Forget secret Santa – Father Christmas is all over York for the 2016 festive season.
His trademark ‘ho, ho, ho’ will echo across the city from haunts high and low. So if you want to be cheered by that man with the beard, here’s where to find him…
New this year
Shambles, York YO1 8RY
Dec 3-24, weekdays noon-5pm; weekends 10am-5pm
£9.95 per child (including gift and free ride on attraction of their choice)
Santa has a new home in Shambles Market. With the help of York’s Chocolate Story and those magic elves, he has his own log cabin found via the fairy lit snickelway off the famous street. Visitors will be entertained in the queue before being invited in to his old fashioned sweet shop to meet the man himself, get a photo and a pressie.
Santa in Narnia
Narnia Grotto at The Rock Church
The Rock Of York, 12 Priory Street, York, YO1 6EX
Sat Dec 10 @ 10am-4pm; Sun Dec 11 @ 10am-5pm; Sat Dec 17 @ 10am-4pm; Sun Dec 18 @ 10am-5pm
Children: £10.50 (includes gift), adults £5.50
A magical trip through the wardrobe brings you to the Narnia Christmas Grotto. As well as meeting Santa, experience C S Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe come to life, thanks to the Rock Of York. This year tickets for the grotto this year are pre-booked only.
Santa goes back in time
A Victorian Christmas at York Castle Museum
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY
Nov 26-Dec 24
Father Christmas is, in many ways, a gift from the Victorians. So why not follow the Castle Museum Christmas Mystery trail until you find Santa himself?
DIG – A Little Diggers Christmas
St Saviour’s Church, St Saviourgate, York, YO1 8NN
Dec 17, 10am-11:30am
Children: £6.50 (includes free gift). One adult goes free, additional adult £3
DIG is getting a Christmas makeover as the archaeological attraction welcomes Santa – and you can discover how children of the Victorian period celebrated at this time of the year.
Santa at Holgate Mill
Windmill Rise, Holgate, York YO26 4TX
Sat Dec 3, Sun Dec 4, Sat Dec 10 @ 2pm-4pm; Sun Dec 11 @ 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm
£5 per child
Santa obviously has a head for heights as he takes up residence in Yorkshire’s oldest working windmill. Expect mince pies, mulled apple juice and free activities as well as a meeting with the man in red.
Santa on the Rotary sleigh
One of York’s traditions, Santa will travel with the Rotary York Ainsty float through December. See him on these dates
|Date in Dec||Location|
|Friday 2nd||Upper Poppleton|
|Monday 5th||Beckfield Lane|
|Tuesday 6th||Poppleton Park|
|Wednesday 7th||Nether Poppleton|
|Saturday 10th||Acomb Front Street|
|Tuesday 13th||The Revival, Tadcaster Road|
|Saturday 17th||Morrisons, Acomb|
Santa at play
York Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Avenue, York, YO19 4TA
Till Dec 20
£4.50 per child (includes gift)
Enjoy the Wonderland Christmas Village – a street of wooden cabins depicting wintry scenes – and meet the big man. A ticketing system is in operation so go to the grotto on arrival to collect your ticket and visit time. Limited online booking available.
The Web Adventure Park, Wigginton Road, York YO32 2RH
Dec 11 @
Adults £1, children £8 (meal included)
Here’s a chance to do more than just meet Father Christmas, but to have some grub with him too. Creepy Crawlies are offering breakfast and tea with Santa. Ticket only, so pre-book.
Piglets Adventure Farm Park
Piglets Adventure Farm Park, Towthorpe, York YO32 9ST
Till Dec 24 @ 10am-6pm
Adults £6.95-£7.95, children £9.95-£13.95 (includes gift).
Piglets gives you the chance to take a sleigh ride to Santa’s Grotto in the woodland village. Pre booked tickets only.
At Flamingo Land
Kirby Misperton, Malton YO17 6UX
Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, and 17-24 @ 11am, 1pm and 3pm
£10 per child, plus admission charge
Santa and his elves will be turning The Coach House into their very own grotto, where all the good boys and girls will have the chance to enjoy a ten-minute seasonal story telling session with them. Then it’s time for a personal meeting…
Santa on the move
North Yorkshire Moors Christmas Railway
Park Street, Pickering, YO18 7AJ
Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20 and 21st December, various times
Currently sold out
Join Santa and his special helpers on a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express, which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget… At the time of going to press there were no seats left, but worth checking if some become free.
Yorkshire Museum of Farming Santa Special
Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton, YO19 5UF
Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22 and 23 @ 9.30pm-3pm
Adults £7 (includes mince pie and sherry), children £9 (includes gift)
Meet Father Christmas during a train ride, then take a guided tour of Santa’s village to see how the elves are getting on.
Santa Ouse Cruise
York Boat, Lendal Bridge, York YO1 7DP
Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23
Children £13 (including gift), adults £9.50
Meet Santa and friends whilst cruising along the River Ouse for an enchanting hour with YorkBoat. Each child gets a personalised present from Santa. Refreshments, fun and surprises are also on board.
The Wilberforce Trust, 49 North Moor Road, Huntington, York, YO32 9QN
Sat Dec 10 @ 10am-3pm
Bring your child to a safe, fun and stimulating Santa’s Grotto that is autism friendly. Every child will receive a sensory toy as a present. Siblings welcome.
Raising money at Chill Café
8a Acomb Court, Front Street, Acomb, York YO24 3BJ
Dec 10, 11, 17-21
£7.50 including gift
Santa has a grotto at Chill Cafe this year to help raise money for Daisybella. Daisybella has noonan syndrome, epilepsy, a heart defect and is legally blind. Santa will be holding half-hour story sessions, and there will be craft making sessions.
Santa at the stately homes
Christmas at Castle Howard
Castle Howard, Coneysthorpe York YO60 7DA
Till Fri Dec 23
Have a look around the decorated house before your magical visit to Father Christmas, complete with storytelling by Castle Howard’s roaring fire. Then it’s time to pick up a personalised present…
Beningbrough Hall, York, YO30 1DD
Weekends from Dec 3-18 @ 11.30am–3.30pm
£7 per child with one adult place, plus admission charge
Father Christmas invites you to join him in the cosy library of the big hall for stories as he holidays with the elves on the run up to the big day. Have your picture taken with him and pick up your gift. Pre-book.
Nunnington, York YO62 5UY
Weekends from Dec 3-18 @ 11am–4pm
£6 per child (includes gift), plus admission charge
There’s nowhere more charming for a grotto than Nunnington Hall. You’ll receive a personalised invitation for your visit, to Santa a special gift to take home and put under the tree.
Fountains Abbey Grotto
Ripon HG4 3DY
Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19 and 20 @ 1pm-3pm
£5 per child (including gift), plus admission charge
Santa comes bearing gifts to Fountains Abbey on selected dates, so visit him in his cosy grotto.