Top Things to do in St Ives at Christmas.


Enjoy The St Ives Santa Experience

While you might associate St Ives with warm Cornish summers by the sea, the town thrives all year-round and really comes alive at Christmas. With the festive period fast approaching it is well worth planning your trip to the town to ensure that you can benefit from all that the holiday season has to offer. Pick of the events bunch are the lantern parade, Christmas markets and a special visit by who else but Santa Claus himself on Friday 3rd December at Christmas Lights have already been switch on and St Ives is looking very christmassy.
Check out why you should consider celebrating in St Ives this festive season.


Santa’s Grotto

Santa will be visiting on Saturday 4th between 1pm and 4pm. His Grotto be be located in Kids R Us Theatre. Entry is £3 and Santa will be giving every child a little present. No booking required, just turn up on the day and while waiting enjoy stilt walkers, singers and musicians around the town.


The Christmas Markets in St Ives


3rd – 5th December 2021
Christmas markets are an excellent opportunity to find holiday goodies and pantry fillers. St Ives, as you might expect, excels in the Christmas market tradition, providing you with seasonal sundries of every kind.
There are three main markets…

There are over 30 different stalls selling art, crafts and festive goodies with live music and festive drinks on offer. This market is the perfect way to kick-start your Christmas gift shopping and explore local artists.

Parking is free in Cornwall Council car parks in St Ives on Saturday so why not take the time to visit the market, the Tate and enjoy St Ives, take in a meal at one of the many wonderful restaurants. Saturday afternoon sees the Kerrier male choir perform a selection of Christmas carols and favourite pieces. 

Sunday browse through the market and choose presents for your loved one knowing that they are created by crafters, artisans and artists who appreciate every purchase.

The Farmer’s Market, also held at the Guildhall on Thursday the 9th, 16th and 23rd of December. If you’re planning on doing a lot of cooking over the Christmas break, then this is the place to be. You’ll find homemade chutneys, a variety of cheese, freshly caught fish and meat butchered locally instead of hundreds of miles away. Several vendors sell local Cornish delicacies, like pasties that you can munch as you make your way around. 

Christmas Panto in St Ives


It isn’t Christmas without a panto (oh no it isn’t!), and our local youth theatre company, Kidz R Us, always does a roof-raising job of getting us into the holiday spirit. This year they’ll be performing the sparkly splendour of The Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates.
Buckle your swash and set sail with Robinson, Captain Seasalt and Nutty Nick into a world of adventure and hilarity.  You’ll meet a host of colourful characters along the way, together with a band of marauding pirates.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Take Part In The St Ives Christmas Window Competition


The St Ives Christmas window competition is an annual tradition. Dozens of shop owners around the town compete to see who can create the best-dressed windows. Prizes include Best Overall Window Display, Best Small Window, Most Humourous Window, and Best Interpretation. 

Who wins is determined by both the public and professional artists who tour the town investigating each entry. You can vote for your favourite window in a variety of ways… by posting a picture of the shop that you like most with the name on it to the ‘St Ives in December’ Facebook page, or by taking a picture of the window and uploading to Instagram with the hashtag #SIDwindow2020. You can also do things the old-fashioned way by casting your vote in one of the town’s Post Offices. There also will be a treasure hunt around the town.
Judging will be on 11th December. Winner and runners up will be announced soon after.

Boxing Day Dip in St Ives


Gather on Porthminster Beach on Boxing Day at 12.00 for the annual hangover cure. Wear a swimming costume, wetsuit or even a Santa outfit, it’s entirely up to you! Sea-dogs and hardy kids are welcome too. The amazing St Ives Mermaid will also be making an appearance.

It’s a free event, but if you want to make a £1 donation, there’ll be a collection for charity Mind. If you’d rather not leap into the sea half-naked in December, come along and support your freezing friends by holding their towels. Follow St Ives Boxing Day Dip on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest info.

St Ives New Year’s Eve 2022



The St Ives New Year’s Eve Party is the climax of the holiday season in the town and a fitting end to a month of celebrations. During the New Year’s Eve party, the whole town takes on a carnival vibe, with a continuous procession snaking its way along the streets. 


Locals mix with visitors from all over Cornwall who all dress up in fun and exciting costumes. There’s never a dull moment when the carnival is in town. The crowds start pouring into the town centre early in the evening. If you have small children with you be sure to arrive early to enjoy the experience. The atmosphere is lively, and there are age-appropriate festivities.

As the night goes on, the celebrations continue and people begin spilling out from various bars and pubs onto the streets. The crowd tends to flow towards the harbour during the evening where the crowds gather for the final countdown to midnight. 

Later on the party really livens up with live music playing up to midnight and beyond. Enjoy fireworks over the harbour as you celebrate seeing the New Year in at midnight.

Check out our blog post everything you need to know about New Year’s Eve in St Ives.

So there you have it, all the things to do in St Ives this Christmas season. Whatever you chose to do we wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Make this Christmas magical and stay in St Ives



Stay in one of our luxury self catering holiday cottages in St Ives or Carbis Bay. Whether you’re looking for a large house with sea views or a cosy hideaway just paces from St Ives harbour, we’ve got a holiday property to suit everyone this Christmas at So St Ives

Our very own So St Ives elves will even be busy decorating our properties with some Christmas sparkle and Cornish goodies for your stay!
Why not enjoy a glass of mulled wine outside The Sloop Inn on the harbour-front on Christmas Day before returning to your cosy holiday home for a relaxing afternoon?If you’re feeling really brave then how about joining the traditional Boxing day dip on Porthminster beach? Wear a swimming costume, wetsuit or even a Santa outfit, it’s entirely up to you, but whatever you wear it’s a guaranteed hangover cure!Whatever you do in St Ives you are sure to have a fabulous relaxing Christmas.

Take a look today and make your Christmas extra special…

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  • samphire-studio-accomodation-st-ives
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  1. Sharon Feinstein

    Looking to come over Christmas and new year for solitary break

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