Jingle bells! Christmas will be here before we know it, and it’s looking good for a sparkling festive season. As always, there’s plenty of choice of family-friendly Christmas events in and around York for children of all ages, from meetings with Father Christmas to pantomimes and days out with added twinkle. Here’s our pick of the best things to do this Christmas in York in 2022 with kids – do keep checking back as we’ll be adding more events as we get them. Top tip – book early as the popular events do tend to sell out and we don’t want you being added to the naughty list…
Watch All New Adventures of Peter Pan at York Theatre Royal
Head to York Theatre Royal this Christmas for a fun-packed, swashbuckling adventure with an extra sprinkling of fairy dust starring CBeebies’ Maddie Moate as Tinkerbell. Great value family tickets are available for all performances. 2nd December 2022 to 2nd January 2022 – Visit the York Theatre Royal website for more info and tickets
Meet Father Christmas on the river with City Cruises’ Santa Experience
Join the City Cruises York Santa Experience for the most magical event on the River Ouse! Santa works hard all year round and manages to find the time to visit all of the especially well-behaved boys and girls in York before Christmas! Each child will be hand-delivered a personalised present from Santa whilst everybody on board will enjoy refreshments, fun and surprises, making this a Christmas treat to remember.
Into the Woods at Castle Howard
Castle Howard becomes a wonderland of happily ever afters, fair maidens and magic for Christmas 2022. Expect to be enchanted by theatrical installations and projections that bring to life your favourite fairytales as the sounds of glass slippers on ballroom floors and horse-drawn pumpkins echo through the great halls via state-of-the-art soundscapes.
12th November 2022 to 2nd January 2023 – Visit the Castle Howard website
Christmas at Northwood Trail
Northwood Trail is hosting a Santa experience with a difference: no red-suited ‘ho ho ho’s here! Expect a more natural, wholesome and enchanting experience with stories, candles and imagination. Dressed in green, Northwood’s St Nicholas mirrors the Father Christmas of the past, while Lady Winter encourages us to rest, be still and dream. Enjoy a glass of hot punch (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), before being taken to the woodland grotto to make a wish with Lady Winter and listen to a short story with St Nicholas. Children will receive something symbolic to take home, and a chocolate coin too.
Details for 2022 to be confirmed – Visit the Northwood Trail website
Christmas at York Minster
York Minster has a selection of fabulously festive activities that children will enjoy, from a Christmas Tree Festival to the York Minster crib service.
Various dates in November and December 2022 – Click here to find out more about what’s going on at York Minster
Meet Father Christmas at Mother Shipton’s
Santa is flying to see you at Mother Shipton’s! Let the twinkling lights draw you into the wonder of Mother Shipton’s magical, memory-making Christmas experience. Wander through the gorgeous winter woodland to see the enchanted Christmas Village, festooned with festive delights and merry displays to marvel at along the way. Take a photo inside Santa’s beautiful sleigh and sit upon the magical Christmas throne, then visit the Elf Mail Post Box to post your letters to Santa.
20th November to 24th December 2022 – mother-shiptons.co.uk
Get your skates on at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland returns to York Designer Outlet for 2022 with 975 sq m of real ice to glide, slide and wobble around. There will be two skate hire marquees for extra space, and a viewing platform too. The Chalet will be open too, serving hot chocolate, mulled wine, sizzling sausages and more. You can even visit Father Christmas there too!
Dates to be confirmed – yorkshireswinterwonderland.com
Visit York’s Christmas Market
York’s popular Christmas market, St Nicholas Fair, is set to return for 2022 with local businesses selling an array of gifts and treats. While children might not fancy the shopping element, they’ll love the twinkling lights and tasty food and drink on offer.
17th November to 23rd December 2022 – Visit the Visit York website for more info
Barley Hall at Christmas
Gold, frankincense and myrrh… At Barley Hall this Christmas, explore how magic infiltrated this religious time in the middle ages, whilst discovering the fine line between science, religion and magic during the medieval period at the Magic & Mystery exhibition. The house will be beautifully decorated for Christmas too.
Winter Woodland at Sewerby Hall
The Yorkshire coast is beautiful at this time of year, and Sewerby Hall’s Winter Woodland is the perfect excuse for a trip to Bridlington. Details are to be confirmed for 2022, so watch this space.
Festive Afternoon Tea at The Grand, York
Enjoy afternoon tea with a festive twist at The Grand, Yorkshire’s only five-star hotel. Filled with Christmas delights and even served with a festive cocktail, it’ll be a sparkling experience to remember. There’s even an option for a special children’s menu.
The Christmas Experience at Lotherton 2022
There’s a variety of festive experiences on offer at Lotherton’s Christmas Experience for 2022, from a one-on-one meeting with Father Christmas to a shorter experience for younger children or just a Christmassy day out including a new winter woodland walk. Booking is required for all elements.
Dates to be confirmed – thechristmasexperience.co.uk
Christmas crafts at Rowntree Park
Join The Friends of Rowntree Park for a festive time as they craft decorations made from natural resources. Think pine cones, fern, cinnamon sticks, willow, dried oranges, log circles and more! You can even make your own mini wreath and learn basic willow weaving.