New for 2022, Father Christmas takes a break from his busy schedule to visit Harewood and settle down with small groups of kids, mums, dads, grandparents and guardians to find out what’s top of everyone’s Christmas list this year.
Set in Harewood’s Pastry Room and Old Kitchen, booking for Father Christmas this year is via ballot registration and open initially to Harewood Members only.
Father Christmas will be welcoming families for a cosy festive experience throughout December, settling in the Pastry Room Below Stairs to meet you and your children for an authentic, atmospheric and memorable encounter.
Small groups of eight children (and their grown-ups) will join Santa for half an hour, with a story, a chat with every child, a special gift and a family photo opportunity too. Everyone will feel the Christmas spirit among the twinkling lights and beautiful decorations in his rooms, making this an experience you’ll cherish.
Father Christmas will be at Harewood every weekend from 26 November, then every day from 16 to 24 December. Tickets cost £25 per child. On Christmas Eve, you can book for an even more special Father Christmas Experience before he sets off around the world, with an extra gift, for £35 per child.
Father Christmas advance tickets are available initially for Members only, with a new registration system in place this year. Please see below for full ticket terms and conditions.
Harewood loves its Members and very much loves Father Christmas visiting. His time here is limited though and so this year we will be operating a ballot system for Father Christmas booking slots, to ensure a fairer booking experience for everyone.
by Sun 21 Aug Members need to register interest here to enter a ticket ballot
Fri 26 Aug Members will be notified if they have been successfully entered into either the first or second batch booking groups (via random selection)
Wed 31 Aug First batch will be sent a link for 24-hour booking priority
Thu 1 Sep Second batch will be sent a link for 24-hour booking priority
Fri 2 Sep Reserve list sent booking link
Mon 5 Sep Any remaining slots open for non-registered Harewood Members
Mon 12 Sep Any remaining slots open for general public
Please register your interest in Father Christmas tickets by Sunday 21 August 11.59pm via this form, using the email address associated with your Membership.
Two batches of registrants will be drawn at random, and notified if they have been successfully allocated into a booking batch on Fri 26 Aug. First batch Members will be sent a booking link at 9am on Wed 31 Aug, and second batch Members will get a link at 9am on Thu 1 Sep. Successful Members in the first batch will be guaranteed a place for up to 5 children; those in the second batch and on the reserve list will be on a first-come first-served basis. The reserve list will be sent a link at 9am on Fri 2 Sep for any remaining booking slots, and slots still available on Mon 5 Sep will be released to other Harewood Members.
+ This priority ticket launch is for Members only. We will remove any non-Member email addresses from the registration form, so please make sure the email address on your Membership is the one you use to register.
+ Each Member can book one Father Christmas session, for up to 4 adults and up to 5 children (with a maximum of 2 adults per child in your booking). You are not able to book multiple sessions.
+ All accompanying adults must be named Members (i.e. the adults’ names must be on a Membership card), and must be the parents, grandparents or guardians of the children.
+ Children cost £25 each. There is no charge for accompanying Member adults and no need to pre-book – access to Long Live the Christmas Tree! is guaranteed.
+ There will be 8 children in each session, from different bookings.
+ Our team will check all bookings; if any of the above conditions have not been met (for example an invalid Membership), we will refund the tickets and they will be offered to other ticket buyers.
+ Otherwise, tickets will be non-refundable and non-transferable.
+ All adults will be required to show their Membership card on arrival at the Father Christmas Experience. Please note that if your Membership is due to expire between booking the experience and visiting Harewood House, that you will need to be sure to renew your Membership to gain entry.
Thank you for taking note of these conditions – they are to ensure that only Members get priority booking for the Father Christmas Experience, as a thank you for Members’ support of Harewood.
How many Father Christmas places are available this year?
There are twice as many places available this year compared to 2021. There was such high interest in Father Christmas last year that we were keen to offer as many places as possible, whilst still creating a special, family-oriented experience. However, as a charity with a focus on ensuring the best possible Harewood experience for everyone all year round, there is a limit to the volume of tickets we can make available to visit Father Christmas.
Why are these tickets for Members only?
Priority booking for the Father Christmas Experience is a benefit of Harewood Membership. You can find out more about Membership here. If there are any tickets left after this booking process we will make them available to non-Members on our website.
Please do not attempt to book tickets for non-Members, which would be unfair on the Members who generously support Harewood House Trust. We will be taking steps throughout the booking process to ensure that non-Members can’t take advantage of this Member benefit, as per the terms and conditions above, including checking the details on every booking. If we find that any terms and conditions have been ignored we will refund the tickets and put them back on general sale.
Is this a group experience?
Yes, this year we have planned a group experience rather than individual family sessions. There will be 8 children in each session, and up to 2 adults per child. Following very high interest in Father Christmas last year we were keen to make more places available, and we are confident that this will a special, memorable experience for each family. Each session will be half an hour (compared to the ten-minute individual family sessions last year), every child will have the chance to speak individually with Father Christmas, and every family will have a photo opportunity in our beautifully decorated rooms.
Why is it a random ballot for tickets?
The very high demand for tickets last year meant that many Members experienced booking issues and ensuing disappointment at not being able to book tickets. Demand was so high that our website and ticketing system didn’t cope as well as we’d hoped.
This year we are keen to avoid this scenario, and to make the process less stressful for everyone. By using a ballot, you will know by Friday 26 August whether you are likely to get tickets; for those who are successful in the ballot, you will have a 24 hour period to book your tickets.
We also got lots of feedback last year that Members weren’t able to log on at the ticket release time due to work and personal commitments – for example, those who work in the NHS or have carer responsibilities. We want to be fair to everyone, and a ballot is accessible to all, whatever their other commitments.
Is it first-come, first-served?
The registration process is not first-come, first-served. Everyone who registers their interest between 4 and 21 August has an equal chance of being selected in the random ballot.
Dividing the successful ballots into two batches and the reserve list will also be completely random.
When each batch receives the private booking link, you will have 24 hours to book your session from the remaining available tickets, so there is a first-come, first-served element to this stage. Every person who is successful in the first ballot is guaranteed tickets for up to 5 children, though we cannot guarantee when your session will be. Those in the second batch and reserve list are not guaranteed tickets for 5 children.