Are you looking for events and things to do at Christmas in Yorkshire with the kids? Have a look at our list of Christmas markets, Winter Wonderlands, attractions and Christmas festivals in York and the rest of Yorkshire. The list has grown considerably and is more than ten Yorkshire Christmas events now! I have reviewed as many of the Christmas events as possible, so do read the individual reviews if you get chance. Also if you have a unicorn mad child in your house, have a look at my round-up of fab unicorn toys ready for Christmas.
The Snowman – at York Minster
16th December 2017 at 2.30pm and 7pm.
This year will see a special screening of The Snowman in York Minster – accompanied by a full orchestra – how magical will that be? Following on from their highly acclaimed sell-out tour last December, Carrot Productions are bringing their Snowman magic to York Minster on 16 December with two performances. They will also be showing The Nutcracker. I suspect tickets will sell out for such a unique event, so do get in quick. There are screenings at other cathedrals throughout the UK, including Liverpool, Lichfield, Durham, Worcester and Coventry Cathedrals – as well as the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom and beautiful Hull City Hall.
Photography © Tom Bangbala
Christmas at York Museum Gardens: Illuminated Trail
Thursday 16 November 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018
4:45pm – 9:30pm daily (except Christmas Day)
This winter, York will welcome its newest Christmas event, as the City’s beloved York Museum Gardens are transformed into an illuminated trail to host Christmas at York Museum Gardens. Opening on Thursday 16 November, the gardens will be filled with light, colour and music as the City’s beautiful, medieval grounds play host to an exciting yuletide experience. For the first time ever, York Museum Gardens will welcome visitors to a magical Christmas after-dark illuminated experience as the Gardens are transformed into a landscape of twinkling lights and festive cheer.
York Christmas Festival 2017
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 16th of November 2017 to the 22nd of December 2017, with lots of food, festivities and a lovely Christmassy atmosphere to soak up. Try and get to see the Ice Trail (what I think used to be called the Festival of Angels) taking place on the 9th and 10th of December 2017. Last year there was 30 ice sculptures around the city. The 18th and 19th of November see York hosting a Brass Band Weekend (I think a brass band epitomises Christmas!). On the 2nd and 3rd of December there will be a ‘Family weekend’ which interests me a great deal – I will update this post when I have more info!
Stockeld Park, Wetherby
Halloween & Christmas Adventure opens from 20th October 2017 – 8th January 2018
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.
See my review of the Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park.
The Magic Hatter’s Christmas Cracker, York
We are big fans of the Magic Hatter and he has entertained at our birthday parties before. We’ve also seen the Magic Hatter’s Christmas Cracker four times now and love it every year, so it’s a firm recommendation from us. At £30 for a family of four it’s very reasonably priced and a fab Christmas treat. Its really easy parking too. Book early for the best seats!
Castle Howard, Malton, North Yorkshire
The house is dressed for Christmas from the end of November until they close for Christmas on the 23rd of December, and you can visit Santa too. 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.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering 2017
Santa Trains Yorkshire – Santa Specials run from the 2nd of December 2017 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 visit Santa himself.
See my review of our Hogwarts Express trip on NYMR here.
Murton Park, York (Yorkshire Farming Museum)
Visit the annual Santa Special Extravaganza at Murton Park, the Yorkshire Farming Museum. Ride on the Santa train, then take a guided tour of Santa’s village to see how the Elves are getting on at ‘Yule School’. See their Santa Special page for details.
Burton Agnes Hall, Nr Bridlington, 2017
Burton Agnes Hall will be decorated for Christmas from the 14th of November until the 23rd of December. 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 Christmas 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 25th of November to the 24th of December 2017.
See what we thought when we visited Piglets here.
Magical Lantern, Roundhay Park, Leeds
24th Nov 2017 -1st Jan 2018
The Magical Lantern Festival made its debut in Yorkshire at Roundhay Park in Leeds following the hugely successful UK launch in London last year. It’s coming back to Yorkshire for 2017!
We visited the Magical Lantern, Yorkshire and you can read our review here!
Things to do at Christmas in Yorkshire with Kids
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, York 2017
Fancy trying real ice skating? The Ice Factor at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland returns again this year. Perfect for Christmas. 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
NEW for 2017 ‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations
23 November – 30 December Thursdays – Saturdays
See Harlow Carr in a different light this winter as special lighting effects bring a touch of
magic with an illuminated trail around the magnificent trees, shrubs and lake as dusk falls. 3pm – 8pm, last entry 7pm.
Reduced entry applies after 3pm.
On various dates between the 1st and the 24th of December 2017
Harlow Carr: Get in the festive spirit on the Christmas trail, put on your best Christmas jumper and join our fluffy polar bears and penguins in the photo booth for a festive family snap. Get creative and make your own ‘Thank you Santa’ Christmas Eve kit. Storytelling sessions with Santa also take space at selected times and must be booked in advance; early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
Flamingo Land, Malton, Yorkshire
in 2016 Flamingo Land ran a ‘Storytime with Santa’ event from the end of November. They have not released any info as yet for this year, but will update when they do!
York Castle Museum 2017
Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas on our world-famous cobbled street, Kirkgate. There will be plenty of activities to enjoy, including:
– The Lost Letters: A Christmas Mystery – Follow the trail using clues left by our elves to solve the mystery and find Father Christmas!
– A Christmas Carol – Enjoy our ever-popular performances of this classic tale on our beautiful Victorian street.
– Gingerbread Making – Discover the history of this seasonal treat and see it being made (you might even get to try some!)
I have reviewed the York Castle Museum here.