Father Christmas is busier than ever this year. Want to meet the big man? Here is our ho – ho – wholly comprehensive guide to where to find him
Santa goes back in time
Narnia grotto at Rock Of York
The Rock Of York, 12 Priory Street, York, YO1 6EX
Weekends only: Dec 6-7, Dec 13-14, Dec 20-21, 10am-4pm
Take a journey through the magical land of Narnia.
After entering the wardrobe and pushing through the fur coats you will pass through the wintery forest where you will meet the snow queen in her icy domain before coming face to face with Aslan the Lion.
There winter turns to spring and Santa waits to greet his visitors and has a gift for every child.
Castle Museum grotto
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY
Dec 6-7 and and 13-24 @ 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm
Included in admission price (free to YorkCard holders)
Within the Victorian streets of the Castle Museum, a special visitor has appeared.
Meet Father Christmas in the Toy Gallery and write your wish in the Big Book of Christmas. His appearance times may vary on Christmas Eve.
Barley Hall grotto
Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, Stonegate, York, YO1 8AR
Dec 6-7, Dec 13-14 @ Noon-4pm
Father Christmas has personally invited you to join him at Barley Hall’s special Christmas event.
Different characters will greet you as you come in, ready for a festive snack. There will be games and stories for children.
Santa at the shops
Winter Wonderland, Designer Outlet
York Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Avenue, York, YO19 4TA
11am-5pm: Nov 29-30 and each Thurs-Sun and weekdays Dec 15-24; 10am-6pm every Sat in Dec
Within York Designer Outlet’s Winter Wonderland is a log cabin, otherwise known as Santa’s Grotto.
Have a skate around on the popular ice rink, then grab a homemade treat before visiting the man himself – and receiving a gift.
Monks Cross grotto
Monks Cross Shopping Centre, Huntington, York, YO32 9GX
Sat, Dec 6-Wed Dec 24 @ 10am-5.30pm
Not content with visiting one shopping centre, Santa is also at Monks Cross.
His grotto is found next to Monsoon and is open every day up to and including Christmas Eve. A surprise toy is included.
Santa on trains
NRM: Santa’s Steam Adventure
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
Wed, Dec 17-Wed, Dec 24 @ 9.30am-5.10pm
In Santa’s Steam Adventure, Father Christmas crash-landed near the National Railway Museum and he needs your help to find the contents of his magic sleigh. Can you help him save Christmas in time?
If you’ve been good this year you may even receive a special gift. With lots of activities to enjoy and festive snacks to be had.
Santa Specials on the NYMR
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
12 Park Street, Pickering, YO18 7AJ
Mon, Dec 22 9.45am-3.15pm. Booking essential
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway are back with their popular Santa-themed journeys through the countryside.
The ride lasts around and hour and a half and will be punctuated with entertainment from Santa’s elves and presents from Santa himself.
Mince pies and refreshments will be served.
Santa on the road and river
The Father Christmas float hits town
Rotary Club of York Ainsty float, various locations
Various dates from Wed, Dec 3-Fri, Dec 19
Every year Father Christmas tours York and the surrounding villages with his sleigh on a special float, with the help of the Rotary Club of York Ainsty.
Thanks to the donations they collect on his journey, thousands of pounds are raised for good causes.
This year the float will be in Woodthorpe, Acomb, Bishopthorpe and elsewhere.
Santa cruises the Ouse
York Boat, Lendal Bridge Landing, Lendal Bridge, York, YO1 7DP
Sat, Dec 6-Sun, Dec 7 @ 11am-5pm
Meet Santa and friends whilst cruising along the beautiful River Ouse for an hour.
Each child will be hand delivered a personalised present from Santa. Refreshments, fun and surprises included.
Santa on the farm
Santa village at Murton Park
Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton, York, YO19 5UF
December: Sat 6, Sun 7, Sat 13, Sun 14, Sat 20, Sun 21, Mon 22, Tue 23 @ 10am-3pm
A steam train ride is part of the experience when you meet Santa at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park.
Take a tour of Santa’s village, and solve The Case of the Missing Sleigh with Santa’s helpers.
Santa sleigh rides at Piglets
Piglets Adventure Farm Park, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York, YO32 9ST
From Dec6-24. Times vary
Santa’s sonic sleigh will be whizzing passengers to his magical grotto and toyshop.
Daytime and evening flights available. And explore his woodland village while you’re here.
Santa hits the sweet spot
Santa at York’s Chocolate Story
York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York, YO1 7LD
Every weekend in December @ 10am-6.30pm
Did you know that at one point one in ten Christmas stockings included a Terry’s Chocolate Orange?
This is one of the things you’ll learn at A Chocolate Covered Christmas, running throughout December. Santa himself will be there every weekend.
Santa at the stately homes
Beningbrough Hall story time
Beningbrough Hall, York, YO30 1DD
£6 per child, booking essential 01904 472027
Santa works hard all year to wrap all your presents for Christmas Eve, but he’s ready for a quick rest at Beningbrough Hall to read you a story and perhaps sneak you an early present.
Wizard time at Castle Howard
Castle Howard, Coneysthorpe, York, YO60 7DA
Weekends: Nov 29-Nov 30, Dec 6-7, Dec 13-14, 20-21 @ 11am-5pm
At Castle Howard, Santa and his wizard friend will be telling festive stories, singing family-friendly songs and performing some magic tricks each weekend.
And you can explore the magnificent interiors garlanded with seasonal decorations and toys.
Nursery grotto at Nunnington Hall
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington, York, YO62 5UY
Weekends only: Nov 29-30, Dec 6-7, Dec 13-14 @11am-4pm
£6: Book on 01439 748283
Over at beautiful Nunnington Hall, Father Christmas and his helper are in the Nursery Grotto for storytelling.
Each child will receive a personalised invitation and an age appropriate gift, and there are opportunities for photographs.