Christmas 2018 | Tea With Santa At Dobbies

On Saturday we headed to Dobbies Garden Centre for our first visit of the year to see Santa. I say our first visit because we have at least another 4 visits planned to various grottos but I can honestly say now I doubt any will compare to the whole Dobbies experience.

When we arrived at Dobbies we followed the snowy footprints that led us to the Grotto. We were booked in for 4:45pm and we were shown to a grotto waiting area. There were tables for the children to sit at and write their Christmas list and it was decorated with lots of Christmas trees and pretty lights.

When it was our turn to see Santa we headed through a walkway of snow covered trees and decorations and then headed to Santa's living room. Little J sat down next to Santa and was chatting away about his Christmas list and what was on top. Santa then got out a magic magnifying glass that lit up if the child has been good and is on the nice list this year. Little J has been very good this year so I had no doubts that it would light up. Santa was so chatty and had little J laughing. Little J got a lovely gift too, a Lego set.

Little J really enjoyed the whole grotto experience and when we left he whispered 'Mum I think he was the real one!!!'

After our grotto experience we headed for Tea with Santa. We were shown to our table and we were offered tea, coffee and juice straight away. Shortly after little J got sausage and chips and big J got chicken goujons and chips. John and I got the biggest slice of lemon cake each. It was delicious.

Just as we were about to eat Santa came in. He greeted all his guests and told us he would come round to our tables individually, which he did about 10 minutes later.

He spent so much time talking to both big and little J and told us to head over to his seating area later for a photo.

Once we had finished our tea we joined in with the fun and games the elves had planned. We listened to a story, sang songs, played musical statues and musical bumps, played reindeer antler hoopla and decorated a Christmas tree.

Once we finished decorating the tree it was our turn to visit Santa to have our photograph taken. Again he spent so much time talking to the boys, having little conversations with them. 

We were free to leave at any time during the experience, you can stay for as little or as long as you want. We stayed till the end and the whole experience was about 1hr30 minutes.

We were shown back to the grotto for the opportunity to buy the photographs from both the grotto and the tea with Santa. These were not included in the price of the experience.

You can read more about the Christmas events at Dobbies that include the grotto, tea with Santa and also breakfast with Santa.

Santa spent so much time talking to the boys, the food was nice and the elves organised lots of fun activities for the kids. Overall we had an amazing time and I would definitely book again next year.


We were invited to visit Dobbies grotto and Tea with Santa for the purpose of this review. all thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.


  1. I love Dobbies garden centres. Sounds like a really nice place to meet Santa!

  2. How fab is this! Love Dobbies Santa grotto an ideal place to enjoy festive fun xc

  3. Looks like a fun trip to meet Santa and your lemon cake looks insane x

  4. Oh we lOVE Dobbies! It's always a great day out and the Santas grotto is always so well done too!

  5. wow looks so much fun - great that they do these Santa tea afternoons for the children.

  6. We love going to garden centres to meet Santa. Dobbies is great for this and there is always so much to see and do

  7. Wow, this looks like a fab place to meet Santa! Very festive and also great you can do activities too!

  8. What a lovely way to get in to the festive season (and that lemon cake looks amazing)

  9. Awwww these photos made me smile! Love Dobbies and I always used to get so excited meeting Santa as a kid!

    - kristina

  10. Oh how magical!! This would be perfect for my boyfriends son. Its lovely that theres things to actually do when you're there as well xxx

  11. That sounds like such a magical experience! So great that Santa was so chatty, that must really add to the magic!


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