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BOBBY'S BOURNEMOUTH santa's grotto

Experience the wonder of the Christmas season at Bobby’s Bournemouth Santa’s Grotto.  Step into a world of enchantment as you visit Santa in his magical dome, receive a special present, and capture cherished memories with professional photos.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Bobby & Co, The Square, 2-12 Commercial Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5LP
Booking: Back Garden Bubbles

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Meet Father Christmas in his snowy log cabin, receive a gift and enjoy unlimited play in the Wild Thing indoor play centre.  The experience also includes a festive family pantomime, ’The Wizard of Oz!

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Adventure Wonderland, Merritown Lane, Hurn, Dorset, BH23 6BA
Booking: Adventure Wonderland

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Marvel in the magic of the railway at Christmas and visit Father Christmas and his elves in his special railway grotto. Experience includes a wander through the Christmassy Winter Wonderland, train ride, presents and refreshments for everyone.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Moors Valley Country Park, Horton Road, Ashley Heath, Ringwood, BH24 2ET
Booking: Moors Valley Railway

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On arrival, your child will be given a ‘Golden Ticket’ to see Santa.  Firstly, the family can enjoy 45 minutes exploring the museum, where there will be a festive trail and the opportunity to make Christmas crafts and write a letter to Santa.  After, the elves will lead you from the museum kitchen down to the Garden Room where Santa will tell an interactive story to the group and give each child a gift to take home.

Dates: Saturday 2 & Saturday 16 December 2023
Address: Museum of East Dorset, 23-29 High Street, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1HR
Booking: Museum of East Dorset

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MOONACRE'S santa's grotto

The enchanting Christmas event is designed to create cherished memories for families and children of all ages. Highlights include visiting Santa, gingerbread decorating, Mrs Claus story time, hot chocolate with marshmallows, soft play for under 3’s and inflatable for under 7’s.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Moonacre, Roundhouse Roundabout, Lytchett Matravers, Dorset, BH21 4AA
Booking: Back Garden Bubbles

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FARMER PALMERS father christmas experience & twilight christmas experience

At Christmas time, the farm park gets a full festive makeover and the team will be transformed into extraordinary elves. The Father Christmas Experience will see children meet the big man in red and all his festive friends in the magical Christmas barn. Every child with a ticket will receive a gift from the elves at Ye Olde Toy Shoppe!

The Twilight Experience has been very popular in recent years and your evening will include meeting Father Christmas, Madam Claus and all the elves under twinkling Christmas lights.

Dates: From Saturday 9 December 2023
Address: Farmer Palmers, Wareham Road, Organford, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6EU
Booking: Farmer Palmers

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NICKS FARM meet santa & more

Visit the elves and Father Christmas in his magical grotto and receive a special gift.  While you’re there you can enjoy seeing the farm animals and take part in Christmas crafts.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Nicks Farm, Valley Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 0EB
Booking: Nicks Farm Facebook page

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STEWARTS GARDEN CENTRES winter wonderland experience

Journey through Santa’s winter wonderland where friendly elves will guide you to meet Father Christmas in his grotto. If the children have been good then they might receive a present!

Dates: Saturday 25 November – Sunday 24 December 2023
Address: Stewarts Garden Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 4SA
Address: Stewarts Garden Centre, God's Blessing Lane, Broomhill, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7DE
Booking: Stewarts Garden Centres

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CITY CRUISES sail with santa

Santa is taking a break from the North Pole to embark on Santa cruises around Poole Harbour.  Adults can enjoy a mulled wine and mince pie while listening to Christmas carols.  Santa will also be walking around the boat, meeting all the children, and each child will receive a Christmas present.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Location: Poole Harbour
Booking: City Cruises

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JULIA'S HOUSE winter wonderland

Julia’s House Charity have gone all out this year with a magical winter wonderland and a chance to meet Santa himself.  Santa will be joined by elves and Olaf and children can share their Christmas wish lists and receive a gift.

Dates: Thursday 30 November – Sunday 3 December 2023
Address: Julia’s House, Neighbourhood Centre, Northmead Drive, Poole, Dorset, BH17 7XL
Booking: Julia’s House

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LOLLIPOPS CAFE father christmas experience

This year Lollipops are bringing the Christmas magic inside the café.  During the session, children will have fun on the soft play, visit Father Christmas and enjoy some Christmas snacks.  Each child will receive a small gift and have an opportunity for photos with Father Christmas.

Dates: Wednesday 20 & Thursday 21 December 2023
Address: Lollipops Café, 16 Landseer Road, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH4 9EH
Booking: Lollipops Cafe

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AVON HEATH COUNTRY PARK santa's enchanted winter experience & santa's grotto

Santa’s Grotto - Join Santa and his elves in his magical cabin.  Each paying child receives a gift from Santa as well as a personal meet and greet with the whole family.

