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Santa listening to a little boy
November 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

There are few better ways to get into the festive spirit than a trip to Santa's Grotto

We've picked out some of the best places across the North East and Yorkshire for your kids to meet the man himself.
North East

Spanish City 

2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd & 24th December

Spanish City take Christmas seriously (they even have a 30ft tree!) and each weekend throughout December, families can enjoy the chance to meet Santa under the splendour of the dome in The Gallery. After indulging in an opulent Festive Afternoon Tea, children will visit Santa Claus in his grotto – and those on the nice list can expect a small gift.


13th November–7th January

Where better to meet the man himself than at the home of nine magical clans who worship Christmas? The Village of Lilidorei comes into its own at this time of year, with a team of Secret Keepers entertaining visitors with festive activities and stories. Children will then get the opportunity to meet Father Christmas himself and if they’re lucky, receive an exclusive gift.

Raby Castle 

25th November–24th December

Come and meet Father Christmas in the spectacular setting of Raby Castle this winter season. Follow the festive footmen through glittering halls and gather round the roaring fire in the Entrance Hall for a special story with Father Christmas. Complete with song, dance and laughter, this magical experience at Raby will become a wonderful Christmas tradition for your family.

Adventure Valley

2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th–24th December

There is so much going on at Adventure Valley’s Winter Wonderland, from riding the Winter Valley Express railway to an exciting new Christmas show, as well as making a bag of reindeer food for Rudolph and his gang. Kids can meet Santa at his toy shop where they can choose a gift to take home, before decorating a festive gingerbread man with Mrs Claus too.

St James’ Park

3rd & 10th December

While robins (or even turkeys) might be the birds you usually associate with Christmas, why not head to the home of the Magpies to get into the spirit this year? Santa Claus is coming to toon and you can meet him at St James’ Park for Sunday lunch. Enjoy lunch with a pitch view, then head to the grotto to visit Santa and receive a free gift.

Bamburgh Castle 

18th November–23rd December

The magic of Christmas is well and truly coming to Bamburgh this year, with Father Christmas himself coming to visit the medieval castle. In his magical grotto, each child will get to sit with the man in red for a personalised experience before receiving a special gift exclusive to Bamburgh Castle.

Lotherton Hall

Mother Shipton’s Christmas Village

Step into a world of magic as you wander through the twinkling winter woodland of Mother Shipton’s festive village to meet the friendly elves. Chief Elf Chestnut will lead you to see Santa in his grotto where you can get a selfie with the great man before he heads off on his sleigh. Gather around Holly Berry, the enchanting storyteller, as she weaves tales of wonder and merriment. Find the Snowy Owl Sorting Office and send your heartfelt wishes to Santa himself. Stamp, seal, and imagine your letter soaring through the night sky before you make your own bag of reindeer food to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve night.  

Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds

Santa needs your help as he travels the world exploring the different ways people celebrate Christmas and sampling all his favourite foods! Work your way around the museum, finding clues, stopping off for some winter crafting and photographs on the Thackray sleigh. Then meet Father Christmas for some cosy festive stories and a special gift to take home. Booking essential at

Elf Village, Lotherton Hall

Head to a snow-filled North Pole to meet Santa, Snowy Flake and his friends in this magical wonderland at Lotherton Hall. Visit Dizzy Bells inside the wonderful elf workshop and take home your very own magical Christmas key for Christmas Eve. Pop by to see Pippin McJingles for stories and fun at the mysterious wishing well and meet the man himself, and receive a little present for the journey home. Booking essential at

Santa @ Pit, National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield

This year Santa’s going down the mine before he gets near any chimneys. Meet him at the coal face before he heads off to see Rudolph. Travel 140 metres underground to join Santa in his unique underground grotto where he will be waiting to meet a few select children. Will you be on the naughty or nice list? Good children will receive a present and certificate while naughty ones will get coal! Book tickets in advance at 

Ingleborough Cave, Clapham

Join Santa and his elves in his special underground grotto at weekends throughout December, but before you get to meet the big man and his helpers, head to Santa’s Post Office at the start of the trail where you’ll find stationery and crafts for children to write their all-important letters to Father Christmas, before posting them in the grotto’s special postbox. Tickets are available to book in advance at

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