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Sat 28th November 2020 to Wed 23rd December 2020
An Enchanted Audience with Father Christmas
Event Type: Event for all

Add a touch of extra magic to your Christmas and enjoy an exclusive meeting with Father Christmas.

2020 will see the return of our much loved Father Christmas and his magical companion WonderPhil! Plus a special addition this year of Mrs Claus!

Join Father Christmas and WonderPhil in the splendor of the Long Gallery, inside the House this year, for a magical Christmas show like no other. Your ticket will include exclusive access to Castle Howard where you will enjoy a one hour show featuring your favourite festive duo. The big man himself will then invite each child, one bubble at a time, over to the roaring fire to gather their Christmas wishes and for a festive photo opportunity. Children will then make their way to the toy workshop to choose their premium gift from Mrs Claus. The special post box to the North Pole will be ready to receive children's letters, so do bring them along too.

Available on selected dates from Saturday 28th November until Wednesday 23rd December.

Your children will receive an age appropriate wrapped gift and the event will of course be run ensuring strict social distancing to keep you, your family and of course Father Christmas, as safe as possible.

£45.00 per child, £40 for Friends of Castle Howard. Children's tickets for Father Christmas from 4pm include entry to the Light Trail. Accompanying adults must book relevant admission tickets to attend, those meeting Father Christmas before 3pm must book a Gardens admission ticket, for those meeting Father Christmas from 4pm onwards must book a Light Trail ticket.

We have decided this year to move the Father Christmas experience into the Long Gallery, which is our biggest room inside the House. We have also reduced the capacity per session from previous years to ensure families can be spaced out in the room. We are unable to offer the two separate experiences, that some visitors will know from previous years (Daytime 'Audience with Father Christmas' and 'Enchanted Evenings with Father Christmas'). Instead we have combined the two previous events, so that you'll get a bit of the Enchanted Evening experience as you'll be in the main house exclusively and the show will be similar to the previous 'Audience With Father Christmas'.

COVID-19 has meant that the House isn't going to be open to visitors as usual for Christmas, so the only people who'll have access to the inside of the House this year will be our audiences with Father Christmas. It will feel very special and the Long Gallery will be decorated in true Castle Howard style.

There will still be the choice of day time and evening slots and you can combine your trip to Father Christmas with a walk around the Gardens during the day, and a trip to the light show on an evening. This year, as we work to make transactions as contactless as possible, each child will receive an special invitation from Father Christmas via email and they will select a gift from Father Christmas' toy workshop. The pricing reflects the amalgamation of the two events that we had last year and we really hope that you will be able to join us.

What you need to know...

Please make sure you have selected the correct date and time within the booking calendar. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move any bookings after a booking has been made. Please take into consideration your availability, and any travel times that may impact on your visit as tickets for any of our Father Christmas events are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Any child wishing to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift must have a valid ticket. Each party is permitted to include two accompanying adults (children under 18months are welcome to come along, but must have a valid ticket if you wish for them to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift). 

Accompanying adults must book relevant admission tickets to attend, those meeting Father Christmas before 3pm must book a Gardens admission ticket, for those meeting Father Christmas from 4pm onwards must book a Light Trail ticket. A child ticket includes the Gardens for sessions during the day and access to the Light Trail for sessions during the evening.

Unfortunately, in order to comply with COVID-19 Government guidelines, we are not able to be flexible with the rule of two accompanying adults per party as we must manage capacity inside the House. We apologise that in previous years we were able to admit two accompanying adults per child and that this has had to be reduced this year to a maximum of two accompanying adults per party. 

We politely ask you not to contact Castle Howard to make bookings, as all bookings must be made via SeeTickets. Tickets for Gold Friends of Castle Howard will be released on Thursday 1st October 2020, Silver Friends on Friday 2nd October and the general public on Saturday 3rd October. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What time can I book to visit Father Christmas?

Click here to view the Father Christmas schedule.

What time should we arrive?

For daytime sessions, we recommend that you ensure you are through the Ticket Office at least 20 minutes before the start of your session, giving you time to walk down to the House. or evening sessions, you may wish to take in the Light Trail before arriving at the House entrance for your Father Christmas session, so would recommend allowing 1 - 1.5 hours for this. The event will take place in the Long Gallery inside the House, entry will be via the main house entrance. We ask you not to go to the main house entrance more than 10 minutes before the start of your session as there is limited space for queuing. There is no need to get there first as all children with a ticket to meet Father Christmas have front row seats. At busy times, there may be queues at the Ticket Office on arrival at Castle Howard and we advise that you take this into consideration when planning your visit.

What should we do upon arrival? 

Please park in the main visitor car park and then make your way directly to the Ticket Office when you arrive, you will need to show your email booking confirmation to the Ticket Office staff to check in. All children attending must have a pre-purchased ticket, Father Christmas tickets cannot be bought on the day of your visit.

Where is the event taking place?

The event will take place in the Long Gallery within the House. Entry to the Long Gallery is via the main house entrance and the staff at the Ticket Office will advise you when you arrive. The main house entrance will also be shown on your welcome map that you will receive at the Ticket Office.

Can I bring a pushchair/buggy?

Pushchairs are not permitted in the House, but can be stored in a pushchair holding area in the House Entrance. 'Hip-seats' can be borrowed from the House entrance to assist in carrying children (6 months - 3 years old).

 How many adults may accompany the children?

Each party is permitted to include two accompanying adults. Unfortunately, in order to comply with COVID-19 Government guidelines, we are not able to be flexible with the rule of two accompanying adults per party as we must manage capacity inside the House. We apologise that in previous years we were able to admit two accompanying adults per child and that this has had to be reduced this year to two accompanying adults per party.

What will happen at the event?

There will be a maximum of 25 children in each session. Father Christmas and his friends will entertain the children with enchanting Christmas stories and songs. Gifts will be collected by each child at the end of the show from Santa's workshop area. There will be the chance for photos at the end of the session so please bring your camera. We ask that you refrain from filming the event and using flash photography during the performance as this can be distracting for the performers and may diminish the experience of other visitors. We also ask that you do not bring any food or drink into the House. There will also be a letter box at the event for the children to post their letters to Father Christmas, so please bring them with you. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes.  

Is there any catering at the event?

Unlike the 'Enchanted Evening with Father Christmas' events in previous years, there will be no catering at the 2020 Father Christmas events. We ask that you do not bring any food or drink into the House.

Will the Kelly Car Land Train by running?

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions the Kelly Car Land Train will not be running.

 

Tickets are now on sale!

All bookings for both 'Wish Upon a Frozen Star' and Father Christmas must be made via SeeTickets.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW

MAX card holders and members of Yorkshire's Great Houses, Castles and Gardens are entitled to 10% discount on Light Trail tickets. Please contact Castle Howard on the telephone number below for the discount code, a valid membership card will be required upon entry to Castle Howard when using the discount code.

For ticketing queries please contact See Tickets Customer Services https://castlehoward.seetickets.com/customerservice 

If you need to contact Castle Howard please call 01653 213213, please note we have a small team answering this general enquiries number so please bear with us.

Coming to Castle Howard for an event?
Why don't you extend your stay to make the most of your visit....

At Castle Howard there are many ways you can extend your visit, please click the link to find out more.