9 of The Most Magical Santa Experiences in Yorkshire (2022)

santa experiences in yorkshire

For many of us, Christmas is the most enjoyable time of year. However, no matter how much one loves the festive season, Christmas as an adult is incomparable to Christmas as a child. Innocent minds and young imaginations revel in the magic of this time of year and despite how commercialised we may think Christmas has become, it is children who make this time of year more special than any other. Even if we cannot regain those feelings and emotions we experienced during our own childhoods, witnessing the wonder and excitement on our children’s and grandchildren’s faces at Christmas is a true blessing.

For those wanting to make magical memories with their little ones, Yorkshire offers plenty of opportunities to do so. For kids, it’s all about the jolly old man in the bright red suit and each and every town and city across the county will be offering encounters of some kind or another.

We’ve put together a list of the most magical Santa experiences in Yorkshire that will help you create some lasting memories of the most wonderful time of the year. Each includes excellent entertainment, an enchanting atmosphere and of course…a meeting with St Nick!

8 of The Best Santa Experiences in Yorkshire

Cannon Hall Farm

Where: Cannon Hall, Cawthorne, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 4AT
When: December 3rd 2022 – December 24th 2022
Prices: Children ( 2 and over ) – £16.95, Children (Under 2) – £10.00, Adults – £11.95

Cannon Hall Farm is one of the county’s most popular family attractions, offering animal encounters and endless fun for children. At Christmas, this superb farm park offers a wonderful Santa experience which includes all-day farm entry. For 2022, Cannon Hall Farm has teamed up with Talegate Theatre Productions and the Copycat Party Company to create a unique and immersive Santa experience.

Sit back and enjoy a delightful show entitled ‘Santa’s Magic Button’, during which children will help one of Santa’s elves save Christmas. The very naughty Jack Frost has stolen Santa’s magic button and Elfie needs everyone’s help to persuade him to return it. After the show, children will get to meet Santa’s elves and then they will be invited to visit the toy factory where they can choose their own gift from Santa. If that’s not enough magic for one day, ticket holders can finish their experience with a visit to Cannon Hall Farm and say hello to the reindeer!

The ticket price for children over the age of two is £16.95 and the price includes access to the Santa Show and a gift from the toy factory. Tickets must be booked online in advance and there’s a £1 booking fee per ticket

The Polar Express at Wensleydale Railway

Where: Departs from Leeming Bar Station
When: November 12th 2022 to 23rd December 2022
Start from £27.95

The Polar Express Yorkshire experience at Wensleydale Railway is the only licensed Polar Express in Yorkshire. Board the famous Polar Express in your best PJs, settle down with a comforting hot chocolate and begin a magical journey to the North Pole. You’ll be joined by characters from the 2004 movie such as the conductor, the singing chefs and Santa himself, who all work incredibly hard to make this a remarkable Santa experience you will never forget. Once you reach the North Pole, Santa will board the train and give children their very first Christmas gift of the year – a silver bell like the one featured in the film! If you purchase the book available at the time of booking, Santa will also sign this for you. When Santa departs the train you will then head back to the station where letters to the big man himself can be written and children can discover whether they’re on the nice list or the naughty list!

This is an excellent theatrical Santa experience which will ignite young imaginations and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, it’s certainly one you don’t want to miss. Tickets start at £27.95 for standard tickets. You can pay a higher price for premium tickets which include a souvenir mug and one Polar Express train ride bag per group. Bookings can be made HERE but get in quick as this sells out quite quickly!

