York at Christmas 2019: Your complete guide to the festive season

York sparkles at Christmas. Photograph: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The festive season is here, and so is our guide to things to do in York for Christmas 2019.

The Coppergate Christmas Lights Switch On kicked things off, with the York Christmas Light Switch On moving this year to Duncombe Place.

The 39 day York Christmas Festival is back, featuring the St Nicholas Christmas Fair. This year the layout has been updated to allow more people flow through the market along with new dedicated break-out zones and seating areas so that shoppers can take a break and recharge with a hot drink or festive snack.

If you’re looking for something new, the Mansion House is being transformed into a spectacular Gingerbread House for the season.

Skate around the North of England’s largest outdoor ice-rink at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, and visit their vintage fairground.

And who doesn’t love a carol? Join the staff and students of York St. John University in their annual Christmas Carol Concert for free.

Head of marketing and communications at Visit York, Paul Whiting says, “York offers an unforgettable Christmas at its finest.”

Check out all the events happening over the festive period here

Click to go to… Must doFamily funMeet Father ChristmasSparkling showsMerry musicSeasonal shoppingFestive filmFabulous food and drinkMagical artSomething different

Must do

Winter lights at Walmgate Bar. Photograph: Charlotte Graham/ visityork.org

York Christmas Light Switch On 2019

Thu Nov 14 @ 6.00 pm
Duncombe Place
Duncombe Place
York, YO1 7ED United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Duncombe Place hosts the traditional launch of St Nicholas Christmas Fair and the switching on of the city’s Christmas lights

There are no upcoming events at this time.

York’s Official Christmas Festival and Markets 2019

Thu Nov 14 @ 10.00 am - Sun Dec 22 @ 6.00 pm
Parliament Street
Parliament St
York, YO1 8SE GB
+ Google Map

Soak up the medieval charm of York at Christmas.

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
Sat, November 16 - Sun, January 5
York McArthur Glen Designer Outlet
St Nicholas Avenue
York, YO19 4TA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Enjoy skating on the North of England's largest ice-rink and riding the impressive vintage fairground, then warm up with mulled wine and delicious treats

York St John University Christmas Carol Concert 2019

York St John University Christmas Carol Concert 2019
Thu Dec 5 @ 7.30 pm - 8.30 pm
York Minster
Deangate
York, YO1 7HH United Kingdom
+ Google Map

It’s time to dust off your Christmas jumper and warm up your vocal chords because our annual Christmas carol concert returns to York Minster on 5 December!

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Family fun

Take your little ones back in time at the Castle Museum. Photograph: York Museums Trust / Mike Cowling

Christmas at Treasurer’s House

Christmas at Treasurer’s House

Sat Nov 9 @ 11.00 am - Sat Dec 21 @ 4.00 pm
Treasurer’s House
Minster Yard
York, YO1 7JL United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Enjoy Treasurer's House beautifully decorated for a traditional Christmas

The Keeping of Christmas

The Keeping of Christmas

Thu Nov 14 - Tue Dec 31
Fairfax House
Castlegate
York, YO1 9RN United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Experience Fairfax House in all its splendour as it celebrates The Keeping of Christmas with a magnificent festive installation inspired by the traditions of the eighteenth century

Christmas at Goddards

Christmas at Goddards

Thu Nov 14 @ 10.30 am - Sun Dec 15 @ 4.00 pm
Goddards
27 Tadcaster Road
York, YO24 1GG United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Discover the Terry family Christmas in their former home and how it changed in different years of family life

The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House

Thu Nov 14 @ 10.30 am - Sun Dec 22 @ 5.00 pm
York Mansion House
Saint Helen’s Square
York, YO1 9QL GB
+ Google Map

Enjoy a magical visit to York Mansion House, brimming with Christmas wonder as it is transformed into a spectacular Gingerbread House

Christmas through the ages

Fri Nov 15 @ 10.00 am - Sun Dec 15 @ 4.00 pm
Nunnington Hall
Nunnington
York, YO62 5UY United Kingdom
+ Google Map

See how Christmas celebrations and decorations have evolved over the centuries

The Three Kings at Magic & Mystery

The Three Kings at Magic & Mystery

Sat, November 16 @ 8.00 am - Mon, January 6 @ 5.00 pm
Barley Hall
2 Coffee Yard, Stonegate
York, YO1 8AR United Kingdom
+ Google Map

At Barley Hall this Christmas, explore how magic infiltrated this religious time in the middle ages


A Christmas Masquerade at Castle Howard. Photograph: Charlotte Graham.

