FAMILY TIME: Tina, Caoimhe, Rory and Brian Lynch went to see Santa on Sunday.
FAMILY TIME: Tina, Caoimhe, Rory and Brian Lynch went to see Santa on Sunday. Sam Flanagan

GALLERY: All smiles as Christmas comes early in Coffs

THOUSANDS of special needs children and their families flocked to the Coffs Harbour Showground today to say hello to a special visitor.

Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and elves all made an appearance to spread some Christmas joy.

Free jumping castles, a petting zoo, live music and food was also provided to ensure the holiday season kicked off early.

Here's our best photos from the event.