Santa’s Grotto at Leeds Merrion Centre throughout the festive period

Santa Claus in the Merrion Centre

Santa Claus in the Merrion Centre - Credit: Archant

Father Christmas will arrive in truly festive style this weekend at the Merrion Centre, Leeds. He is bringing with him for the first time ever, two of his reindeer, Dasher and Dancer.

Santa will open his grotto on Saturday 23rd November at 11am. He will be inviting children to visit him Thursday to Sunday every week up until Christmas Day, including Monday 23rd December and Tuesday 24th December. Entry to see Santa is completely free, the only free grotto in Leeds.

After walking through a winter wonderland of reindeer teddy bears and gingerbread men, children will be invited to share their Christmas wishes with Santa and receive a free chocolate, as well as being given the magical opportunity to pet some of his reindeer.

Dasher and Dancer, two of Santa’s most important reindeer are making their debut appearance in Leeds. Normally at this time of year they are resting in the North Pole in preparation for their big Christmas Eve flight, but Dasher and Dancer are jetting in especially to see the children of Leeds and will be visiting theMerrion Centre on the 24th November and 22nd December.

Susan Mendoza, Merrion Centre Manager states; “We are thrilled that we have reindeer at our grotto this year. It makes the whole experience so special for the entire family. We’re very proud that our grotto is free to everyone as Christmas is an inclusive time of year and we want everyone to benefit from this magical experience. We are also passionate about supporting local charities and will be inviting people to donate to Little Heroes, a local Yorkshire charity whichsupports children with cancer.”

Families will also be given the opportunity to snuggle into Santa and capture their jolly moment on camera. A professional photographer will be taking photographs for five pounds; the Merrion Centre will be donating any profits they make to LittleHeroes.

To add extra sparkle to Christmas this year, for the first time the Merrion Centre is inviting children to pick up a ‘Dear Santa’ letter so they can write their own personalised Christmas list to Santa and post it back in a dedicated North Pole special delivery box. The Merrion Centre will ensure that Santa replies to each letter, delivered to the child’s home address.

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For a list of all Christmas events taking place in the Merrion Centre, pop into the centre for more information or visit,

Santa will be in his grotto in the Merrion Centre:

23rd – 24th November, 11am – 4pm

28th – 30th November, 11am – 4pm

1 December, 12pm- 4pm

5th – 7th December, 11am – 4pm

8th December, 12pm – 4pm

12th – 14th December, 11am – 4pm

15th December, 12pm – 4pm

19th – 24th December, 11am – 4pm

Santa will be brining his reindeer on:

24th November, 12pm – 4pm

22nd December, 12pm – 4pm