School Holidays 2024 Wakefield

Christmas Days Out & Events 2023

Many places are operating pre-bookable ticketed entry only and we advise you to check with the venue / attraction before travelling

Things to do, places to go, days out with the kids in Christmas school Holidays 2023 in Wakefield

Bawtry Paintball Fields is Europe’s biggest outdoor activity centre, voted Europe’s Best, and the UK’s highest rated on Trip Advisor with over 1500 5-Star reviews!

Looking for a family day out, an awesome birthday, stag or hen party, or a fantastic team build event – BPF has something for everyone. Our lovely little café serves hot and cold food and drinks, ice cream and slush all day, so you can stay fuelled and relax in one of our picnic areas between activities.

Attracting groups of all ages from 6yrs+, BPF offers a huge variety of outdoor activities in the beautiful 720 acre woodland setting of Bawtry Forest. Activities include; Target and Zombie Archery, outdoor Laser Combat, Rifle Shooting, Tomahawk Axe and Knife Throwing, Junior ‘low-impact’ Paintballing, a 53ft Climbing Wall, Paintball Mini-Tank Battles, a huge Tree-Trek and Zipline Park with 50ft leap-of-faith, and of course regular Paintballing. BPF is also home of the infamous Predator!

Our award-winning paintball and laser combat game zones are like something out of a Hollywood movie. Props include real Lynx, Wessex and Huey helicopters, 42 ex-MOD armoured vehicles, tanks, castles, and a tree-top fortress.

All activities can be booked online at, or call our friendly team on 01302 868841

01302 868841
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Crumbs and Crafts

Wed 27 December- Sunday 7 January

It was the week after Christmas and across the workhouse, not a creature was stirring… well, apart from the mice.
Father Christmas has packed up his sleigh for another year, but he’s left leftovers from his festive treats all over our museum! Can you join our crew of Thackray felines and hunt out the crumbs before our resident rodents eat them all up?

Throughout the school holidays join us for a host of crafts and activities exploring all things festive food and celebration. Suitable for all the family and free with your museum ticket.




Have a ROARRRRSOME holiday with the Love Exploring app!


Using Augmented Reality and GEO-Location, The Love Exploring app has brought dinosaurs to parks across the district, ready for families to discover this school holiday!


Find dinosaurs at:


  • Dando Way, Ackworth
  • Upton Country Park
  • The Green, Airedale
  • Smawthorne Park, Castleford
  • Coppers Lake, Crofton
  • Walton Colliery Nature Park
  • Anglers Country Park
  • Purston Park, Featherstone
  • Fitzwilliam Country Park
  • Carr Lodge Park, Horbury
  • Haw Hill Park, Normanton
  • Illingworth Park, Ossett
  • Green Park, Ossett
  • Valley Gardens, Pontefract
  • South Kirkby Green
  • Lofthouse Nature Reserve
  • Southern Washlands, Eastmoor
  • Newmillerdam
  • Pugneys Country Park
  •  Betty Eastwood Park, Crigglestone
  • Wrenthorpe/Alverthorpe Meadows



Press “Wakefield” and then select “Games”

Tip – make sure you’ve got a full phone battery!


This experience is similar to Pugrassic Park at Pugneys – read our review from Nov 2019

Visit Website

Available 18th November to 7th January 2024


Skate for £5 per person at the 10am session Monday – Saturday!


This festive season, Tingley Garden Centre is thrilled to introduce a BRAND NEW, enchanting addition to our winter wonderland – AN ICE RINK!

Get ready to bring your whole family together for an unforgettable experience that will fill your hearts with Christmas cheer.

Christmas is all about spending quality time with your loved ones, and our ice rink is the perfect place to do just that. Gather your family and friends and make cherished memories on the ice!

For more information and to book your tickets CLICK HERE

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Saturday 9th December 2023


Meet our special sweet Santa in his liquorice grotto and receive a Christmas gift!


Children of all ages and their grown-ups are invited to join us at Pontefract Museum for our very special Liquorice Santa drop-in day.


The Liquorice Santa drop-in day is a chance for friends and family to come together in the heart of Pontefract Town Centre to discover some amazing facts about Pontefract’s ‘sweet’ history and enjoy a memorable festive day – and it is all FREE!

There will be a range of festive fun crafts and activities around the Museum to bring you Christmas cheer.

No booking required, although plan ahead as it will be busy! Santa and activities will be at the Museum 10.30am – 3:30pm.


5 Salter Row, Pontefract WF8 1BA

01977 722740
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Christmas Storytelling

Every weekend (Saturday & Sunday) until Sat 23 December
Free, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm & 2:30pm

Join Peggy and Frank as they chats about Christmases past and host parlour games in Parkinson’s Yard.

