Christmas is just around the corner and there’s nothing like meeting Santa to get into the festive spirit. 

There's lots of places to meet the main man himself in Durham, from cosy grottos, to grand parades and enchanting events, check out our guide to places across the county that still have availability to see Santa this year. 

Father Christmas grotto at The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum

Follow the fabulous festive 12 days of Christmas trail through the grand surroundings of The Bowes Museum before joining the merry elves in Santa's workshop to create some seasonal crafts ahead of receiving an early gift from Santa himself in the museum's enchanted grotto. A wonderful way to make a Christmas to remember!

Santa's Wonderland Grotto is open at various time and dates from 1 - 24 December, tickets must be purchased in advance of visiting the museum.

If you're heading to the annual Bowes Museum Christmas Market, you can complete your magical day out by popping into the museum to meet Santa in his cosy sitting room. Open 17-19 December, 10am - 3.30pm (tickets for the market and Santa visit must be booked separately).

santa at winter wonderland Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley, Winter Wonderland 

Meet Santa and receive a golden ticket to use in his toy shop at Adventure Valley's annual Winter Wonderland. You'll also get creative with Mrs Claus, bounce on the winter inflatables, ride on animals and train to become an elf! Be quick, very limited dates remaining.

Santa in a historic car driving through Beamish Museum

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North 

During the Christmas celebrations at Beamish Museum, which runs from 27 November to 24 December 2021, visitors can enjoy truly traditional festivities, including an exciting Elf Trail, yuletide treats, fairground rides, and visiting Father Christmas in his grotto at Rowley Station Goods Yard (open every day, grotto tickets must be pre-booked before your visit and subject to availability).  

During the Christmas opening weekend on 27 and 28 November, Father Christmas will travel around the museum during the day in a traditional vehicle, will it be an Armstrong Whitworth car? A horse and carriage? Or a bicycle? Be sure to give him a big wave and a cheer as he makes his way round! He’ll also be escorted by a marching band on Saturday 27 November.

Santa at Dalton Park's grotto

Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination 

Enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping at the North East’s biggest outlet shopping destination and pop in to see Santa in his traditional grotto to tell him what’s on your secret ‘wish list’. Dalton Park’s elves have been busy behind the scenes to ensure your visit is safe and Covid-19 compliant. Rest assured, Santa will also be following Government guidelines when meeting your little ones face to face. 

Open Saturdays 10am – 5pm and Sundays 11am – 5pm until 19th December and every day 10am – 5pm Monday 22 – Friday 24 December. 

Santa reads a story with children at his feet at Believe, Hardwick Hall Hotel

BELIEVE – An Enchanted Christmas Adventure, Hardwick Hall Hotel

BELIEVE Christmas Adventure at Hardwick Hall Hotel is an immersive magical world brought to life in a Christmas experience taking you on a journey through theatrical performances and interactive activities within the enchanting elf tipi village.

Throughout the day you'll meet many colourful characters including the Flinch (who is just as grumpy as his twin brother), Elf Admiral Bixby Von Hoovington - reindeer guru, and many other wonderful elf helpers in the Elves workshop and Elf School. At the end of your journey Santa will be waiting to see you all in his Laplandish Tipi next to his fire and check that 'nice' list to see if you have made it!

Father Christmas surrounded by fairy lights

Prince Bishop’s Place

Little shoppers can visit Santa Claus in his magical Woodland Lodge at Prince Bishops Place in the heart of Durham City and receive a special gift. Open various dates from Friday 3 to Friday 24 December. 

There's lots more magical Christmas events happening across the county this festive season, check out our events page for more information. 

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