Christmas at Castle Howard

A Christmas Masquerade

Sat, November 16 @ 10.00 am - Sun, January 5 @ 6.00 pm
Castle Howard
Coneysthorpe
York, YO60 7DA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Enjoy a truly magical day out as Castle Howard is transformed for the festive season

Christmas at Piglets Adventure Farm

Christmas at Piglets Adventure Farm

Sat Nov 23 - Tue Dec 24
Piglets Adventure Farm
Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane
York, YO32 9ST United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Jump aboard the Magical Sleigh Ride to Santa's Woodland Village for a truly unforgettable Christmas experience

Christmas at Flamingo Land

Christmas at Flamingo Land

Sat Nov 23 @ 8.00 am - Tue Dec 24 @ 5.00 pm
Flamingo Land
Kirby Misperton
Malton, YO17 6UX United Kingdom
+ Google Map

This year at Flamingo Land we are bringing the ultimate Christmas experience for everyone to enjoy!

Christmas 2019 at the National Railway Museum

Sun Dec 1 - Tue Dec 31
National Railway Museum
Leeman Road
York, YO26 4XJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

This festive season our museum will be a trove of fabulous food, fun activities and treasured objects—including world-changing locomotive Rocket

Christmas At The Yorkshire Air Museum

Christmas At The Yorkshire Air Museum

Sun Dec 1 - Tue Dec 31
Yorkshire Air Museum
Elvington
York, YO41 4AU United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Take some time from your busy Christmas preparations and enjoy wartime decorations on the base as well as in some of our main exhibitions

Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise

Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise

Sun Dec 1 @ 10.30 am - Mon Dec 23 @ 3.00 pm
King’s Staith Landing
King's Staith
York, YO1 9SN United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Our Bishopthorpe Palace Christmas Cruise is an ideal way to escape the busy shopping streets and step into the Christmas spirit

Christmas at the Web Adventure Park

Christmas at the Web Adventure Park

Thu Dec 12 @ 10.00 am - Tue Dec 24 @ 4.00 pm
The Web Adventure Park
Cliftongate Business Park, Wigginton Road
York, YO32 2RH United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Awesome events at the Web Adventure Park this Christmas!

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Meet Father Christmas

Photograph: Mike Arney / Unsplash

Santa’s Grotto

Santa’s Grotto

Fri Nov 15 @ 12.00 pm - Tue Dec 24 @ 3.30 pm
York McArthur Glen Designer Outlet
St Nicholas Avenue
York, YO19 4TA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Making a visit to Father Christmas adds that extra bit of magic to the festive season for little ones (and the young at heart)

Santa’s Sweet Adventure

Santa’s Sweet Adventure

Sat Nov 23 @ 10.00 am - Tue Dec 24 @ 4.00 pm
York’s Chocolate Story
King's Square
York, YO1 7LD United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Guests will be able to meet Santa on special themed tours, in which they will complete a mission to help him save Christmas!

Audience with Father Christmas

Audience with Father Christmas

Sat Nov 23 @ 10.30 am - Mon Dec 23 @ 4.15 pm
Castle Howard
Coneysthorpe
York, YO60 7DA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Make Christmas memories that will last a life time with a visit to see Father Christmas at our popular Fireside Audiences

City Cruises York Santa Experience

City Cruises York Santa Experience

Sun Nov 24 @ 11.00 am - Mon Dec 23 @ 5.00 pm
York Boat
Lendal Bridge
York, YO1 7DP United Kingdom
+ Google Map

It really is the most magical event on the River Ouse!

A victorian visit to Father Christmas

A Victorian Visit to Father Christmas

Sat Nov 30 @ 11.00 am - Sun Dec 15 @ 4.00 pm
Nunnington Hall
Nunnington
York, YO62 5UY United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Step back in time and meet Father Christmas during the Victorian times

Santas Grotto

Sat Nov 30 @ 5.00 pm - Tue Dec 24 @ 4.00 pm
Langlands Garden Centre
Langlands Nurseries Ltd, York Road, Shiptonthorpe
York, YO43 3PN GB
+ Google Map

Take a magical trip to Santa’s Winter Wonderland in our fantastic Christmas Department. Create some beautiful memories for the whole family!

