School Holidays York

Places to see Santa 2020

Places to see Santa in 2020 in York. If you want to see Father Christmas in or near York this year then here is the full list…

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Do you have something going on that you want local families to know about?

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21st November – 24th December 2020 (selected days)

This year we’re keeping the magic of Christmas alive by opening our Christmas grotto, however, they’ll be a few changes to keep everyone safe and sound!

Our grotto visit includes a reindeer hunt around our store, inside and out, and a chocolate lolly when you find them all!

Afterwards, you will make your way through our magical winter wonderland grotto, and be able to take pictures on Santa’s sleigh and on your winter wonderland walk.

You will then have a private family audience with Santa Claus, where you can tell him all your Christmas wishes – and promise him that you’ve been very good this year!

You will also receive a photo memento of your visit, and, with the help of Santa’s elves, you can choose a brilliant, well-deserved gift from our range of award-winning gifts in a tin, a new offering for 2020!

We advise you to book your ticket in advance by visiting our website here

Covid-19 Measures

As usual, you can purchase a ticket online through our website, and you can choose a time and day that suits you best. However, to establish social distancing we have had to reduce the number of slots available this year, and so we strongly encourage pre-booking your ticket to avoid disappointment as we anticipate having very few tickets available on the door.

For more information on please visit our website.

Mumbler Anna visited with her family in December 2019 and sent us this review … click here

Ackworth Garden Centre, Barnsley Road, Ackworth, WF7 7NB

01977 612 660


4th – 23rd December 2020

Friday 4th December (slots from 3pm – 7pm)
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December (slots from 1pm – 7pm)
Friday 11th December (slots from 3pm – 7pm)
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th December (slots from 1pm – 7pm)
Friday 18th December (slots from 3pm – 7pm)
Saturday 19th to Wednesday 23rd December (slots from 1pm – 7pm)

Come and join us for a magical storytelling event here in the historic Courtyard of Castle Howard. Meet Santa’s helpers as they guide you through into our festive library, where children will get to meet Santa and settle down to hear a brand new, enchanting winter’s tale ‘The Snowflake’ by popular children’s author Benji Davies.

Each child will receive a book to take home, along with a Christmas activity pack. The special post box to the North Pole will be ready to receive children’s letters, so do bring them along too.

£15.00 per child (plus booking fee), £13 per child for members, accompanying adults are free of charge.

Each Grotto session will last approximately 15 minutes.

Booking: Available on the day from the Ticket Office

Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

01653 648333

Featured Listing

Christmas Fairs

Santa will also be visiting a lot of the Christmas Fairs happening across York, sometimes just for an hour or two.

See our Christmas Fairs page for more information on the fairs he will making a stop off at.

Saturday 5th December until Wednesday 23rd December.

Our Santa Experiences are now sold out, and will be going ahead from the 5th of December, 2020.

We have setup a waiting list for tickets. If you would like to be added to this waiting list, please send an email to and let us know your preferred date and time, plus how many adults and children are in your party. Please also include a contact telephone number. We will then contact you should any tickets become available. Thank you.

Our most magical event of the year returns again in 2020!

There is a reason why families return year after year to join us for our City Cruises York Santa Experience, it really is the most magical event on the River Ouse! And tickets for 2020 are on sale now!

Santa clearly works hard all year around and especially in December when he somehow manages to find the time to visit all of the especially well behaved boys and girls before Christmas and he tells us that the City Cruises York Santa Experience is the most unique venue that he visits in the city.

Your Santa experience begins as you are welcomed into our Grotto, cleverly hidden away underneath the beautiful Lendal Bridge. Upon entering, the Santa Experience Captain will check all of the children off the special list that we receive from Lapland. If you have any pushchairs, then you are welcome to leave these in the safety of our Reindeer Pen (they will all be away on business with Santa at this time so there will be plenty of room).

You will then be warmly greeted by Santa’s good friend Mary Christmas or Ernie the Elf, who will gladly show you to your reserved seating and distribute the magic bells.

And we can’t tell you too much more about what happens next, that would spoil the magic. But we can guarantee that Santa Claus himself will find his way aboard and the whole family will have the most wonderful time on board our Santa Experience in 2020.

Each child will be hand delivered a personalised present from Santa whilst everybody on board will enjoy refreshments, fun and surprises, making this a Christmas treat to remember.

