variety of Christmas memories to be made at a National Trust from armistice remembrance to a Tudor Christmas.


Christmas is magical at Cotehele this year with the traditional 60ft long flower garland complemented with beautiful artwork to remember the Armistice. There’ll be carols, a family trail, crafts and Mother and Father Christmas.


Enjoy a Victorian Christmas with Father Christmas, festive cooking in the kitchen, traditional Christmas decorations in selected rooms, or follow a bike trail.


See the garden illuminated like a Christmas wonderland. There is festive storytelling as you gather around Father Christmas and you can even make your wooden reindeer to take home. Keep an eye out for the real reindeer, too.


The barn restaurant is lit with a sky of hundreds of golden stars. Tudor Father Christmas shares some traditional tales and there are lots of craft activities.

No matter what your age, a visit to see Father Christmas can bring that warm magical glow of excitement that we associate with Christmas, reminding us of the wonderful traditions we grew up with and making new memories for the younger members of our family and friends. 

By: Tony Townsend On:26th November 2018

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