Enchanted Evening with Father Christmas

Enchanted Evening with Father Christmas

Sun Dec 1 @ 6.00 pm - Mon Dec 23 @ 8.00 pm
Castle Howard
Coneysthorpe
York, YO60 7DA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Add a touch of magic to your Christmas with our exclusive evening with Father Christmas

Santa Special

Santa Special

Sat Dec 14 - Sun Dec 15
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sat, December 14 at 12.00 am

One event on Fri, December 20 at 12.00 am

One event on Sun, December 22 at 12.00 am

Yorkshire Museum of Farming – Murton Park
Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park
York, YO19 5UF GB
+ Google Map

As one of the longest running Christmas experience in the area we are delighted to say that Santa and his elves will once again be coming to Murton Park this December

Santa Specials

Santa Specials

Sat Dec 14 - Sun Dec 15
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12.00 am on Saturday, repeating until Sat, December 21

North Yorkshire Moors Railway
12 Park Street
Pickering, YO18 7AJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

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!

Breakfast With Santa!

Sat Dec 14 @ 10.00 am - 12.00 pm
The Golden Fleece
16 Pavement
York, YO1 9UP GB
+ Google Map

Come down to The Golden Fleece and meet the big man himself this Christmas!

Storytime with Father Christmas – rewashed!

Storytime with Father Christmas – rewashed!

Sat Dec 14 @ 11.00 am - Sun Dec 15 @ 3.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sat, December 7 at 11.00 am

One event on Sat, December 14 at 11.00 am

One event on Sat, December 21 at 11.00 am

Beningbrough Hall, Gardens and Gallery
Beningbrough
York, North YO30 1DD United Kingdom
+ Google Map

You're invited to join Father Christmas for a new and unforgettable experience in the historic Victorian laundry

Tales with Father Christmas

Tales with Father Christmas

Sat Dec 14 @ 11.00 am - 4.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sat, December 7 at 11.00 am

One event on Sun, December 8 at 11.00 am

One event on Sat, December 14 at 11.00 am

One event on Sun, December 15 at 11.00 am

One event on Sat, December 21 at 11.00 am

Treasurer’s House
Minster Yard
York, YO1 7JL United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Father Christmas has crashed into the roof again – his GPS is terrible! Don’t worry, we’re here to save the day and set him up a special grotto in the attic

Drop in Santa’s Grotto

Drop in Santa’s Grotto

Sat Dec 14 @ 11.45 am - 4.45 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sun, December 1 at 11.45 am

One event on Sat, December 7 at 11.45 am

One event on Sun, December 8 at 11.45 am

One event on Sat, December 14 at 11.45 am

One event on Sun, December 15 at 11.45 am

One event on Sat, December 21 at 11.45 am

One event on Sun, December 22 at 11.45 am

Castle Howard
Coneysthorpe
York, YO60 7DA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

We've persuaded the big man himself and one of his cheeky elves to take up residence in the cosy Courtyard Grotto!

Santa at the Mill

Sat Dec 14 @ 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sun, December 8 at 2.00 pm

One event on Sat, December 14 at 2.00 pm

One event on Sun, December 15 at 10.00 am

Holgate Windmill
Windmill Rise
York, YO26 4TX United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Santa will be arriving in the windmill again this year!

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Sparkling shows

The cast of Snow White, coming soon to the Grand Opera House

Sinbad

Sinbad

Sat Dec 7 @ 2.00 pm - Sat Dec 14 @ 7.30 pm
Joseph Rowntree Theatre
Haxby Road
York, YO31 8TA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Join Sinbad, his brother Gilly and his mother, Dame Tilly Tinbad as they voyage the five seas in a race against time to prevent Abadun, Pirate Queen becoming ruler of the whole world

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Sat, December 7 @ 7.30 pm - Sat, January 25 @ 7.30 pm
York Theatre Royal
York Theatre Royal, St Leonard's Place
York, YO1 7HD
+ Google Map

Our legendary award-winning Christmas pantomime is back!

A Nativity for York

A Nativity for York

Thu Dec 12 @ 6.30 pm - Sun Dec 15 @ 2.00 pm
The Spurriergate Centre
St Michael's Church
York, YO1 9QR United Kingdom
+ Google Map

The Nativity cycle of plays, drawn from the York Mystery Plays, consolidated into a new 60 minute production presented in the atmospheric Spurriergate Centre

The Flint Street Nativity

The Flint Street Nativity

Thu Dec 12 @ 7.30 pm - Sun Dec 22 @ 6.00 pm
John Cooper Studio @ 41 Monkgate
41 Monkgate
York, YO31 7PB United Kingdom
+ Google Map

A kids play for grown ups, where grown ups play kids...

