In the 20th century it became common during December in large shops or department stores to have a "cavern" in which an actor dressed up as Santa Claus to give gifts to children. Grottos can be large-walk through fantasy cavern-like areas incorporating animatronic characters such as elves and pantomime characters. This tradition probably started around the start of the 20th Century in London or New York in the largest department stores to attract customers.
In Adelaide, South Australia, the similar "Magic Cave" was set up in the John Martin's department store in Rundle Mall after the annual store-sponsored Christmas Pageant. Since the closure of John Martin's, David Jones department stores have continued the tradition of the Magic Cave, in Adelaide as well as in other Australian capitals.