We love York Castle Museum. We must have been there hundreds of times but we never get bored of it; there’s loads to see and do, and we never get round it all. It’s extra special at Christmas, with the recreated rooms and Kirkgate decorated for the season. There’s loads happening this year, and here’s our pick.
This year, Father Christmas will be opening his very special festive Toy Museum. Experience some Christmas magic as the toys come to life to tell tales of Christmas traditions and re-discover some of the most popular Christmas toys of past and present. Father Christmas will be making special appearances throughout the day to finish making his list of presents to deliver on Christmas Eve (17th to Wednesday 23rd December, 11am to 4pm). Each child will receive a chocolate treat for the Christmas tree.
You can also follow the Christmas trail around the museum (30th November to 31st December, 50p each, small reward at the end) and, from 17th December to Wednesday 23rd December (11am to 4pm) there’ll be drop-in performances of A Christmas Carol on the beautifully decorated Victorian street, Kirkgate. It’s a really atmospheric and memorable one-man show that’s engaging enough for even young children to watch it the whole way through. We saw it with our then 4 year-old and he still talks about it two years on. A real Christmas treat.
The Victorian Christmas Experience is a magical festive tour of the museum’s Victorian street. This year Eliza Mistletoe and Barnaby Jingle need to find Christmas presents – can you help them decide what to buy from the shops in Kirkgate? Meet some of the residents and shopkeepers of Kirkgate as they get ready for Christmas and take part in some fun festive activities along the way. Join in with wassailing under the Christmas tree. If you can sing loud enough then Father Christmas might just make an appearance to tell his tales of Christmas. All children taking part will have a special moment with Father Christmas and receive a traditional toy (some of the nicest toys we’ve seen in our Santa travels). We were invited along last year and had the most fantastic experience – you can read our review here. We’d highly recommend it – it’s a special, and very York, way to kick-off the festive season.
Victorian Christmas Experience takes place at York Castle Museum from Saturday 19 December to Wednesday 23 December – 4pm to 7.30pm – £8.50 per child, £6 per adult (price includes museum admission, shopping list gifts, present from Father Christmas for children, and coffee and mince pies (juice and biscuits for children) – booking essential – call 01904 697979.