A Christmas Carol

Tue Dec 17 @ 6.00 pm - Thu Dec 19 @ 8.00 pm
Merchant Taylors’ Hall
Aldwark
York, YO1 7BX United Kingdom
+ Google Map

The Christmas Spirits are alive across the North East and Yorkshire this December as the award-winning Theatre Space North East incredible Life and Limb Puppets return with the timeless Dickensian tale; A Christmas Carol

Ghost Stories for Christmas

Ghost Stories for Christmas

Tue Dec 17 @ 7.00 pm - Sat Dec 21 @ 7.00 pm
York Medical Society
23 Stonegate
York, YO1 8AW United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Shutter up the windows, dim the candles, and settle by the fire for a Christmas ghost story, told by no less a master than Charles Dickens

ROH Ballet: The Nutcracker

Tue Dec 17 @ 7.15 pm - 10.00 pm
Easingwold Galtres Centre
The Galtres Centre, Market Place, Easingwold
York, YO61 3AD GB
+ Google Map

Christmas would not be Christmas without the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Tue Dec 17 @ 7.45 pm - Sat Dec 21 @ 7.45 pm
De Grey Rooms
St Leonard's Place
York, YO1 7HD
+ Google Map

Following a sell-out run last year, European Arts Company returns with their recreation of Dickens’s stunning performance of his best-loved ghost story.

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Merry music

York Minster Carol Concerts

York Minster Carol Concerts

Thu Dec 12 @ 7.00 pm - Fri Dec 13 @ 7.00 pm
York Minster
Deangate
York, YO1 7HH United Kingdom
+ Google Map

York Minster’s popular Christmas Carol Concerts offer the perfect start to the festive season

The Big Christmas Concert

Fri Dec 13 @ 7.30 pm - 11.00 pm
St Michael Le Belfrey
Minster Yard
York, YO1 7HH United Kingdom
+ Google Map

With classic Christmas pop, traditional carols and a brass band this is the ultimate Christmas music show in York

Joyful carol singing at Nunnington Hall

Joyful carol singing at Nunnington Hall

Sat Dec 14 @ 12.30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sun, December 8 at 12.30 pm

One event on Sat, December 14 at 12.30 pm

One event on Sun, December 15 at 12.30 pm

Nunnington Hall
Nunnington
York, YO62 5UY United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Celebrate the lead up to Christmas with good old fashioned carol singing with plenty of opportunities to get involved

Christmas Carols in West Bank Park

Sat Dec 14 @ 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Westbank Park
Holgate, Acomb
York, YO24 4NX GB
+ Google Map

All welcome to come together and sing along to all your favourite Christmas carols with music from the Dynamics Community Band in the beautiful woodland surroundings of West Bank Park

Carols At York Barbican

Carols At York Barbican

Sun Dec 15 @ 2.30 pm
York Barbican
Paragon St
York, YO10 4NT
+ Google Map

Come along for an afternoon of festive entertainment and exercise your vocals by singing your favourite Christmas Carols

The Ebor Singers

Sun Dec 15 @ 7.30 pm - 10.00 pm
National Centre for Early Music
St Margaret's Church Walmgate
York, YO1 9TL United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Few pieces capture the joy and expectation of Christmas quite as well as Britten’s Ceremony of Carols

Carols by Candlelight 2019

Tue Dec 17 @ 6.30 pm - 8.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Tue, December 17 at 6.30 pm

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate
70 Goodramgate
York, YO1 7LF United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Join us once again for our traditional Carols by Candlelight Concert!

Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby

Wed Dec 18 @ 7.00 pm
York Barbican
Paragon St
York, YO10 4NT
+ Google Map

Kate’s concerts celebrate what makes Christmas so special and so much fun

Chapter House Choir: Carols by Candlelight

Chapter House Choir: Carols by Candlelight

Wed Dec 18 @ 7.30 pm - 9.00 pm
York Minster Chapter house
Deangate
York, YO1 7HH United Kingdom
+ Google Map

The concerts have continued to be a well-loved tradition in York for well over 50 years, and for many people Christmas starts with Carols by Candlelight!

