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Christmas events and Santa’s Grottos in Suffolk

Christmas, ah here you come again in all your tinsel-wrapped glory.  The build-up to the festive season is upon us and in the spirit of embracing the twinkling glamour of it all, we have compiled a list of sparkling events coming up in Suffolk to get you in the Yuletide mood…

ILLUMINATED GARDENS

Unmissable events to start the festive season include illuminated trails. These ever-popular evening events show the gardens of some of Suffolk’s best historic houses in, literally, a completely different light.

Illuminated Garden Trail at Helmingham Hall Gardens

This illuminated trail around the historic gardens at Helmingham Hall is back and is bigger and better than before. It truly is a winter wonderland experience, together with mulled wine, s’mores, and toasted marshmallows.  There’s also a chance to browse the Stables Shops. When – 19th November – 19th December (not open on Mondays or Tuesdays).  Read more

The Haughley Spectacle of light

Heading into the new year, Haughley Park will again be giving a sensational after-dark experience for people to explore the estate’s usually private gardens and features a brand new trail and light installations for this year that the whole family will enjoy.  As you follow an illuminated trail through the grounds, you will be accompanied by a gentle musical score.  A warming range of food and drink will also be available along the way.  When – 4th – 27th February 2022.  Read more

Watch the Haughley Spectacle of Light film

Ickworth Light Nights

Celebrate winter with the Light Nights event at National Trust’s Ickworth House and Garden. Explore the Italianate Garden and capture the magic of the gothic Stumpery with a sound and light-based trail, culminating with a beautiful light display on the iconic Rotunda.  When – 19th November – 5th December.  Read more

OH YES IT IS PANTO SEASON

The pantos this year are sure to get you falling around with laughter in the same old-fashioned way as they always have.

Cinderella – The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

The ever-popular fairytale pantomime, Cinderella, is being presented at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, a restored Regency theatre, and only one of eight Grade I listed theatres in the United Kingdom.  When – 26th November – 16 January 2022.  Read more

Have plenty of laughs and fun at Cinderella Pantomime in Bury St Edmunds 

Jack and The Beanstalk – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

This rock ‘n’ roll panto at the New Wolsey Theatre is a glorious mash-up of pantomime and pop concert and will be a festive treat for all the family.  The famous New Wolsey company put on a pantomime that gets you dancing in your seat, singing along and laughing out loud.  When – 25th November – 8th January 2022.  Read more

Cinderella – Spa Pavillion, Felixstowe 

After not being able to go to the ball last year, she’s definitely going this year and will find her prince charming!  At the Spa Pavillion, you will meet the loveable Buttons, the Ugly Sisters, Evil Stepmother, and of course Cinderella in one of the nation’s favourite pantomimes. When – 17th December – 3rd January 2022.  Read more

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD

Elvedon Courtyard Farm Shop

The Elveldon Courtyard Farm Shop can be found on the Elvedon Estate on the edge of Thetford Forest.  Here you will find everything for a perfect feast along with presents for those foodie-loving friends and family.  The children can even book a slot to see Father Christmas in his special grotto in the depths of the Christmas tree forest, watch out for the cheeky elves though as you make your way to see him.  See below for dates when you visit Father Christmas at Elvedon.  When – 27th November – 19th December (Saturdays and Sundays only).  Read more

Suffolk Food Hall

Christmas has well and truly arrived at the Suffolk Food Hall on the outskirts of Ipswich, with gifts, decorations, calendars, and of course Christmas speciality foods.  Read more

Christmas Farmers’ Market

There will be a chance to stock on some festive treats at the Christmas Farmers’ Market held in the Cattle Sheds at Trinity Park, in Ipswich.  There will be a special festive feel as you browse over fifty of the region’s very best producers and makers!  When – 11th December.  Read more

SANTA’S GROTTOS

Elvedon Courtyard

Visit Father Christmas in his magical house in a forest of Christmas Trees at the Elvedon Courtyard.  You may also bump into some mischievous elves who will be hard at work but happy to regale you with stories of their adventures from the North Pole.  When – 27th November – 19th December.  Read more

Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park

Give the children a real treat and have breakfast with Santa down at Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park.  Indulge in a delicious breakfast and meet Santa or step into the magical grotto and meet the big man himself with his elves and then enjoy a wander around the farm and wildlife park.  When – 4th – 24th December (various dates).  Read more

Easton Farm Park

Children will love the chance to visit the Christmas farm animals at Easton Farm Park and to be part of the exciting Christmas experience.  They will be able to make some food for Santa’s reindeer, decorate some gingerbread and help the elves with some present picking.  There’s also a wishing tree and, of course, a chance to meet Father Christmas himself. When – 4th – 24th December (various dates).  Read more

Santa Specials at Mid Suffolk Light Railway

Take the children on a magical ride in the heart of Suffolk on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway Santa Special.  The steam trains run from Brockford Station to ‘North Pole Halt’, for an individual visit to see Santa in his Christmas Guards Van where each child will receive a present. On the return journey, passengers can follow the signs for the Christmas Market where Christmas crafts, hot drinks, mince pies, and festive mulled wine will be available to buy.  When – 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th & 19th December.  Read more

Christmas at Kentwell

Step back in time to meet a range of Victorian characters at Kentwell Hall this Christmas and see the massive Christmas tree and the dining room, all decorated for Christmas Dinner.  Follow the Days of Christmas Trail through the Gardens and find the animals and garden crafts at the stables.  You will be able to take your Christmas Portrait in Victorian Style in the biggest ‘selfie booth’ anywhere!

Continue with the festive family fun with a chance to see Mother and Father Christmas in their Christmas Cottage.  When –  4th – 12th December (Saturdays and Sundays only).  Read more

CHRISTMAS FAIRS AND MARKETS

Present Galore, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse 

Presents Galore is being held at the Rowley Mile Racecourse in Newmarket and is one of East Anglia’s most spectacular Christmas fairs. The three-day Christmas shopping extravaganza offers the perfect start to the festive season, featuring over 100 boutique stalls, the fair is a treasure trove of unique gifts and experiences just waiting to be found.  When – 19th-21st November.  Read more

Find the perfect gift at Presents Galore

Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham

Enter into the magical Country Christmas Shop at Blackthorpe Barn and be dazzled with everything glistening to make your home the best decorated in town.  Courtyard Café has some delicious homemade cooking and baking to enjoy after seeing the crafts and when you’ve chosen a home-grown tree from the Rougham Estate to take home.  When – 25th October – 22nd December.  Read more

Beach Street Market, Felixstowe

Beach Street is Felixstowe’s latest tourist attraction and the converted container ship complex has already proven a huge hit since opening in the summer.  Its first Christmas market is being held in December and will also feature a Santa’s grotto.  When: 11th December, 10am – 4pm.  Read more

The Saints district, Ipswich Festive Market

Pop into the historic town of Ipswich and visit The Saints district, St Nicholas, and St Peter’s Streets where you will find a Festive Market with an exciting mix of independent shops.  When – 28th November.

CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Christmas Adventure Quest at Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle, nr the Suffolk Coast, has a festive family-friendly adventure quest.  Discover some of the castle’s amazing stories and secrets as you follow the trail around this magnificent building.  When – 26th December – 2nd Jan.  Read more

Explore the history at Framlingham Castle

Many of the events we have talked about need to be booked in advance so please check before travelling and keep checking for any new events.  Merry Christmas.