Christmas Holidays

From the best places to see Santa in York to festive family adventures, we've got it all covered.

Review: Christmas at Castle Howard – Angels on High

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Castle Howard is one of our favourite places for a family day out, but you’ll usually find us walking through the woods, running around the fountain or climbing on something in the adventure playground. It’s rare for us to head to the house with the children in tow, but at Christmas it’s the first place we go. That’s because we know that Castle Howard does Christmas really, really well. Every year, this beautiful stately home is decked out with decorations that are the stuff of dreams (and Instagram/Pinterest interiors inspiration). We were invited along to the preview of this year’s

Win a family ticket to Enchanted Brodsworth this Christmas

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Brodsworth Hall is a lovely place to visit with children at any time of year, but it’s especially magical at Christmas when you can visit after dark. The popular Enchanted Brodsworth event is back again this year, and will be a twinkly winter wonderland with optional visits to Father Christmas, too. It’s under an hour away, near Doncaster, and a good excuse to venture further from York this Christmas time. Grab your hats and scarves and enjoy a festive adventure of colour, light and sound. You’ll be greeted by a magical talking cedar tree as you set out on an

The Micklegate Christmas Mingle is back!

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It’s been a cracking year for Micklegate, with another brilliant Soapbox Challenge the opening of more lovely new places to eat and drink, with and without children. And what better way to celebrate than an evening of Christmas fun, as the Micklegate Christmas Mingle returns? Last year’s event was a fantastic way to get in the festive mood.  Head to one of York’s finest streets on Monday 18th December from 5pm to 8pm to enjoy: Live reindeer Carol singing Hot chocolate and of course the obligatory mulled wine Late night shopping …and much more. No tickets required, and the wearing

York’s best pantos and Christmas shows 2017

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He’s behind you! There’s nothing quite like a panto, Christmas show or carol concert to get the whole family in the festive mood. There’s plenty of choice for festive entertainment in York this year, with great options for all ages. Take a look at our pick of the best Christmas shows in York for families. Jack & The Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal York’s oldest, silliest and best loved pantomime returns with Jack and the Beanstalk, and it’s great news that Martin Barrass will be back after his incredible recovery. Expect spectacular sets, crazy costumes, bad jokes, local jokes and,

Where to see Santa in York 2017: Our guide to the grottos

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For many families, a visit to see Father Christmas is an essential part of the festivities. Luckily for us, there are plenty of places to meet Santa in and around York, from boats to halls to windmills and even Narnia! Check out our guide to the best grottos in York in 2017. This year, why not meet Santa… …in the library at Beningbrough Hall Listen to Father Christmas read stories in the library, have a chat and a photograph with him and receive a little gift to put under your tree if you can get it home without opening it

Father Christmas tickets go on sale at Castle Howard

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If there’s one Father Christmas experience near York that’s bound to sell out, it’s the chance to meet him at Castle Howard. That’s why we’re reminding you that if you want to see him, you need to be quick. There are two options for meeting the man himself: Daytime Audiences with Father Christmas Gather around the fire as  wizard WonderPhil entertains with magic and then join in with Father Christmas as he tells stories and sings songs before handing out personalised presents. Enchanted Evenings with Father Christmas Gather in the Grecian Hall for a festive tea party before setting off

Review: A Christmas Mystery and Victorian Christmas at York Castle Museum

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For me, Christmas and York Castle Museum have gone hand in hand since I was little. In fact, squirreled away in a box somewhere is an ancient York Press cutting with a photo of me and my brother aged 6 and 4, dressed as Victorians in a Christmassy Castle Museum, hand-in-hand with the Lord Mayor of the time (don’t ask). So it’s a special place to go back to with my own children, particularly at this time of year. We were delighted to be invited along to try the museum’s new festive children’s trail, A Christmas Mystery. Each of the

Music, lights and more at Fountains Abbey this Christmas

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Fountains Abbey is a beautiful place, well worth the drive from York. And at Christmas it’s even more magical, with lots of events for the whole family to enjoy. Here’s what we’ve got to look forward to this year. Music and Lights Wander through the estate to see the trees twinkling with light and the Abbey all aglow with the colours of the rainbow. Stop by the cellarium to catch some live festive music too. Every weekend from 26th November to 18th December (also 27th & 31st December, excluding 11th December) – 3.30pm to 5pm (last entry 4pm), choirs/band 3.30pm

Meet Santa in York…up a windmill!

