Where to see Father Christmas Around Colchester, Bury and Ipswich

Ever since my children were tots, I’ve taken them to see Father Christmas in December. There are so many options locally throughout Suffolk and Essex, but being local to Sudbury, We have tended to stick to Santa’s grottos near Colchester, Bury or Ipswich. With so many around with different things on offer- I thought it would be useful to do a round up of some of the local Father Christmas experiences announced for 2021.

Father Christmas at kersey mill, ipswich

Where to see Father Christmas Near Colchester 2021

Christmas Display at poplar nursery, Marks Tey, Where to see father christmas near colchester

The Thomas Train Rides with Father Christmas in Chappel

This sounds such a sweet day out for little ones that love the Thomas and Friends trains, books and shows. These specials have been running for a while and I’ve heard great things about the Day Out with Thomas events. This one takes place at the East Anglian Railway Museum (based within the Chappel & Wakes Colne Station) and there’s lots included in the ticket – you get unlimited rides behind Thomas, Percy and Daisy, The Fat Controller’s storytelling, a chance to see the model railway display, the Rusty & Dusty Show and lots more Thomas themed activities. Tickets are open to book now on the Days Out With Thomas website.

Visiting Father Christmas At Poplar Nursery, Marks Tey

This is the local Santa’s Grotto that we have visited as a family a few times and loved. Unfortunately they have decided not to open their grotto this year, but will be putting on some Breakfast with father Christmas events instead. It’s in the Poplar nursery in Marks Tey and for starters, if you haven’t been before the Poplar over there is itself is so much more than a garden centre – Its a really lovely trip out come December time, with a café full of crazy good cakes and festive treats and a Christmas shop crammed with beautiful displays and every decoration and (Christmas light) you can think of. The grotto used to be lovely, so I can imagine they will also be going all out for their Breakfast with Santa’s events too.

visiting father christmas at Poplar nursery, marks tey

Santa’s Grotto At Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is one of our favourite attractions to visit as a family and their Magic of Christmas event sounds truly magical. If you are looking for a full Christmas day out, this sounds like a great one to book. “See Santa’s beautiful reindeer in their stables, get crafty at the Elves’ Workshop, hear our Christmas tale and enjoy some festive treats…” The tickets hadn’t gone live when Iast checked, but the Magic of Christmas events will be taking place on the 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, 18th – 24th December 2021 and tickets will soon be available to buy on the Colchester Zoo website.

Being a regular visitor of the zoo for the last decade with our kids, if you are thinking of visiting for the first time, I have also previously shared my top tips for visiting Colchester zoo as a family.

visiting Father Christmas at Colchester zoo

Where to see Father Christmas Near Bury St Edmunds 2021

Father Christmas at Nowton Park 2021

Tucked away on the outskirts of Bury, Nowton Park is a great spot for a walk and play with the kids. They are also great at putting on lots of seasonal events for families that are really involved but, generally cheaper than may other grottos. You can either book a slot online or give them a call, and as well as meeting Santa and receiving a present, there are lots of other festive activities, such as story time and making Christmas decorations. You can book and find out lots more info over on the What’s On West Suffolk website.

Where to see Father Christmas Near Ipswich 2021

Santa’s Grotto at Hollowtrees Farm

Hollowtrees Farm are hosting their trail with Santa again this year. As well as visiting the festive farm trail where you can feed the animals and visit the different play areas, children get to visit Santa in his grotto and receive a special token to spend in the shop. Tickets go on sale early October, and you need to book – if you’re looking to visit this year I’d keep your eyes on their social pages, as their events are popular and tend to get booked up quickly.

Father Christmas Experience at Kersey Mill

Visiting father christmas at kersey mill, getting christmas nails done

I took my own children to this event a few years ago and we all absolutely loved it – I would definitely class this one as a Father Christmas experience rather than a grotto. As soon as you walk through the door, you jump right into their very own Christmas story, and as well as everywhere looking gloriously festive, there’s so much to do and get involved in, with the children collecting Santa’s lost presents and then heading to his workshop. There’s lots of really well thought out activities as you go through (You can see my daughter’s favourite above getting her festive nails done!) and lovely little touches such as all the children’s names added to the good list on display. You can book tickets directly on their website – Visiting Father Christmas at Kersey Mill


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