Meeting Father Christmas in Suffolk 2017

Written by MiriamSpall on Friday, November 17, 2017 - 18:34

Meeting Father Christmas is one of the most popular activities for families during the holiday season. Local attractions, museums, farms, garden centres, shopping centres and even parks join in the festive spirit by holding their own Santa's Grotto experience in the hope of attracting young visitors and their parents every year.

Suffolk Punch Trust  (01394 411327)

Woodbridge Walk, Hollesley, Suffolk IP12 3JR

What about treating your child to a Suffolk Punch Trust experience? Father Christmas this year is expected to arrive on his festive Suffolk Punch cart at 10:55 a.m. on the 2nd and 3rd of December. The cost: £5.50 per child which includes up to 5 minutes meeting Santa, a present and the chance to take a photograph in Santa's Grotto.

Admission to the cafe, craft fair and Christmas farmyard is free where the children will be able to meet the beautiful farm animals and endangered Suffolk Punch horses. To top it off, the whole family can enjoy delicious home-cooked food and drinks at their cafe.

This event is very popular please book in advance to avoid disappointment.  Please note that this event may be subject to change and is weather dependent.


Punches have been bred on the farm for over 250 years! Since the Barthrop family introduced the Suffolk Punches to the Hollesley estate In the year 1759. Read more about its History & Heritage Book Now

Snape Maltings (01728 688303)

River Alde, Snape Maltings IP17 1SP

As part of their Christmas weekend, Father Christmas will be making his grand appearance on a historic Thames sailing barge on Saturday, December 16 at 12:30. This is a FREE event. Join Father Christmas at the House and Garden, their award-winning shop, where he will be meeting the children.  Why not stick around? there is lots to see and do at Snape Maltings, as well as being a brilliant place to find gifts, buy food treats, see some arts and crafts, and enjoy a family meal together.


Snape Maltings is an arts complex on the banks of the River Alde at Snape, Suffolk, England. It is best known for its concert hall, which is one of the main sites of the annual Aldeburgh Festival

Landguard Fort  (01394 675900)

Landguard Fort, IP11 3TW

Come to Felixstowe this December and be part of Landguard Fort's Christmas extravaganza 2017, taking place on the 16th of December from 12 to 7 p.m.

There is loads happening on the day and snow machines will be on site creating the perfect ambience to welcome the Snow Queen and Olaf who will be making a short appearance on the day. There will also be storytelling and face painting for young children.

The whole family will enjoy following the Christmas quiz trail around the Fort and the festive live music by Martlesham brass band, Orwell connection choir and Felixstowe Salvation Army Band among others, whilst you shop til your heart's content around the many craft and gift stores and eat some yummy food courtesy of Lions Club of Felixstowe BBQ, Adnams Felixstowe and Bombay Nite.

Visit Father Christmas in his grotto who is ready to welcome every child, please note that you need to pre-book a slot to see Santa as no tickets will be sold on the day. Make sure you buy your tickets online! This year there are two options; Book Option 1 without a visit to Santa's grotto adult £6 child £4.  Book Option 2  with a visit to Santa's grotto adult £6 child £7. Entry on the door is by cash only.!


Harwich Harbour, at the mouth of the river Orwell, has always been the best safe haven for large ships between the rivers Thames and Humber. the first fortifications from 1540 were a few earthworks and blockhouse, but it was James I of England who ordered the construction of a square fort with bulwarks at each corner.

Kersey Mill (01473 829317)

Kersey Ipswich, IP7 6DP

If you haven't visit Kersey Mill Santa's workshop and his elves yet, your children are in for a treat.  Located in the beautiful rural surroundings of Suffolk, half a mile from Hadleigh and at one of Suffolk’s heritage gems,  expect a truly magical experience for children ages 3 to 12 years (approx. around 60 minutes)

To get the children into the festive mood, they will be welcomed by a special character who will read them a short story. When finished, they will be shown the way to The Mill where Santa and his working elves will be expecting them! This is where the magic starts!

There will be loads of activities to choose from at Santa's workshop Including  an arts and craft area, the chance to load a sleigh, checking to see if their name is on Santa's scroll, singing with Santa ( my personal favourite) and receiving a small gift which includes a traditional clementine by the candy elf. Prices are £19 per child including one adult, additional adults £5. There is free parking on site. Book now


This is a fundraising project in aid of the Mills restoration and is sponsored by the friends of Kersey Mill.

Santa's sleigh visiting your neighbourhood


Father Christmas and his faithful reindeer Rudolph will be cruising Ipswich from the 1st - 22nd of Dec, courtesy of the Ipswich Round Table.  Their journey starts on the 1st of December at Ravenswood at 6:30 p.m. and will be making several stops around Ipswich until the 22nd of December. Come early at a starting location and you might get a photo on Santa’s sleigh!. Find Rudolph 2017 routes here.


