Over 20 top ideas to meet a Devon Santa and get festive!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Devon is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Devon’s Top Attractions will be offering a wonderful choice of festive themed events and Santa experiences that will be sure to get everyone into the true Christmas spirit and guaranteed to bring out the inner child in everyone.
Finding Santa across Devon this December will be easy; he’ll be busy visiting the top attractions, meeting the children and offering lots of fun-filled days. So why not enjoy an unforgettable experience and take breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa and visit him in one of his many Devon Grottos.
Christmas at National Trust Killerton is always a joyous experience and this year will be no exception. The Georgian mansion will be themed and decorated, inspired by Clement Clarke Moore’s popular festive poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas’. The story continues outside where you can follow the twinkling trail through the garden and parkland. On selected dates you can also meet the traditional Victorian Father Christmas dressed in green. And there’s more festivities at NT Castle Drogo with a trail you can follow through the garden to find Father Christmas himself and receive a special present.
Want a festive experience to remember? Then head to Woodlands and meet Santa in his magical grotto to make some wonderful Christmas memories. Take an enchanted journey and wander through the winter forest where all the Christmas magic begins. There are hidden surprises along the way. Find Santa’s Workshop and his mail room, where you can post your pre-written letters to Santa. Discover nine rooms of Christmas magic on your journey and finally meet Santa and get a wrapped present from him. A Christmas experience not to be missed.
There’s plenty of winter wonders on offer at Quince Honey Farm too with lots of magical Christmas fun happening on the 6-9th December. Take a magical donkey ride to visit Santa Claus himself in his cosy grotto and then warm yourself up by heading for the decorated Nectary Restaurant, where you will find an abundance of festive treats and roast dinners being served. You can let the kids have a buzz around in the play hive, with festive crafts and decorations galore.
There’s a Crealy Christmas Spectacular on offer this year with brand new festive attractions and the return of some your favourites. Promising to be bigger and better than ever before and including an all-new Christmas on Ice Show called the Snow Globe Adventure. Festive delights include Santa’s Toy Factory, Rudy’s Reindeer feeding station, the Singing Snowmen, Santa’s magical showtime, Mary Christmas’s bakery and much, much more. Plus, every child can choose their very own present to take home from thousands of wonderful hand-picked toys and gifts.
Head to the Big Sheep for Woolly’s famous Christmas Winter Wonderland. Explore Santa’s Grotto and meet the man himself. This year, the elves haven’t stopped working to bring you a truly magical experience with an extra special Christmas grotto complete with a train journey to see Santa. The grotto will be bursting with Christmas cheer, Christmas secrets and magical moments for all. Meet Santa and his elves in the grotto, see Santa’s magical light show and make the most of the Ewetopia indoor playground, Eweston Station, the train ride and the Twister ride. Plus, don’t miss the Christmas Markets at the Big Sheep on Saturdays throughout December. The markets will be full of delicious local food and Christmas gifts to help you prepare for Christmas.
Get the whole family caught up in the true spirit of Christmas at Pennywell. Adults and children can take part in the Nativity or simply watch the delight and wonder on the children’s faces from the cosy straw-bale seating as the greatest story ever told comes to life. It’s a magical manger setting with all the Pennywell animals joining in. The magic continues when every child will be greeted personally by Father Christmas to receive their Christmas Gift. A warm festive welcome also awaits in the Café where the smell of mulled wine and delicious mince pies fills the air. There’s a breakfast or cream tea with Santa on selected dates too!
Back by popular demand is the ‘Polar Express’ Tram ride at Seaton Tramway, where you can relive this favourite Christmas film! Take the magical tram ride to Santa’s home in one of the specially decorated single deck tramcars. Enjoy a hot chocolate, a delicious treat, speak to Santa and admire the awesome lights while you make your journey to the North Pole. Magical memories to treasure are made on this Christmas experience.
Immerse yourself in a magical fun-filled festive day out at Santa’s Grotto and the Buzzlewick’s Elf Emporium at the Milky Way Adventure Park. Meet Father Christmas, decorate gingerbread, write a very special letter, make reindeer food and don’t forget all the other indoor fun and rides including Ziggy’s Blast Quest, indoor Droid Destroyer dodgems, the mini train ride, two rollercoasters and the huge indoor Timewarp adventure play area.
