He's making a list, he's checking it twice; he's gonna find out who's naughty or nice, Santa Claus is coming to Bristol. Here are all the places you can meet the jolly old man in red…#MerryBristmas!

Jump on board First Bus to explore festive events across the city, and if you're coming from out of town, find out why you should experience Bristol by train with GWR

Festive Fables with Father Christmas at Bristol Zoo Project (2-3, 9-10, 16-23 December)

Join Father Christmas and his forest friends, Deer Darlington and Squirrel Nutkins, for fun festive fables in their cosy, festively decorated tipi at Bristol Zoo Project this festive season. Free as part of your visit, the green-robed Father Christmas will share stories filled with messages of kindness and compassion for the natural world.

A child looking at a book with Santa in a grotto - Credit Bristol Zoo Project
Image - Bristol Zoo Project

Victorian Christmas Weekends at Brunel's SS Great Britain (2-3, 9-10 December) 

Step into a very festive Victorian Christmas at Brunel’s SS Great Britain where you can meet a cast of historic characters, including ‘Old Father Christmas’ in Victorian green robes. Stop him for a story about the era’s Christmas traditions or ask why he’s green!

Father Christmas at Brunel's SS Great Britain - credit Adam Gasson
Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain, credit Adam Gasson

Festive family fun day at Aerospace Bristol (3 December)

Head along to Aerospace Bristol on 3 December to visit the Christmas Workshop and join in with themed activities before meeting Father Christmas himself whilst listening to festive hits being performed live by Filton Concert Brass Band. 

*Please note, Santa will only be at Aerospace Bristol on 3 December.

Children in simulator at Aerospace Bristol - credit Aerospace Bristol
Image - Aerospace Bristol

Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole (25 November – 1 January)

Experience the magnificent caves of Wookey Hole illuminated with Christmas characters. Visit Santa in his Grotto and receive a present from his elves. Other festivities include a Christmas circus show about naughty elves and Christmas film in the 4D cinema.

Christmas circus performance at Wookey Hole near Bristol - credit Wookey Hole
Image - Wookey Hole

Undersea Grotto at Bristol Aquarium (16 December - 1 January)

It's not just Santa's grottos this season, meet Charlie the Clownfish at Bristol Aquarium. Wander around the Bristol Aquarium and take part in festive activities and enjoy a hot chocolate beside Bristol Aquarium's giant Christmas tree.

Charlie the Christmas Clownfish at Bristol Aquarium - credit James Beck
Image - Bristol Aquarium, credit: James Beck

Bristol Christmas Market (until 23 December)

Santa will make multiple appearances at this year's market in Broadmead, along with elves on stilts, bubble-blowing soldiers, balloon artists, and Christmas choirs. Head along for festive food and drink stalls, fairground rides, live music and a chance to meet the man in red!

Bristol Christmas Market in Broadmead, Bristol - credit Visit West
Image - Bristol Christmas Market

Visit Father Christmas at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park (1 December - 1 January)

Included in the price of your ticket to Avon Valley this Christmas is a spectacular range of festive events! Watch The Santa Show for some family fun before visiting Santa in his beautifully decorated wooden cabin, where you can get a photo taken, and collect a 'golden ticket' to take to the toy factory! There's also the chance to get up close with his reindeer, meet Mrs Claus and her helpers, explore a beautiful light trail and ride the Elf Express miniature railway. Don't forget to send a letter to Santa with the Avon Valley SMS (Santa Messaging Service)!  

A tunnel of gold fairy lights - Credit Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park
Image - Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park

Santa-tainment at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway (1 - 31 December) 

Head to Cribbs Causeway for a range of free Christmas activities, including the Santa and The Festive Elves Show on weekends throughout December, and the chance to join Santa in his Sitting Room for gentle mornings of story-filled festive fun fon weekdays between 1 - 15 December.

