Home » Christmas in Plymouth 2023 – what’s on in and around the city

Christmas in Plymouth 2023 – what’s on in and around the city

If you want to know what’s going on at Christmas in Plymouth 2023, then you’ve come to the right place. 

The festive fun is going to be awesome in 2023 – and we CANNOT WAIT.

Whether you’re looking for where to meet Santa in Plymouth, which Christmas trains are running in 2023, or what festive shows are on, this is the place to be. 

People are being super organised this year and some events are booking up fast or are almost sold out. So if you’ve not got anything planned yet, have a read through this blogpost and see what takes your fancy. Make sure to keep up to date with cancellations or new tickets being released if you’ve not been lucky to bag what you want straightaway.

So buckle up and let’s get planning what we’ll take our kids to at Christmas in Plymouth 2023 in this wonderful city of ours. Be warned, this list is LONG. But once you’ve finished, feel free to save it, then share it with your friends. And also come back a bit closer to Christmas to see even more updates.


The Box Plymouth

If your little ones like eating out, then why not book in to have Breakfast with Santa at The Box Plymouth this year. The event in The Box Kitchen & Bar will run on Saturday and Sundays From December 2 to 17, as well as Decembner 21 and 22. Father Christmas will be there to greet the children as they arrive and tuck into a yummy breakfast. Then you can spend a few hours exploring the museum. There is so much the kids will enjoy in this awesome place. There will also be some drop-in craft activities in the run up to Christmas, and a Family Festive Celebration event on December 22 where The Box will be open late for families to explore the galleries by night, listen to seasonal stories, decorate delicious cookies and dance to some Christmas hits. You’ll also be able to make the most of the chance to do some last minute Christmas shopping whilst you’re there.

Then on December 23 meet Santa’s elves Sparkles, Bumble and Mistletoe at The Box’s Museum Mischief event. They have been tasked with arranging an afternoon for a very special group of people to meet Santa. Unfortunately, Mistletoe is being naughty and not taking his job very seriously, Bumble is getting annoyed with Mistletoe, and Sparkles forgot to do something which means Santa may not even make it to meet everyone. Can you help them to get along and find a way to make sure Santa arrives in time? Visit The Box Kitchen & Bar and Candlelight Theatre Company as they present an interactive experience that will leave you feeling Christmassy… That’s if they can ever get Santa here!

Boringdon Hall Hotel

If you fancy something a bit different for your older children that is still magical, head to Santa’s Grotto at Boringdon Hall Hotel. Visitors will be dazzled by a dance performance and then enjoy a festive afternoon tea before getting creative with Christmas activities including gingerbread decorating. They then get to meet Santa Claus himself and receive a present. It runs at 12.30pm on December 3, 10 and 17. Tickets are already almost gone, so there is also a Festive Afternoon Tea with a visit from Santa as an alternative event. These take place on December 18 and 19 but will not include the activities or dance performances.

Father Christmas Grotto
Chaplins Grotto

Chaplins Superstore

The Plympton store is renowned for its Christmas Grotto – with festive scenes to walk through before meeting the big man, my boys love this one. Santa usually arrives on the second Saturday in November to open his grotto, but that’s not been confirmed yet. Last year you could also have breakfast with Santa and his Elves in the Bowlers Cafe on selected dates so let’s hope that’s happening again in 2023. Find out more on the Chaplins website.

Woodlands Theme Park

The Grotto at Woodlands Theme Park opens on Saturday November 25, and will run every weekend until December 17, and then daily from December 18 to 23. If it’s anything like previous years it will be AWESOME. After meeting your elf guides, you’ll venture through the magical forest meeting all of Santa’s festive friends along the way. You’ll then arrive at his toy workshop where you’ll get a sneak peek of where magical Christmas toys and gifts are made. There is also a special evening event on Thursday December 15. Last year Woodlands held a one-off Christmas Night At Woodlands where visitors were able to see the theme park’s brand new lights experience as well as meet Father Christmas in his grotto from 4pm to 8pm. It proved so popular that this year there will be SIX evening events in 2023. They will take place on December 5, 7, 12, 14, 19 and 21. The theme park is closed during this time but you’ll still be in for a treat.

