CHRISTMAS light switch-ons, Santa runs and a Nutcracker Trail are all on offer across Ryedale this weekend.

Helmsley will host its Small Business Saturday celebrations, which involves six hours of Christmas-themed fun for all the family, which continues for a further fortnight.

Attractions on Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, include a Nutcracker Trail, giant inflatable snow globe, music, buskers and entertainers, Santa’s Grotto and arts and crafts.

The weekend also sees the start of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in the All Saints Church and the town’s light switch-on, which takes place on Friday at 6pm.

In Thornton-le-Dale, the festivities get under way from 4.30pm with entertainment, including the EASY band, school choir, Father Christmas and the light switch-on at 6pm. There will also be refreshments and stalls.

Norton hosts the annual Santa Fun Runs, as part of its lights switch-on on Sunday. Organised by Ryedale Special Families, the event, from 2pm, will start and finish at the town council offices.

Pickering’s lights switch-on is on Saturday, from 2pm, with music, Morris dancers, Father Christmas, a treasure hunt and a raffle, with the lights turned on at 5.30pm. There is also a Christmas window competition.

Nunnington Hall is decorated for Christmas as it could have been throughout history, until Sunday, December 16.

Father Christmas will also be visiting each weekend from Saturday. There will be carol singing from midday on selected days.

Booking is essential to visit Father Christmas. Phone 01439 748283 or go to for more details.