Santa Claus’ traditional wooden grotto is moving from its 2015 base in Kings Square to the nearby marketplace.

A Shambles Market Christmas Party celebration will also be staged there during the weekend before Christmas, featuring attractions such as animation and music.

This will be the last of five themed festive weekends being planned by destination management organisation Make it York, whose boss, Steve Brown, said in May that making the market a vibrant hub of the city-centre was the biggest challenge it faced this year.

The other themes will be:

  • brass bands weekend on November 19 and 20
  • choirs weekend on November 26 and 27
  • family weekend on December 3 and 4
  • Ice Trail weekend on December 10 and 11, with businesses invited to sponsor 30 specially commissioned hand carved ice sculptures.

Thor’s Tipi will also be returning to Parliament Street, giving friends and family a chance to sit on cosy furs around a roaring fire.

The St Nicholas Fair, a key part of the Christmas festival, will feature more than 100 stallholders selling a range of gifts including jewellery, ceramics, homewares, crafts and Yorkshire produce, The Fair will run from November 17 to December 23, with extended late night shopping opening times of 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and from 8pm from Thursday to Saturday.