Twin boys with an Elf
Fun at Woodlands grotto

Endsleigh Garden Centre

Another popular choice for Plymouth folk, is the grotto at Endsleigh Garden Centre. But there’s more than one chance to meet Santa – as well as the grotto you can also have breakfast or tea with him. It’s loads of fun! Details haven’t been released yet, but when they are it’ll be sure to sell out quick. Keep an eye here for information.

Tamar View Nurseries

Tamar View Nurseries in Carkeel is always a given on our calendar for Christmas in Plymouth and nearby. After staying away to focus his efforts on toy-making for a couple of years, Santa returned last year and is set to be in his Grotto again for 2023. The Grotto is usually open every weekend from the third Saturday in November and 30 minute slots will be available to book. The nursery’s usual collection of over 50 animations will be back out on show including huge Humphrey Bear and his furry friends, singing reindeer and much more.

The Eden Project

Eden hasn’t announced their Christmas plans yet but once they do you need to get in there super quick as tickets usually sell out fast. Keep an eye on their website for the Father Christmas Experience which is bound to be that extra bit special. Kids will love meeting the Big Man himself and leaving with a lovely treat. Whilst you’re at Eden, you could also book an ice skating session which run from October 14 to February 2024. I am definitely going this year! They tell me their Christmas plans and tickets will be launched on October 30 for members and November 1 for everyone else.

Eden Project Christmas grotto
Looking young (not me!) at Eden

Bedruthan Steps Hotel

A bit further out but apparently well worth a visit is the Night Before Christmas experience at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel in Cornwall. The event is a one nightstay with breakfast at the hotel, a 15 minute exclusive family experience with Santa plus a luxury gift, family time in the indoor pool, drop-in crafting sessions and adults can us the spa. (I know where I’d be!)

Otter Garden Centre

Okay, so there’s not strictly a grotto here, but if you need ideas of somewhere to take the pre-schoolers on a miserable December morning, it’s well worth a visit. The Christmas section has loads for the children to see, and previous years I’ve spent pretty much a whole morning watching my boys mesmerised by singing reindeer/snowmen or dancing Christmas trees. And there’s a cafe for that all-important coffee, so what’s not to like? Way better than a morning of soft play hell. Keep an eye on their website to find out more.

China Fleet Country Club Santa’s Grotto

Meet Santa at China Fleet Club in Saltash on December 10 and 17. The event includes a two course Christmas lunch, then Santa and his elves are ready to greet your little one with an extra special gift. There is also a Breakfast with Santa event on December 22, 23, and 24, but hurry as tickets will sell fast for this.

Boys meeting Santa at China Fleet Club at Christmas in Plymouth
My boys at China Fleet last year

Pennywell Farm

If you’ve not taken your children to Pennywell Farm at Christmas you really should. It’s such a lovely experience. We went a few years ago and their new look Christmas experience was so good they’re sticking to it again. Fun starts on November 17, and be prepared for a fabulous Christmassy experience. In small groups you’ll arrive at the North Pole to be greeted by the friendly elves and collect your Christmas passport to be stamped throughout the 2 – 2.5 hour session. The Christmas Nativity story will come to life in the cosy main barn with Pennywell animals looking on.

There will then be mince pies, biscuits and drinks in Noah’s Barn before a visit to the Elves Sweetshop, and then the the tractor and trailer ride to see if you can spot the gingerbread men hiding along the way. Children will be able to experience Christmas close encounters with the Pennywell miniature piglets, pygmy goat kids and other furry friends. Then enter the sparkly enchanted forest where Father Christmas will be waiting with a special gift for every child. We had an absolute blast when we went and this has got to be one of the highlights for Christmas in Plymouth 2023 and nearby. I mean, Twin One’s face below says it all… Hurry up and book though as tickets are available now and will sell fast.

