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21 Magical Christmas Events in Yorkshire 2018

21 Magical Christmas Events in Yorkshire 2018

Christmas events Yorkshire 2018 – 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.  I’ll add more Yorkshire Christmas events as they appear.   I have reviewed as many of the Christmas events as possible, so do read the individual reviews if you get chance. 

I am updating this and adding events throughout 2018 – if you want to be the first to hear about new Christmas events, make sure you like my Facebook or Twitter pages, as I share lots of up-to-the-minute news and events there.

York Christmas Festival 2018

15 November 2018 – 23 December 2018

There’s lots going on in the centre of York over Christmas (even if there wasn’t, Christmas in York is so pretty it’s always worth a visit!). St Nicholas Fair, the York Christmas market runs from the 15th of November 2018 to the 23rd of December 2018, with lots of food, festivities and a lovely Christmassy atmosphere to soak up.  

The Ice Trail (what I think used to be called the Festival of Angels) has changed from Christmas to February and will be something to look forward to on February the 2nd 2019. Last year there was 30 ice sculptures around the city.

Looking for somewhere to stay in York?

Murton Park, York (Yorkshire Farming Museum)

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

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’.  Have a look at this review for more detail.

The Snowman – at Beverley Minster

Thursday the 27th December 2018 at 1.30pm, 4.00pm and 7pm.

This year will see a special screening of The Snowman in Beverley 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 Beverley Minster on the 27th of December with three performances.  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, so if you are travelling at Christmas, have a look for the one nearest you.

We reviewed The Snowman showing at York Minster last Christmas here.

Photography © Tom Bangbala

Santa’s Sweet Adventure at York Chocolate Story

On Santa’s Sweet Adventure, children will join our elves on the most important of missions; saving Christmas! Filled to the brim with festive fun, this hour-long, interactive-grotto experience contains games, seasonal secrets and – of course – a meeting with the big man himself.  We reviewed the experience here.

Santa's Sweet Adventure at York's Chocolate Story

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, York

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

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…! 

Read all about our Christmas visit.

Yorkshire's Winter Wonderland

Beningbrough Hall, York

Beningbrough Hall’s Christmas celebrations run the weekends of the 1st and 2nd, 8 and 9, 15 and 16, 22 and 23 December 2018.  Father Christmas and a few of his elves are coming to have a holiday at Beningbrough ahead of their very busy day. You’re invited to join him with a small group of other families for a story in the library in the hall. There’s time for every child to meet him for photographs, give their list and if they’ve been good (or even if not), get an early gift.

NEW for 2018 is a unique tale created by the man in red himself, just for his Beningbrough guests.

In the hall before your stories write your letter to him, spot the elf presents and have an elfie-selfie.  Timed sessions throughout the day, lasting around 30 minutes.  £9 per child with one adult place. Further adult places can be purchased. Plus normal admission charges on the day/free to National Trust members and under fives.  Booking essential to see Father Christmas on 01904 472014 – if the elves are busy leave a message and they will get back to you.  We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment, in previous years this event does sell out.

Mother Shipton’s

Mother Shipton’s is opening for the first time this Christmas. Children meet Santa, then choose from an array of wonderful gifts in his Toy Shop. Be greeted by the Holly Berry for story time and don’t forget to bring your camera for a photo opportunity in Santa’s Sleigh! Create a wish to hang on Mother Shipton’s Wishing Tree and post a letter to the North Pole. As you take in the magical surroundings treat yourself to hot drinks and mince pies. Children can also buy and decorate their very own Christmas treat. Wonderful gifts and decorations are available in our new pop-up Christmas shop.

Tickets can be purchased ONLINE ONLY, selected dates until 23rd December. For more information visit Places are limited, don’t miss out! Book now at


Treasurer’s House, York

The below details are from Treasurer’s House for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

Enjoy and Edwardian Christmas at the Treasurer’s House, York.  A perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle and get in to the festive spirit with home cooked food and our delicious Christmas pudding scone.  Also on the 16th and 17th of December – Father Christmas has had to make a emergency landing on the rooftops. Grab a hard hat for exploring and enjoy stories and a gift plus craft activities.


