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Fri 4th December 2020 to Wed 23rd December 2020
Stories with Santa in the Courtyard Grotto
Event Type: Event for all

As a result of the second national lockdown from 5th November until 2nd December, we have to cancel Father Christmas performances that take place between 28th November and 3rd December (inclusive), due to lockdown restrictions. See Tickets have contacted bookers to offer refunds on these performances or try to get you into a later show.

It has now been confirmed that North Yorkshire will be a Tier 2 region following the end of the national lockdown on 2nd December. For Castle Howard, this is good news as it means that our Father Christmas events and extended Courtyard opening can go ahead, however our thoughts go out to those organisations and individuals who find themselves in Tier 3 and have had to change their plans.

Enchanted Audience With Father Christmas events will go ahead in the Long Gallery from 4th – 23rd December. Any remaining tickets are now available to book below.

To view available dates and book, please click here...


Come and join us for a magical storytelling event here in the historic Courtyard of Castle Howard. Meet Santa's helpers as they guide you through into our festive library, where children will get to meet Santa and settle down to hear a brand new, enchanting winter's tale 'The Snowflake' by popular children's author Benji Davies.

Each child will receive a book to take home, along with a Christmas activity pack. The special post box to the North Pole will be ready to receive children's letters, so do bring them along too. Santa's Grotto is produced in partnership with Castle Howard, Engine House Theatre and Story Craft Theatre; two of the region's well-loved children's theatre companies.

Please Note. Only 2 bubble groups will be permitted to visit Father Christmas in his grotto time slot. Each booking should only consist of one family bubble/support group. You should not book for families from 2 different households to attend the grotto in the same booking. If you are wanting to attend the grotto with individuals from another household, they should book separately but for the same time slot (subject to availability). All children must have a valid ticket.

A max of two accompanying adult tickets will be offered per booking. If you require an additional adult ticket for another in your household bubble/support group then please book the 2 tickets and then use the contact us link in your confirmation email to request the additional adult ticket.

Santa's Grotto tickets do not include grounds admission or admission to the Light Trail. Light Trail admission, should you require it, will need to be purchased separately. 

£15.00 per child (plus booking fee), £13 per child for members, accompanying adults are free of charge.

Each Grotto session will last approximately 15 minutes.

Available Dates

  • Friday 4th December (slots from 3pm - 7pm)
  • Saturday 5th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Sunday 6th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Friday 11th December (slots from 3pm - 7pm)
  • Saturday 12th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Sunday 13th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Friday 18th December (slots from 3pm - 7pm)
  • Saturday 19th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Sunday 20th December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Monday 21st December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Tuesday 22nd December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
  • Wednesday 23rd December (slots from 1pm - 7pm)
Click here to book tickets

In previous years this event has been a walk-up event however this year due to COVID-19 we have decided to make this a pre-sale event in order to manage capacity.