Brothers with presents after going to a Christmas experience at Pennywell
Loving life at Pennywell

House of Marbles

Father Christmas will hopefully be popping in to spread his festive cheer at the House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey. Children will venture through the magical winter wonderland where Santa and his Elves will be waiting in his Grotto. Children will receive a gift and goody bag from Santa. Keep an eye on their website for when they release details.

Kents Cavern

Families can join Santa and his friends in a magical underground adventure at Kents Cavern this year. Santa In The Caves event will see families meet Twinkle the Naughty Elf who has been up to all sorts of mischief: she’s taken Santa’s Magic Key. The Magic Key brings toys to life, and Twinkle wants to show you around Santa’s Workshop and wake up all the toys. Using the Magic Key, the big wooden door turns into a portal to Santa’s Workshop. But, only elves can go through the portal. Luckily Twinkle has some magic Elf Dust which can turn humans into elves. So visitors can join Twinkle on a quest through the workshop, meeting all sorts of toys, and help return the key to Santa. There will be an interactive pantomime performance throughout the caves finishing in the Grotto where you will be able to meet Santa. Each child will receive a gift, whilst the adults will get mulled wine and mince pies! Santa in the Caves is on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.


A little boy on the Christmas train at Plym Valley at Christmas in Plymouth
Twin Two on the Plym Valley Christmas train last year

Plym Valley Railway

Catch the Plym Valley Railway’s Christmas Express from Coypool to Plym Bridge throughout December. Meet Father Christmas and his elves on the steam train journey to the Arctic, then visit his grotto when you get there. You can even play in the snow! It’s on every weekend in December as well as December 20 and 21. So get your tickets now and prepare to embark on a magical journey.

Trago Mills 

Children will be able to ride the North Pole Express at Trago Mills Newton Abbot to visit Father Christmas and his Elves. The North Pole Express will be running again this year from Riverside Station and will take families on a journey to Santa’s Grotto to meet the Big Man. The train will then whisk you away to your next destination, Trago Central Station where you’ll alight for the Trago Mills Model Railway. Children will receive a gift and soft drink, and adults will get a hot drink. Check their website for details.

South Devon Railway

If you’re looking for something extra magical this Christmas, what about the Polar Express Devon train ride on South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh? It’s based on the 2004 animated movie starring Tom Hanks and tells the story of a young boy, who on Christmas Eve, sees a mysterious train bound for the North Pole stop outside his window and is invited aboard by its conductor. The boy joins several other kids on their journey to visit Santa Claus.

And that’s exactly what will happen when you join the Polar Express train and watch the story be theatrically recreated in real life. We took our boys and it was EXCELLENT! Seats are like hot cakes as usual so be QUICK, and you might be in luck. It’s on from November 24 to December 23 and some journeys are already sold out unsurprisingly. Read more about it here and book tickets here. And remember if you don’t wear Christmas pyjamas, you will look TOTALLY out of place!

A family dressed in matching Christmas pyjamas ready for the polar express at south devon railway
The Polar Express is just magical!

Seaton Tramway

If you can’t get tickets for the Polar Express at Buckfastleigh, then it’s also running at Seaton Tramway. The same magic is expected to take place on selected dates from November 24 to December 24.

Bodmin and Wenford Railway

Santa by Steam at Bodmin and Wenford Railway looks set to be popular. Join the steam train at Bodmin General where you’ll be greeted by Santa’s Elves, before travelling to Bodmin Parkway. Whilst aboard the train, children will have the chance to write their list to Santa before and meet him as he walks through the train, gifting each child with a present with the help of his elves. Upon arrival back to Bodmin General, head over to Santa’s Victorian Carriage and enjoy a couple of family photos before taking part in Christmas themed arts and crafts activities. Santa Specials will be running on selected dates starting from December 2. There are also Story Time with Santa, and a Private Santa Experience events taking place. Find out more about the railway’s Christmas events here.

