Santa Claus is coming to town!
This may be his busiest time of the year, but Santa has still managed to squeeze in some time to fly round Edinburgh and the Lothians and pay a visit to those on the nice list. So, this festive season, 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.
Tip 1: Santa is a popular man, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Tip 2: All bookings should be made in advance on the venue’s website.
Tip 3: Several venues offer relaxed sessions for those who prefer a quite environment. See websites for details.
Santa’s Stories, St Andrew Square
As part of Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival, Santa will be taking up residence in St Andrew Square with an all-new experience, Santa’s Stories.
Along with his friendly elves, he’ll be creating unforgettable festive memories with group storytelling sessions, as well as the chance to meet Santa and receive a gift.
A number of relaxed sessions for children with additional needs, learning disabilities, sensory or communication disorders are available.
Santa’s Stories takes place from 18 November to 24 December 2023.
Sunday Family Feasting, Brewhemia
A treat for all the family, Brewhemia, Edinburgh’s largest restaurant and bar, is once again welcoming families with their Sunday Family Feasting.
Tuck into a delicious roast with all the trimmings, then pop over to see Santa in his grotto for an after dinner treat.
Sunday Family Feasting is available on 03, 10, 17 and 24 December 2023.
Brunch with Santa, Cold Town House
The family-favourite Brunch with Santa at Cold Town House returns for another year of mid-morning festive enjoyment.
Wee ones and their families will be able to enjoy a special brunch menu before meeting the main man himself and receiving an early Christmas gift.
Brunch with Santa takes place every weekend throughout December 2023.
Christmas with the Clauses, Edinburgh Zoo
Back by popular demand, Santa and Mrs Claus are at Edinburgh Zoo this Christmas with a variety of meet and greet activities. Start your morning with a real Christmassy feel by going along to 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. Or, how about a trip to see Santa in his Daytime Festive Grotto?
Available on 10-minute slots, you’ll have the chance to chat to both Mr and Mrs Claus and receive an early festive gift. Admission tickets to Edinburgh Zoo must be purchased in conjunction with grotto tickets. For night owls, the Evening Festive Grotto is the zoo’s after-hours festive experience. Running from 4.40pm to 8.20pm, children will have 10 minutes to meet and chat with Santa and Mrs Claus. Please note, the remainder of the zoo will not be accessible.
See the Clauses at Edinburgh Zoo’s on selected dates from 01 to 24 December 2023.
Craigies Farm Santa Adventure
Around a 45 minute drive from central Edinburgh will take you to the family-run Craigies Farm and their enchanting immerse Christmas event, Santa Adventure.
Step through the magic door and embark on a captivating journey to the North Pole, where you will play a crucial role in saving Christmas. Santa has lost the magical word that powers his sleigh, and it’s up to you to save the day!
Upon successfully helping Santa and saving Christmas, you’ll be rewarded with a special gift to take home as a token of gratitude for your invaluable assistance. They’ll also be the chance to enjoy one-on-one time with Santa.
Visit Santa Adventure at Craigies Farm between 25th November and 23rd December 2023.
Santa’s Grotto, Dobbies Garden Centre
30 minutes’ drive from central Edinburgh will take you to the magical forest of Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies Garden Centre in Lasswade.
Take a wander through the enchanting forest, keeping an eye open for some surprising 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. Santa’s Quiet Grotto with no queuing and reduced numbers is available from 2.30pm on Friday 08 December.
Visit Santa’s Grotto, Dobbies Garden Centre between 23 November and 14 December 2023.
Santa’s Grotto, 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 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 some delicious food and drink in the Bistro. As grotto ticket holders get 15% off the total Bistro bill on the day, it’s just like an early Christmas gift!
Santa’s Grotto is open from 15 to 24 December 2023.
Meet Santa at Almond Valley Heritage Centre
Bringing some sparkle to the dark evenings, the woodland trail at Almond Valley Heritage Centre in West Lothian will be illuminated leading to Santa’s magical Christmas cottage.
Meet Santa, have a chat and take home a Christmas gift. Santa tickets must be booked in addition to admission tickets to the centre.
A relaxed experience will be available on selected dates, as well as a mid-week event for toddlers and nursery-goers.
Meet Santa at Almond Valley Heritage Centre runs from 08 to 24 December 2023.
Meet Santa and Friends, 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 and feed the alpacas or choose to board the alpaca express for a stroll round Beirhope led by Santa himself.
Meet Santa and his friends between 09 and 24 December 2023.
What’s on in Edinburgh
For more things to see and do over Christmas and New Year, take a peek at our events page.