We’ve visited Santa’s Grotto at Woodlands Theme Park a couple of times and we think it gets even more magical every time. And the good news is the Christmas grotto is back in 2023! Here’s a hint at what you can expect from Woodlands Theme Park Santa’s Grotto, including a video of our grotto tour.
Woodlands is a family attraction including indoor and outdoor thrill rides and play in South Devon. It’s one of our top things to do in Dartmouth with kids come rain or shine.
Each school holidays there are additional themed activities for families including a truly spectacular Santa’s Grotto.
Please note: we were invited to a preview of the grotto and to meet Santa before the festive Devon attraction opened to visitors in 2018. I have updated this post with an idea of what you can expect and what’s included in the ticket price in 2023.
Santa’s Grotto at Woodlands Family Theme Park
Woodland’s Santa’s Grotto was a sell out in 2022 – so book early for 2023! If you have tickets already then you will love it. We think it’s the best Santa’s Grotto in Devon – we’ve certainly not experienced one better.
If you’d prefer not to have any spoilers then you might like to skip over my video which gives you a tantalising taster of what the grotto’s ten rooms and Santa experience looked like in 2018.
However, the grotto and Christmas experience at Woodlands in 2023 promises to be bigger and better.
Meeting Santa in Devon
Our visit to Woodlands coincided with the first year we were properly in the Christmas zone. Five-year-old Tot knew exactly what it was all about and three-year-old Baby was hot on her heels.
As soon as we arrived at Woodlands the girls heard the festive music and spotted thousands of fairy lights glistening through the bushes at the entrance. There was no stopping them – they fearlessly went off in pursuit of Santa.
The walk towards the grotto took us down a tree and light lined footpath where we were caught in a flurry of snow (foam).
Our elf guide, Chip, greeted us at the grotto entrance, checked our special grotto tickets and began our tour. The girls didn’t even look back to see if Mr Tin Box and I were following!
The walk-through Santa experience
Woodlands update their walk-through grotto each year, making it an experience you could do each year and still get all the Christmas feels.
Our favourite features from previous years have been the elf tunnel, the singing reindeer, Santa’s post room and the elves’ bedroom.
When we reached the grotto finale we were met by a dancing Mrs Claus who invited us into a toasty warm room. Santa was there, sat by a fireplace. We had a lovely chat with the Big Man before he decided to check his ‘Naughty’ and Nice’ lists to make sure the girls deserved a gift.
After a bit of comedy wavering, we decided they’d probably been good enough.
Are the gifts from Santa value for money?
Each child gets age specific wrapped gift. Last time three-year-old Baby received a farmyard jigsaw puzzle and five-year-old Tot received a glow in the dark magic set.
Both were probably worth more than £8 each at the time based on Amazon prices.
Even without the larger grotto I’d not have been disappointed with the value of entry to Woodlands Theme Park and meeting Santa.
What’s included in the 2023 Woodlands Santa’s Grotto price?
Included in the 2023 grotto ticket price are:
- a visit to the grotto, including a walk through 10 magical rooms
- a gift from Santa for the kids
- photo opportunities with Santa and his elves
- reindeer food to take home
- a festive drink for the adults (non-alcoholic, so you have no worries about driving afterwards)
- a sweet treat for the kids
- and entry to the theme park.
Check the Woodlands website for prices for season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders in 2023.
Woodlands Santa’s Grotto – need to know
If you are going to Santa’s Grotto at Woodlands in 2023 then you’ll have all the information you need on your tickets.
The grotto is open on selected dates from 25 November to 23 December 2023. There are also late night theme park open days in December.
If you are thinking of booking this year then here’s some handy information that you need to know:
- Woodlands annual pass holders can enter the park for free during its open days in December but have to buy/book tickets for the grotto. See the website for full details.
- Grotto tickets must be bought in advance rather than on the day
- Up to two adults only per grotto booking. See the Woodlands website for advice on booking if there are more than two adults in your group.
- Some of the park’s attractions are closed for the winter but there’s still plenty going on to fill your day.
Find out more about visiting Woodlands Family Theme Park.
Disclosure: we were invited to a preview of the Woodlands Theme Park’s Santa’s Grotto in 2018 and were not paid for promotion. All opinions are my own.
Thinking of visiting the Woodlands Theme Park Santa’s Grotto this year? Why not pin this for later?