Dartmouth Steam Railway

A little further out, but absolutely worth it is the Christmas Train of Lights at Dartmouth Steam Railway, and according to its website this year is going to be even bigger and better. From November 24 to December 30. Board a steam train decked with thousands of fairy lights for the festive illuminated journey at Queen’s Park Station, Paignton. It goes to Churston Station where the show begins and passengers are then propelled through the 450-metre Greenway tunnel that leads to an enchanted forest transformed by a multitude of lights. You can use the turnaround at Kingswear to disembark and take photos of the magnificent train before heading back to Paignton. This year there is also an option to meet Santa but there are only very few tickets left for that so book in QUICK!


Plymouth City Centre

Always one for the calendar, Plymouth City Centre’s Christmas Lights switch on will take place on Thursday November 16 from 4pm. The lights will be switched on between 6pm and 6.30pm. There will be an exciting programme of free family-friendly friendly entertainment to enjoy on stage in the Piazza including live music with performances of carols and popular Christmas songs from local groups and choirs. More details will be released by the council nearer the time. It also marks the start of festive late night shopping every Thursday in the lead up to Christmas. Go to the Visit Plymouth website to find out more.

Christmas in Plymouth 2022 with the city centre lights on the piazza
Pic by Visit Plymouth

The Barbican

Another great event is the Barbican and Sutton Harbour Christmas Lights Switch-On. It’s taking place on Saturday November 18 and has a packed programme of Christmas fun, festive entertainment and activities for all the family. Organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, more details will be released nearer the time so I’ll update you with them then.

Plymouth Barbican Christmas lights

Saltash Christmas Lights Switch On and Festival

Thousands are expected at the Saltash Christmas Festival 2023 event on Saturday December 2. The event, by the Saltash Chamber of Commerce, will see Fore Street transformed from 1pm to 7pm, into a pedestrian haven with snow in the air, community groups showcasing their activities and shopkeepers taking their shops out into the street showing off their ranges of Christmas gifts. Sounds awesome! The lights switch on usually takes place before but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Plympton Lights Switch On

Light Up Plympton will take place on The Ridgeway on Sunday November 26. Thousands of people are expected to attend the event to see the lights turned on, enjoy entertainment and browse the stalls. It will be a family-filled afternoon of festive events, stalls, fairground rides, performances and more. And with it being on a Sunday this year, there’s more time to enjoy it! The event takes place from midday, with the lights being switched on at 5.15pm.

Frozen giants at a Christmas lights switch on
A previous Plympton Lights Switch On

Crownhill Village Lights Switch On

Crownhill Village Switch On – The Christmas lights will be switched on in Crownhill village on Friday November 24 . The event, which starts at 5pm, will include stalls, singers, a town crier and Santa!


Plymouth Winter Wonderland

Central Park will be transformed into a Plymouth Winter Wonderland this year from Friday November 24 until Monday January 1. There will be a huge undercover ice rink, Santa’s Enchanted Forest Grotto, a heated Big Top with live music, rides, attractions and props, a Christmas bar, and festive food stalls. Tickets for the event will be released in early October.

Santa Fun Run

Fancy dressing up as Father Christmas and joining up to 1,000 others on Plymouth’s Santa Fun Run? The event is taking place on the city’s waterfront with the 2.5km or 4km route going from the Barbican up to the Hoe. Children aged six to 11 are allowed to take part in the 2.5km route. It is on Sunday December 3 and will raise money for two local charities – Jeremiah’s Journey and Shekinah.

Hundreds dress as Father Christmas for the Plymouth Santa Fun Run

Dartmoor Zoo

Santa Claus is coming to Dartmoor Zoo! Children can visit the zoo at Sparkwell for a morning of Festive Banqueting, Christmassy Crafts, access around the zoo before it opens to the public, and a chance to meet and recieve a gift from the Big Jolly Man himself. Breakfast With Santa events are taking place from 9.30am to midday on December 9/10, 16/17 and then December 21, 22 and 23.

