SANTA'S GROTTOS AND EXPERIENCES IN DORSET

It's that time of year when parents everywhere seek to book the perfect magical Christmas experience for their little darlings and there's definitely lots to choose from in Dorset as he pops up in traditional woodland grottos, trains, a boat and even a tank!

Please see our list below to see where he'll be visiting near you.

EAST DORSET

ADVENTURE WONDERLAND - WILD CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND

There’s plenty to do at Adventure Wonderland over the Christmas period with unlimited play in the festive Wild Thing soft play, nativity cuddles corner and the family friendly pantomime.  Book the full Christmas experience and you can visit Santa in his snowy log cabin and receive a gift.

Dates - Various dates in November and December 2018

Adventure Wonderland, Merritown Lane, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6BA
Contact Tel 01202 483444

For more information please visit the Adventure Wonderland Website.

FARMER PALMERS

Meet Father Christmas in his winter cabin to receive a special gift during your visit to Farmer Palmers.  Pre booking is not required, simply purchase your tickets at the reception desk on arrival.

Dates - Various dates in December 2018

Farmer Palmers, Wareham Road, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6EU
Contact Tel 01202 622022

For more information please visit the Farmer Palmers Website.

CITY CRUISES - SAIL WITH SANTA

Hop on board a City Cruises boat and head around Poole Harbour for a Santa experience with a difference.  There's going to be plenty of fun for all the family with children's entertainment, music, festive food and drink plus a visit from Father Christmas himself.

Dorsetmums Recommends – To read our review from a previous year, please visit the Dorsetmums blog.

Dates - Various dates in December 2018

For more information please visit the City Cruises Poole Website.

BOURNEMOUTH GARDENS - SANTA'S GROTTO

Santa’s Grotto will be found in Bournemouth Gardens in the heart of the Christmas Tree Wonderland and Father Christmas will be waiting for the children inside his cosy cottage.  Ticket price includes a present and photo from Santa plus exclusive discounts and offers for the Bournemouth Christmas market.

Dorsetmums Recommends - To read our review, please visit the Dorsetmums blog.

Dates - 23 November to 24 December 2018

For more information please visit the Christmas in Bournemouth Website.

Photo Credit - Bournemouth & Poole Tourism

STEWARTS GARDEN CENTRE - WINTER WONDERLAND AND PENGUIN QUEST

Children can walk through the magical snowy walkway to visit Santa in his Grotto and receive their gift and activity pack.

Dates - 24 November to 24 December 2018

Stewarts Garden Centre, Somerford, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 4SA
Contact Tel 01425 272244

For more information please visit the Stewarts Garden Centre Website.

COMPTON ACRES - BREAKFAST WITH FATHER CHRISTMAS

The Breakfast with Father Christmas mornings are always popular.  Children will receive a special Christmas gift from Santa himself whilst the whole family enjoy a delicious Full English Breakfast.

Dates - 15, 22 and 24 December 2018

Compton Acres, 164 Canford Cliffs Road, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7ES
Contact Tel 01202 700778

For more information please visit the Compton Acres Website.

RUSSELL-COTES MUSEUM

Father Christmas will be making a special appearance at the Russell Cotes Museum for one weekend only and children will receive a small gift. 

Dates - 8 and 9 December 2018

The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Russell Cotes Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 3AA
Contact Tel 01202 451820

For more information please visit the Russell-Cotes Museum Website.

UPTON COUNTRY PARK - SANTA'S WOODLAND GROTTO

The woodland grotto will have real wood cabins and animals for the children to meet and Father Christmas will have a gift for them too.  In addition to this, you will receive a printed photograph of your meeting with Santa.

Dates – Various dates from 30 November to 24 December 2018

Upton Country Park, Poole Road, Poole, Dorset, BH17 7BJ
Contact Tel 01202 262753

For more information please visit the Upton Country Park Website.

DOLPHIN SHOPPING CENTRE - POOLE

Santa's hidden somewhere in the Nordic Nook, to find him, your little ones are invited to follow the bells through the centre and unlock the doors to reveal his secret location!  The centre has been transorfmed into a winter wonderland, where you'll find plenty of free, festive activities to enjoy!

Dates - Various dates in December

Dolphin Shopping Centre, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1SZ

For more information and location details, please visit the Dolphin Shopping Centre Website.

Photo Credit - SKC Photography

RURAL AND NORTH DORSET

BAILEY RIDGE - CHRISTMAS CABIN

There is no need to book to visit Santa and his reindeer at Bailey Ridge.  Whilst you are there, wander through the beautifully stocked Christmas Cabin which will be full of festive gifts and decorations.

