Here are some of the festive events taking place locally this year…

Sat 26 November: Santa comes to Bridgend
Santa and his reindeer will be flying into Bridgend town centre at 11am, before Rudolf and his pals take a well-earned rest in Wyndham Street (11:30pm - 3pm). The town’s festive lights will then be switched on at 4:15pm in Dunraven Place outside Barclays Bank.

Sat 26 Nov – Sat 3 Dec: Christmas art and craft market in Bridgend
Stock up on some yuletide gifts and treats at a Christmas art and craft market which will be on Caroline Street all week (10am - 5pm).

Sat 26 Nov, Sat 3 Dec, Sat 10 Dec and Sat 17 Dec: Santa’s Grotto at Carnegie House, Bridgend
Santa’s grotto returns to Carnegie House on Wyndham Street with presents for good boys and girls! Costing £5 per child, a visit to the grotto includes the chance to meet Santa, an opportunity to take your own photographs, plus a choice of quality gift.

The grotto will also feature free craft activities for children and free story-telling sessions. The grotto will be open from 12pm – 4pm on Sat 26 Nov and will then open from 10am – 4pm on each of the next three Saturdays. Bookings can be made in advance at

All proceeds from the grotto will be distributed to local charities by the Bridgend Lions Club.

Sat 3 Dec: Maesteg town centre Christmas event
The festivities will include a craft fair in the town hall (10am – 1pm), a blessing of the crib outside the council offices (10:30am), and a parade through town which starts from Ewenny Road at 3:45pm.

The town centre’s Christmas lights will then be switched on at 4:30pm, and will be followed by a firework display before the fun continues with a disco (£1 entry) and Santa’s Grotto (£2 per child) in the town hall from 5pm.

Sun 4 Dec: Porthcawl Christmas event
Lots of festive fun from 10am – 6pm in the John Street car park (Mary Street end) including a synthetic ice rink, children’s rides, stalls and more. The highlight of the day will be a visit from Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, their trusty reindeer and elves at approximately 2pm. They will parade around town on their sleigh before arriving at the reindeer pen in the John Street car park.

Fri 9 Dec, Sat 10 Dec, Fri 16 Dec, Sat 17 Dec, Mon 19 Dec and Tues 20 Dec: Santa and his elves in Maesteg
Book your visit to see Santa and his little helpers in the Maesteg town council chamber between 10am and 6pm on these days. Costs £2 per child, and time slots can be booked by calling Maesteg Town Council on 01656 732631.

Sat 10 Dec: Elfsteddfod, Bridgend
Come along to Adare Street from 1pm onwards to take part in an ‘Elf Conga’ world record attempt, elf workshops, face painting and more. Come dressed in red or green and the first 1,000 elves get a hat!

Sat 17 Dec: Carol singing and nativity, Maesteg
Get firmly into the festive spirit by watching the Llynfi Valley Council of Churches sing carols and perform a nativity play in Maesteg market square from 10:30am.

Free festive car parking
There’s free parking in the new Rhiw car park in Bridgend on every weekend for the rest of 2016, while shoppers can also park for free on weekends after 10am at council-run pay and display car parks across the county borough between 3 – 31 December. Please note that this does not include Rest Bay or car parks managed by Halo Leisure or Awen Cultural Trust.