Twelve of the best places to meet Santa in Suffolk during the 2023 Christmas season
’Tis nearly the season when parents across the region panic book for their child to meet Santa Claus ahead of Christmas day.
But fear not, as we have taken the panic out of the grotto and found 12 places in Suffolk where little ones can meet the big man – with tickets still available.
From climbing aboard a festive train to sitting down for a cooked breakfast with Father Christmas, read on for 12 places you could meet Saint Nicholas this festive season.
Dobbies garden centres offer family-friendly festive fun at their Santa’s breakfast events on selected dates starting from November 25.
As well as food, children can enjoy fun games and crafts before sitting down with Saint Nick and receiving a special gift.
Tickets cost £13.99 for children (including a gift) and from £8.60 for adults. Availability is limited so book sooner rather than later.
Santa is visiting Stonham Barns Park, near Stowmarket, this festive season to play a starring role in its winter spectacular, including breakfast or dinner with Santa and his elves and train rides to the grotto.
Breakfast with Santa is a feature which will see children and their parents enjoy a cooked breakfast with Santa before leaving on a train to an enchanted theatre for a welcome by elves before entering an enchanted grotto to receive a Christmas gift.
Tickets to visit the grotto – £7 – are also available.
Mark Warren, of Stonham Barns, said: “It takes the Santa’s grotto experience to a new level. It’s all about creating memories for parents and children.”
Tickets, including breakfast, a train ride and gift, need to be pre-booked. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Dinner with Santa is on December 1 and 6, costing £18.50 for children and £22.50 for adults. Breakfast with Santa is on December 2, 3 and 15-24, costing £15.50 per child and £10.95 per adult. Santa’s Grotto is also be available from 1-4pm on the same dates. Advance grotto tickets cost £7.
Kersey Mill, near Ipswich, Santa’s workshop
On selected dates from December 2-22,visitors can immerse themselves in a magical festive experience at Kersey Mill, near Ipswich, where Santa’s enchanted workshop is based.
From an elf taking children on a journey to meet Santa, Mrs Claus and the Christmas fairies, to making reindeer food, loading the sleigh and checking Santa’s good list scroll for their name, the experience is one to remember.
Booking is essential, with tickets costing £40 for one child with one accompanying adult (£15 each additional adult).
On December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 the Santa Specials trains will be running once again at Mid Suffolk Light Railway, near Stowmarket.
Steam trains will run from Brockford Station to ‘North Pole Halt’, for an individual visit to Santa at his Christmas Guards Van (with each child receiving a present).
On the return from their Santa visit passengers will find Christmas crafts, hot drinks and snacks to buy and a free cup of festive mulled wine for grown-ups.
There will also be a traction engine in steam and a Dutch Street organ on site.
Tickets cost £15 per person.
Easton Farm Park’s popular festive experience is back this year, with the ticket price including a winter wonderland walk, Santa’s stables, Mother Christmas’ Kitchen, an exclusive visit to meet Father Christmas and a choice of gift from the toy store.
The experience, near Woodbridge, lasts two-and-a-half hours, with tickets costing £19.95 for children, £11.95 adults and ab=babes in arms free (no gift).
Santa is visiting Hollow Trees Farm, near Hadleigh, from December 11-22, with Santa enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner with young guests at the farm café.
Children receive a gift from Santa during the experience, which lasts about two hours.
Jimmy’s Farm, breakfast with Santa
Breakfast fans can also enjoy dining with Santa at Jimmy’s Farm, near Ipswich, every Saturday and Sunday from December 2-17.
Santa’s helpers will be on hand to serve breakfast before meeting the big man himself, with Santa greeting everyone and giving every child a golden ticket to choose their own gift from the toy shop.
Tickets cost £20 per child / £15 for adults – park entry is not included but tickets can be purchased for £12.50 each.
Kentwell, in Long Melford, near Sudbury, turns the Christmas clock back to the year 1869 and the age of Dickens to create a rich tapestry of lively and enjoyable activities for all ages from December 9-17.
With stories, trail, music, pantomime, crafts and a visit to Father Christmas in his grotto, the event offers plenty to see and do.
To guarantee your spot book tickets – ranging in price from £14.95-£42.25 – in advance.
Visit Santa in his magical little house at Elveden Courtyard, near Brandon, every weekend from December 2-17 and see the mischievous elves hard at work, hear stories of their adventures at the North Pole and receive a present from Santa (as well as some chocolate coins).
As this is an outdoor event, visitors are warned to dress appropriately for the weather.
On December 2 and 3 Father Christmas will be making an early stop off at West Stow, near Bury St Edmunds.
A friendly elf will be on site to ensure children have a wonderful experience, with tickets including a craft workshop making Christmas decorations and free entry to explore Anglo-Saxon village and museum with festive food and drink from vendors in the village.
Tickets cost £8 per child, including a Christmas gonk to take away. Accompanying parents are free of charge.
On December 16 and 16, Santa will be at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, to meet children in his grotto.
Children can enjoy a Christmas trail, a group game and a short meeting with Father Christmas – as well as a special gift.
Tickets cost £9.95 per child and £1 for accompanying adults.
This December, visitors to Africa Alive, near Lowestoft, can enjoy a Christmas experience as well as a trip to the zoo.
The experience includes a winter train tour hosted by expert rangers, a visit to Santa’s wild workshop and a meeting with Father Christmas as well as all-day entry to the zoo.
Tickets cost £9.95.