Dates – Various dates in December 2018

Bailey Ridge, Brackenheath, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 6HU
Contact Tel  01963 210999

For more information please visit the Bailey Ridge Website

HONEYBROOK ADVENTURE FARM - CHRISTMAS FARM AND FESTIVE GROTTO

Your ticket gives you admission to the farm for the day with use of all the play equipment, a ride on the festive sleigh, meet the animals and then make your way to the festive Grotto where the children will receive a gift and goody bag.
No need to book!

Dates - 23 November to 24 December 2018

Honeybrook Adventure Farm, Stanbridge, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 4JD

For more information please visit the Honeybrook Adventure Farm Website.

STEWARTS GARDEN CENTRE - WINTER WONDERLAND AND ELFISH EXPEDITION

Children can walk through the snowy winter wonderland grotto with musical animations and visit Santa to receive their gift.

Dates - 24 November to 24 December 2018

Stewarts Garden Centre, Broomhill, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7DF
Contact Tel 01202 882462

For more information please visit the Stewarts Garden Centre Website

WYEVALE GARDEN CENTRES - GROTTO AND DINING EXPERIENCE

Visit the magical Christmas grotto and you will find Santa greeting the children before they receive a special gift.  Alternatively you can have Breakfast or Tea with Santa where children will partake in festive activities, meet Santa, receive a gift and enjoy a freshly prepared meal.

Dates –  Various dates from 17 November to 24 December 2018

John Browns Garden Centre, Ringwood Road, Three Legged Cross, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 6RD
West Parley Garden Centre, 359 Christchurch Road, West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 8SJ
Wimborne Garden Centre, 229 Wimborne Road West, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 2DN

For more information please visit the Wyevale Garden Centre Website

MOORS VALLEY COUNTRY PARK

Fully Booked!

KINGSTON LACY

Fully Booked!

PURBECK AREA

MONKEY WORLD - SANTA'S GROTTO

Take a fairy-lit buggy ride deep into the park and visit Santa in his Grotto.  There will be mulled wine and mince pies for the grown ups and the children will receive a gift.

Dates - 17 to 21 December 2018

Monkey World, Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6HH
Contact Tel 01929 462487

For more information please visit the Monkey World Website.    

SWANAGE RAILWAY - SANTA SPECIALS

. Meet Santa on his special train and receive a gift.  During the 1 hour train journey there will be children’s entertainment and Santa’s helpers will be serving refreshments and festive goodies.

Dates - Various dates in December 2018

Train departs and returns to Swanage Station
Contact Tel 01929 425800

For more information please visit the Swanage Railway Website.     

THE TANK MUSEUM - VINTAGE CHRISTMAS AND GROTTO

This popular annual event has something for everyone.  Not only can you enjoy the museum but there’s also tons of festive stalls, live music, crafts, activities and the grotto.  Seeing Father Christmas arrive in a tank really is an experience not to be missed!

Dates - 1 and 2 December 2018

The Tank Museum, Linsay Road, Bovington, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6JG
Contact Tel 01929 405096

For more information please visit The Tank Museum Website.    

WEST DORSET

BREWERY SQUARE - MEET SANTA AND HIS REINDEER

Rudolph and Blitzen are coming back to Brewery Square and children can visit Father Christmas in his grotto from 12 Noon to 2pm.

Date – 24 December 2018

Brewery Square, 21 Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1QR
Contact Tel 01305 757000

For more information please visit the Brewery Square Website.   

WEYMOUTH SEA LIFE ADVENTURE PARK - CHRISTMAS GROTTO

You’ll be guided through the forest by a jolly Elf to meet Father Christmas in his enchanted Christmas cabin where each child will receive a special SEA LIFE gift.  Children will also be able to go in the Christmas Craft Zone to colour their own Christmas tree decorations or write a letter to Father Christmas.

Dorsetmums Recommends – To read our review from this year, please visit the Dorsetmums blog.

Dates – Various dates in December 2018

Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, DT4 7SX

For more information please visit the Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park Website

KINGSTON MAURWARD - CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA

Enjoy storytelling in the grand entrance of the house and then the adults can indulge in a mince pie and mulled wine before your child visits Santa in the Old Library to receive a gift.

Dates - 15 and 16 December 2018

Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY
Contact Tel 01305 215003

For more information please visit Kingston Maurward Website.    

WEYMOUTH CINEWORLD - CHRISTMAS GROTTO

Santa’s elves will welcome and escort you to his magically created lounge grotto.  Each child will have time to talk about their Christmas present wishes and receive a gift.

