Castle Howard Christmas events

Our friends at Castle Howard are pleased to announce their Christmas events can now run as planned due to being placed in tier 2, here’s a list of the events that are running. Please be aware a couple of the events require a ticket purchase before you can enter the grounds.

Santa Paws at the Garden Centre

Santa will be making a visit to see your four legged friends at the Garden Centre on Saturday 5th, Sunday 6th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December. Treat your four-legged friend to a festive photo opportunity and a treat!

Santa will be in situated in the outside area of our Plant Centre between 11am and 4pm, with a break at 1.30pm-2pm. We will operate a socially distanced queuing system for visitors wishing to have a photo with their dog and Santa. There is no need to pre-book to bring your dog to see Santa Paws. A visit to Santa Paws is free of charge.

Stories with Santa in the Courtyard Grotto


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.

£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.

An Enchanted Audience with Father Christmas


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. 

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 include Gardens admission. Accompanying adults must book admission tickets to attend.

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.

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. 

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. A child ticket includes access to the Gardens during the day of their Father Christmas visit.

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. 

Come visit us at Lakeside Holiday Park

Whilst visiting these events why not pop 3 minutes down the road to us at Lakeside Holiday Park and have a look at the holiday homes and lodges we have to offer.