Festival of Christmas
Join us this festive season as music fills the air and wintery wonders await.
We’re open every day of the holidays except for Christmas Day, and we stay open late on selected evenings.
- Be entertained by the Eden Christmas Orchestra, a cast of 16 of Cornwall’s finest musicians playing festive sets in the magical Mediterranean Biome on the evenings we're open late. See detailed timings.
- Wander through our beautifully lit site after dark, through a spectacular Avenue of Lights to, and see giant willow lantern creatures light up the night.
- Marvel at artist Luke Jerram’s hauntingly beautiful work Gaia, suspended in the Mediterranean Biome.
- Enjoy a glass of mulled wine around a giant Christmas tree, where a brass band plays seasonal favourites.
- Take a spin on our glittering ice rink, or meet Father and Mother Christmas and their elves in their cosy grotto.*
- Exchange your Yuletide woollens for something new in our Christmas Jumper Swap Shop, or make a pledge to the planet in our comical family photobooth.
- Plus, listen to winter tales in the Med, encounter fabulous storytellers around our gardens and Biomes, take part in craft workshops, or do a spot of Christmas shopping at our gift shop.
'A great way to kick off Christmas this year.'
'So authentic and really magical.'
*additional cost applies.
Plan your visit to the Festival of Christmas
All Festival of Christmas activities, with the exception of Father Christmas and ice skating, are included in Eden admission. Choose from several options:
Dates and timings
The Festival of Christmas takes place from 30 November until 30 December 2019. We’re open every day of the holidays except for Christmas Day. We stay open late on selected evenings (Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 30 November until 15 December, then daily 18–23 December and 27–30 December). Visit our opening times page for full details.
Here are details on individual timed activities:
These take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 30 November until 15 December, then daily 18–23 December and 27–30 December. Christmas concerts in the Mediterranean Biome happen at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm (ending at 7pm), while the brass band will play at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm outside in our gardens.
Christmas Jumper Swap Shop
Our Christmas Jumper Swap Shop happens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 17 December, then daily 18–24 December and 27–30 December. It's open 12pm-7.30pm (except for 24 and 26 December, when it's open 12pm-3.30pm). Bring along your unwanted seasonal sweaters and exchange them for something new to you.
Gaia will be suspended in the Mediterranean Biome until 5 January 2020.
Join the Eden Storytellers for magical winter stories for all the family, inside the Mediterranean Biome daily at 12 noon and 3pm.
Father Christmas experience
Father Christmas sessions are bookable and take place during the day and some early evenings during weekends from November 30 to December 15. From December 18 to Christmas Eve there are sessions every day.
Find out more about when you can skate, including details of special sessions for different ages, on our ice skating page.
Join us for some winter crafts on the upper floor of the Core bulding:
- 30 Nov–15 December: 12–5pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only
- 18–23 December: 12–5pm daily
- 24 and 26 December: 11–3.30pm
- 27-30 December: 12–5pm daily
Relaxed sessions (for Father Christmas)
Our relaxed sessions are designed to welcome visitors who may benefit from a more informal experience, such as those with autism and sensory or communication needs. They'll take place on a number of dates before Eden opens to the public in the morning.
There is no additional cost to attend a relaxed session, but you'll need to book your place in advance. Find out more.