West Yorkshire Santa’s Grotto Guide 2013

Image credit freedigitalphotos.net by Master Isolated ImagesI’ve never been to a West Yorkshire Santa’s Grotto.  In fact, the last Santa I visited was about 25 years ago in a two room school house in a place called Camas Prairie, Montana.  So when I decided to do a ‘West Yorkshire guide to Santa’s Grottos’ I asked for a bit of help on Facebook and got some fantastic suggestions.  Thank you to everyone who replied and gave me tips and ideas.

I’m not entirely sure that my two year old will want to tell a stranger (even one with a great red costume and beard) what she wants for Christmas this year, but we’re going to give it a try!  At the very least we should get a cute photo of her little brother and Father Christmas, as he’ll still smile at anyone.

Below you will find a list of Santa’s Grottos across West Yorkshire. I have included information about days and cost but click on the red links to see time tables.  Many of the events require or suggest pre-booking so you will want to make sure there is still space available before you go.

Wakefield Santa’s Grottos

Santa’s Grotto at Victoria Garden Centre

  • Pontefract
  • Beginning Nov 23 on weekends to Dec 16th then daily  
  • £6.50 with a gift
  • Victoria Garden Centre also offers tea or breakfast with Santa beginning December 1 for £11.
  • Pre booking recommended

Grotto and Winter Wonderland at Carr Gate Garden Centre

  • Carr Gate
  • Beginning Nov 23 Santa is there most days, the Winter Wonderland is open for guests daily
  • £1.50 tour the Winter Wonderland, £7 Santa visit with gift
  • Carr Gate Carden Center also does tea or breakfast with Father Christmas from Dec 1
  • Booking can be done online

Santas Christmas Grotto at Ackworth Garden Centre

  • Ackworth
  • Open Weekends in November, Daily in December
  • £7 with gift, £2 addtional for a photo and cards
  • They have a ‘no que system’

Santa in the City at Ridings Shopping Centre

  • Wakefieild
  • Weekends from Nov 23, Santa on Saturday, Elf on Sunday
  • Free
  • Chat with Santa or write Santa a letter with the help of Elf

Santa Underground at the National Coal Mining Museum

  • Overton, Wakefield
  • Weekends Nov 30 – Dec 15, Daily from Dec 19
  • £6 with gift, £4 adult
  • Visit Santa in his grotto 150 feet underground
  • Booking essential and early booking advised

Breakfast, Lunch or Supper with Santa at Cannon Hall Farm

  • Barnsley
  • Weekends from Nov 30, plus Dec 23
  • £12.95 with food, gift and extras for children – prices vary for adults
  • The day includes breakfast with Santa, a gift, entry to the farm, a tractor ride and Christmas sing-along and more
  • Booking by phone
  • Cannon Hall says, “There is no availability (for meals with Santa) after 7th Dec. We do have plenty of availability on the weekend 30th Nov/ 1st Dec. There will be a Santa only option available where farm customers can visit Santa in his Grotto for £5.”


Bradford Santa’s Grottos

Keelham Farm Shop 

  • Thorton, Bradford
  • Santa’s Grotto is open daily after Nov 30
  • Nov 30 Santa arrives by sleigh at noon there will also be free-face painting for kids from 12pm to 5pm
  • £6 with a gift and proceeds go to Candle Lighters which is a childhood cancer support organisation
  • Booking available but spaces will also be left for ‘drop in’ visits

Tong Garden Centre

  • Tong, Bradford
  • Daily
  • £4 with gift, £3 additional for a photo
  • It is advised to arrive 2 hours before grotto closing to ensure a visit to Santa
  • Mixed reviews  – if you go on a weekend be prepared for a wait

Shipley Glen Tramway Santa Specials

  • Shipley, Bradford
  • Weekends in December, weather permitting
  • £4 including gift and tram ride
  • Bookings cannot be taken
  • Highly recommended as a family day out and the event is run by volunteers

Kirkgate Shopping Centre

  • Bradford
  • Daily
  • Free with advent calendar, reindeer hat and chocolate.  They say, “You can also pay to have a picture taken but there is no obligation.”
  • Kirkgate Shopping Centre says, “We also have a Santa’s post box and every child who writes to Santa gets a reply in the post (parents please make sure the letter has an address on it!)”

Santa Land at Woodbank Nurseries & Garden Centre

  • Bingley
  • Tuesday & Wednesday – Saturday & Sunday
  • £5 with a gift
  • Adults without children can tour Santa Land for £2 (no gift!)
  • Mixed reviews on the Santa experience here


Leeds Santa’s Grottos

Santa’s Grotto At Abbey House Museum

  • Kirkstall, Leeds
  • Every Sunday from Dec 1
  • £4 with present, does not include museum entrance
  • There will also be craft, music and Christmas fun in the Victorian Streets of the museum

Santa’s Grotto at Stockeld Park

  • Wetherby
  • Fri – Sun, Daily after Nov 27
  • Prices start at £7 with a glft, see the price list
  • There is a new queuing system and it is recommended to visit during the week to avoid crowds
  • Stockeld Park was described as being a bit expensive as there ended up being many separate things to pay for but as ‘magical’ and having great gifts.

Santa Steam Trains at Middleton Railway

  • Hunslet, Leeds
  • Weekends, plus Dec 24
  • £6 under 3, £10 3-12, £7 adult if booked in advance – gift for children, hot drink and mince pies for adults
  • Ride the steam train with Santa (35 min round trip)
  • Booking in advance strongly advised

Calderdale Santa’s Grottos

Santa’s Grotto at Eurkea!

  • Halifax
  • Weekends Nov 30 – Dec 15, Daily from Dec 19-23 (weekdays from 2:30-3:30 from Dec 3-19)
  • £3 with gift, must have or purchase a yearly pass to Eurkea!
  • Tickets purchased on arrival

Kershaw’s Garden Centre

  • Brighouse
  • Weekends
  • £5 but you are given a £5 voucher to the Garden Centre

Kirklees Santa’s Grottos

Santa’s Christmas Ice Grotto at Cathedral House

  • Huddersfield
  • 30th Nov – 24th Dec Monday-Saturday
  • £5 with a gift, £9 for two children
  • Advanced booking suggested, can be done from the website

Kirklees Light Railway Santa Specials 

  • Clayton West, Nr. Huddersfield
  • Beginning November 30 and running weekends and Dec 23-24
  • Prices start at £12.50 for adults and £10.50 for children with gift (for a full list see the site).
  • Kirklees Light Railway has Santa Special train that bring children to Santa’s grotto where they will also receive a gift while adults enjoy mulled wine and minced pies.
  • Booking is essential
  • The event received glowing reviews from Yorkshiretot facebook users describing it as ‘a brilliant event’ that was ‘so organized’.
  • Claire Riley visited last year and said “Kirklees Light Railway is excellent! Mini steam train ride from Clayton a West to Skelmanthorpe, then a tent ‘holding area’ for mulled wine and mince pies (there’s non alcoholic drinks too!) then they call you through to FC carriage by carriage. Brill FC and lovely gift in a keepsake bag, then ‘toot, toot’ train back! You need to book in advance but it’s lovely.”

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, the XMas Spectacular at Sundown Adventureland has received rave reviews for being an all around great family day out as well! Have fun and I’d love to hear about your Santa experiences this year!

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