Enchanted Evenings with Father Christmas

Where: Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA
When: December 3rd 2022 – December 24th 2022
Price: £47 per child and £20 per adult for the Father Christmas and Friends Experience. £20 per child for Stories with Santa in the Courtyard Grotto

santa experiences in yorkshire

Okay, so the tickets for the immersive “Father Christmas and Friends” experience are a little more expensive than most Santa experiences in Yorkshire but this promises to be a truly magical one! Ticket holders will join Mr & Mrs Claus in their preparations for Christmas and all children with paid-for tickets will receive a special gift. A wonderful, theatrical event that the whole family will adore and likely, never forget. Tickets for the full experience are priced at £47 for children and the price includes a visit to Castle Howard’s main Christmas attraction for 2022, ‘Into The Woods; A Fairytale Christmas’. Just like in previous years, the grand stately home will be transformed with the most opulent decorations and a series of theatrical installations. If you’re eager to make magical memories then this is the one for you!

For those who don’t want to book the full Christmas experience at Castle Howard, there’ll also be an experience available at the Courtyard Grotto which can be visited for £20 per child. Entry to the house and gardens is not included but children will enjoy a wonderful story told by the man in the red suit. Whichever option you choose, the grandeur of this stately home makes it the perfect venue for that special encounter.

Mother Shipton’s Cave

santa experience at mother shipton's cave

Where: Mother Shipton’s Cave, Prophecy Lodge, High Bridge, Knaresborough HG5 8DD
When: November 26th 2022 – December 24th 2022
Price: £33 for park admission (admits 5) plus £10 per child for the Santa experience

The Christmas experience at Mother Shipton’s Cave offers a somewhat different way in which to see Father Christmas, but it’s magical nonetheless. Upon arrival, Santa’s elves will provide each child with a festive activity pack before they head into Santa’s grotto for that special meeting. There will be opportunities to capture those magical moments on camera and each child will receive a gift from Santa during the grotto visit. If you’re looking for a Santa experience in Yorkshire that will take up a full morning or afternoon then do consider this one. Mother Shipton’s Cave will be offering plenty of fun for children during their visit. They’ll be able to create their own bag of reindeer food, listen to stories told by the very charming Holly Berry, place a special wish upon the Christmas tree and pen their very own letter to Santa before visiting the cave and well.

This one is great for all those who still believe in the magic of Christmas and will provide a number of opportunities to create lasting memories. For the full experience, visitors will need to purchase a Christmas park admission ticket for £33 (this admits up to 5 people) in addition to a Santa experience ticket at £10.

Christmas at Stockeld Park

santa at stockeld park

Where: Stockeld Park, Wetherby LS22 4AN
When: November 19th 2022 – December 24th 2022
Price: £13 pp for Santa’s Grotto

What better location for an encounter with Santa than an enchanted forest adorned with dazzling lights and bursting with play opportunities? Each year, this popular tourist attraction transforms into a Winter wonderland complete with a fun family ice rink, and snowflake maze comprising endless wintery twists and turns.

This year, Santa will arrive at Stockeld Park on 19th November with a glittering parade through the magnificent Enchanted Forest. After that, he will take up residence in his forest grotto ready to meet and greet excited children. Tickets for the grotto visit can be purchased for £13 but are only available when booked alongside a forest & maze or illuminations-only ticket. This is by far one of the most popular Santa experiences in Yorkshire so we recommend booking well in advance to avoid missing out.

Dining with Santa at Carlton Towers

Santa experiences in Yorkshire

Where: High Street, Carlton, Goole DN14 9LZ
When: Brunch with Santa – 23rd & 24th December, Sunday Lunch with Santa,
Prices: £30 per adult, £20 per child for Brunch with Santa, £45 per adult and £25 per child for Sunday Lunch with Santa

Carlton Towers is a historic stately home near Goole boasting grand architecture, breathtaking interiors and beautiful grounds; the perfect setting for a memorable festive day out. This year, there are two fabulous experiences on offer – Brunch with Santa and Sunday Lunch with Santa.

Priced at £30 for adults and £20 for children, Brunch with Santa is available on the mornings of 23rd and 24th December. The price includes a one-course brunch in one of their beautifully decorated festive staterooms and a fireside visit to Santa. Brunch options include a Full English, Smoked Chicken Benedict, Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bacon plus many more. All are served with additional pastries and toast plus a glass of Bucks Fizz for the grown-ups.

