Where can I meet Santa near Edinburgh in 2020? Best grottos and drive-thru experiences near me for seeing Father Christmas

The festive season would not be the same without a visit from Santa Claus
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This year has been like no other.

Yet Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa Claus.

The big man in red is set to stop off at various attractions around Edinburgh on his world tour to raise festive spirits and maybe pose for a photo with kids dreaming of Christmas Day.

Santa Claus pictured in his grotto. (Pic: Getty Images)Santa Claus pictured in his grotto. (Pic: Getty Images)
Santa Claus pictured in his grotto. (Pic: Getty Images)
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Youngsters will be able to meet jolly old St Nick, tell him what they would like for Christmas this year and in return they may even get a special gift to take home and place under the tree.

All while adhering to the government’s guidelines around social distancing, hand washing and face covering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s where you can meet Santa.

Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies

Melville Nurseries, Lasswade EH18 1AZ

Enjoy one of the most popular festive experiences of the year at Dobbies.

Set in a winter wonderland which will wow your little ones, visit Father Christmas and his helpers at Santa’s Grotto at Dobbies - and receive a special gift from your visit.

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If the event has to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions, the organisers have made assurances that while tickets are non-refundable, you will receive a full refund, with exception to the bookings fee.

1-24 December, £11.99 per child (£1 booking fee), Book to see Santa at Dobbies.

Santa’s Grotto at Edinburgh Zoo

134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS

Families will have the chance to visit Santa at the Mansion House Grotto.

Each bubble will have 10 minutes to meet Santa to hear about his tales from the North Pole, receive an early festive surprise and take a photo.

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This is an add on to the zoo’s Christmas Nights event. Tickets for this must be purchased as well as tickets to see Santa. Adults are not required to book a ticket to see Santa.

20 November - 23 December, from £13.14p per child, Book to see Santa at the Zoo.

Christmas Drive-Thru Experience at Conifox

Conifox Adventure Park and Stables Bistro, Kirkliston EH29 9ER

Due to ‘elf and safety’, Conifox are doing Christmas with a twist this year.

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The adventure park is hosting Santa like many other years, only this time visitors will experience the enchanting festive adventure in their cars.

The 20-minute tour will include a visit of a Toy Workshop, the Reindeer Flying School, Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, the Enchanted Forest and Santa’s Living Room.

3-23 December, £20-25 per car, Book to visit Santa at Conifox.

SocialEyes Virtual Santa’s Grotto


So much of 2020 has been online, Santa has decided to join the party by holding virtual meet and greets over Zoom.

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The call will last for around 5-10 minutes and during that time Santa will describe what his grotto looks like, how the elves are and will ask your little one a couple of questions. Santa will also send out a present filled with Christmas goodies which will arrive a few days after the call.

For every Santa experience booked, SocialEyes will donate a present to KidsOut - a charity set up to give disadvantaged children positive experiences.

The last date available is 19 December, priced at £15. Book for a virtual tour of Santa’s Grotto.

Santa’s Grotto at Dalkeith Country Park

Dalkeith Country Park Via King's Gate, Dalkeith EH22 2NA

Experience the magic of Christmas at Dalkeith Country Park with a visit from Santa and his elves. Meet the man himself, make a festive wish, take home an “under the tree worthy gift” and get a free photo opportunity, socially distanced.

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As part of the package, you’ll get entry into Fort Douglas on the same day. Full refunds available if government guidance requires the park to close the grotto.

28 November - 23 December, £14 per child (£17.50 per child non loyalty card holder), Book to see Santa at Dalkeith Country Park.

Christmas at the Botanics

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Stockbridge and Canonmills EH3 5LR

Surround yourself with sparkle as the after dark trail lights up at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Take a winter’s walk through the gardens, look at the spectacular visual displays, listen to the seasonal classics, enjoy a warm beverage and watch out for Father Christmas roaming the grounds with his festive friends.

26 November - 3 January, £13 child & £19 adult, Book to see the Botanics.