And last year’s Dartmoor Zooluminate proved so popular it’ll be on again for 2023 bigger and better than ever. The evening event, from December 8 to January 1, will see the zoo lit up after dark in the most enchanting way. The stunning light installations will be brought to the zoo by the people behind the Royal William Yard’s Illuminate spectacular in previous years. There are installation spaces all the way around the zoo, and some of the enclosures are lit up so you might even get to see some animals snuggled up for the night. How cool is that!

Royal William Yard

Christmas at the Royal William Yard is always a cracker, with bustling Christmas markets under the stars with tempting treats aplenty, gifts galore from the South West’s best artisans and makers, and festive tunes from local choirs.

A huge Christmas tree at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth
Pic by Royal William Yard

Their 2023 Christmas plans include a Good Food and Craft Markets on Sunday December 3, 10, and 17 from 10am to 3pm, and Wednesday December 6 and 13 from 5.30pm to 9pm. They take place in the Melvile building and courtyard. There will be a huge array of stalls offering festive wares and unique gifts – plus plenty of treats and tipples to try. With festive lights, mulled wine, a choir and children’s crafts all adding to the atmosphere – this is the place to visit to get into the Christmas spirit.  Those wanting to get some Christmas shopping done early should head to the November Good Food and Craft Market on Sunday November 5 from 10am to 3pm.

Other Christmas events taking place at the Yard include a Grand Christmas Wine Tasting at Le Vignoble on Thursday November 23. Sounds like a potential mum’s night out to me! Grab your mates and try out some wines that will be perfect for the upcoming festive season. Or another girls’ night potential is a Christmas Wreath Workshop at Hub on Friday December 1 at 7pm. Run by award-winning florist Hannah Burnett, not only will you get hands on step-by-step guidance from two professionals, you also get a welcome drink and Christmas cocktail. I’ve done lots of Hannah’s workshops in the past and have to say they are brilliant.

Mr Kriss on the Barbican

The UK’s largest illuminated Santa sculpture, is visiting Plymouth’s waterfront this December and will be situated in The Parade, outside Bonne Sante and Rockets and Rascals, from November 29. Affectionately named Mr Kriss, at a whopping 5m high and 5m wide, he is a truly magical sight to behold. Taking up a footprint of nearly 40sqm, he is adorned with over 10,000 lights and is sure to bring festive cheer to everyone who sees him. Visitors of all ages will be able to get up close and personal with Mr Kriss to take photos and ‘Santa Selfies’.

Mr Kriss, the UK's largest illuminated Santa is part of Christmas in Plymouth celebrations

Jon Walton, CEO of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said: “Mr Kriss is going to add even more sparkle to the Barbican and waterfront this Christmas. He’ll be visiting Plymouth from the end of November and be here until the end of December. We can’t wait to see the ‘Santa Selfies’ and photos that visitors take with him. We’d encourage anyone coming to see Mr Kriss to take some time to explore the rest of the Barbican and waterfront whilst they’re here – to support our many local businesses, cafes, restaurants and shops and soak up the festive spirit in our historic quarter.”

Plymouth Winter City Wonderland

Head to Treeby Court (opposite Go Outdoors) for the 2023 Plymouth Winter City Wonderland from November 16 to January 1. Grab your skates and head to the undercover ice rink, try out one of the exciting rides and attractions, visit Santa in his Grotto and the Elves in their workshop. Then feast on locally-sourced festive refreshments and buy some presents at the Christmas market. If this won’t get you in the Christmas mood, nothing will. This is the event that’s been in Exeter in previous years, but now WE get to have all the fun!

Christmas lights in a Plymouth garden
Pic Matt Gilley, Plymouth Live/Herald

Tavistock Christmas Tree Festival

If you want to see how they’re really supposed to look, take a trip to Tavistock Christmas Tree Festival in Tavistock Parish Church from December 1 to 10. The town’s popular Dickensian Evening will also be taking place on Friday December 1.

Santa’s Christmas Party Cruise

If you fancy something a bit different, ready your sea legs and head for Santa’s Christmas Party Cruise on December 9/10 and 16/17. The 1.5 hour long boat trip is offering festive fun for all the family including tea/coffee and mince pie for the adults, and a soft drink and selection box for each child. There will also be festive music, face painting and a visit from Santa onboard.