Your ticket includes:
For adults a glass of red or white house wine or a refillable cup of tea or coffee, an apple or mince pie For kids a soft drink (Fruit Shoot or Capri Sun), a novelty biscuit
Present for each child, face-painting, colouring in sheets and a letter template to write a letter to Santa
Cruise (if river levels permit – otherwise a complementary voucher is given for a daytime sightseeing cruise at a later date that suits you)

“Fantastic Santa cruise! Nicely spaced for good social distancing, Santa was absolutely lovely and it was nicely set up that we could still get photos and kids could still have a chat to him. Lovely activity bag for the children too! Would definitely recommend!”

Read our Mumbler review HERE.

Click “more info” to find out about the COVID safety measure that have been put in place this year.

01904 628324


You may not be able to get to a Christmas Grotto this year, or to a Christmas Panto Show, but don’t worry, Enchantica’s are bringing Father Christmas and his Grotto sing along show to you instead!

Its just £14.99 for the PERSONALISED VIDEO allowing up to 4 children per video and £39.99 for the DELUXE PERSONALISED VIDEO for up to 4 children per video.

With the countdown to Christmas now upon us there will be a cut off for orders so we advise you book your personalised video adventures early to avoid disappointment.


A gorgeous Winter Woodland Walk with lots of festive delights and twinkling lights to see along the way! The magic of Christmas is here; Santa will be visiting and giving children a special wave from his safe and cozy grotto, and his festive friends are taking up residence in our very own Christmas Village.
Visitors cannot go inside Santa’s grotto but they can take a photo inside Santa’s sleigh and sit upon the Christmas throne. Don’t forget to bring your letters for Santa to post in our Post Box!

Stop by the incredible Petrifying Well and see the Cave where the famous prophetess Mother Shipton was born. Make a Christmas wish in the Wishing Well and explore the historic outdoor attraction.

Warm up with refreshments and drinks from our coffee kiosk. Our toilets are open and we have picnic benches throughout the attraction. Access to the adventure playground is subject to weather conditions. Our museum and gift shop is currently closed.

Dogs are welcome everywhere except the adventure playground and must be kept on a lead.

Running on 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Dec 2020

Booking is essential. Click HERE to book.

01423 864600


5th – 21st December 2020

Things are a little different at Murton Park in 2020, Santa has decided to have a ‘staycation’ there will be lots to see and do in a safe way with reduced number and one-way systems in place. Your experience will start with you entering Santa’s village. You will meet Santa’s elves as you walk through the village past their houses and workshops.

You will then arrive at the Santa’s log cabin for an audience with the big man himself. To ensure social distancing in here there is a maximum of 5 people per booking. We also ask that all those over the age of 11 (unless exempt) wear face coverings whilst in with Santa. You will then be able to warm yourself by the fire as you wander through Santa’s house. Then you will say goodbye to the village on your way to the Magic Toy Shop where children will be able to choose an early present with the Christmas money they will have received from Santa. There will be Bird of Prey flying demonstrations and the opportunity to hold the birds (assuming coronavirus rules do not change).

Adults will all receive a mince pie and children reindeer food specially made by Mother Christmas herself for you take home and put out on Christmas Eve. You will also be able to purchase hot and cold drinks and other sweet treats.

The Farmhouse Kitchen café will be open as usual selling a lovely range of snacks, hot and cold drinks and light meals. The playground will be open but we do ask that hands are sanitised and different households do not mix. Finally, there will be an opportunity to visit our giftshop where there are a range of gift ideas available.



5th – 23rd December 2020

Meet St Nicholas and Lady Winter in their Yuletide grottos this Christmas 2020.

Our St Nicholas mirrors the Father Christmas of the past: a wandering storyteller, miracle-worker and a protector of children, bringing light, generosity, abundance and celebration to the dark months of winter. He is one of the fairy folk: the Holly King, clothed all in green and crowned in evergreens and ivy. Lady Winter, his female counterpart, is the introspective part of winter. In her grotto, experience the beauty in the barrenness of winter, which she tells us brings an opportunity to rest, to be still and to dream. She shows us the gift of silence and inner strength that can be found find in the cold and solitude winter brings.

