Cornwall isn’t just a summer destination. It’s also a wonderful place to venture in the winter months. We can particularly recommend spending Christmas in Cornwall. This is my guide to what’s on in Cornwall this Christmas.
As I’m publishing this post well before the summer don’t be surprised if some regular events are marked as still to be confirmed. I’ll be updating this guide as the year progresses.
Having said that, ticket sales for some of the most popular Christmas days out are already live. Don’t delay in booking your tickets for these Christmas events happening in 2023. They’re bound to get snapped up fast.
Know of an event or experience not included? Get in touch! I’m adding and updating listings all the time based on the information I spot online and receive.
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The best places to visit in Cornwall this Christmas
From Santa’s grottos to illuminations and markets, here’s where to keep an eye out for festive events happening in Cornwall in 2023.
Christmas events in Cornwall 2023
Here’s where to head for festive spirit and maybe even a mulled Cornish cyder!
Night Gardens at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Enter the Heligan Night Gardens and enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens.
Explore the Gardens as they are beautifully lit by a variety of traditional paraffin lanterns and discover a breath-taking display of flora and fauna lanterns, illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.
Heligan Night Gardens, St Austell, selected dates from 17 November 2023 to 2 January 2024.
Tunnel of Lights at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum
Returning for its fifth year, the Tunnel of Lights is filled to the brim with fun for the whole family, with brilliant experiences returning to start your Christmas time with a bang.
Step into the BRRR-illiant Snow Globe, treat yourself to a delicious festive treat and explore the immersive twinkling tunnels covered in hundreds of thousands of luminous lights.
Shipwreck Museum, Charlestown, selected dates from 25 November to 31 December 2023.
Christmas at Camel Creek
Christmas fun returns to Camel Creek in 2023. Expect to meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, join Santa’s Elves in their workshop for festive arts and crafts, and enjoy tasty mulled wine and hot chocolate on a walk through an enchanted Christmas Tree Forest.
This is all on top of the Park’s usual fun and excitement, including the indoor play area at Creeky’s Playhouse, the Carousel and Wave Rider swings. Animal lovers have the chance to explore The Stables, Reptile House and the Meerkat Enclosure.
Camel Creek, Wadebridge, selected dates 1 to 23 December 2023.
Enchanted Christmas Ball in St Austell
Meet princesses and superheroes at one of two very special Christmas Balls happening at St Stephens Community Centre this year.
The Enchanted Christmas Ball will include partying with Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Spiderman, Superman and Batman as well as photo opportunities and plenty of fun and games.
Book your tickets for the morning or afternoon event.
Enchanted Christmas Ball, St Austell, 16 December 2023.
Christmas at the Eden Project
Father Christmas, with his sleigh and merry elves in tow, will return to the Eden Project this festive season for a new interactive, theatrical experience.
Join Father Christmas in his cosy log cabin in the heart of the Eden site where you’ll be regaled with a festive story while children can post their letters to the North Pole.
The whole experience lasts 40 minutes with each child getting the chance to meet Father Christmas and leave with a gift they can grow for many years to come.
There’s also new after-dark, immersive music performances and light shows. Meanwhile the Eden ice rink opens on 14 October and remains open until February 2024.
Booking is essential and don’t forget you’ll need to have tickets for the Eden Project as well as Christmas event tickets.
Christmas at the Eden Project, St Austell, 1 to 24 December 2023
Christmas at Dairyland Farm Park
Details of Dairyland’s Christmas events are yet to be announced but you can expect Santa, his elves and singing reindeer to make an appearance.
Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay, TBC
Christmas at Paradise Park
Visit Paradise Park for a bracing walk around the animals while taking part in a festive wildlife quiz. There’s a special Christmas gift for every child who completes it.
Paradise Park, from 10 December 2023 to 2 January 2024
Christmas at National Trust places in Cornwall
Here’s what’s on at National Trust properties in Cornwall this Christmas:
Christmas at Cotehele
See Cotehele’s famous Christmas garland decorating the hall of this Tudor house. The garland has been created using fresh foliage and flowers for the past 60 years.
If you’d like to see the garland being made by volunteers visit between 7 and 16 November 2023.
You can also see Cotehele Mill decorated for a family Christmas and head out on a frosty walk around the estate.
Please be aware that only the hall in the house will be open.
Cotehele, near Saltash, 19 November 2023 to 7 January 2024
Christmas at Trerice
Explore the Elizabethan manor house which will be decorated for Christmas, book storytelling with Father Christmas, and enjoy festive performances from a selection of choirs.