Barbican Reindeer Trail

If all of the above isn’t enough fun for you, then why not take part in the Reindeer Trail on the Barbican? You can help Santa find his team of reindeers by collecting a sheet from the Tourist Information Centre and follow the trail to find individual reindeer in the shop windows. Once you’ve found the whole team, head back to the Tourist Information Centre to collect a Christmas treat. But don’t panic if you don’t find them all – the trail starts as part of the Barbican Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18 but will run until December 21.


Saltram House

If you follow my blog or social media channels you’ll know Saltram has always been my favourite go-to place, especially before the boys all started school. So obviously I’ll be heading there this Christmas! The National Trust are putting on Saltram’s Christmas in Bloom 2023 from November 24 to January 2. Visitors will see how Saltram brings the beauty, magic and splendour of an 18th century pleasure garden to life within the walls of its luxurious house interiors. Bringing the outside in, each room will transport you into a beautiful festive landscape, with wow moments around every corner and some woodland friends to lead you on your Christmas adventure.

You can pick up a Christmas family trail from the Welcome Centre and go on a festive adventure around the house and gardens. The beloved mice are back again, for another Christmas at Saltram. This year, meeting new woodland friends around the house, showing them all the fun that a Georgian pleasure garden has to offer. You can help the mice and their new friends find some missing items around the garden, to help them take a very special Christmas journey. Complete your sheet and collect your sticker.

Father Christmas will also be at Saltram again in 2023 for some songs and story sessions in the stables. Both visits to the house and the Songs and Stories with Father Christmas need to be booked. The slots went live on October 16 but are expected to sell out super fast.

Boys and grandparents in Saltram House with it decorated with Christmas trees
Loving the Christmas trees at Saltram with Granny and Grandad.

Buckland Abbey

Visitors to Buckland Abbey are being invited to step back in time to the Tudor era and immerse themselves in their Tudor Frost Fair. You’ll be able to find out about the history of these fairs, and immerse yourself in the frosty trees and ice décor used to recreate this magical time. The Great Barn will be filled with trees and twinkling lights to create a beautiful and frosty display, and choirs will perform on selected dates throughout December. The Abbey will also be dressed for a very frosty Christmas for all to see.


Families will be able to see Cotehele’s famous 60-foot Christmas garland again this year. They’ve not announced their full plans yet, but you can meet the team creating it from November 7 to 16. It is then exepected to be on display from the third weekend of November until the first week of January. Made with flowers grown at Cotehele, it’s become a must-see for many when it comes to Christmas in Plymouth 2023 and nearby.


Theatre Royal Plymouth

This year’s children’s show in The Drum at the Theatre Royal Plymouth is Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas. Join Santa as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares for his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. The show is only an hour long and aimed at children aged 3 to 7. It looks lovely!

Flyer for Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas show at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
Pic by Theatre Royal Plymouth

This year’s pantomime is Goldilocks and the Three Bears and runs from December 15 to January 13. And if it’s even a patch on last year’s you do NOT want to miss it. It stars Strictly Come Dancing sensation Brendan Cole, double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes, and Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell. Returning to his Plymouth roots, West End star Samuel Holmes joins the cast, alongside comedy ventriloquist Steve Hewlett, and renowned TV and stage comedian Adam C Booth.

The panto will see the theatre transformed into a sensational circus, where everything is possible, and anything could (and will) happen. Goldilocks’ circus is under threat from an evil rival circus owner and, with the help of their madcap circus friends, they’re battling to rescue their Big Top from ruin. Will they succeed? All seems lost, until three brilliant bears join the gang. This festive extravaganza is packed with riotous comedy, extraordinary special effects and hair-raising stunts! Sounds pretty awesome.

