Children can meet Santa at these places in Chesterfield, Bolsover, Matlock in the run-up to Christmas

What child in Derbyshire wouldn’t want to see Santa before the jolly fellow sets off on his sleigh to take Christmas gifts to boys and girls around the world?

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Children will be able to meet Santa at various visitor attractions throughout Derbyshire in the run-up to Christmas (photo: Adobe Stock/Tijana)Children will be able to meet Santa at various visitor attractions throughout Derbyshire in the run-up to Christmas (photo: Adobe Stock/Tijana)
Children will be able to meet Santa at various visitor attractions throughout Derbyshire in the run-up to Christmas (photo: Adobe Stock/Tijana)

While busy elves are making final preparations for their bearded boss’s global adventure, Father Christmas will be dropping into Derbyshire towns and tourist attractions ahead of the biggest night of his year.

He’ll swap his sleigh for a tripboat to set sail on Santa Special cruises down Chesterfield Canal where there will be a present for every child, and a mince pie and a drink for every adult in return for a £9 charge.

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Canal cruises on the John Varley II boat leave Tapton Lock, Chesterfield, on November 26 and 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22 and 23, departing every 40 minutes from 10am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 3pm. Santa Specials will also run on the Madeline boat leaving Hollingwood Hub on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, departing on the hour from 10am to 2pm. To book tickets for the Santa Special cruises, go to https://chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/santa-specials

Santa Special cruises along Chesterfield Canal will leave Hollingwood Hub and Tapton Lock (photo: Chesterfield Canal Trust)Santa Special cruises along Chesterfield Canal will leave Hollingwood Hub and Tapton Lock (photo: Chesterfield Canal Trust)
Santa Special cruises along Chesterfield Canal will leave Hollingwood Hub and Tapton Lock (photo: Chesterfield Canal Trust)

For the first time in three years Santa will take pride of place in a grotto in Chesterfield Market Hall. He takes up residence on November 20 where families can visit him on14 days including Christmas Eve. Three relaxed sessions, for children with learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders will be held on December 3, 11 and 18. Tickets cost £6.50 per child, including a present, and must be booked in advance at www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/santa, call 01246 345777 or via the Visitor Information Centre in Rykneld Square.

Children will also be able to meet the big fellow at Santa’s Workshop and cosy grotto at Steeplegate, Chesterfield, at selected times from November 19 to December 24. Take a magical trip through a winter wonderland and at the end you’ll find Santa. There’s a gift for every child, official ‘Nice List’ certificate and reindeer food. Tickets £8.50, in return for £8.50. Go to www.vicarlaneshoppingcentre.co.uk/whats_on/ho-ho-ho call 01246 234630 or email: [email protected]

Santa will be sharing festive tales with families who visit Bolsover Castle on weekends from November 26 to December 18, with sessions from 10am to 3.20pm. Tickets for An Audience with Father Christmas cost £8 in addition to the entrance fee to the castle. Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/bolsover-castle-audience-with-father-christmas/

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Families can meet Santa, Mrs Claus and an elf at Matlock Farm Park on selected dates from November 27 to December 23. Children will be able to write a letter to Santa and drop it in the North Pole post box then accompany the elf to try the Naughty or Nice-o-meter to find out where they sit on Santa’s list! Of course, there’s a visit to Santa grotto where children can share their Christmas wishes before taking home a gift. Tickets cost £7 per child for Santa’s grotto on top of the farm park admission fee. To book, go to https://matlockfarmpark.co.uk

Hear festive stories in An Audience with Father Christmas at Bolsover Castle (photo: English Heritage Trust)Hear festive stories in An Audience with Father Christmas at Bolsover Castle (photo: English Heritage Trust)
Hear festive stories in An Audience with Father Christmas at Bolsover Castle (photo: English Heritage Trust)

Father Christmas is also looking forward to meeting children at Denby Pottery, near Ripley. between November 26 and December 24. Receive a personalised elf observation report, handpick a special gift from Santa’s workshop and join in festive games in the Denby gardens. The cost for children to take part in the Santa Experience ranges from £14.95 (Monday to Friday) to £16.95 (weekends).

Enjoy a magical and interactive experience at Father Christmas Experience at Bluebell Dairy in Spondon on selected dates between November 26 and December 24. Be mesmerised by the beauty of The Wishing Woods, discover your creative skills in the Toy Workshop and join Father Christmas for a night-time sleigh ride. Tickets from £15.95, go to https://bookings.bluebelldairy.co.uk/book/the-father-christmas-experience/112

Look out for Santa arriving in his sledge/chariot at Heage Windmill on December 11 between 10.30am and 10.45. Santa will be staying on site until 3pm and families can meet him at a cost of £6 per child. For further details, visit www.heagewindmill.org.uk

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How about having a meal with Santa? Breakfast with Father Christmas is being offered in the Peak District where families visiting the National Trust sites of Longshaw and Ilam can have a meal with the jolly man in the red suit. Santa will be at the Longshaw cafe on selected dates between December 3 and 22, from 9am to 10.30am. He will take up residence in the Manifold Tea-Room at Ilam Park on selected dates between December 10 and December 20, from 9am to 10.30pm. Santa will read a story after the traditional breakfast and there will be a gift for every child. The cost is £10 (under 2s), £15 (children aged 3-16 years), £20 (adults). For Longshaw bookings, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/longshaw-burbage-and-the-eastern-moors/whats-on. To book breakfast with Father Christmas at Ilam, go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak/whats-on

Santa will be taking up residence in his grotto at Chesterfield Market Hall (photo: Chesterfield Borough Council)Santa will be taking up residence in his grotto at Chesterfield Market Hall (photo: Chesterfield Borough Council)
Santa will be taking up residence in his grotto at Chesterfield Market Hall (photo: Chesterfield Borough Council)

Dobbies Chesterfield, based at Barlborough Links, is also serving Santa’s Breakfast which is perfect for families and children under 10 years old. There will be food, fun activities, a special visit from Santa and a gift. Santa’s Breakfast runs from November 26 until December 24 and is priced at £13.99 per child and from £7.30 per adult. To book, go to www.dobbies.com/events