Family Weekend at York Christmas Festival this weekend!

York’s feeling truly festive now, with beautiful twinkly lights and sparkling decorations galore. If you’ve not ventured in yet with your kids, this weekend’s a good time as there’s loads going on for them to enjoy.

The York’s Chocolate Story grotto kicks off on Saturday: visit Father Christmas in his cosy wooden grotto in the Shambles Food Court, where you’ll also find hot street food for the whole family. Entry includes chocolatey activities, a meeting with Santa, a photo and of course a special Christmas present from the big man himself.
If you’re heading to town on Saturday 3rd December, keep your eye out for walkabout entertainer, Betty Balloon, with her gigantic balloon shapes in St Sampson’s Square and Shambles Market. Betty creates characters out of her balloon sculptures and tells interactive stories with costumes and props made out of….balloons! There’s also going to be a giant walking tree, so look out behind you!
On Sunday 4 December, Mr Cool – a weeble shaped snowman – and Toni the Hula Hoop Act will add to the fun. Face painters, balloon animal modellers and quizzes will also be on hand to keep the kids entertained.
If that’s not enough, there’s lots of Victorian festive fun going on at York Castle Museum with their Christmas trail, a lovely medieval Christmas atmosphere at Barley Hall and, if you fancy a skate, The Ice Factor continues at York Designer Outlet. Thinking of seeing a Christmas show but not booked one yet? Check out our handy guide to the best.
For more information on the York Christmas Festival, visit

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