Theatre Royal Plymouth's pantomime Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Pic by Theatre Royal Plymouth

Soapbox Children’s Theatre

If your children would enjoy a more intimate theatre experience take them to the Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Devonport Park. The Stiltskin Theatre Company’s festive winter show for little people is called Penguin and Bear about two best friends who are in pens side by side in the zoo. But one day they are released back into the wild – one in the North Pole and one in the South Pole. The performance tells the heart-warming story of how the friends discover they can’t live apart from one another and make the journey across the world to be reunited. Sounds cute! It’s suitable for children under the age of 8, is about 50 minutes long and is full of delightful storytelling with magical puppets, characters and music.

Stiltskin Theatre Company are also putting on IGLOO – A Christmas Show for Families which is aimed at those over six and all the family. Peeps has crash landed in the Arctic where he discovers Piccolo’s enchanting home, the Igloo. Join Peeps and Piccoo in this 90 minute magical and playful tale full of lost stories of Dragons, Witches, Trolls and most of all friendship.

Bubblicious Raves

The Soapbox Theatre at Devonport Park are also hosting Bubblicious Baby and Family New Year Raves on December 31. There is one suitable for babies from 1pm to 3pm, and another for kids aged four and above from 4pm to 6pm. Organisers promise bubbles, UV, old skool, to new skool, uv face painting, bubbles, walkabout performers, arts and crafts chill-out area and lots more to keep everyone entertained. Tickets have just been released.


Lots of local markets and Christmas fairs haven’t been announced yet, so check back again soon and I’ll keep this post updated. Here are a few that are already planned:

Plymouth City Centre Christmas Market

There’s a chance to buy some unique gifts at the Plymouth Christmas Market from November 30 to December 17. Traders from across the South West and beyond will be selling their wares. These are from seasonal stalls and log cabins, with the chance to pick up anything from handmade jewellery and clothing to artwork and homewares. Then you may as well have a sneaky tipple from the Bavarian Bar too! There will also be entertainment from bands, choirs and performing arts companies throughout the 2.5 weeks. Read more about it here. This is set to be a real highlight of Christmas in Plymouth 2023.

Christmas market in Plymouth city centre
Pic by Visit Plymouth

Hugs Christmas Fair

Children will be able to see Santa in his Grotto at the Hugs Children’s Cancer Charity Christmas Fair on Sunday November 26. The event, at Boringdon Golf Club will be on from 11am to 3pm with the fun including local stalls, local choirs, a tombola, arts and crafts and a raffle.

YMCA Plymouth Christmas Fair

Have fun at the YMCA Plymouth Christmas Fair on Sunday December 3, 2023 from 11am to 4pm. There will be about 60 stalls to browse for your Christmas gifts as well as a Santa’s Grotto, bouncy castles, raffle, and refreshments.

YMCA christmas fair event taking place at Christmas in Plymouth

Tavistock Christmas Markets

Tavistock’s Butcher’s Hall will be the place to buy your Christmas gifts this year, from December 14 to 23. Get into the festive spirit and browse a wide range of stalls from textiles to wood craft, food and drink to glass and pottery.

Elburton Village Christmas Fair

The Elburton Village Christmas Market will take place in the village hall on Saturday December 2 from 3pm. There will be loads of stalls selling all sorts of Christmassy wares, as well as cakes, hot drinks and mulled wine from my favourite cafe The Lemon Tree, and a hog roast from the butchers. Kids might even be able to meet the Grinch. There will be a sing-along with local children and the lights will be switched on at 5pm. See you there!

Elburton Christmas market is one of the great events taking place at Christmas in Plymouth 2023

Christmas Shopping Event

If you fancy a bit of Christmas shopping with a difference then head to Yealmpton on Thursday December 7. Ben’s Farm Shop and Winstone’s next door will be holding the joint event from 3pm to 8pm. Ben’s will be offering delicious organic produce, mulled wine and mince pies. Winstone’s will be offering eco-friendly, design-led gifts and interiors. Other local artists and artisans will be housed in a marquee on the drive selling their wares, and there will also be live music from a local group. Sounds great to me!


If for some absolutely crazy reason there isn’t enough going on for you during Christmas in Plymouth 2023, then there are also some excellent things going on a bit further afield. Here are a few of them.

