With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to book your festive city break away and where better to spend the winter season than York. York offers a flurry of Christmas activities from museums to markets; did you know we were even voted 5th best Christmas market in the world!

1 Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
Located just outside of York at Mcarthur Glen Designer Outlet you will find the grounds of Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, offering a magical winter experience for all ages.

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland is free to enter, with separate tickets required for skating at The Ice Factor and Santa’s Grotto, the giant outdoor rink is overlooked by an atmospheric Alpine style café and vintage funfair

The Ice Factor is the North of England’s largest outdoor rink, with 975 sq m of real ice and a picturesque 30ft high sparkling Christmas tree in the centre. The rink is illuminated with trees, a log cabin, the rinkside café and a viewing platform; making it the perfect setting for a festive

yorkshire winter wonderland

2 York Christmas Market
York’s St Nicholas Fair will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year after being voted 5th best Christmas market in the world!

70 alpine chalets will line the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square creating a festive wonderland with an array of local produce and artisan gifts on offer from local traders. For its anniversary year, event organisers are hyping up the new traditional Swiss chalet known as The Winter Hütte.

The Winter Hütte offers a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from one of Yorkshire’s best-known chefs, the Michelin-starred Andrew Pern. For passers-by, there is a fully-licensed bar area serving seasonal favourites such as gluhwein and spiced cider.

york christmas market

3 Santa Cruise

Join Santa for a marvellously magical festive cruise with City Cruises York. You might think that Santa is far too busy to drop in to York to see all the good boys and girls, but you’d be wrong; Santa loves cruising on the Ouse every year to spread festive cheer!

You’ll be welcomed into Santa’s Grotto at the Boatyard, hidden underneath the beautiful Lendal Bridge in the centre of York. Once on board, you’ll be greeted warmly by one of Santa’s good friends, Mary Christmas or Ernie/Ellie the Elf, who will show you to your reserved seating, ready for a magical departure!

The whole family will have the most wonderful time on board – there’s a reason why families come back year after year to experience this truly fabulous festive treat!

santa on york city cruises


4 Christmas at York Castle Museum

York Castle Museum is a must do this Christmas. Their Victorian Street, Kirkgate is particularly Dickensian dressed in its festive finery.

Wander through Kirkgate, as Christmas arrives with a blanket of festive snow on the historic cobbles. Enjoy the charming period trimmings that adorn the street and take a peek at an exciting range of historical decorations and objects, all from the museum’s collection, in stunning shopfronts. With a variety of free family friendly Christmas activities on offer, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.

york's castle museum

5 York Minster Christmas Carol Concerts

York Minster’s popular Christmas Carol Concerts offer the perfect start to the festive season. The Choir of York Minster, one of the UK’s leading cathedral choirs, perform traditional and much loved Christmas music, with seasonal readings from a special guest and the chance for the audience to join in with some classic carols.

The concerts take place in the beautiful setting of York Minster’s awe-inspiring Nave, and include music by the Yorkshire Volunteer Band.

As well as the Christmas Carol Concerts, York Minster offers a multitude of festive activities such as their Christmas Tree Festival, which features nearly 40 trees decorated by local businesses, schools and charities.

york minister