Santa’s Grottos in Edinburgh

26 October 2022

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa At Edinburgh Zoo

This may be his busiest time of the year, but Santa has still managed to squeeze in some time to fly round Edinburgh & the Lothians and set up his festive grottos. So, this Christmas, why not treat your young ones to a trip to see the jolly man in red – and maybe even get a special gift to take home!

Places are going quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.


Santa Land in West Princes Street Gardens

Santa At Home

As part of Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival, Santa will be taking up residence once again in West Princes Street Gardens at an all-new Santa Experience, where he’ll be creating unforgettable festive memories in Santa Land.

Afterward, why not pick up some unique gifts from the seasonal market, enjoy a glorious view of the city from the Big Wheel or warm up with a hot chocolate - all of which can be found in West Princes St Gardens. 

25 November – 24 December


Breakfast With Santa at Cold Town House

The family-favourite Breakfast With Santa at Cold Town House returns for another year of early morning festive enjoyment.

Taking place on selected dates throughout December, wee ones and their families will be able to indulge in a sharing breakfast before meeting the main man himself and receiving an early Christmas gift.

03 – 24 December


Santa & Mrs Claus at Edinburgh Zoo

Breakfast With Santa At Edinburgh Zoo

Back by popular demand, Santa and Mrs Claus are back at Edinburgh Zoo this Christmas.

Santa’s Daytime Grotto is available on selective dates and includes a 10-minute slot to chat with Father Christmas, hear about life at the North Pole and receive an early festive gift. Admission tickets to Edinburgh Zoo must be purchased in conjunction with grotto tickets.

Or to start your morning with a real Christmassy feel, you can book Breakfast with the Clauses. Enjoy a tasty breakfast with festive snowman pancakes, craft activities and a story from Mrs Claus. This festive treat begins at 9am and includes Edinburgh Zoo admission for the rest of the day.

For night owls, the Grotto Express is the zoo’s after-hours festive experience. Running from  5pm – 7:30pm on selected days, wee ones will have 10 mins to meet and chat with Santa and Mrs Claus. Please note, the remainder of the zoo, including the gift shop, will not be accessible.  

02 – 24 December


Craigies Santa Experience

Located close to South Queensferry, the all-year farm village, Craigies Farm takes on a special charm at Christmas time.

This year, their festive experience brings to life the story of Santa and the Christmas Bear. Afterwards, children will take home a present of their choice from Santa’s workshop, and the chance to get a photo with the jolly man himself.

10 – 23 December


Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies Edinburgh

Dobbies Santa(Image Credit: Dobbies Garden Centres)

30 minutes’ drive from central Edinburgh will take you to the magical forest of Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies Edinburgh. 

Take a wander through the snowy forest, keeping an eye open for the festive characters along the way, before receiving a welcome and gift from Santa himself. There’s also the option of purchasing a keep-sake photo of your visit.

And proving that Santa is not just for the youngest members of the family, there’s also the option for your canine companion to get into the festive spirit, with a visit to see Santa Paws! 

24 November – 15 December


The Santa Experience at Archerfield Walled Garden

Archerfield Santa Grotto

The beautiful space of Archerfield Walled Garden in East Lothian will be welcoming Santa and his elves this festive season in Santa’s cabin.

Write and post a letter with your Christmas wishes, then join Santa for a group story, before meeting him in his cabin, where each child will receive a gift.

26 November – 23 December


Santa’s Grotto at Carberry Tower

Taking place in the stunning Winter Pavilion of Carberry Tower, a glorious mansion house and estate near Musselburgh, Santa’s Grotto returns to delight and treat youngsters this Christmas.

Children will get the chance to meet Santa and receive a gift from his elves. Afterwards why not treat all the family to something tasty in the Bistro. As Grotto ticket holders get 10% off the total Bistro bill on the day, it’s just like an early Christmas gift!

16 – 24 December


Santa at Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Paraffin Pixie At Almond Valley

Bringing some sparkle to the dark evenings, the woodland trail at Almond Valley Heritage Centre will be illuminated leading to Santa’s magical Christmas bothy.

Meet Santa, his elves and his reindeers and take home a Christmas gift.

A relaxed experience for those who prefer a more peaceful environment will also be available on selected dates, as well as a special mid-week event for toddlers and nursery-goers.

9 – 23 December


Meet Santa & His Alpaca Friends at Beirhope Alpacas

Beirhope Alpacas

An hour's drive from Edinburgh, nestled in the heart of the Cheviot Hills, Beirhope Alpacas is bringing some alpacas-filled fun to Christmas!

Meet Santa & his alpaca friends, feed the alpacas before visiting Santa in his magical grotto or choose to board the alpaca express for a stroll round Beirhope led by Santa himself. Or how about a night-time experience where you can join Santa in his magical grotto for hot chocolate and a festive story.

10 – 24 December


For more ways to make your festive season merry and bright, have a look at more things to do in our What's On Guide >