Christmas at Killerton

Our local National Trust properties aren’t doing it for you? Then maybe a drive up the A38 to experience Christmas at Killerton will do it. The house will be traditionally decorated for Christmas and full of seasonal cheer. There will also be Christmas themed fun and games around the garden and chapel grounds, with an outdoor trail for younger visitors.

Closeup of light on a Christmas tree
Pic by Unsplash

Powderham Castle

After the popularity of the last two year’s events, Christmas at the Castle is back again for Christmas 2023 from November 27 to December 31. A stunning light walk will extend over a mile through the grounds and gardens of Powderham Castle, and this year the castle itself will be open for visitors to explore again. Kids will love the festive decorations, light features, displays and storytelling. And Santa will be waiting to see them in his grotto. There are also pony rides and goat walks in the Secret Garden, a magical market with traders and craftspeople in the Christmas Barn, and festive refreshments and music. 

Snowman and deer Christmas lights

Lappa Valley

Lappa Valley in Cornwall is a perfect place to enjoy the wonder and magic of Christmas with little ones. Take a nostalgic steam train ride through the wooded valley into Lappa and find lots of festive fun.  They can meet Santa in his grotto on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 19-24 . Read more about and book tickets for Christmas at Lappa Valley here

Christmas at Crealy

There’s loads going on at Crealy this Christmas, so get booked up now to avoid disappointment. On selected dates from December 2 to 23, visitors will be able to join in the festive celebrations and enjoy the seasonal Christmas attractions, cosy live shows and entertainment and see the theme park lit up with lights and decorations. There will be Santa’s Magical Ice Show, Sooty’s Christmas Show, Buddy and Blossom’s Jingle Bell Show, Santa’s Magical Post Office, Winter light displays, and a Santa ‘Meet and Greet Experience’.

Shaldon Zoo

Young visitors to Shaldon Zoo near Teignmouth will be able to meet Santa as well as the animals in December. More details will be released on their website soon.

Babbacombe Model Village

A Very Miniature Christmas will be taking place at Babbacombe Model Village near Torquay this year. The magical minitaure wonderland will see the village illuminated with lots of Christmas sparkle and festive lighting, as well as some delightful seasonal scenes. Get the kids to take part in the Christmas character spotter sheet to add some extra fun during the daylight and see if they can find all the mini Santas.


Brothers cold at a Christmas tree farm as an idea of something to do for Christmas in Plymouth 2021
Funnily enough we’ve not been back to a Christmas Tree Farm since this pic was taken a few years ago…

One thing I really wanted to do a few years ago was go to a Christmas Tree Farm to pick our real tree. With less going on in 2020 I thought we could make this one of our ‘Christmassy’ things. Well let’s just say we went back to the garden centre for the last two years! It WOULD have been a fabulous festive treat – had it not been chucking down with rain, freezing and I had three whinging kids with me. But it’s a nice idea!

There are several in Devon and Cornwall to choose from, or further afield. Check out this post 200+ Christmas Tree Farms in the UK to decide where you want to go. But from now on this’ll be our family tradition. At the garden centre 5 minutes down the road…

Three brothers choosing their tree at a garden centre for Christmas in Plymouth
Much happier!

So there you go, just a *few things for you to choose from! Hope you find something you fancy and have a great time.

If you have an event that you’d like me to include, email me the details at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com.

Whilst we’re on the subject of Christmas, have you started shopping yet? Have a look at these fab Gift Guides for some great ideas of things that the kids (and you!) will love.

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? Keep an eye out for the latest Local Stuff here. And why not check out some of these:

Or if you’re after some more Christmassy content, then how about these blogposts?

You should check out the ‘usual’ type of stuff I write. Honest, relatable rants about parenting three boys. With a touch of swearing and a lot of sarcasm. You’ll like it! Check out my Mum Life section or head to my Travel Section for some UK family holiday and days out inspiration.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and the odd giveaway. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

If you like what you see, how about you check me out on Pinterest Instagram,  TwitterThreads and TikTok too.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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