Santa’s Enchanted Winter Experience - Visit Santa in a colourful world as you embark on a magical journey in the enchanted forest.  At the end of the adventure you will find Santa in his grotto where every paying child will receive a gift.

Dates: From Saturday 3 December
Address: Avon Heath Country Park, Brocks Pine, St Leonards, BH24 2DH
Booking: Ticket Source

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CASTLEPOINT SHOPPING CENTRE santa's grotto & christmas fun

Castlepoint in Bournemouth are going to have a magical elevator to see Santa in his Grotto plus an indoor roller rink, ringos, VR experiences, live performances, music and festive films showing on a big screen.

Dates: From Friday 1 December 2023
Address: Castlepoint Shopping Centre, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 9UZ
Booking: Castlepoint Shopping Centre


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SWANAGE PIER santa's grotto

Be greeted by Father Christmas’ Elves, enjoy the winter wonderland grotto, write your letter and post it in the magical post box all before meeting the big man to receive a gift.

Dates: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 plus Saturday 16 – Saturday 23 December 2023
Address: Swanage Pier, Pier Approach, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2AP
Booking: Swanage Pier Trust

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MONKEY WORLD santa visit

As well as meeting Santa and receiving a special present, your little monkeys can enjoy a Christmas trail around the park and make a present for the primates with Santa’s elves.

Dates: Tuesday 19 & Wednesday 20 December 2023
Address: Monkey World, Tout Hill, Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6HH
Booking: Monkey World

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SWANAGE RAILWAY polar express

Prepare to embark on an extraordinary adventure as THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride comes to Swanage Railway.  During the one-hour train ride, you can expect to be immersed in festive fun, accompanied by beloved songs and characters from the film.  As it is Christmas, and with magic filling the air, you never know who you might encounter or receive a special gift from.  Get ready to sing, dance, and witness the magic unfold while indulging in delicious hot chocolate.  Dress in your comfiest pyjamas and let the festive atmosphere surround you, creating unforgettable memories.

Dates: Friday 17 November – Saturday 30 December 2023
Location: Swanage Railway
Booking: The Polar Express

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THE BLUE POOL santa's grotto

Visit Father Christmas in his Grotto and children will receive a gift. There will also be an Elf Trail running throughout December and the tea room will be offering festive treats.

Please note, booking is not required, just turn up on the day.

Dates: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 plus 16 – 23 December 2023
Address: The Blue Pool, Furzebrook Road, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5AR
More info: The Blue Pool


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Meet Father Christmas in his cosy cabin where children will receive a special gift. After meeting Father Christmas you are free explore the gardens for a winters stroll.  A child’s Santa’s Grotto ticket includes entry to the gardens for the child plus one free accompanying adult.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Address: Buller's Way, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4LA
Booking: Abbotsbury Gardens

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NUTLEY FARM visit father christmas

Wander along the magical, illuminated 600m route, enjoy dazzling light structures and a giant lit-up reindeer, pass through glittering archways, and gaze at the twinkling trees and light installations.  The trail has lighting spectacles, projections and surprises around each corner.  Take part in the Elf hunt and visit the resident reindeer, Ruldolph, Prancer, Sprout and Parsnip, in their stable.  Father Christmas will also return to his Nutley Farm grotto, nestled majestically amongst a Christmas wonderland.

Dates: From Friday 24 November 2023
Address: Nutley Farm, Winfrith Newburgh, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8DT
Booking: Nutley Farm

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FOXDOWN CHILDREN'S FARM santa's experience

Families can enjoy an hour slot on the farm where there will be festive activities and animals in the barn plus the opportunity to visit Santa and receive a gift.

Dates: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10, Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 December 2023
Address: Foxdown Children’s Farm, Marshwood, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5QB
Booking: Foxdown Children's Farm

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SEAL'S COVE santa's grotto

Visit Seal's Cove where the kids can have fun in the soft play and receive an age appropriate gift from Santa.

There will also be character visits including the Grinch on other selected dates.

Dates: Monday 11, Saturday 16 & Tuesday 19 December 2023
Address: Seal’s Cove, Shoe Lane, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3EX
Booking: Seal’s Cove

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MOONFLEET MANOR HOTEL moonfleets winter wonderland grotto

Santa Claus is coming to the Moonfleet Manor Hotel and he's making a special stop at their magical Winter Wonderland Grotto!  With your child's ticket, enjoy time with Santa, complete with a thoughtful gift and reindeer food for Rudolph and the gang.  Indulge in hot chocolate and cookies while adults enjoy tea, coffee and mince pies.  After, little ones can explore the indoor play area.