🎁 Makers’ Shed

Every weekend (Saturday & Sunday) – from 2 – 23 December
Free, 11:30am – 5pm

Get crafty this Christmas and make your own wrapping paper and Christmas decorations.

🎉 Caphouse Creators Christmas Special  (7–12-year-olds)

Sun 3 December
£5 per child, pre-bookable

Construct your own personalised Christmas crackers and their crafty contents in this hands-on, festive workshop.


☃ Wacky Wednesday Christmas Special (under 5 year-olds)

Wed 13 December
£5 per child, pre-bookable

Play and learn with your pre-schoolers through Christmas-themed interactive storytelling, activities, singing and crafts. Oh and if you’ve been good, a very special guest may be swinging by to say hello..!

❄ Home Education Workshops (7–13-year-olds)

Wed 13, Thu 14, Fri 15 December
£7 per child, pre-bookable

Nothing is more thoughtful than a handmade gift. See some handmade presents that were passed through generations of coal miners, whilst making your own personalised creations using authentic materials such as stained-glass resin, clay and wood.

🚶 Heritage Walk

Thu 21 December
Free, 10am, pre-bookable

Enjoy a festive ramble? Fascinated by local heritage? Combine the two by joining our friendly guide in this 2-hour circular walk around the Museum. Discover shadows of the industry hidden in the landscape that may surprise you!

📅 Makers’ Shed

Wed 3 – Fri 5 January
Free, 11:30am – 3:30pm

Get set for the year ahead and use printing to create 2024 calendars.


Festive treats are available from the Café and there will be chance to catch up on your Christmas shopping at the Museum Shop.

Other activities also include our Nature Trail, Blacksmiths Demonstrations, Horsekeeper talks and much more!



National Coal Mining Museum, New Road, Overton, WF4 4RH

01924 848806
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27 Nov 23- 27 Jan 24

Consider yourself one of the family at Leeds Playhouse this festive season for Lionel Bart’s award-winning musical, Oliver!

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, Oliver! follows the story of a small boy with a big heart as he journeys from a desolate workhouse to the paved streets of Victorian London in search of love and a place to call home.

Featuring memorable songs such as ‘Food, Glorious Food’, ‘Oom Pah-Pah’, ‘I’d Do Anything’ and the angelic sounds of ‘Where is Love?’, Oliver! is a heart-warming theatrical masterpiece suitable for all.

James Brining directs this timeless large-scale musical following the spectacular success of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical.

A Leeds Playhouse production by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh. Lionel Bart’s Oliver!. Book Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart, freely adapted from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Production licensed by Music Theatre International.


For information on places to see Santa including Santa Experiences, Santa Grottos, Free Santa Visits and Breakfast with Santa please visit our dedicated Places to see Santa Page

2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December 2023

Are you booked on to Pugneys Light Railway Christmas Wonder Ride? This is one of our FAVOURITE festive events!

The Pugneys Light Railway Christmas Wonder Ride is back for 2023 and a ride on this little train is definitely on our Christmas list. We love visiting Pugneys after the sun has gone down, wrapping up so warm and toasty and always treating ourselves to a hot chocolate to keep the cold at bay.



The Christmas Wonder Ride is perfect for your children to enjoy in the run up to Christmas. Look up to see the stars and see if you can spot Santa testing out his sleigh ahead of the big day. See if you can spot any Reindeer hiding in the woodland. Or any Robins hopping around tree branches.

For those who haven’t been to Pugney’s before, find out more about one of Wakefields most favourite country parks HERE.

Don’t miss out on the amazing Pugney’s Christmas Train.



18th November 2023- 8th January 2024


The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park is truly the home of Christmas magic.

What was once but a simple Christmas Tree shop has grown to become the most wonderful family Christmas experience. Join us for Christmas fun and visit Santa in his cosy Grotto, experience the Enchanted Forest come to life with the spectacular Winter Illuminations and enjoy our magical ice rink.

See the Enchanted Forest from a different perspective by strapping on your skis and skiing round the Nordic Ski Trail. Discover large themed outdoor playgrounds and visit the Playhive, our indoor world of adventure, it’s indoor play like never before!

Whilst you’re with us why not stop by our Christmas Tree Shop, all our trees are grown right here on the Stockeld Estate.

There is so much festive fun to be had at Stockeld Park this winter and so many long lasting memories to be made.




Suitable for toddlers

Stockeld Park, off the A661 Wetherby Road, LS22 4AN.