Dress warmly, and gather, socially distanced, in the Northwood kitchen courtyard – where there will be a fire – or in the courtyard marquee 15 minutes before the start time to allow us to guide each “table” to Lady winter and onto St Nicholas grotto. Enjoy a glass of hot punch (alcoholic and non-alcoholic available), before being taken to the woodland grotto to make a wish with Lady Winter and then a short story with St Nicholas, a very experienced story teller, aimed at the whole family

Please be aware, if you are looking for a red Santa Claus this isn’t it! This Christmas event will be an atmospheric Christmas of stories, lanterns and imagination. (Children won’t receive a toy but something more meaningful and symbolic instead, a wishing stone as well as chocolate coin. )

We are running this event over only 11 days:
Sat / Sun 5TH and 6th December
Sat/ sun 12th and 13th December
Thursday 17th – 23th December

Session start times
12noon, 1.30, 3.00 and 4.30 pm
Ticket price £115 per table of 5. (£23pp)

St Nicholas and Lady Winter, with wishing stone
Fairy Trail
Fairy Museum with fairy winter display
Hot punch

Book online only HERE

Click the ‘More Info’ tab for extra information about how the sessions will run in 2020.


The Magic Hatter Presents The Night Before Christmas Online

Looking to recapture the MAGIC this Christmas? How about a digital Magic Hatter festive family magic show inspired by The Night Before Christmas! A great alternative to panto, packed with festive fun…

“Highly recommended, five stars!”

York Mumbler, 2019

“A big ball of cheesy Christmas lovelinesss. In short, we loved it!”

STAG Mumbler, 2019

Almost an hour of magic, comedy and seasonal surprises!

Front row seats from the comfort of your own home

Watch as often you like

The ideal at-home treat to enjoy together as a family

Special guests including Frostbite the Penguin, Dame Aunty Madge Hatter and Santa Claus himself (the REAL deal!)

How to book

1. Stream the show online £10

2. Stream the show and receive a download link for offline viewing £12

3. Stream and download the show and receive a Magic Hatter Magic Wand Kit (a magic wand plus instructions for six tricks!) posted out to you £15*

*Extra Wand Kits available for £2.50 each with no additional postage.

Send payment to

Why not make a family film (or theatre!) night of it? Many families are choosing to watch on Christmas Eve!

For more details visit

“Definitely the highlight of our Christmas each year!”

A. Malone

0845 475 2124


Don’t forget we list all the one off events throughout the holidays on the York Mumbler Events Calendar.

Click HERE to see what other family friendly events are happening.

Beetle Bank Farm & Wildlife Sanctuary – Christmas

Santa is on his way to The Farm!!
We are super excited to announce that we will be having our Santa’s Grotto Event as Planned!
Please be aware we will NOT be open as usual and Only Open for Members and Santa’s Grotto Visitors during the three-weekend event!! (Closed Monday to Friday, Only Open Weekends)

T: 01904 488796

Henrietta Rabbit Children’s Entertainment

Specialising in quality, discerning entertainment for children. Ho-Ho-Hooray!  Families across the globe can visit SANTA on Zoom this year via Henrietta. 

“We’ve used Henrietta for our parties for years; all the entertainers are top-notch.  We recently booked Mazani & Beau fab magic, games and balloons.  Josh is still talking about the magic tricks. Jacqui B Jan, 20

T: 07752 113856 

Santa at The Crown Spa Hotel

Join us for a perfectly festive occasion on Sunday 20th December and enjoy a mini afternoon tea with a festive twist.

Only £9.95

Meet and greet and a gift from Santa included in the price

To book your time slot please call our friendly team on 01723 357400
Crown Spa Hotel, YO11 2AG

Santa at The Saddle Inn in Fulford

Saturday 19th December 12:00-16:00. Please message our Facebook page The Saddle Inn or email
We will also have a craft market outside

Santa’s Grotto Live


The brand new online Santa experience promises to be the most magical video call of the year, with children and their families able to chat to Father Christmas all from the comfort of their own homes.

Parents can choose their date and book a slot of 10, 15 or 25 minutes, giving their children plenty of memorable face time during their video call with Father Christmas.


The Black Bull

Saturdays in December 2020

Breakfast with Santa, every Saturday in December 10am- 11am at a price of £5.49 per child, which will include breakfast, colouring and a visit plus gift from Santa.

All events must be pre-booked.

01904 411856