York is my home city, so it makes perfect sense for me to write a guide to York at Christmas! Especially as this year, we will be having the Christmas markets back!
There’s so many things to do in York at Christmas, so if you are planning a trip, see what is on! There’s shows, markets, festive teas, medival style feasts and more!
- York Christmas Markets
- Thors Tipi
- Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
- The History of Christmas in York Tour
- Christmas in Narnia
- Festive Afternoon Tea
- Big Christmas Concert
- The Snowman at York Minster
- Love Actually in Concert
- Christmas Carol Concert
- A Christmas Carol
- The Magical Music of Harry Potter
- Kate Rusby’s Christmas Tour
- Festive Medieval Banquet at Barley Hall
- Festive Mead Tasting at Barley Hall
York Christmas Markets
The St Nicolas Fair is returning to York this year, after taking a break due to Coronavirus last year. The wintery wooden alpine chalets will be back, lining Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square. At York Christmas markets you can find local businesses selling handmade gifts, treats and drinks. There’s always a lovely selection of baked goods and local alcohol to buy. And mulled wine – there’s ALWAYS mulled wine!
York Markets 2021 dates: 18th November to 23 December.
Thors Tipi is a popup bar that is in Parlimaent square over Christmas. It’s walk in only and often gets busy, so it’s much better to avoid peak times as you won’t get a seat. But it’s a wonderful bar where you can enjoy mulled wine and cider by the fire.
This year YUZU will be on-hand to offer delicious Bao Buns!
Thors Tipi 2021 Dates: 18th November – 2nd January
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
At Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, you will find the North of Englands largest outdoor ice-rink. The Chalet over looks the ice-rink, a alpine-themed cafe which sells mulled wine, hot chocolates, hot dogs, toasties and other sweet treats.
The vintage fair has lots or rides for all ages to enjoy, like the dodgems and the Hush Hush Train ride. There’s also a chance to win a prize at one of the games stalls.
Of course there’s a Santas grotto here, where your child can visit Santa and get a special gift!
The Winter Wonderland is at the Designer Outlet, York. Just off the A64. Be sure to book in advance!
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland 2021 dates: November 19th 2021 – January 9th 2022
The History of Christmas in York Tour
If you love guided tours, this 90 minute tour takes you though the history of Christmas in the city of York and shows how the traditions have developed over the years into what we celebrate today. It tells stories of the Romans and Vikings and how their introduced their customs into the traditions of Christmas and New Year.
The History of Christmas In York Dates: 26th November 2021 – 6th January 2022
Christmas in Narnia
Christmas in Narnia is at Castle Howard, where the castle will be decorated with lights, projections and soundcapes. There will also be the iconic 25ft Christmas tree with over 3000 baubles in the great hall. There’ll be food, drink, gift shops and farm shops.
Book your tickets here. They’re selling fast so be quick!
Christmas in Narnia dates: 13th November 2021 – 3rd January 2022
Festive Afternoon Tea
Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? Perfect after spending the day shopping in York and visiting the Christmas markets.
Enjoy your festive afternoon tea at Chez Mal Brasserie in York.
Festive Afternoon Tea dates: 24th November 2021 – 30th December 2021
Big Christmas Concert
This is the biggest Christmas concert in York and takes place at St Michael Le Beflrey Church next to the York Minster. The concert starts with a brass band and then Alistair Griffin’s Big Christmas Concert will get your Christmas Spirit live and kicking by playing popular Christmas songs and Christmas carols!
Big Christmas Concert Dates: 3rd December 2021, 10th December 2021 & 11th December 2021.
The Snowman at York Minster
The Snowman is my favourite Christmas movie and reminds me so much of growing up! This year you can watch the Snowman on a screen inside the beautiful York Minster. Accompanied by a live orchestra! This sounds like an amazing family event!
I hope they keep doing this as my son is too young to take this year, but maybe next year he will enjoy it!
The Snowman at York Minster dates: 11th December at 12.30pm, 3pm and 7.30pm.
Ready for some Panto! I love a good Christmas Panto and at York Royal Theatre this year, you can watch Cinderella.
Cinderella Dates: 3rd December 2021 – 2nd January 2022
Love Actually in Concert
Get yourself to the Barbican to see this popular Christmas move accompanied by a live-orchestra.
Date: Wednesday 8th December 2021
Christmas Carol Concert
This community event features will be at the Barbican and features: Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band, Dringhouses Primary School Choir, Clifton Green Primary School Choir, Stamford Bridge Community Choir and Steve Cassidy. Proceeds from the concert will be shared by the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of York’s Christmas Cheer Fund along with St Leonard’s Hospice.
Date: 12th December 2021
A Christmas Carol
The Penny Magpie Theatre Company are based in York and with local/regional actors. They believe that talent come from all backgrounds and to promote working-class and/or actors from under-represented areas, and those who have never had the resources or opportunities to formally study their art. This adaption of A Christmas Carol is an exciting version of the Charles Dickens classic by Samantha Hindman.
It’s sure to warm your hearts when you watch at York Mansion House.
Dates: 17th, 18th & 19th December 2021.
The Magical Music of Harry Potter
I love Harry Potter! And the music in Harry Potter is stunning. This live orchestra concert includes the Weasley brothers and will allow you to experience the most magical moment sof Harry Potter at the Barbican!
Dates: 13th December 2021
Kate Rusby’s Christmas Tour
I love Kate Rusby – I have one of her albums on my phone and play it in my car loads. I had no idea she did a Christmas tour but I would love to go.
She’s a folk singer with a beautiful voice and is actually from Barnsley! She’s down to earth, funny and this Christmas tour sounnds amazing.
Dates: 20th December 2021
Festive Medieval Banquet at Barley Hall
Barley Hall is a beautifully reconstructed medieval townhouse in the heart of York that was built in 1360. It’s the perfect place to have a medieval festive feast! You get a welcome drink, two-course meal, wine and entertainment incuded in your meal.
Dates: 11th December 2021
Festive Mead Tasting at Barley Hall
Join The Lancashire Mead Company at this tasting of the festive honey-based drink. Learn all about it and enjoy tastings and nibbles at Barley Hall.
Dates: 4th December 2021
Hope you enjoyed this guide to some of my favourite things to do in York at Christmas! Are you planning to visit York this Christmas?