Dates: From 2 December 2023
Address: Moonfleet Manor Hotel, Fleet Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4ED
Booking: Moonfleet Manor Hotel


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BOO'S TOY SHOP afternoon tea with santa

Boo's Toy Shop will be hosting a wonderful afternoon tea with Santa.  Children will receive a Christmas treat box, Santa visit, gift and photo plus arts and crafts will be available.

Dates: Sunday 10 & Sunday 17 December 2023
Address: Boos Toy Shop, Unit D, 3 Crown Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 3EN
Booking: Boo's Toy Shop

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KEY WEST RESTAURANT breakfast with santa

Santa will be journeying down from the North Pole to visit all the good girls and boys and share a festive breakfast at Key West Bar & Grill.  You will be greeted by Santa’s merry elves and handed some special notepaper where children can write a letter to Father Christmas and post it in the magical post box before meeting the big man himself!  Santa loves a selfie so why not dress up in your Christmas clothing and capture the unforgettable moment.  All children receive a gift so they can take the magic home!

Dates: From Saturday 9 December 2023
Address: Key West Bar & Grill, Bournemouth Pier, Dorset, BH2 5AA
Booking: Key West Bournemouth

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GROVES NURSERY tea with santa

Santa will be visiting along with Picklebottom the Elf (Strawberry Jam Entertainments) for an evening of festive fun.  Expect a Christmassy show, games, some delicious food and of course visit to see Santa!  After you have had your dinner, each family will be invited to visit Santa in his special festive grotto to receive a special gift.

Dates: Sunday 7, Sunday 14 & Sunday 21 December 2023
Address: Groves Nursery, 74 West Bay Road, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 4BA
Booking: Groves Nurseries

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BLANDFORD BREWERY TAP breakfast with santa

Enjoy a breakfast, story time with Santa Clause or Mrs Clause, a gift and photo opportunities.

Dates: From Saturday 9 December 2023
Address: The Brewery Tap, Bournemouth Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 9LS
Booking: Woodhouse Brewery Tap


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COMPTON ACRES breakfast with santa

Santa will be visiting The Italian Villa to visit your table and give a gift while you enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast.

Dates: Thursday 21, Friday 22 & Sunday 24 December 2023
Address: Compton Acres, 164 Canford Cliffs Road, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7ES
Booking: Compton Acres

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Enjoy a lovely breakfast and entertainment provided by Minky Moo's!  Santa and his elves will be dancing, singing and getting you into the Christmas spirit and they're bringing back the famous snow machine!  Each child will receive a small gift from Brewhouse and Kitchen as well as some treats from Santa.

Dates: Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 December 2023
Address: Brewhouse & Kitchen, 147 Parkwood Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH5 2BW
Booking: Design My Night

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THE WALLED GARDEN breakfast with santa

The Dovecote Café will have a specially prepared Christmas buffet breakfast of pastries, pancakes with toppings, fruit selection, plus milk and cookies! Stopping by for a visit will be Father Christmas and his elf helper! Enjoy a special Christmas story reading, and every child receives a gift from Santa.  Adults can enjoy a homemade full English breakfast too.

Dates: Monday 18, Thursday 21 & Friday 22 December 2023
Address: The Walled Garden, Moreton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8RG
Booking: The Walled Garden

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THORNGROVE GARDEN CENTRE breakfast or brunch with santa

Enjoy your cooked breakfast or afternoon brunch, plus milk and cookies.  Father Christmas himself will be joining the families, reading a Christmas story and handing gifts to every child.

Date: Tuesday 19 December 2023
Address: Thorngrove Garden Centre, Common Mead Lane, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4RE
Booking: Thorngrove Garden Centre

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TUCKTON TEA GARDENS breakfast with santa

Indulge in a magical morning with Santa and his elves.  Your child's ticket includes a delicious kids' breakfast and a special present from Santa himself.

Dates: Saturday 2 & Wednesday 20 December 2023
Address: Tuckton Tea Gardens, Belle Vue Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH6 3BA
Booking: Email [email protected] or 01202 429119

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ORIELS ON THE QUAY breakfast with santa

Santa will be at Oriels for the whole morning and families can meet him whilst enjoying a freshly cooked breakfast.  All children aged 10 and under will receive a present.

Date: Sunday 10 December 2023
Address: Oriel on the Quay, Seaway House, The Quay, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HJ
Booking: Email [email protected] or call 01202 679833

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HARVESTER breakfast with santa

Kids can enjoy a delicious breakfast, colouring activities and a Santa goody bag at this festive family event.

Dates: From Saturday 2 December 2023
Locations: Poole, Bournemouth & Weymouth
Booking: Harvester

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THE INFINITY CAFE breakfast with santa

Savour a buffet breakfast with Santa and receive a gift to take home.

