York’s Christmas Festival
There’s lots going on in the centre of York over Christmas (even if there wasn’t, York is so pretty at Christmas it’s always worth a visit!). St Nicholas Fair runs from the 17th of November right up to the 23rd of December, with lots of food, festivities and a lovely Christmassy atmosphere to soak up. If you just do one day in York with the kids, take them to see the Ice Trail (what I think used to be called the Festival of Angels) taking place on the 10th and 11th of December. There are 30 ice sculptures around the city.
Stockeld Park, Wetherby
The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park is always amazing. With real ice skating, the illuminated maze and the enchanted forest, it’s a real festive treat on a cold and crisp winter’s day. Santa can also be found in his magical grotto from the 12th of November until Christmas Eve!
See my review of the Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park.
Castle Howard, Malton
The house is dressed for Christmas from the 19th of November until they close for Christmas on the 23rd of December. We visited Castle Howard at Christmas last year and it was stunning, and so festive! They also run their popular ‘Audience with Father Christmas’ from the 26th of November. Tickets are on sale now and sell out fast if you’d like to go.
See my review of A Day out with kids at Castle Howard.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering
Santa Specials run from the 3rd of December onwards on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. You’ll have a fabulous journey on board one of the heritage steam trains and the children will get the chance to meet and receive a present from Santa himself. Brand new for 2016, passengers travelling from Grosmont will be able to meet a small herd of real reindeer (five baby reindeer calves) that will be visiting Grosmont station while Santa temporarily swaps reindeer travel for that of a steam train.
See my review of our Hogwarts Express trip on NYMR here.
Murton Park, York
Visit the annual Santa Special Extravaganza at Murton Park. Meet Santa during a train ride, then take a guided tour of Santa’s village to see how the Elves are getting on at ‘Yule School’. Miss H visited last Christmas with Rainbows and had a fabulous time. Various dates from the 3rd of December until the 23rd of December. See their Santa Special page for details.
Burton Agnes Hall, Nr Bridlington
Burton Agnes Hall seems to be going all out at Christmas this year! The house will be decorated from the 14th of November until the 23rd of December. They are running two Christmas Craft days on the 22nd and the 29th of November (booking required). They are also hosting ‘An Audience with Father Christmas’ and ‘Father Christmas by the Fireside’ sessions. Have a look at their website for all the info!
See my review of Pirates and Princesses at Burton Agnes.
Piglets Adventure Farm, York
Fancy a ride on a magical sleigh? Then head on down to Piglets Adventure Farm where you can meet Santa in his twinkling woodland village. The children will even be given a key to his toyshop to choose their own gift. Experience daytime and evening sleigh rides from the 26th of November onwards.
See what we thought when we visited Piglets here.
Magical Lantern, Roundhay Park, Leeds
The Magical Lantern Festival makes its debut in Yorkshire at Roundhay Park in Leeds following the hugely successful UK launch in London last year.
They “promise visitors a truly amazing experience, a visual feast of light and illumination, hidden amongst the grandeur of Europe’s largest city park, which lends itself perfectly to the layout of the lanterns with its combination of lakes, woodland, gardens and pathways.”
We visited the Magical Lantern, Yorkshire and you can read our review here!
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, York
Fancy trying real ice skating? The Ice Factor at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland returns again this year. Experience Ice Skating, Festive Food and a Funfair at the Designer Outlet in York. You can maybe do some shopping while you are there or try a hot chocolate in the Thornton’s café…!
Harlow Carr, Harrogate
This sounds like a lovely day out from the 2nd of December at Harlow Carr: ‘For something extra special, why not book onto a Christmas Story with Santa. Snuggle up for a classic Christmas tale, have a sing-along and a story with the man himself and if you have been very good receive a small gift.’ You can also make a Christmas Eve kit and decorate Christmas cookies. Not to mention visit the lovely Betty’s Tearooms while you are there!
Flamingo Land, Malton
Flamingo Land are running a ‘Storytime with Santa’ event from the 26th of November until the 24th of December. The Coach House will be turned into a ‘spectacular grotto’ where Santa and his elves will welcome you. Spaces are limited to have a look at their website and book ahead. They are also hosting a new Christmas Market too (I do love a good Christmas Market!).
York Castle Museum
York Castle Museum have decorated their Victorian Street, Kirkgate for Christmas, from the 26th of November until the 24th of December. They have a few events on over Christmas with a special children’s trail around the museum – A Christmas Mystery, and a couple of different productions of A Christmas Carol. I am a big Dickens fan and love A Christmas Carol so this really appeals to me! Some of the events have different prices and you may need to book so have a look ahead of time here.
I have reviewed the York Castle Museum here.