Dates – Various dates in December 2018

Cineworld, New Bond Street, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8LY

For more information please visit the We Are Weymouth Website.

SHIRE HALL HISTORIC COURTHOUSE MUSEUM - CHRISTMAS CRACKER NIGHTS

Judge Santa will be in Shire Hall’s courtroom deciding who has been naughty and nice.  Ticket price includes a visit to see Santa and a gift.

Dates – Various dates in December 2018

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UY
Contact Tel 01305 261849

For more information please visit the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum Website.   

Photo Credit - Marcin Wisniewki

WYEVALE GARDEN CENTRE - SANTA GROTTO AND DINING EXPERIENCE

Visit the magical Christmas grotto and you will find Santa greeting the children and they will receive a special gift.  Alternatively you can have Breakfast or Tea with Santa where children will partake in festive activities, meet Santa, receive a gift, and enjoy a freshly prepared meal.

Dates –  Various dates from 17 November to 24 December 2018

Galton Garden Centre, 24 Wareham Road, Owermoigne, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8BY

For more information please visit the Wyevale Garden Centre Website.   

FANTASY ISLAND FUN PARK

Come and meet Father Christmas and enjoy play time on the rides and soft play as part of the package price.

Dates - Various dates in December 2018

Fantasy Island Fun Park, Bowleaze Coveway, Weymouth, DT3 6PW 
01305 834746

For more information, please visit the Fantasy Island Fun Park Facebook page.

POUNDBURY GARDEN CENTRE

This beautifully decorated Grotto is run by volunteers raising money for Weldmar Hospicecare.  Children are invited to visit Father Christmas and received a lovely gift.  After your visit, the family will thoroughly enjoy a stroll around the garden centre to look at all the wonderful Christmas displays.

Dates - Various dates in December 2018

Poundbury Garden Centre, Peverell Avenue, Poundbury, Dorchester Dorset, DT1 3RT

For more information, please visit Poundbury Gardens.

RECOMMENDED OUTSIDE OF DORSET

LAPLAND UK

Lapland UK is the closest you’ll get to Lapland without leaving the Country.  It’s a truly magical and enchanting experience for both children and adults.  The journey starts before you’ve even left the house with a personal invitation from Father Christmas requesting help in the toy factory.  When you arrive you will be given your Lapland UK passport and then head off to wander through the amazing snowy woodland to stop off at the toy factory before meeting Mother Christmas and Father Christmas.

Dates - 17 November to 24 December 2018

Lapland UK, Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Winkfield Row, Ascot, SL5 8BD

For more information, please visit the Lapland UK Website.    

MARWELL ZOO

You’ll begin your experience in the magical winter forest where the family can enjoy some festive drinks and listen to Mother Christmas as she tells stories from Neverland in Pirate Cove.  Children can then create their own Christmas present bag in the elves workshop before meeting Santa in his grotto to receive a gift.  Ticket includes entry to the Zoo. 

Dates - Various dates in November and December 2018

Marwell Zoo, Thompsons Lane, Colden Common, Winchester, SO21 1JY
Contact Tel 0844 7364200

For more information, please visit the Marwell Zoo Website.    

PAULTONS PARK

Peppa Pig World is transformed into a magical wonderland with twinkly fairy lights, music and giant Christmas trees.  Children can visit Santa in his magical grotto, receive a gift and enjoy some of the rides and attractions which will be open.

Dates - Selected dates from 24 November to 23 of December 2018

Paultons Park, Ower, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 6AL
Contact Tel 023 80814442

For more information, please visit the Paultons Park Website.

LONGLEAT

Discover the magic of storytelling in this year’s illuminated lantern display.  On selected dates you can jump onboard the Santa train where you’ll head to the snow covered North Pole and meet Father Christmas in his festive grotto.

Dates – Festival of Light runs until 6 January 2019 and the Santa Train runs until 28 December 2018

Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW
Contact Tel 01985 844400

For more information, please visit the Longleat Website.       

WINCHESTER SCIENCE CENTRE

Santa and his elves are back at the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium and this time they are joined by Jack and the beanstalk! A Christmas experience like no other with a live science show inspired by the classic children’s tale, an elf-led activity, Christmas planetarium show and chance to meet Santa.

Dates 1 - 24 December 2018

Address Winchester Science Science, Telegraph Way, Winchester, SO21 1HZ

For more information, please visit Winchester Science Centre.

Dorsetmums has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this site and does not accept liability for any errors or omission.  Please also note that an event or venue may cancel or close at any time and therefore you should consider contacting beforehand.