Ho ho ho! Where to see Santa in and around York this year

Santa's Grotto in York 2019

Nothing gets the Christmas magic flowing quite like meeting Father Christmas himself, and he’s going to be popping up all over York this festive season. Whether you’d like to meet him on a boat with City Cruises York, in the Christmas Village at Mother Shipton’s or in the woods at Northwood Trail, there’s a Santa experience for everyone in York this year. Most of them do need pre-booking, so do plan ahead unless you want to find yourself on the naughty list…And if you’re looking for more things to do in York this festive season, click here to take a look at our guide to Christmas in York 2021

Castle Howard Courtyard Grotto

See Santa at Castle Howard’s Courtyard Grotto

The Courtyard Grotto is back at Castle Howard, with more Christmas magic and fun than ever before for your little ones. The adventure will begin with a festive tale from Story Craft Theatre before meeting the main man himself. There will be lots of laughs, smiles and a photo opportunity for children and parents alike. Your grotto visit will finish with a present from Santa and the option to post letters to the North Pole from Castle Howard.

4th December to 23rd December 2021 – Visit the Castle Howard website to book tickets

The Web Adventure Park York Christmas Festival 2021

At The Web Adventure Park’s Christmas Festival

For a full festive day out, The Web Adventure Park is a perfect place to park your sleigh. Enjoy an audience with Father Christmas, meet the elves and reindeer, watch Dazzling Darren’s Christmas performance and the Elf on the Shelf show. That’s on top of the usual indoor and outdoor fun, from unlimited fairground rides and more indoor play options than you can imagine. Pre-booking required.

27th & 28th November, 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th and 18th – 24th December 2021 – Visit The Web Adventure Park website

Mother Shipton's Christmas

Meet Santa at Mother Shipton’s Christmas village in Knaresborough

Following the twinkling lights to Mother Shipton’s in Knaresborough this Christmas where you can wander through the winter wonderland, visit the Christmas village and meet Father Christmas himself. Say hello, take an ‘elfie and have a little chat. If you’d like to receive a gift, you can buy this separately to receive from Santa’s elf helper. Why not visit the Elf Post Office to post a letter to Santa while you’re there? Pre-booking required.

20th November to 24th December 2021 – mother-shiptons.co.uk

Murton Park Santa

Santa’s Staycation (Part II) at Murton Park

Santa loved his staycation at Murton Park so much last year that he’s decided to do it again and you’re invited! Step this way for a magical Christmas experience in Santa’s village where you’ll meet the big man himself in his winter cabin and children will receive Santa money to spend in the Magical Toy Shop. Then it’s onto the village to meet the cheeky elves followed by a visit to the bakehouse at the Derwent Valley Light Railway where adults can tuck into a complimentary mince pie and children will be given reindeer food to take home and put out on Christmas Eve. Selected dates in November and December 2021 – murtonpark.co.uk

York School of Magic

Meet Santa at York’s School of Magic

Christmas is coming and Old Saint Nicholas is on his way to make a special visit to York’s School of Magic! But look alive young witches and wizards, for the evil forces of winter are prowling the city and the magical professors need your help to keep the festive season safe! Guided by the magical professor, you’ll be taken on a winter wonderland journey through the winding streets of York. Within your 2-hour interactive experience with professional actors, you’ll learn spells, hunt for the school’s secret location through the historical city of York, and dine on delicious Christmas treats! Children’s tickets include a gift from Santa. Book your place at the online booking office.

*Use the code MAGIC for 10% off tickets*


Make chocolate with Santa at York’s Chocolate Story

This December (27th November -23rd December 2021), York’s Chocolate Story will have a Christmas make-over as Santa himself takes up residence. Guests will be able to meet Santa on the special themed tours and they’ll even make festive chocolate lollies with him! Filled with festive fun, children will discover incredible seasonal secrets. Visit the York’s Chocolate Story website for details

Nunnington Hall Father Christmas

Step back in time to meet Santa at Nunnington

Step back in time whilst you explore the house and then meet Father Christmas. Enjoy traditional festive crafts before meeting Father Christmas in his grotto to receive a gift. Normal admission prices apply. £8 per child, booking essential – 27th November to Sunday 19th December 2021 (weekends only) – Book online at nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall or on 0344 249 1895

Lotherton Santa 2021

Meet Santa at Lotherton’s Christmas Experience

There’s a variety of festive experiences on offer at Lotherton’s Christmas Experience for 2021, from a one-on-one meeting with Father Christmas to a shorter experience for younger children or just a Christmassy day out including a new winter woodland walk. Booking is required for all elements. 27th November 2021 to 2nd January 2022 – thechristmasexperience.co.uk

The Ice Factor at Yorkshires Winter Wonderland

Get your skates on and meet Santa at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Why not visit Santa as part of your trip to York Designer Outlet this Christmas? Head to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland and follow the path through the snowy enchanted woodland to find his cosy log cabin and collect a special gift.  Visits to Santa’s Grotto are priced at £5 per child with a £1 family booking fee. Booking required. Selected dates in November, and daily in December until 24th December 2021. Visit the Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland website.

Northwood Trail Christmas

Meet Father Christmas in the woods at Northwood Trail

Northwood Trail is hosting a Santa experience with a difference: a more natural, wholesome and enchanting experience with stories, candles and imagination. Dressed in green, Northwood’s St Nicholas mirrors the Father Christmas of the past, while Lady Winter encourages us to rest, be still and dream. Enjoy a glass of hot punch before making a wish with Lady Winter and listening to a short story with St Nicholas. Children will receive something symbolic to take home, and a chocolate coin too. Sat/Sun 11th & 12th December, then 15th to 23rd December 2021 – Visit the Northwood Trail website

Santa City Cruises York

Meet Santa on the river with City Cruises York

Climb aboard a City Cruises boat this Christmas to meet Santa on the Ouse. See his grotto, meet an elf or two and receive a personalised present from the big man in red. Tickets include a glass of wine for the adults, a drink and snack for children and a one-hour cruise. Selected dates in November and December 2021 – Visit the City Cruises York website.

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