A day of Christmas festivities saw Father Christmas arrive at his grotto in St Tydfil Shopping Centre on Saturday 16th November.

Joined by his helpers, Santa made his way to the grotto greeting visitors along the way before taking up residency and listening to Christmas wishes from Merthyr’s children.

To celebrate Santa’s arrival, the shopping centre held a festive pop-up fayre where local people were able to purchase unique and handmade gifts, as well as enjoy delicious food. The Llwydcoed Brass Band played Christmas favourites and a balloon modeller kept young visitors entertained.

Julie Calderbank, Operations Manager at St Tydfil Shopping Centre, commented:

“Christmas is such a magical time and it was wonderful to see the faces of young children as they got to meet Santa in his grotto. It was a great way to get the local community into the festive spirit before the town’s Christmas lights switch-on event. We look forward to welcoming more families and children every weekend up until Christmas.”

Santa’s Grotto at St Tydfil Shopping Centre is free to visit and opens at 11am every Friday and Saturday until 21st December. Visitors are encouraged to leave enough time to queue before Santa returns to the North Pole at 4pm. All children who visit will receive a goody bag and can post their letters to Father Christmas into the special post box next to the grotto.

Further Christmas pop-up fayres will take place in St Tydfil Shopping Centre on Saturday 30th November and Saturday 14th December. A Santa’s sleigh will also be at the centre every day leading up to Christmas for visitors to sit in and take photos.