Date: Saturday 23 December 2023
Address: The Infinity Café, 3 High Street, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1JQ
Booking: The Infinity Cafe

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ST LEONARDS HOTEL breakfast with santa

The cosy venue will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland where you can enjoy a delightful breakfast while Santa Claus himself makes a special appearance.

Date: Sunday 10 December 2023
Address: St Leonards Hotel, 185 Ringwood Road, St Leonards, Ringwood, BH24 2NP
Booking: Call 01425 471220 or Email [email protected]

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ARUBA breakfast with santa

Santa's elves will warmly welcome you and set the festive tone. Breakfast options tailored to your liking with adults enjoying a Full English, while children savor delightful eggs on toast.  Ticket includes complimentary tea, coffee and orange juice and children will receive a gift from Father Christmas.

Dates: Saturday 9, 16 & 23 December 2023
Address: Aruba, Pier Approach, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5AA
Booking: Aruba Bournemouth

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THE OLD THATCH breakfast with santa

Families can enjoy breakfast with Father Christmas and if that’s not enough then there’s also a Christmas Tree Trail and festive fun in Bear Island!

Dates: Saturday 9 & Saturday 16 December 2023
Address: 285 Wimborne Road West, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7NW
Booking: The Old Thatch


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Board the carriage at The Estate Shop to begin your magical journey.  The unicorns will take you along the main drive leading up to Kingston Maurward House, where you will be dropped off and greeted by a festive scene of reindeer, music and stalls selling Christmas gifts.  Your ticket will include a hot chocolate and mince pie.

Dates: Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 December 2023
Address: Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8PY
Booking: Kingston Maurward Try Booking

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KINGSTON LACY storytelling with santa

Make memories, start traditions and come on a fantastical journey with Santas’ musical helpers to find his storybook nook, before settling in for a festive tale, an early Christmas gift and a chance to take a picture together with Santa!

Dates: From Saturday 25 November 2023
Address: Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 4EA
Booking: National Trust Kingston Lacy

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An outdoor winter enchanted lights display will be held within the Gardens.  Colourful lights transform and illuminate the Subtropical 18th century gardens and create a wonderful winters trail in the dark.

Dates: Friday 24 November - Sunday 31 December 2023
Address: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Buller's Way, Abbotsbury, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4LA
Booking: Abbotsbury Tickets

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BOURNEMOUTH GARDENS christmas tree wonderland

This year there will be a new 3D walkthrough tree, a new 20m animated tunnel, lots of replica Christmas trees from around the world and plenty of installations and illuminations!

The Alpine Market and Alpine Lodge Bar will also be in the Square, and in the gardens you will find Ice Skating & Moguls Alpine Bar.

Dates: Friday 17 November 2023 - Monday 1 January 2024
Location: Bournemouth Town and Gardens
Website: Christmas Tree Wonderland

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POOLE TOWN & QUAY poole christmas maritime light trail

Be prepared to be dazzled as thousands of twinkling lights take you on a nautical journey.  Immerse yourself in a magical maritime Christmas as you follow the light trail from Falkland Square, through the High Street and onto Poole Quay.

Dates: Saturday 25 November 2023 - Tuesday 2 January 2024
Location: Poole Town & Quay
Website: Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail

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If you love a good pantomime or festive show then you'll find plenty running in Dorset this Christmas.

Christmas Shows and Pantomimes

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Need more festive ideas for the family?  There's tons on the Dorsetmums Blog.

Christmas Fairs, Light Switch Ons, Events & Kids Parties


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Brewery Square is home to lots of shops and restaurants with the ice skating rink taking centre stage, surrounded by twinkling lights and Christmas trees.  Sessions for the synthetic skating rink last for 40 minutes and polar bear support aids are available for small children free of charge.

Dates: Saturday 25 November – Sunday 31 December 2023
Address: Brewery Square, 3 Copper Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1GH
Website: Skating in the Square

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Cool Coast Ice Rink is the largest indoor ice skating rink on the South Coast, located seasonally in Bournemouth International Centre.  At Cool Coast Ice Rink, you can enjoy a funfilled ice skating experience regardless of the weather outside.  Hourly sessions are available to book and skate mates are available to book at an additional charge.

Dates: Saturday 9 December 2023 – Sunday 18 February 2024
Address: International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5BH
Website: Cool Coast Ice Rink

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The large ice rink is held within Bournemouth’s Lower Garden and is especially magical when the sun goes down and the twinkly lights go on.  Hourly sessions are available to book as well as skate aids at an additional charge.

Dates: Thursday 16 November 2023 – Wednesday 3 January 2024
Location: Lower Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset
Website: Ice Skate Bournemouth

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 you should consider contacting beforehand to check an event is running.