HO, ho, ho! A Merrion Christmas is guaranteed with FREE Santa grotto visits for every child this year at the Leeds shopping centre.
To celebrate we are giving one lucky youngster the chance to be first in the queue when it opens this Saturday.
Our winning little boy or girl will be at the front to tell Santa what they want for Christmas when he arrives at his bauble-shaped grotto in the main mall at The Merrion Centre.
They will also get a present and have their photo taken with Father Christmas.
The prize includes a slap up family meal, for up to four, at Marco's New York Italian, valid between January and March.
We will Facebook Live video stream our winner's grotto visit before we chat to Santa, giving readers the chance to join in with questions and to tell him what they want. So make a date and join us - at www.facebook.com/YEP.newspaper - on Saturday, November 18, at 10am.
ENTER HERE: For a chance to win this fabulous festive prize enter our free draw here. Submit your full name, address, email, phone numbers and details of the child you want to meet Santa - CLICK HERE.
But hurry. The deadline is noon on Thursday, November 16, 2017. And only enter if you can attend the Santa grotto opening on Saturday morning.
Usual Johnston Press terms, conditions and marketing rules apply. Transport not included. Full details at www.johnstonpress.co.uk/competition.
It is part of a #ChristmasInLeeds project, a Leeds Winter Moment campaign by LeedsBID - The Leeds Business Improvement District - designed to guide people around the city centre by showcasing local creative talent and sharing festive moments.
The Merrion Centre grotto will be open weekends and selected dates until Sunday, December 24. Full details at merrioncentre.co.uk.
Visits are free, with an optional £3 charge to include a present, £5 for a photo, or £7 for both.
No booking is necessary although queuing times may vary.
The city’s longest-established shopping centre also has a festive Winter Garden with a magical post box for all-important letters to Santa.
Hit the 'send' button and letters wing their way to him in Lapland in time for Christmas. Santa's Post Box opening times are scheduled around the grotto.
The main mall at the Merrion Centre will be filled wth carols courtesy of the Salvation Army Band every Saturday in December, until Christmas, from10.30am to 1pm.
Last week the shopping centre had its largest-ever Christmas launch celebration, welcoming a host of TV and sport stars to officially start the countdown to the big day.
Famous guests included Leeds Rhino’s Rob Burrow, Stevie Ward, Jamie Jones Buchanan and Cameron Smith, plus first team players from Leeds United’s Championship squad.
Children's TV favourites Ben and Holly made the Merrion Centre their home for the day, to meet with children and pose for photos.
It included a performance by Britain’s Got Talent dance troupe Scandalous Productions and up and coming singer Thomas Teago.
Visitors enjoyed free samples from Merrion Centre’s leading food, drink and leisure brands.
A mulled wine and waffle stand was added to the main shopping mall on the day.
James Broughton, Head of Marketing & PR of Town Centre Securities, the owner of the Merrion Centre, said: “Last year was a fantastic year for us, our most successful Christmas ever and with so many great new additions to the centre’s mix of retail and leisure outlets we’re confident that this year it’ll be even bigger.
“We know what a busy time of year it will be for parents, so we’ve made sure that there will be plenty for little ones to enjoy, but we’re also ensuring that parents can have fun and join in the celebrations as well."
LeedsBID, representing over 1,000 businesses and organisations, is focused on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform Leeds city centre – improving experiences, standards and adding value for all city users.
Leading on innovative projects and providing key investment, it aims to make the city centre a cleaner, safer and more welcoming place, raising its profile nationally and internationally with new, diverse and prestigious events and exciting marketing campaigns.
GROTTO OPENING TIMES
Sat,18 and 25, 10.30am to 5.30pm
Sun,19 and 26, 11am to 4.30pm
Wed, 13; Thu, 14; Fri, 15; Mon, 18; Tue, 19, Wed, 20; Thu, 21; Fri, 22, 10.30am to 5.30pm.
Sat, 2, 9, 16 and 23, 10.30am to 5.30pm.
Sun, 3, 10, 17, 24, 11am to 4.30pm (4pm on Dec 24).
To show your friends you are planning to visit the grotto visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1534665069951655