Shepherd Group Brass Band Gala Christmas Concert

Shepherd Group Brass Band Gala Christmas Concert

Fri Dec 20 @ 7.30 pm - Sat Dec 21 @ 7.30 pm
Joseph Rowntree Theatre
Haxby Road
York, YO31 8TA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

A Christmas extravaganza featuring all the Shepherd Group of Bands

York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir – Carols by Candlelight 2019

Sat Dec 21 @ 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate
70 Goodramgate
York, YO1 7LF United Kingdom
+ Google Map

We are privileged to welcome York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir back to Holy Trinity Goodramgate for another evening of wonderful Christmas music

Make We Joy

Make We Joy

Sat Dec 21 @ 7.30 pm
Fairfax House
Castlegate
York, YO1 9RN United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Ad Hoc return to anticipate the Christmas season with their customary blend of festive music, old and new

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Seasonal shopping

Snow in York’s Shambles

Fri Dec 13 @ 5.00 pm - 7.00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 5.00 pm on Friday, repeating until Fri, December 20

Shambles
York, YO1 7LX United Kingdom + Google Map

It's back for a third year! There will be snow every Friday in Shambles in the run up to Christmas

Fairfax Yuletide Fayre

Fairfax Yuletide Fayre

Sat Dec 14 @ 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Fairfax House
Castlegate
York, YO1 9RN United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Get festive at Fairfax House as the townhouse stays open late for a Christmas evening extravaganza

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Festive film

Sparkflix

Thu Nov 28 @ 5.30 pm - Sun Dec 22 @ 5.30 pm
Spark:York
17-21 Piccadilly
York, YO1 9PB
+ Google Map

This festive season Spark will be hosting showings of Christmas film classics for free! Includes Elf, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Love Actually

Die Hard for Christmas

Fri Dec 13 @ 8.30 pm - 10.30 pm
City Screen
13 - 17 Coney Street
York, YO1 9QL GB
+ Google Map

Some of the best and most iconic action cinema ever to have come out of Hollywood, and will send you off into the night with a very unique Christmassy feeling

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Sun Dec 15 @ 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm
City Screen
13 - 17 Coney Street
York, YO1 9QL GB
+ Google Map

One Christmas Eve, the miserly Scrooge (Michael Caine) reluctantly gives Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) an unpaid day off for Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Sun Dec 15 @ 12.30 pm - 2.00 pm
New Earswick Folk Hall
Hawthorne Terrace
York, YO32 4AQ GB
+ Google Map

Film at the Folk Hall will be showing a festive delight this year based on the Dr. Seuss book, 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'

Christmas Movie Night

Tue Dec 17 @ 8.00 pm - 11.30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 8.00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until Tue, December 17

Yates York
1 Church Lane
York, YO1 9QT GB
+ Google Map

Join us every Tuesday for 4 weeks to watch your favorite Christmas movies for FREE!

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Fabulous food and drink

Christmas Afternoon Tea

Christmas Afternoon Tea

Sat Nov 16 @ 12.30 pm - Fri Dec 13 @ 4.30 pm
Castle Howard
Coneysthorpe
York, YO60 7DA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

A Christmas Afternoon Tea at Castle Howard is an experience like no other

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Magical art

Art for Christmas – Community Exhibition

Art for Christmas – Community Exhibition

Fri Nov 15 @ 10.30 am - Sun Dec 15 @ 4.00 pm
Nunnington Hall
Nunnington
York, YO62 5UY United Kingdom
+ Google Map

The Art for Christmas exhibition is a creative platform for artists to showcase a mixed media of work, and celebrates the best arts and crafts from Yorkshire and beyond

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Something different


Christmas Dachshund Pop Up Cafe

Sun Dec 15 @ 10.00 am - 5.00 pm
Revolution York
Coney Street
York, YO1 9NA United Kingdom
+ Google Map

We're happy to announce we're back, with a Christmas event!

Right Here Right Now: December

Right Here Right Now: December

Fri Dec 20 @ 7.30 pm
Friargate Theatre
Lower Friargate
York, YO1 9SL United Kingdom
+ Google Map

It’s CHRISTMAS TIME, mistletoe and wine, and… well who knows what, as York’s very own comedy improv troop get together one last time in 2019 with their own brand of sensational silliness based on audience suggestions

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