Looking for the best places to see Santa in York this year? Catch him in the city or out in the countryside, in a stately home, museum or even on a boat! Many Father Christmas experiences need pre-booking so it’s worth thinking about early. Here’s our pick of the best Santa’s grottos in and around York in 2018.
Come and see Father Christmas in the Arboretum at Askham Bryan Wildlife & Conservation Park this Christmas. Join in the Christmas bauble trail, explore the woodlands and receive a special gift from Father Christmas, dressed in traditional green. £5 per child on top of normal wildlife park admission (Child/Concession £5.95, Adult £6.95). No need to
Askham Bryan Wildlife Park, Askham Bryan College, York YO23 3FR
Open weekends and holidays only: 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th December. Father Christmas will be onsite 11am – 2pm.
£5 on top of admission
Mother Shipton’s is opening for the first time this Christmas. Children can meet Santa and then choose from an array of wonderful gifts in his Toy Shop. Be greeted by the Head Elf for story time and don’t forget to bring your camera for a photo opportunity in Santa’s Sleigh! Create a wish to hang
Mother Shipton's Cave, Prophecy Lodge, Harrogate Rd, High Bridge, Knaresborough HG5 8DD
24th November to 23rd December (selected dates)
As part of this year’s 12 Days of Christmas at Castle Howard, there are a few ways to meet Father Christmas. Predictably, the ever-popular Audience With Father Christmas has sold out but fear not! You can still book for an Enchanted Evening With Father Christmas (24th November to 23rd December 2018) with a tea party,
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
17th November to 23rd December 2018
Journey back in time to see how Christmas celebrations and decorations have evolved over the centuries at Nunnington. Each weekend from Saturday 1 December, there’ll be an extra special visitor and his elves coming to stay. Children will visit the Elf workshop before meeting Father Christmas in his grotto to receive a gift. £7.50 per
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York
Saturday 17 November – Sunday 16 December (weekends only; Father Christmas December weekends only)
A Little Vikings Award-winning Christmas experience, there are lots of reasons to take your family to the Castle Museum. As well as discovering how the Victorians celebrated the festive season and getting involved in some crafting activities, there’s a lovely Father Christmas experience. New for this year, enjoy some extra sparkle with a twilight visit
York Castle Museum, York YO1 9RY
17th November to 24th December 2018 (Visit the website for Father Christmas dates and times)
Embark on a quiz trail to help Santa find his sleigh, meet the big man himself and take home a special present. Pre-booking advised, and meeting Santa is included in the ticket price.
Scarborough SEA LIFE, Scalby Mills Rd, Scarborough YO12 6RP
1st to 24th December 201
Included in the admission price
Climb aboard and enjoy a Santa cruise with a difference with City Cruises York. Visit his grotto beneath Lendal Bridge, meet Mary Christmas and enjoy a journey to remember. Tickets include light refreshments, present for each child, face painting and more.
Lendal Bridge Boatyard, York
Various dates in December - visit the website for details
Adult from £12, child from £15
Join the magical elves on Santa’s mission to save Christmas at York’s most popular chocolate attraction. Enjoy an hour-long adventure, get a photo to take home, have a go at chocolate activities and get a gift to take home.
York's Chocolate Story, Kings Square, York
24th November to 24th December 2018
Enjoy a magical Twelve Days of Christmas Walk through the Captains Wood, make the turtle doves fly and be on of the drummers drumming. Visit Santa in the North Pole if you like (extra charge) and meet the elves helping in the workshop. You can even join the elves making craft activities (small charge may
Lotherton Hall, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB
23rd November to 23rd December 2018
From £21 per family (Christmas Experience only); from £7 adult and £10.95 child for Santa at the North Pole
Head to lovely Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster for an audience with Father Christmas. Enjoy tales by the tree, receive a gift to take home and have a photo with the man in red. Additional charge of £5 per child and booking’s essential. Visit english-heritage.org.uk/brodsworth
Brodsworth Hall, B6422, Brodsworth DN5 7XJ
1st to 9th December 2018, 10.30am to 2.30pm, weekends only
£5 in addition to admission price
What could be more special than meeting Santa on board a real steam train? Climb aboard the North York Moors Railway for a fun festive experience, including a 75/85 minute journey (depending on departure station), present for each child, Christmas activity bag, mince pies and a drink for the adults and the chance to meet
Pickering and Grosmont Stations (visit the website for details)
Various dates in December
£22 per person
Climb aboard Santa’s sleigh for a ride through the trees to see twinkling lights, meet Mrs Clause and see Santa in his grotto. There’ll be storytime with the elves and you can unlock Santa’s toyshop with your magic key to choose your perfect gift. There’s a free mince pie and mulled drink for grown-ups too.
Piglets Adventure Farm, Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Ln, Towthorpe York, YO32 9ST
24th November to 24th December 2018
From £10.95 child/£7.95 adult
Join a small group to meet Father Christmas in Beningbrough Hall’s library. Listen to a new story, have a photo taken with him and give him your list if you like. There’s then a little gift to take away. £9 per child (one adult place free); normal admission charges apply.
Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens, Beningbrough, York YO30 1DD
Weekends from 1st to 23rd December 2018
£9 per child, one adult free (in addition to admission charge)
Meet Father Christmas at Treasurer’s House in his attic grotto. He’s had an emergency landing on the rooftops and while he’s getting repairs done, he’s happy to meet young visitors, tell them a story and give them a gift. You’ll have to wear a hard had an adventure through small doors and raised ledges –
Treasurer's House, Minster Yard, York YO1 7JL
Weekends from 24th November to 16th December 2018
Get your skates on and meet Santa in his grotto at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet from 17th November to 24th December (selected dates and times – check the website). Every child will receive a gift and it’s just £5.
York Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Avenue, York YO19 4TA
17th November to 24th December 2018
£5 per child
New for 2018, visit the Santa’s grotto in Coppergate, brought to you by Stockeld Park. Meet a real elf, talk to Santa and leave with a gift and souvenir photo. Why not pop next door where they’ll be selling festive gifts and even Christmas trees?!
Coppergate, York YO1 9NT
15th November to 23rd December 2018 (check for selected dates in November)