Father Christmas Grotto at Cheddar Gorge & Caves (Until 24 December)

Father Christmas will be stopping off at Gough’s Cave on selecte dates throughout the festive period to ensure everything is running smoothly at the elves' secret workshop. Anyone with a Cheddar Gorge & Caves Day Ticket can explore Father Christmas' South West Workshop in Gough’s Cave, and families can also pre-book a separate ticket for a Father Christmas Grotto session on selected dates. 

Santa Specials at the Avon Valley Railway (Selected dates 25 November - 24 December)

Nibble mince pies or festive biscuits from Santa’s helpers as you pass through beautiful Avon Valley countryside during an hour-long journey in a vintage train carriage. Santa will be waiting with presents upon your return to Bitton station!

Closeup shot of a steam train on the track at Avon Valley Railway near Bristol - credit Avon Valley Railway
Image - Avon Valley Railway

The Father Christmas Experience at Ashton Court Mansion (1 – 23 December)

Professional actors will lead you on an interactive experience through the Victorian manor house at Ashton Court Estate, starting in the Great Hall and ending with a meet and greet with Father Christmas.

Brunch with Santa at Clifton Observatory (2 December)

Enjoy a scrumptious brunch buffet at Clifton Observatory, including English muffins, fresh fruit, waffles, pancakes and a range of toppings, as well as juice, chocolate milk, or hot chocolate. Tickets include brunch, a gift from Santa for the kids, and access to the Clifton Observatory attractions and Elf Hunt.

Meet Father Christmas at Newark Park (Selected dates 2 - 17 december)

Father Christmas will be stopping off at National Trust property Newark Park on weekends in December, book a visit to his cosy grotto in the Drawing Room for a chat and a small gift.

Santa’s Grotto at the Grand Pier (2 - 24 December)

Enjoy a socially distanced meeting with jolly old man in red in his grotto on Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier, a quarter of a mile out to sea. You can expect a warm welcome from Santa, followed by some story time and a photo to take home with you, as well as a special gift! If you're looking for an alternative festive experience, you can visit The Grinch as he causes chaos for the elves in their run up to Christmas!

Santas Grotto at Grand Pier in Weston-Super-Mare - credit The Grand Pier
Image - Santa at The Grand Pier 

Santa Sunday lunch at De Vere Tortworth Court (Selected dates 3 - 17 December)

Enjoy a three-course festive lunch with coffee and mince pies, plus entertainment from a magician, followed by a visit from Santa with a gift for each child.

Sail with Santa with Bristol Ferry Boats (Selected dates 9 - 23 December)

Search for Father Christmas with the Ferry Elves on their cosy boat (complete with Christmas tree!). Once found, Bristol Ferry Boats’ charming Father Christmas will entertain, dole out individual gifts for the kiddywinks, mince pies and sherry for the adults while you cruise around the harbour.

Breakfast with Santa at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre (9 -10 December)

Enjoy a full English breakfast in Slimbridge Wetland Centre's Kingfisher Kitchen, which will be decked out for the holidays. You can then meet Santa and receive a gift in his grotto, before spending the full day out in Slimbridge's wetland wonderlands.

BS2 Santa at Wardrobe Theatre (10 - 11 December)

Come and see Santa and Sven in this interactive show on Old Market, which is perfect Christmas entertainment for ages 2+.

Father Christmas at The Helicopter Museum (10 December)

See Santa arrive by helicopter! You can then meet him and his elves in his grotto and sit in his famous sleigh before exploring the other exhibits at the museum. 

Santa's Grotto at The Wave (16 - 22 December)

Dive into festive spirit at The Wave. Book a visit to Santa's Grotto to get a gift and photo with the big man himself. Cosy up by the lake then enjoy festive films, choir performances, tunes from their Christmas DJ and a Christmas market.

BS3 Santa at The Hen and Chicken (16 - 23 December)

Join Father Christmas and Sven the reindeer handler for music, sleigh bells, and bucketloads of Christmas spirit, suitable for all ages.

More ways to have a #MerryBristmas: