Father Christmas 2019

With 9 weeks to go to Christmas, I am eagerly planning our visits to Santa and themed days out this year for the weekends in the lead up to Christmas.  I would like my children to be organized and write their letters super early (so I can budget!).

As I have been googling activities and looking at numerous websites in North Yorkshire, I thought I would draw a mini guide for things to do around the lovely area we live in.

These are my top 6, all of which we have done in previous years and loved.


The funicular Santa was the most authentic one we visited last year, we had the whole funicular to ourselves plus Santa and his elf. It was just simply lovely, we had a small tram ride and the presents were practical and edible so a complete hit.  Also reasonable priced, around £7.50 a child (2018 prices).  At the time of writing this, I haven’t got any details of what they are offering this year as nothing has been released.

Flamingo land – personally I think this is the best time of the year to visit with smaller children. As long as you wrap up warm with hats, gloves and scarfs, it is great for day out. There is normally the zoo open and around 5 rides plus the sea lion show operating in the weekends from around November 9th.  Prices last winter (2018) were £12 for children above 4 and adults.  Santa needs to be booked and normally sits in the Mansion House near the Peter Rabbit play area.

GARDEN CENTRE in Whitby – this is a lovely grotto area and Santa was great last year, best thing is that there are a few animals including reindeer outside and the kids got to choose their own present so no tears or meltdowns afterwards. I can’t remember what I paid but I know it was reasonable for a visit to Santa and a toy


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TRAIN RIDES – Santa on a train was always part of my childhood trips and one I continue with our children. It is just from Pickering or Grosmont this year. Definitely has to be booked a.s.a.p. as sells out very quickly (nice trip with grandparents). Currently dates on the nymr.co.ukare as follows – Nov 30th, Dec 1, 7&8, 14 &15, 21&22.  Prices are £23 for children and adults with 75 min train trip plus gift for children.   Also for those that are in West Yorkshire, the Keighly/Haworth/Oxenhope  Santa train is amazing, we always start from Oxenhope as there is a lovely Christmas display with trains that children love.

PIGLETS – near York on the A64 road. My children love Piglets, I don’t mind it .  This year the theme is Elf Airline Sleigh rides with the chance to meet Santa plus story time.  Online booking only and as I was researching and typing this I noticed some weekend dates had sold out so I booked my tickets. Prices vary from £8.95 to £16.95.

CASTLE HOWARD – located on the A64, 40 mins from us and 40 mins fro York.Running this year from Saturday November 16th-Sunday Jun 5th  Theme is “A Christmas Masquerade” this year.  The audience with Father Christmas and access to the house and gardens plus gift is £27.50 per child. (Adults need to buy a ticket for the house and gardens).  Alternatively there is a cosy courtyard grotto which is £8 per child to see Santa and with a small gift (would need to buy entrance tickets separately for the house and gardens).  This is Sat and Sun from 30/11 to 22/12.  We loved Castle Howard when we went, the grounds and playgrounds are amazing but definitely would need to be well wrapped up in the winter.

I appreciate some people might think it is a little early to be writing about Santa and Christmas but the phrase ‘early bird catches the worm’ does apply in this instance and I love the excitement and anticipation once we get to November of having Christmas events planned.