When the Christmas season comes around, it's almost impossible to stop the littleuns from getting into a state of festive frenzy. They'll be jumping at the chance to decorate the tree, putting out mince pies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer, and putting together a huge list for the big day. Yet, as we're sure you'll agree, one of the most magical memories you can have as a child around Christmas is going to see the big man in one of the Grottos that he tours around the country.
This year in Belfast, the Littleuns won't be disappointed as Santa will be making a huge amount of trips all across the county. From your traditional grottos, to a futuristic technological Santa visit, where the robots want to replace the elves, to a yuletide train journey, to magical Christmas gardens in the shadow of a castle, there are so many ways to enjoy Santa's company, and maybe even grab your kids an early present.
So scroll down and check them out! Plus, if you're after more ways to make your festive season in Belfast extra special check out some of the Belfast Christmas Eve and Boxing Day events, also on sale on Skiddle!
Santa's Grotto at the Hillmount
Image: Hillmount on Facebook
When: Wednesday 22nd November - Sunday 24th December 2023
Where: Hillmount Garden Centre in Belfast
Down at the Hillmount Garden Centre this year, they will be transforming their site into a Winter Wonderland, where you and the kids can experience the magic of Christmas in festive surroundings.
Your journey will start off in their Grotto, which a range of festive scenes and characters will surround. After exploring, their elves will welcome you into the Grotto, and meet Mrs Claus, all before visiting Santa and receiving a unique Hillmount gift. It's a classic grotto that will fill the kids with Yuletide glee, head to their website for tickets!
Santa's Grotto at Victoria Square
Image: Victoria Square
When: Saturday & Sundays in November, 29th November and the 1st - 3rd, 6th - 24th December 2023
Where: Victoria Square in Belfast
The enchanting grounds of Victoria Square in Belfast have come alive this Christmas time, as it transforms into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, festive decor, and the warmest of welcomes from Santa Claus himself.
With photos with the big man, and a range of sweet treats available with purchase, this is the prime opportunity for you to capture your littleuns festive glee, and keep it locked away forever in the memory banks, ready to pull out whenever you're all having a reminisce. It will be running from 12-5 on the days mentioned, so just head over to their website and sure your spot!
Victorian Santa Experience
When: 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th, 16th & 17th, and 23rd of December 2023
Where: Whitehead Railway Museum in Belfast
For the first time ever, Santa and his Elves are going to be setting up a workshop within the Whitehead Railway Museum he has a secret love of trains so it’s up to you to find him and see if he has anything for you (Don't worry Mrs Claus will be on hand to help.)
Enjoy a 10-minute journey on a Victorian Steam Engine, adorned with festive decor. On board, you'll get an envelope with your letter to Santa inside, which you can ask for all your desires. Then, walk through the magical forest and meet the man in red, deliver your message, see the sleigh and the reindeer, have a chat, and rest easy knowing Santa knows everything the littleuns want!
Grab your tickets to this festive delight on their website now!
Santa at Montalto
When: Saturday 2nd - Friday 22nd December 2023
Where: Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch
Make your Christmas wishes come true at Montalto Estate this year! Head down, and let Santa's Head Elf, lead you through the Enchanted Christmas Trail, all before reaching Montalto House where the magic really begins/
Inside, Mrs Claus will help you write your letter, let you decorate the gingerbread, make reindeer food, sing along and tell stories under the tree and a whole host of other surprises, you’ll have plenty of time to impress. All before meeting Santa Clause by the fireplace, where you can chat, take pictures, and receive a special gift.
It's only just outside of Belfast, and the estate is picturesque and once festively transformed, it'll be overflowing with yuletide glee. head to their website for tickets!
Santa and the Great Christmas Upgrade
When: 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th, 16th - 23rd of December 2023
Where: W5 in Belfast
If you want your Christmas to be tinged with a futuristic edge, then don't miss W5’s brand-new, festive show featuring Santa, robots and high adventure, W5’s robot elves have convinced Santa that he needs to modernise his operations, and completely upgrade his equipment and take a more technological approach to present delivery this Christmas.
This live-action family-friendly show features Santa, big-screen animation, robots, high adventure, and ultimately a healthy sprinkling of Christmas magic. Grab tickets now!
Enchanted Winter Garden at Antrim Castle
When: Wednesday 29th November - Tuesday 19th December 2023
Where: Antrim Castle Gardens in Antrim
The gardens of Antrim castle will be mesmerically decorated with dazzling lights and stunning sculptures, as well as being packed with rides alongside a Festive Fayre this Christmastime, basic cally, if you want your festive fun to be in the stunning surrounds of a castle, you've got your place. Oh yeah, and Santa is gonna be there!
He will be waiting in his grotto to meet the kids, chat with them, and maybe even pass on an early present! The Enchanted Winter Gardens at Antrim Castle have become an annual delight, one that you shouldn't be missing out on!
It might be a bit outside Belfast, but it'll be more than worth the wait! Grab tickets on their site now!
A Magical Christmas Experience at Titanic Belfast
When: 1st - 10th & 13th - 23rd December 2023
Where: Titanic Belfast in Belfast
Father Christmas and his Elves are coming to the world-famous Titanic Museum in Belfast this year, as they present their Magical Christmas Experience!
You and the littleuns can journey through their Enchanted Forest to make a wish by the Magical Wishing Tree, before joining Father Christmas and his Elves in their workshop. There you can enjoy festive arts and crafts, hear Mrs Claus read a classic Christmas tale and have your name checked off the ‘Naughty or Nice’ list. All before receiving an early gift! Grab tickets on their site now!
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.