Santa Sunday Lunch is available on the 4th, 11th and 18th of December. This one costs slightly more at £45 for adults and £25 per child but you get three delicious courses plus the all-important fireside time with Santa who will present each child with a special gift.

With roaring log fires, 20ft high Christmas trees and stunning surroundings, this is certainly one the adults will love as much as the kids!

Father Christmas at Bolton Abbey

Santa experiences in Yorkshire

Where: Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6EX
When: November 26th to December 22nd
Prices: 26/27 November – £25, 3/4/10/11 December – £28, 17/18/19/20/21/22 December £32 (Prices per child – all children visiting Santa must have tickets including babies) Tickets for accompanying adults and older children are £10 each.

Father Christmas will be returning to the picturesque Bolton Abbey near Skipton at the end of November and is set to stay until 22nd December. Enter Strid Wood to discover a charming Christmas village where elves await to take you on an enchanting journey to meet Father Christmas. This is another Santa experience in Yorkshire offering much more than a quick grotto encounter. The location is stunning and they do a tremendous job transforming Strid Wood into a magical wonderland.

The price varies depending on the date and includes two craft activities and a musical activity, which the children will do with the cheeky elves before they visit Santa to get their gifts. The Christmas Village experience is exclusive to ticket holders so if you want to visit you definitely need to book. Parking is in the Riverside car park and the village is a 15-minute walk away. Although there will be some shelters available, most of this is entirely outdoors so wrap up warm and wear comfy shoes!

Santa Underground at National Coal Mining Museum

santa experiences in Yorkshire

Where: Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield WF4 4RH
When: November 26th – December 24th 2022
Prices: Children £10, Adults £8 plus £2 booking fee and VAT (Please note that ticket prices are priced £1 higher for visits on Christmas Eve)

A more unusual Santa experience in Yorkshire is on offer at one of the best museums in Yorkshire, the National Coal Mining Museum near Wakefield. From November 26th to December 24th, Santa will be 140m underground in a unique and atmospheric grotto. One of the more budget-friendly Santa experiences in Yorkshire, this one is priced at just £10 per child which we think is really reasonable. Travel underground with your children and see whether or not the special bell will place your little ones on the nice list. Those on the list will receive a gift from Santa but those troublesome little monkeys who find themselves on the naughty list will receive a lump of coal instead. It sounds rather brutal but it’s all a bit of humourous fun and no child will leave disappointed!

Santa Sundays at Alexander’s, Skipton

Where: 4-6 High Street, Skipton BD23 1JZ
When: Every Sunday in December and plus every day from 19th December to 24th December
Prices: £15.00 per child OR £170 for the full family package with Off Piste dining experience (£36 per extra child under 14, £52 per additional adult)

Foodies will love this Santa experience in Yorkshire! As a resident of Skipton, I have dined at Alexander’s on numerous occasions. This wonderful venue boasts elegant interiors, a large contemporary terrace area overlooking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and a range of wonderful dining options including one of the best afternoon teas in Skipton. Each year, Alexander’s installs a delightful pop-up Alpine lodge on the bottom section of their terrace and it’s absolutely wonderful! I visited the very first year and have lasting memories of the festive ambience and fabulous food.

This year, families of four ( 2 adults and 2 children) can combine the Alpine Lodge experience with a magical visit from Santa on each Sunday in December and every day from the 19th until the 24th. Cosy up in their heated lodge, tuck into a variety of indulgent dishes, enjoy craft activities and await your very special visit from Santa. The menu sounds absolutely superb! Flame-grilled Frankfurters, Braised Short Rib Mac N Cheese, Alpine Pizza, Roast Parsnip Soup, Chocolate Fondue plus many more will be served to your group to help you celebrate the start of the festive season in the most delicious way.

The full experience costs £170 for four people but additional group members may be added. Individual visits to Santa can also be booked by those who don’t want to book the full Alpine Lodge experience. For this, it’s £15 per child and each will receive a gift.

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