As the winter chill settles over the historic city of York, the air becomes infused with the magic of Christmas. From twinkling lights adorning mediaeval streets to the aroma of roasted chestnuts wafting through the air, York transforms into a festive wonderland during the holiday season. In this guide, we unveil the city’s most enchanting Christmas events and activities, ensuring you make the most of York’s festive delights.


St. Nicholas Fair: A Traditional Christmas Market Extravaganza

Kicking off the festive season is the St. Nicholas Fair, a traditional Christmas market that takes over the city centre. Wander through quaint stalls adorned with fairy lights, offering everything from handmade crafts to seasonal treats. The festive atmosphere is palpable, making it the perfect place to find unique gifts and soak in the holiday spirit.


York’s Winter Wonderland: Ice Skating and More

For a dose of winter fun, head to York’s Winter Wonderland. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice in the heart of the city. This family-friendly attraction also features a vintage fairground, offering rides and games that transport you to a bygone era of festive merriment.


Christmas Carol Concerts at York Minster: A Musical Spectacle

Experience the grandeur of York Minster with its special Christmas carol concerts. The soaring architecture and angelic voices create a magical atmosphere, making these concerts a highlight of the city’s festive calendar. Join in the singing or simply revel in the beauty of the season within this iconic cathedral.


Festive Afternoon Tea at Bettys: Elegance and Indulgence

Indulge in the quintessential British tradition of afternoon tea with a festive twist at Bettys. The elegant tea room offers a special Christmas-themed afternoon tea, featuring an array of delectable treats and seasonal delights. It’s a perfect way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.


City Cruises’ Boat Bar: York’s Newest Waterborne Christmas Escape!

Amidst the enchanting festivities of York, a new and exciting addition awaits those seeking a novel way to experience the Christmas spirit – City Cruises’ Boat Bar. Embark on a journey on the River Ouse with the city’s twinkling lights as your backdrop, all while indulging in the delights of the Boat Bar. The Boat Bar is a perfect blend of merriment and relaxation, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that adds an extra layer of magic to York’s festive delights.


York’s Festive Crescendo: The Big Christmas Concert Extravaganza!

Get ready for York’s musical highlight of the season – the Big Christmas Concert on December 8th, 9th, 15th, and 16th. This festive musical extravaganza, featuring a brass band and a medley of Christmas classics, is the ultimate way to step into the holiday spirit. From soulful carol renditions to timeless hits, the concert promises an unforgettable experience. Sip on mulled wine, join in the festive games, and don your best Christmas attire – there’s even a prize for the most outstanding costume. Given its annual sell-out status, book your tickets early for this joyous celebration that captures the magic of Christmas in York!



With its blend of traditional charm and contemporary festivities, York truly comes alive during the Christmas season. From bustling markets to serene carol concerts, the city offers a diverse range of experiences to suit every festive taste. Embrace the magic, create lasting memories, and let York’s festive delights make this holiday season truly special.