This year's Rudolph tour is supporting Ipswich Find and Ipswich Winter Night Shelter


Don't miss this year’s Santa and Rudolph touring the streets of Felixstowe and surrounding areas between 6 and 8:30 p.m. on weekdays evenings. Their journey starts on the 1st of December at Grange Farm Avenue and will be making several stops until the 22nd of December. Find the Santa and Rudolph sleigh 2017 route here


This event has been arranged by the local branch of Save the Children and the Felixstowe Rotary Club to give all families a great Christmas experience and to raise money for their charities.

Transport Museums

If you've got a young transport enthusiast at home they might be interested in meeting Santa in a more exciting location. What about taking your child to the Long Shop Museum (01728 832189) On the 2nd of December in Leiston to meet Father Christmas or have a transport feast at the East Anglia Transport Museum (01502 518459)  where Santa will be arriving in his Vintage Tram. Your family can visit their Winter Wonderland and enjoy unlimited trolleybus and Railway rides.  Please note this is a pre-book only event taking place on selected dates from the 3rd to the 23rd of December.

Hop on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway (01449 766899) and travel from Brockford station to meet Santa at the North Pole Halt on selected dates from the 3rd - 17th of December, where he will meet the children and will give them a special gift in his magic brake van. Tickets are £12 per person, There will be children's entertainment on the day and after your journey, all visitors will be given a mince pie and a drink. Please note that all places MUST be pre-booked. Book now

Father Christmas will be waiting to meet and greet young children this December the 3rd from 11 to 4 pm at the Ipswich Transport Museum.  ( 01473 715666) This is the museum's final opening day which will have a Christmas theme, including festive decorations and entertainment. Standard admission applies and entry to the grotto is £1 extra which includes a gift.

Bressingham Steam & Gardens (01379 686900) opens one more time this year to welcome they are Polar Express Train. Father Christmas, his wife and elves, will be at Bressingham on the  2/3, 9/10, 16,17, and 21,22,23,24 December 2017. Entry times vary depending on the day. This year it includes;  A ride on the Steam Train on the Nursery Line for everyone, a visit to Father Christmas and a present from him. Rides on the Gallopers are included too.
The Dad's Army Exhibition will be decorated for Christmas and a Children's entertainer will be in the Village Hall. Book now

Suffolk Farms

Visit Santa's grotto at Easton Farm Park ( 01728 746475) on selected dates from 24th of November until the 25th of December, who will delight young children with a 2.5 hour experience including an elf workshop, a meet and greet the animals session a sleigh ride, a children's meal and a visit to meet Father Christmas. The price is £12 for child and £8 for adult and it can be booked online. Book now

The popular Santa's grotto at Jimmy's Farm  ( 01473 604206) is back, On the 2nd and 3rd of December from 10 to 6 pm.  Father Christmas will make an appearance at the Christmas Market.  Book Now

You can also visit farmer Father Christmas at Baylham House Farm (01473 830264) on selected dates from the 2nd of December until The 23rd of December From 10 to 4 pm.

How do the kids fancy tea with Santa? Book a slot at Hollow Tree Farm (01449 741247) from 4 - 21st of Dec and enjoy a Christmas feast followed by the chance to meet Santa In his grotto. Child tickets cost £10.95, Adults can join in the fun too, for £6.50 enjoy a regular tea or coffee plus a piece of cake, slice, or mince pie from a set selection.

Shopping Centres

Visiting Santa at a shopping centre comes quite handy to us mums and dads trying to shop for those Christmas presents or Christmas decorations! Find a FREE Christmas Chalet at Sailmakers from 14-23 Dec in Ipswich where there will be arts & crafts, Christmas games and entertainment for the children.  If you are in Bury St Edmunds don’t miss the chance to meet Santa and his Elves at the Arc Shopping Centre, from 2nd December - 24th December (11 - 5 pm). Book now. Have Breakfast or Tea with Santa at Wyevale Garden Centre in  Woodbridge, Bury St Edmunds, & Sudbury    (18th November - 24th December). At Notcutts in Woodbridge, you can book a slot for the kids to visit Santa’s Grotto or have Tea with Santa

There are many local places where to you will find a charismatic Santa ready to greet your children, check your local Suffolk Library, many of them are holding Christmas fayres with the chance to meet Santa.  If your child is under 5, check out your local Children's centre. Father Christmas often makes an appearance during Christmas lights celebrations and places of worship. Looking for more ideas on where to find father Christmas in Suffolk this year? Take a look at our calendar of events!

Read our blogs:

 A Historic Christmas in Suffolk 2017

Christmas Pantomimes in Ipswich 2017

Pantomimes and Family Shows in East Suffolk

Pantomimes and Family Shows in West Suffolk 2017

Christmas Lights Switch-ons across Suffolk in 2017!

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Where To Take Our Children