The September scramble to book Santa after a difficult year
Last updated Sep 24, 2021
Noah and Luca Meads visiting Santa at Thorp Perrow in 2020.

When I overheard a mum saying she had set her alarm for 5.30am to book a Santa visit when tickets went on sale, I was pretty shocked.

Mainly because it’s September, but also because I didn’t realise this was now a thing.

Is the surge in popularity due to the pandemic and feeling like our kids missed out last year? Or is this now another “must-do” task to tick off on our ever-growing festive to-do lists? Don’t get me started on Elf on a Shelf and Christmas Eve boxes – cheers for that America.

Sally Haslewood, founder of Harrogate Mumbler, said:

“I think that September has always been a time that people start booking Christmas things – well people who are organised do anyway. I’ve never been that organised!

“I think particularly this year, parents want to give their kids a really good Christmas. They probably missed out last year so they want to book early to avoid disappointment.

“And to be honest I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing, because I think it will help the businesses as well. If it helps them plan and staff properly and know where they are from a business point of view I think that can only be a good thing.”

Now I am all about making my children happy, I love seeing their little faces light up when they see Father Christmas. But is there now more pressure than ever to deliver the best experience for your little ones?

If you can’t afford a visit or, God forbid, you forget to book anything in time, do you feel like a bad parent?

Sally said:

The thing is around Harrogate there are always last minute things that crop up as well. So if like me you are not as organised and you haven’t booked something for Christmas, there are always things you can get in last minute.

I think this year is potentially a little bit worse than normal, but parents are pretty organised. As soon as the kids are back at school in September, the next big thing is Santa visits. So hopefully this year the kids will have the Christmas they missed out on last year.”

Read more:


Don’t panic if you haven’t got yours booked yet. Here are three ideas for you:

Mother Shipton’s – Knaresborough

Wander through the winter woodland to see the enchanted Christmas Village, festooned with festive delights and merry displays to marvel at along the way.

Chief Elf Chestnut will be delighted to meet little visitors and lead them to see Santa Claus.

Santa will be keeping warm in his cosy grotto, and visitors can say hello or take an ‘elfie with the big man himself.

To keep Santa safe, Mother Shipton’s will be adhering to social distancing, but visitors will be able to see and speak to him before he sets off on his long journey.

November 21 – December 24. Click here to buy tickets. 

Santa’s Grotto – Stockeld Park 

December 3 – December 24. Click here to buy tickets.


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