Taking your little ones to meet Santa is a must-do experience any Christmas. This year York offers plenty of opportunities to spend a memorable time with Father Christmas. We have put together a helpful guide to 10 of the best Santa experiences in the UK’s most festive city.

1. Join Santa on a sweet adventure to save Christmas at York’s Chocolate Story

Meet Santa at the home of chocolate and complete an important mission to save Christmas while playing festive games. Fun for all ages, this themed tour will tell the story of confectionary in York and how chocolate was involved in Christmas past. You can also take home a festive chocolate lolly made by yourself!

2. Celebrate baby’s first Christmas at Web Adventure Park

Bring your little one to meet Santa for the first time to Web Adventure Park for a relaxing, sensory, two-hour Christmas experience that gently introduces babies to Santa in a festive environment, with activities and Christmas songs led by elves.

For a unique experience join the Polar Explorer breakfast, where children can feed themselves as well as make some reindeer food and Christmas crafts to take home with you.

3. Meet Santa in the beautiful festive setting of Castle Howard

Have a Christmas tea party and candle-lit tour of the beautifully decorated historic house before meeting Father Christmas and his friends in the Great Hall by a 30ft tall Christmas tree!

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, book an Audience with Father Christmas or drop in to meet Santa at his cosy Courtyard Grotto. And don’t forget about your furry friends – bring your dog to visit Santa Paws at the Garden Centre (30 Nov & 1 Dec).

4. Get a present from Santa at Holgate Windmill

Once again, Santa will be making appearance at Holgate Windmill for four days over the festive season (3, 4, 10 & 11 December). Afternoon full of mince pies, mulled apple juice and free craft activities will keep everyone entertained.

5. Join Santa and his helpers aboard the Santa Express at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Join the magical adventure aboard the Santa Express from Pickering, Grosmont and Whitby stations. The Santa Specials give children the chance to meet the legendary man in his grotto on board the train, while enjoying a warming hot drink and finger-licious mince pie. Everybody will go home wearing santa hats and with a present in the bag.

6. Float to Santa’s secret grotto with City Cruises York

Cruise along the Ouse after meeting Father Christmas in his hidden secret Grotto under the Lendal Bridge. The one-hour river cruise will be filled with festive fun, refreshments, face-painting and surprises.

7. Listen to the Tales of Father Christmas at the Treasurer’s House

Join the behind-the-scenes tour of the beautiful National trust property. The trail will take you to the roof tops and the attic where Father Christmas has set up his grotto and is telling stories and handing out presents.

8. Enjoy a timeless classic at Stockeld Park

Fans of a traditional Santa’s Grotto are in for a treat at Stockeld Park where a cosy, rustic wooden cabin, decked with twinkling lights, awaits Santa’s arrival from Lapland. Stockeld Park’s famous adventure season also includes The Snowflake Maze, Winter illuminations in the Enchanted Forest, a Nordic Ski Trail and ice skating.

9. Experience holiday washing at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens

In a new and unforgettable experience – families can meet Father Christmas and hear all about his adventures, travels and holiday washing! The experience includes a meet-and-greet with Father Christmas, storytelling in the beautifully decorated historic house and a small gift to take home with you.

10. Meet Santa on old Kirkgate Street at York Castle Museum 

Create unforgetable memories from a 30 minutes audience with Father Christmas on Kirkgate - old Victorian street brought to life. Take a picture with Santa to remember the special moment. For a unique experience, join Ebneezer Scrooge for an immersive and intimate production of A Christmas Carol, which brings the magic of a much-loved Dickens classic to life.

To book your #YorkChristmas hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation, visit our Sleep page where you can book rooms straight through our website.
Share your festive adventures with us, using hashtag #YorkChristmas on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to tag us in your image @visityork. You might end up being featured on official page.

Visit York Blog Written By Ana Ignatova