There’s a Christmas Cracker going on in East Devon, at Pecorama. Join Entertainingly Different’s dynamic duo and a 90-minute jam packed Christmas show full of seasonal surprises, and magical merriment with plenty of audience participation in this interactive fun-filled show. During the interval, head to the Garden Room restaurant and receive a mince pie or Christmas cookie with a complimentary drink. After the show let the children let off steam in the indoor soft play area and take part in the exhibition Christmas quiz.
There’s a Father Christmas and family activity weekend at Dartington Crystal on 7th -8th December. Bring the little ones along to meet Santa in his frozen Themed Grotto and enjoy a day of festive fun for all the family. There will be creative Christmas activities including themed light catchers and ceramic baubles, plus live music and festive foodie treats. There’s a great Christmas shopping experience too!
Get festive with the family following the Christmas Stocking Trail at the Donkey Sanctuary. Find the nine stockings located around the sanctuary and reveal what each of the adoption donkeys has got in their own stockings. Don’t miss ‘Carols by Candlelight’ on the 13th December, a special evening alongside the resident donkeys and Santa himself.
Step back into 1897 for a Victorian Christmas at Bygones, Torquay. See the 12-foot Christmas tree and special lighting and decorations. Take part in the special festive hunt. Father Christmas will be arriving on 15th December and there are a few special dates where you can take breakfast or lunch with him.
Just down the road at Kents Cavern they have ‘Santa in the Caves’ which is always a unique fun-filled family treat. They have another incredible Santa Show this year including some favourite friends. Go along and get caught up in the magic of another exciting Christmas adventure, guaranteed to be full of Christmas spirit, fun and laughter for all the family. It’s a wonderful way to start your Christmas celebrations.
South Devon Railway have got Christmas all wrapped up with their ever popular ‘Santa by Steam’ experience, an unforgettable festive journey on a real steam train. Admire the traditionally decorated carriages and stations as you take a warm and cosy steam train journey to Totnes. Enjoy the refreshments as the beautiful Devon countryside passes by the window and visit Father Christmas in his Grotto carriage with a gift for every child. For the ultimate magical experience why not travel on one of the evening trains and soak up the wonderful ambience of the beautifully lit carriages and stations? Plus, there are two special ‘Carols down the Line’ train evenings on 12th – 13th December with complimentary refreshments thrown in!
Get festive onboard Stuart Line Cruises and enjoy one of their special Festive River Cruises. A warm welcome awaits onboard the seasonally decorated boats with covered and heated lower decks. While cosy blankets, plenty of fresh air and great views is on offer on the upper decks. Enjoy a glass of proper homemade mulled wine and a tasty warmed mince pie while you sit back and take a breather from the busy Christmas season.
Take the mine train ride to visit Santa in his underground grotto at Morwellham Quay and receive a present. Each child can bake some festive bread, make a Christmas chocolate lolly and paint a Christmas tree decoration while the adults can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies in The Ship Inn.
Christmas at Babbacombe Model Village starts on 21st December and runs until 2nd January with their Christmas Wonderland Illuminations. Enjoy the model village, see the seasonal miniature scenes and sparkling illuminations from dusk. As you explore the beautiful gardens and the creative model scenes, see if you can spot the mini Santa figures. Find your way through the crazy Christmas maze and don’t miss the magical 3D Toy Workshop film in the 4D theatre – there’s a Mini Panto on special dates too.
Exeter Cathedral’s renowned choir returns for the most popular Christmas carol concerts of the year, always among the highlights of the festive season. The adult and junior choristers will be directed by Timothy Noon, Director of Music, and accompanied on the mighty cathedral organ. Due to popular demand there will be three dates this year 7th, 12th and 13th December.
The festive fun carries on after Christmas Day the famous Boxing Day Barbecue at Clovelly Village and some Mince Pie special trains at South Devon Railway which run from 27th December until New Year’s Day.
Dick Wood, Chairman of Devon Association of Tourist Attractions, said “Devon’s Top Attractions continue to come up with all sorts of top quality seasonally themed experiences and this Christmas is no exception. Devon is certainly going to be full of Christmas cheer and a huge serving of festive fun in the lead up to Christmas.”
So, before you hang your stocking and carve the turkey, plan your pre-Christmas or post-Christmas magical day out. To find out when and where all this festive magic is taking place see www.devonstopattractions.co.uk