Are you looking for value or free places to visit Santa in Ireland? Christmas can be an expensive time of year so we are always on the look out for ideas to save you money. We have put together the best value and free places to visit Santa in Ireland this Christmas so everyone can have a very merry Christmas.
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2020 Update – many places are still deciding if they will open this year. We will try to keep this article up to date as we hear, but please check their website or facebook page.
Our criteria to be included on our value or free places to visit Santa in Ireland was €15 or under per child.
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Bring the little ones to visit Santa at IKEA in Dublin, and they can enjoy some festive activities while they visit.
Santa’s grotto is located in the main entrance and he will be there on selected dates in the run up to Christmas. We hear that this Santa is excellent with any children who may have additional needs. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Kildare Farm Foods
Santa usually visits Kildare Farm Foods on weekends in December from 10am to 4pm each day. Visits to see Santa are free, and every child gets a free gift too. No need to book. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Horkans Garden Centres, Galway, Wicklow, Mayo
Visit a Horkans Garden Centre in December to post your Santa letter in the special Santa Post Box located in the Christmas Winter Wonderland area. You may also spot Rudolph and some of his friends getting ready for the busy season ahead. Santa will collect letters each week, so do look out for him when you visit!
Santa visits Arnotts every year. You’ll find Santa’s Grotto alongside the Oh What Fun themed cafe on level 2. The “Virtual Santa Q” means you don’t have to spend hours waiting in line to visit Santa Claus. Tickets are allocated on a first come, first served basis each day so you can get your Santa Q ticket when you arrive and they will let you know when it’s almost time to meet Santa Claus so you have plenty of time to make your way to the Grotto.
Visiting Santa Claus is free* and includes an I’ve Seen Santa badge for each child. There is a photographer at Santa’s Grotto available to capture a photograph of your visit which you can purchase as a souvenir.
* This year, Arnotts are asking for a donation of €10 per family for visiting Santa. 100% of this donation will go to St Vincent De Paul. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Best Value Santa Places
Visit The Santa Experience, Dublin, Limerick, Cork
For generations, a visit to Santa’s grotto has been part of the magic of Christmas and provides plenty of festive fun for all the family. The Santa Experience provides families with an authentic, immersive and entertaining journey to meet Santa.
You will travel through four special areas including The Elves post office, Santa’s Stable, The Sleigh Station and The Arctic, on your journey to meet Santa Claus who is eagerly awaiting your arrival. Here the children can share their Christmas wish lists with him and Santa will even know some info about each child, he is Santa after all!
Admission: €12 per child & €6 per adult (includes tour & gift) Santa will be in The Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Dunnes Stores Patrick Street, Cork and The Jetland Shopping Centre, Limerick. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Adults Go Free At Santa’s Christmas Wonderland, Ashford, Wicklow
Santa’s Christmas Wonderland is where children come first and “ADULTS GO FREE”. Nestled beneath the forest canopy in the grounds of the Bel Air Hotel, Ashford, Co Wicklow you will find a magical wonderland waiting for you to experience. Here you can enjoy a real traditional Christmas in a beautiful woodland setting. Growing in popularity each year and attracting families from all over Ireland. Santa’s Christmas Wonderland is fully wheelchair accessible. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Visit Santa at Jervis Shopping Centre
Santa arrives to his new Magical Castle in Jervis Shopping Centre every November with FREE magical festivities throughout the day he arrives. He then sees visitors in his grotto up to Christmas. He finishes early on Christmas Eve at 5pm so he has time to get home to the North Pole for deliveries!
Prices to see Santa at Jervis Shopping Centre start from just €10 which includes; a magical visit with Santa, a present and a magic certificate. Dates for 2020 TBC.
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Visit Santa at Powerscourt, Wicklow
There will be plenty of fun for families to enjoy a day out at Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow in the run up to Christmas.
Santa & Mrs Claus usually stop by Avoca to see all the boys and girls and in addition to their visit with Santa, families can visit the stables and see some of Santa’s animals including, Santa’s deer, pygmy goats, donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs! Rudolph will make an appearance too! Dates for 2020 TBC.
Green Santa at Belvedere House, Westmeath
Treat your children to a magical Christmas experience with Green Santa at Belvedere House, Westmeath.
Green Santa arrives at Belvedere House on the first Saturday in December and proceeds to his magical grotto, along with his elves, where he will meet children from 11am.
Green Santa at Belvedere offers a great value and quality Christmas experience with a difference. Children booked in to see Green Santa will get a potted Holly Tree to bring home with their family to plant out and watch it grow with them over the years, as a lasting and fond memory of their visit to Green Santa at Belvedere. Every child will also receive some Reindeer Food and the customary Victorian Candy.
Online pre-booking for this event is therefore essential and all Green Santa Bookings will include entry to Belvedere House, Gardens, Park and Play Areas. For those who want to walk the outdoor trails after their Green Santa visit please dress appropriately for the weather on the day.
Book your visit online to see Green Santa at Belvedere House. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Visit Santa and his Rein-Dogs at Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind HQ, Cork
You can bring the kids or grandkids along to meet Santa and his rein-dogs at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind HQ in Cork and help raise money for this wonderful charity. Whilst there you can pick up gifts in the Christmas Shop and even buy your Christmas Tree. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Winter Wonderland at Athenry Heritage Centre, Galway
Enjoy a magical time in the Athenry Heritage Centre’s Winter Wonderland with a one hour Santa Experience that includes a range of festive craft activities for all the family to enjoy.
The Elves are waiting for all the boys and girls to help them enjoy their activities and Santa is waiting with a gift for the children to take home.
Parents of young babies and toddlers can also enjoy their Santa experience with morning opening times just for you. Santa has a special gift too. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Santa at Donegal’s Lapland, Donegal
Visit Donegal’s Lapland at Doagh Famine Village, see a live show and visit the elves in Santa’s Workshop and Toy Factory and receive a special gift from the big man. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Santa at Rancho Reilly, Carlow
Visit Santa at Rancho Reilly’s Magical Christmas Experience during December, complete with Elves Workshop, Christmas Carriage and of course a visit with the Big Man himself. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Letter to Santa at Huntington Castle, Carlow
The Castle will be full of Christmas cheer with wonderful decorations, miniature railways, vintage Italian nativity scene and of course the big man himself. Dates for 2020 TBC.
See Santa at Delta Sensory Gardens, Carlow
Delta hosts its very popular Christmas Fair and Outdoor Lights Display during December. A colourful display of outdoor lights will be on display in the sensory garden plus Christmas competitions.
You can visit Santa’s grotto, Elves workshops and festive face painting is available from 12pm to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays (online booking essential). Dates for 2020 TBC.
Santa’s Magical Wonderland, Cavan
Visit Santa’s Magical Wonderland Cavan in Market Square, Cavan, and meet some of your favourite characters. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Visit the Santa Lodge at Nuremore Hotel, Monaghan
In Co. Monaghan, visit Santa’s Lodge at Nuremore Hotel and Country Club for a lovely Christmas experience. Santa will be there every Friday & Saturday in December. You can enjoy; photo opportunities with the elves in the giant sleigh, storytime with Mrs Claus, write your letter to Santa with the elves and meet Santa and receive a gift. Dates for 2020 TBC.
Have your say! Have we missed a free or great value Santa experience from our list? Tell us in the comments below.