HE’S making a list, he’s checking it twice and now he’s heading to Darlington’s Spiegeltent to find out who’s been naughty and nice.

Santa Claus is coming to town and he is inviting youngsters to join him for a spot of tea.

An afternoon tea with Santa will be held on 19 December, giving children the unique opportunity to spend time with the man himself over a bite to eat inside the Spiegeltent.

Guests will be able to enjoy an afternoon of craft activities with Santa and his band of elves as they make their final preparations ahead of their long journey around the world on Christmas Eve.

Along with the afternoon tea event, Santa’s Grotto is open every week from Thursday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas Eve. Admission is free to see him, and all children will receive a small gift.

Darlington’s Spiegeltent opened its doors on December 1 and is offering a packed programme of festive events and activities this Christmas.

It is home to a festive shopping village where shoppers can snap up gifts from the town’s small businesses and enjoy refreshments in a licenced bar and craft activities and live music performances are also taking place.

Alex Hirst, manager at Distinct Darlington, which has organised the Spiegeltent events, said it has proven a huge success.

“We’ve had a great response since the Spiegeltent opened its doors and Santa’s Grotto has been one of the most popular attractions,” she said.

“Now we are offering children – and adults – the once in a lifetime chance to come and spend a couple of hours with Santa, enjoy a nice tea and take part in craft activities.

“It’s a big coup for us to be able to get him here so close to Christmas, and he’s really excited about joining us and meeting all the youngsters ahead of his busiest day of the year.”

Tickets for the afternoon tea with Santa events cost £7.50 for children and £10 for adults. All children must be accompanied by at least one adult. For more information and to book visit: http://www.christmasindarlington.co.uk/iwe-event/afternoon-tea-santa/. Tickets are also available at the Dolphin Centre reception.