01937 586333
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7th -14th January 2024

Collection of Christmas trees in WF1, WF2, WF3, WF4, WF5, WF6, LS26, LS27 & S75


Minimum donation of £15, proceeds go to Wakefield Hospice



Visit Website



This festive season, you can choose from THREE FESTIVE events at Whistlestop Valley:  “Tea with Santa”, “Simply Santa” or “The Santa Express.”


Tea with Santa

Get ready to experience the ultimate festive treat this Christmas, with our brand-new event TEA WITH SANTA ✨

We are excited to invite you and your little ones, to join us for a magical afternoon. Filled with delicious treats, Christmas wishes and a scrumptious afternoon tea!

It’s the perfect opportunity for your little ones to meet the main man in red and make unforgettable memories!

Your ticket includes:

-An allocated time slot for a delicious afternoon tea in the café, where Santa himself will visit each table for a good old chat and to hear your all-important Christmas wishes ✨
-Each child will receive a gold coin from Santa to spend inside his toy shop🎁
-A unallocated steam train ride to Cuckoo’s Nest throughout the day 🚂

When booking, you are booking a table for 4. We regret that we can only accept whole table bookings even if there is less than 4 of you.



Simply Santa and Santa Express

 Simply Santa and The Santa Express feature a trip aboard the heated carriages hauled by one of our steam locomotives; transporting you to the North Pole!


Whilst at the North Pole, you will have a one-on-one meeting with the big guy himself inside his cosy grotto, filled with sacks of presents for the good girls & boys. Santa’s cheeky elf will be causing Christmas chaos at the Shelley North Pole – will you spot them?!

There’ll be a complimentary edible festive treat and drink for everyone plus the opportunity to make up a bag of magical reindeer food to take home with you and write out your Christmas wish to hang on the magical Wishing Tree. You’ll also be able to have a Yuletide whizz around the duck pond on our ride-on miniature train at the front of Clayton West Station.

What’s included.

SIMPLY SANTA includes:

  • Return steam train ride to Shelley North Pole
  • Individual family meeting with Father Christmas
  • A gift for all children over 12mths (under 12mths have the option of selecting a gift or not when booking)
  • Opportunity to make up a bag of magical reindeer food to take home
  • Christmas Crafts
  • Opportunity to write your Christmas wish and hang it on the Wishing Tree
  • Edible festive treat for all guests over 12mths
  • Meet Father Christmas’ cheeky elf
  • The outdoor playgrounds, covered jumping pillow & Clayton Flyer miniature ride-on railway
  • The Firebox café and gift shop will be open
  • The Turntable ice cream parlour will be open at the North Pole


  • Everything included in Simply Santa plus:
  • 25 minute Christmas Elf Show at Clayton West (drop in, not allocated)
  • Tram platform rides at the North Pole


Visitors are welcome to arrive earlier than their train departure and stay until facilities close.




Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Huddersfield, HD8 9XJ

01484 865727
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A Winter’s Trail at Skelton Grange

19th – 21st December 2023, 4-6.30pm

Wander along a candle lit trail in the woods and gardens at Skelton Grange and catch a glimpse into the secret worlds of the little folk who reside here….

Booking required.

TCV Skelton Grange Environment Centre, Skelton Grange Road, Leeds, LS10 1RS

Christmas at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park

11th November – 23rd December 2023 (selected dates)

Escape to Gulliver’s Valley at Christmas time for a festive family adventure.  Look out for Elfie mischief, fairy fun and snowy surprises.

Selected festive rides and attractions for all the family, explore the magical Winter Wonderland, children choose their own gift from the Elf Workshop, explore Santa’s house and see him in his Grotto!

Price: from £22.00 (use XMASGV for 15% off on selected dates – offer ends 5th November)


Pre-booking advised

Mansfield Road, Sheffield, S26 5QW


Christmas at Harewood

Harewood’s Festive Season begins 8th November 2023 through to 7th January 2024

Encounter Harewood’s traditionally untraditional Christmas this coming winter, as Yorkshire’s most vibrant country house celebrates the Christmas Tree in a most unexpected way.

Booking required

Harewood House, Leeds

Christmas at Sundown Adventure Land

18th November – 24th December 2023

As Christmas draws near, the park is converted into a Winter Wonderland with Christmas theming throughout and the annual opening of the wonderful ‘Night before Christmas’ ride. Climb aboard one of Santa’s sleighs and take a magical journey through the enchanted forest to arrive in style at Santa’s Magical Grotto.

You’ll be greeted by the elves and the ever friendly Mrs. Claus and when it’s your time, you’ll be invited to meet the big man himself. Where you’ll receive a lovely, individually wrapped present and the chance to share your wishes with him.

Must be pre-booked in advance online.

Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford, DN22 0HX

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal – Christmas

Music & Lights at Fountains Abbey

Every Saturday & Sunday between 25th November & 31st December 2023

See the Abbey aglow with all the colours of the rainbow and surround yourself with music. Choirs and bands will be performing in the cellarium 2-3pm.

  • Live choirs and bands performing…

    Saturday 25 November: Lucy’s Pop Choir

    Sunday 26 November: Stray Notes Community Choir

    Saturday 2 December: Harrogate Ladies’ College Chapel Choir

    Saturday 9 December: Phoenix Concert Band

    Saturday 16 December: Thirsk Royal British Legion Band

    Sunday 17 December: Euythmia Ensemble

    Saturday 23 December: Skelldale Singers

    Saturday 30 December: Members of Ripon Choral Society

    Sunday 31 December: Ripon Trinity Singers

Normal admission charges apply.

 Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY

Nostell Christmas

Father Christmas will be returning to Nostell House this December. This is an informal and relaxed experience with no booked slots. He will be visiting the North Pole on Mondays & Tuesdays to make sure his elves are on track for Christmas!


Normal entry prices for the gardens apply, no charge for NT members.


Opening times: 11am to 4pm (last entry 3pm)


Closed Christmas Day


Doncaster Road, Nostell, near Wakefield, WF4 1QE

Christmas at Wentworth Woodhouse

28th November – 7th January 2024
For Christmas this year, we are presenting A Tale as Old as Time – a visitor-led experience throughout the State Rooms and West Front Gardens. A magical enchantment has been placed on the House and its inhabitants and they need your help to harness the power of the surviving camellia flowers to bring everything back to life!
Wander through the dressed State Rooms throughout the day or combine your visit with our magical Garden Light Trail through Acer Wood from late afternoon. There will also be a miniature train ride and festive food village in the West Front Gardens to add to the Light Trail experience
Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham

Places to see Santa for FREE in and around Wakefield

Christmas can be expensive, so we’ve put together Places to see Santa for FREE in 2023 – click here!


Places to see Santa for FREE

Reel Cinemas

Reel Cinemas brings you amazing films at bargain prices!!!!

Tickets are priced £3.99 for an adult or child before 1pm!

What a bargain! Oh and you get free parking at The Ridings Centre too!!


The Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield, WF1 1DS

RHS Garden Harlow Carr – Glow

22nd November 2023 – 30th December 2023

The Glow evenings will allow people to visit the garden safely after work and school and enjoy spending time in nature to benefit their physical and mental well-being.

Tickets for Glow must be booked online in advance.

Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1QB

Wakefield Libraries Christmas Events

December 2023

Some activities are bookable to please do phone or email your local library (details on each venue image)


Wentworth Garden Centre Christmas Events

Festive Ice Skating

A 22m x 7m, fully covered, super-glide rink offers an impressive alternative to real ice ideal for beginners and young children.

Full skate hire and ‘penguin’ skate aids are available (on a first come first serve basis), ensuring a superb skating experience whatever your ability may be.


Letter to Santa Trail – 15th November – 24th December 2023

A Letter to Santa Trail starting from the Family Farm! Write your letter to Santa with the help of the Elves in Santa’s workshop and then pick up a trail map to find the Magical Express Postbox in the historic gardens!
Please note this is not a visit to Santa. you don’t need to book for this activity
 Hague Lane, Wentworth, Rotherham S62 7TF


Winter Illuminations at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

17th November 2023 – 14th January 2024 (Various dates)

This festive season Yorkshire Wildlife Park will be transformed into a spectacular after-dark wonderland! Experience our brand new magical festival of light featuring amazing interactive exhibits, immersive lantern displays and glow in the dark trails.

Pre-booking essential.

Branton, Doncaster DN4 6TB

Wollaton Hall Illumination Trail

1st December 2023 – 1st January 2024, 4.30pm- 10pm

Light up Christmas at Wollaton Hall as the park is transformed into an enchanting light spectacle new for 2022! Experience a trail of discovery through four magical lands, specially designed to fit into the natural landscape of the Hall and Gardens.

Visitors of all ages will be captivated by this brand new, visually stunning multi sensory experience of light, fire and sound. A seasonal classic with a contemporary twist.

Booking required.

Wollaton Park, Nottingham

Woolley Edge Christmas Tree Farm

Santa’s magical sleigh is available for photo opportunities!


Family Christmas Tree farm with real reindeer between Wakefield and Barnsley.

Take your photo in Santa’s sleigh, donation to Forget me not Hospice and meet Santa at 10am every weekend as he feeds his reindeer


Beacon Hill Farm, Wooley, WF4 2LQ. Tel: 07973 910 717