Christmas at Trelissick
Father Christmas and local choirs will be leading the seasonal celebrations at Trelissick this year. See the house decorated for a Cornish Christmas and book an audience with the big man on selected dates.
Read more about our last visit to Trelissick.
Trelissick, near Truro, 1 to 31 December 2023 excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Christmas lights in Trengwainton Garden
See the walled garden at Trengwainton and orchard lit with fairy lights and lanterns made by local schools and local artists.
The lights can be viewed from an accessible trail that’s open for bookable visits over three weekends in December.
Trengwainton, near Penzance, weekends from 1 to 7 December 2023.
Godolphin Christmas weekends
This festive season experience see Godolphin adorned with Christmas finery, enjoy a warming mince pie and mulled wine, and listen to the festive chorus of local choirs performing.
Godolphin, Helston, weekends only from 2 to 17 December 2023
Santa trains in Cornwall
Want to ride a Christmas train? Here’s where to find them in Cornwall in 2023:
Santa Specials at Bodmin & Wenford Railway
Ride the train with Santa and his elves, as he walks through the coaches, gifting each child a present with the help of his elves.
Upon arrival back at 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.
Each child will receive an age-relevant gift.
Take a look at our visit to Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Bodmin, selected dates from 2 to 24 December 2023
Christmas at Lappa Valley
Take a festive steam train ride through Lappa Valley at this fun Christmas event in 2023.
Santa and his elves will be waiting to greet children in their grotto and there will be seasonal refreshments for all. Every child receives a presents.
The soft play and woodland train will also be available.
Don’t delay – this event always sells out!
Lappa Valley, Newquay, selected dates from 2 to 24 December 2023.
Santa’s grottos in Cornwall 2023
Here’s where to Meet Santa in Cornwall this Christmas:
Meet Santa at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
This Christmas Heligan will be hosting a very special guest – Santa himself!
As you explore the Gardens on your way to your visit, don’t forget to stop in The Northern Summerhouse to write your letter to Father Christmas.
Within the Festive Reserve Yard there will be music, Christmas crackers, festive crafts, and marshmallows to toast over the warming fire. Santa himself can be found in the Head Gardeners Office.
Each child will be gifted a small traditional children’s present to remember their visit.
You ticket includes entry to the gardens and the Christmas family trail.
Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell, 1 to 24 December 2023
Ice skating in Cornwall
Here’s where to find ice rinks in Cornwall this Christmas:
Ice skating at the Eden Project in 2023
The Eden Project’s annual ice rink returns in 2023.
Book your session in advance and in addition to your entrance ticket to The Eden Project. Family skating sessions take place each morning with skating aids.
More details and tickets will be available over the summer.
Ice skating at the Eden Project, St Austell, 14 October 2023 to February 2024
Read about what you can expect when visiting the Eden Project.
Christmas markets in Cornwall
Want to pick up a unique Christmas gift or sample some delicious Cornish mulled cider? Here’s where to find Christmas markets in Cornwall this year:
The BIG Christmas Market, Truro
New for 2023, the revamped award-winning Truro Farmers Market is being transformed into The Big Christmas Market this winter.
There will be wooden cabins hosting Cornwall’s top artisans and producers at Lemon Quay which will become a lively hub, showcasing Cornwall’s finest talents in food, drink, art, and crafts.
There will also be live music, street food and festive entertainment to bring in the Christmas spirit.
The Big Christmas Market, Truro, 29 November to 24 December 2023
Fowey Christmas Market
Visit this Cornish coastal town to experience a very West Country Christmas with 200 stalls packed with locally produced food and drink, and festive gifts.
Fowey Christmas Market is one of the top things to do in Cornwall this Christmas.
Over the course of three days it takes over the town with traders spread across picturesque Fowey Town Quay, Albert Quay, Webb Street and Town Hall.
Fowey Christmas Market, Fowey, Cornwall, 8 to 10 December 2023
Heartlands Christmas Market
Visit the festive market at Heartlands for locally made crafts, seasonal treats and entertainment. Entry is free and there’s no need to book.
Heartlands Cornwall Christmas market, Redruth, 2 to 3 December 2023
Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.
More things to do in Cornwall
Or why not read our guide to family holidays in Cornwall.
If you know of something happening that isn’t listed already then let me know. I’m adding listings all the time based on the information I spot online and receive.