Christmas at Barley Hall, York

17th November 2018 – 5th January 2019

This is your chance to discover the hidden history of the use of charms, potions and magic during Christmas celebrations in medieval York at our beautifully decorated townhouse, Barley Hall.  Enjoy the greenery and colour as you are transported back in time to explore the beautifully decorated rooms of Barley Hall, each dressed to reflect the different activities that would have taken place in the home and around the city in Lady Snawsell’s time.


Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience 2018

24th November 2018 – 23rd December 2018

Steeped in Christmas magic and excitement. Enjoy a magical Twelve Days of Christmas Walk through the Captains Wood around the estate, make the turtle doves fly, walk through the five gold rings and be one of our drummers drumming! Uncover a secret fairy hideaway in our rock garden. Visit Santa in the North Pole and meet our elves helping in their workshop. Marvel in the splendor of the Edwardian House with the rooms dressed in all their festive finery. Wander down to the Elf Village where young ones can join the elves in making craft activities or listen to stories, and everyone can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or warm snack under our twinkling canopy. More wonderful Christmas days out Yorkshire.  Look at our review of Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience here.


William’s Den, North Cave, East Yorkshire

William’s Den have an ice skating rink this Christmas, and we have reviewed them here.  Also have a look at our review of William’s Den from over the summer.

Christmas Ice Skating in Yorkshire


Stockeld Park, Wetherby

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

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 2018

Saturday the 8th and 9th December 2018

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 (same price as last year) 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.  This year’s theme is the 12 days of Christmas.  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 late November.  

See my review of Castle Howard at Christmas or my review of A Day out with kids at Castle Howard.



North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering and Grosmont 2018

Santa Trains Yorkshire – Santa Specials run from the 1st 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. 

Join Santa and his special helpers on a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express, which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget!   Departing from Grosmont and Pickering Stations, the Santa Specials bring Christmas to life and give children the chance to meet the legendary man himself on board the train. They will be able to tell him what they would like to open on Christmas morning – providing they’ve managed to keep themselves off the naughty list this year!

See my review of our Hogwarts Express trip on NYMR here.


Burton Agnes Hall, Nr Bridlington, 2018

14th November 2018 – 23rd December 2018

Burton Agnes Hall  will be decorated for Christmas from the 14th of November until the 23rd of December.   Join Father Christmas and Jingles the Magic Elf for a magical performance at Burton Agnes Hall this Christmas
Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and Jingles the Magic Elf will be thrilling children, and adults alike, this Christmas with magical performances of magic, song and storytelling.
The Audiences with Father Christmas will take place on Saturdays 8th, 15th, 22nd and 23rd December. Performances at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm each day. 
Booking is essential.

The Cunliffe-Lister family gather natural products from the Hall’s award winning gardens and estate to create stunning, original decorations. A huge Christmas tree from the estate’s forestland will dominate the Great Hall. Original Elizabethan and Jacobean quarters will be decorated in traditional style whilst the extraordinary Long Gallery will have a contemporary Christmas mood to complement its collection of modern and impressionist art.   In the courtyard, the Home and Garden Shop and Gift Shop will stock exciting and unusual Christmas presents and the Christmas Shop is a whole shop dedicated to Christmas so that you can recreate a little of the Burton Agnes magic at home while the café will serve a seasonal menu.

Admission Prices: Adults £10.50, Seniors £10.00, Children £5.00, Under 4’s FREE.  See my review of Pirates and Princesses at Burton Agnes.


Piglets Adventure Farm, York

End of November 2018 to Christmas Eve (check ther website for confirmation)

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.  Children can share their wishes with Santa and they’ll be given a magic key to unlock his amazing Toy Shop and choose a perfect present from a huge selection.

See what we thought when we visited Piglets here.


Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

Harewood House are hosting ‘A Victorian Christmas’ this year as well as Meeting Father Christmas, Twilight Tours and Christmas Wreath Making.  Read all the details on our Harewood at Christmas page.

Santa Experience on York City Cruises, York

Various times and dates between the 1st and 21st of December 2018

Fancy meeting Santa on a boat?  There is a reason why families return year after year to join us for our City Cruises York Santa Experience, it really is the most magical event on the River Ouse!  Santa clearly works hard all year around and especially in December when he somehow manages to find the time to visit all of the especially well behaved boys and girls before Christmas and he tells us that the City Cruises York Santa Experience is the most unique venue that he visits in the city.  Santa clearly works hard all year around and especially in December when he somehow manages to find the time to visit all of the especially well behaved boys and girls before Christmas and he tells us that the City Cruises York Santa Experience is the most unique venue that he visits in the city.


Magical Lantern, Roundhay Park, Leeds

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

The Magical Lantern Festival made its debut in Yorkshire at Roundhay Park in Leeds following the hugely successful UK launch in London last year. 

We visited the Magical Lantern, Yorkshire and you can read our review here!

Things to do at Christmas in Yorkshire with Kids

Harlow Carr, Harrogate

‘Glow’ Winter Illuminations
22 November – 29 December Thursdays – Saturdays
Enjoy RHS Garden Harlow Carr in a different light this winter as special lighting effects bring a touch of magic to the most northerly garden in Harrogate. Enjoy an illuminated trail around the magnificent trees and shrubs as dusk falls. See the lake, Winter Walk, Streamside and Doric columns as you’ve never seen them before. Visitors can bask in the ‘glow’ of the winter illuminations three evenings a week (Thursday–Saturday) from 4pm – 8pm, with the last admission at 7pm. Reduced entry applies after 3pm. 

Stories with Santa

Dates released on the 1st of September 2018

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. 

The Magic of Christmas

30th November – 24th of December

10.30am – 3.30pm.  Put on your best Christmas jumper and get in the festive spirit on a Christmas trail at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Enjoy a range of Christmas crafts and don’t forget to enter our design a Christmas jumper competition. 


Flamingo Land, Malton, Yorkshire

in 2017 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!

I have reviewed Flamingo Land during the summer, and at Halloween.


York Castle Museum 2018

The below details are for last Christmas – but I will update when they have released their plans!

Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas on our world-famous cobbled street, Kirkgate. There will be plenty of activities to enjoy, including:

I have reviewed the York Castle Museum here.


Robin Hoods Bay Victorian Weekend

Festival, Fri 7 – Sun 9 Dec 2018

The Victorian Weekend at Robin Hood’s Bay is organised by the RHB Tourism Association and will see the return of children’s favourite – Santa. Other exciting activities usually take place such as Welly-throwing on the beach, Victorian games, a Christmas card competition, a costume competition, a Sheep Hunt, talks about the Dickensian era and Smuggling in Victorian times.  There will be music everywhere you go, in the streets, in the pubs later on, in churches and a Variety Concert and a Pie & Pea supper. Feast your eyes at the art exhibition and old crafts, visit period cottages and discover Robin Hood’s Bay on a guided walk, learn about St Hilda’s snakes and sea monsters, follow your duck in the annual RNLI Duck Race and marvel at the beauty and ingenuity of all the Christmas trees in St Stephen’s Church.  Carollers, Hand-bell ringers, lucky dips, tombolas, draws, spinning demonstrations, ganseys, mince pies, plenty of music and surprises await you.

Christmas at York Museum Gardens: Illuminated Trail

I am waiting to see if this will return for 2018.

Read my review of Christmas at the Museum Gardens York. 

This winter, the newest Christmas in York event arrives, 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.



It’s a bit further afield (Like London!) but also have a look at my review of Lapland UK.

Also look at my other round ups for different times of the year, Things to do in Yorkshire with the kids at February half term, Easter, May half term, Summer Holidays, October half term and at Christmas


Yorkshire Wonders

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