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If you’ve never been to Holgate Windmill, you really should. It’s one of York’s hidden gems, nestled among residential streets, and a quirky place to visit with kids (ours have been talking about it ever since we went a couple of months back). What better time to visit than at Christmas, when a very well known white-bearded, red-suited gent will be greeting children at the top of the windmill? Father Christmas will be bringing his sack of presents to Holgate Windmill on Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th and Saturday 10th December from 2 to 4 pm, and Sunday 11th December from 10am

Meet Father Christmas at DIG: An Archaeological Adventure

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We love DIG, JORVIK’s hands-on archaeological attraction on St Saviourgate, and we love the sound of the festive activities they’ve got planned this year. There’s something for children of all ages: under fives can explore a Victorian Christmas during a fun-filled, festive Little Diggers session, while older children can book onto an afternoon session to get hands-on in the DIG pits to find out how Victorians celebrated this special time of year. Everyone will meet Santa and receive a gift to take home.  It all takes place on Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th December and pre-booking is essential. Here’s everything you need to

Review: Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet

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If you’ve ever seen that scene where Bambi encounters ice for the first time, you’ll have a good idea of how our family took to ice skating at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland last year. Our youngest opted out completely (she had only just learnt to walk, after all) and the other two had a grand old time but stuck close to the edges just in case. What a difference a year makes! As a special festive treat, we kept the kids up late last week to take them along to the launch of Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet. I

Christmas Eve inspiration: The Crib Service at York Minster

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It’s a bit controversial, but I think I prefer Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. At its best (ie you don’t spend it working or panic-buying), it’s a day full of festive cheer but without the expectations or hard work of the big day. In recent years, the Crib Service at York Minster has been one of our Christmas Eve traditions. It’s the most family-friendly service you can imagine, with an incredibly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and fancy dress firmly encouraged losartan potassium 50 mg. There are traditional carols and a chance to visit the crib and see the nativity scene.

Visit Santa on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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Fancy meeting Santa on a steam train? Then head over to the North Yorkshire Moors to meet Father Christmas on-board one of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Santa Special steam train experiences. Join Santa and his helpers at Pickering, Grosmont or Whitby for a magical adventure on the Santa Express for an unforgettable journey. Each child will receive an age-appropriate present, activity sheet and Santa hat while adults can enjoy a mince pie, hot drink and alcoholic drink. It sells out fast, so be quick. Santa Specials are running on 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20 & 21st December

Where to see Santa in York: Santa in the Shambles

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After a great first year, York’s Chocolate Story’s grotto is back in a new home: Shambles Market. Visit Father Christmas’s old fashioned sweet shop for some fun activities before being called through to see Santa in his cosy study. Pose for a photo to take home and then watch your gift arrive on the conveyor belt. We went last year and really enjoyed the whole experience. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a Father Christmas experience in York city centre, and perfect to combine with a spot of Christmas shopping. 3rd to 24th December 2016 – weekdays (3rd

Rudolf and The Witches at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this Christmas

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We’ve got some fabulous Christmas shows coming up in York this year, but a short hop away in Leeds the West Yorkshire Playhouse is putting on something special too. In fact they’ve got two great shows coming up and there’s not a pantomime dame in sight. Rudolf, a lovely tale about the famous reindeer, is aimed at a younger audience while The Witches, Roald Dahl’s scariest tale, is ideal for older kids. Here’s a bit more about them. Rudolf All Rudolf has ever wanted to do is to pull Santa’s sleigh. But only the best reindeer get to do that.

Storytime with Santa, winter zoo and new Christmas market at Flamingo Land

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There’s lots of Christmas fun coming up at Flamingo Land this winter. In the run-up to the big day, enjoy festive storytelling with Santa and his elves, have a photo taken and receive a gift at The Coach House grotto (£10 per child on top of normal admission). The all-new Christmas market will be up and running too, with stalls full of gift ideas and tempting treats. The fabulous Flamingo Land zoo will also be open so you can enjoy seeing over 140 reptiles, mammals, fish, amphibians and birds. A selection of rides for younger children will also be available.

Santa’s Sleigh Rides at Piglets Adventure Farm Park

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For an outdoor festive adventure in York this Christmas, Piglets is just the place. Jump on board Santa’s sleigh for a ride through the twinkling Woodland Village, check in at Elf Airlines, be greeted by Mrs Claus and then see Santa in his grotto. Take the golden key to unlock the toy shop and choose a present from the selection. That’s not all: you can see festive animals in the nativity scene or have a go on the Victorian carousel or vintage car ride (small extra charges). Adults can enjoy a bratwurst, mulled wine or beer before or after the

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