Family Travel Blog

York at Christmas – Festive things to do in 2019

York at Christmas – Festive things to do in 2019

York at Christmas – York is a truly enchanting place at Christmas. With our lovely cobbled medieval streets providing a backdrop to the festive lights festooning every tree it really is a magical place to visit at Christmas.  Have a look below for lots of information of what’s happening this Christmas from festive markets, to pantomimes, visiting Father Christmas and where to stay.  This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure page for more info.

York at Christmas

To add to the atmosphere the York Christmas Market runs from the 14th of November to the 22nd of December 2019.  Do have a look at my York Christmas Market post as there is a great video of what to expect taken just last year. In Parliament Street. There are stalls to buy all manner of Christmas gifts, from wooden toys to handmade candles and soaps, as well as artisan food trucks sending enticingly savoury scents into the crisp winter air. Or you could warm your hands by holding a cup of Gluhwein or hot chocolate, laced with Bailey’s and topped with marshmallows!

York Christmas Market

In the middle of the market, you’ll also find Thor’s Tipi a great place to stop and relax in front of the fire, or have a drink and something to eat.

Thor's Tipi Bar York Christmas Market (12)

Looking for somewhere to stay in York?

We have some lovely luxury hotels in the centre of York like The Principal and The Grand.  We also have a list of some lovely family friendly hotels too.

Booking.com

Pantomimes in York

We have a rich tradition of pantomimes in York. People travel from far and wide to see the famous York Theatre Royal panto triumvirate of Berwick Kaler (the Dame), Martin Barrass (lovable village idiot (sorry Martin!) and Suzy Cooper (lead girl).  This year sees Berwick behind the scenes writing and directing Sleeping Beauty.

What's on at Christmas in York

York at Christmas

Alternatively you could head over to The Grand Opera House to see a different style but equally fabulous pantomime. This year they are staging my favourite Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and they star different TV celebrities and pop stars every year.

Christmas in York

Alternatively, for a truly special thing to do at Christmas in York why not take in a Carol Service in the magnificent York Minster?

On the outskirts of York – if you would like to visit Santa then consider taking the kids on the magical sleigh ride at Piglets. Or you can also see Father Christmas at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland. While you are there you could also ice skate or visit the vintage funfair.

Christmas in York

A bit further afield (half an hour’s drive) is the lovely Castle Howard and it is always a treat to visit to see the house decorated for Christmas.  This year the theme is A Christmas Masquerade.

Christmas in York

There are many medieval buildings in York that will captivate you at Christmas. Have a look at the festive events at Barley Hall, the Merchant Adventurer’ Hall or The Treasurer’s House for example.  Oh and don’t miss the York Castle Museum – it’s so Christmassy!

If you would like a decadent relaxed couple of hours in the day, in York at Christmas treat yourself to a elegant afternoon tea in York.

Christmas at York

There are so many great restaurants and places to eat in York, it’s hard to decide what to go for. Have a look at some of my the family friendly restaurants we have reviewed.

Christmas York

There is lots to do in York all year round, but for a lovely Christmas weekend away I don’t think you can find a more wonderful city!

Yorkshire Wonders



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