36 Magical Things to Do at Christmas in Yorkshire

There is nothing better than Christmas in Yorkshire – as the festive season approaches, our beautiful county transforms into a magical wonderland, filled with twinkling…


There is nothing better than Christmas in Yorkshire – as the festive season approaches, our beautiful county transforms into a magical wonderland, filled with twinkling lights, joyful carols, and a heartwarming holiday spirit. The region becomes a hub of joyous festivities, offering lots of activities that cater to all ages and tastes. Not forgetting mince pies and festive cheer!

From magical encounters with Father Christmas to exploring enchanting Christmas markets, Yorkshire truly knows how to celebrate Christmas. Let’s dive into the top things to do at Christmas in Yorkshire that promise to make your festive season unforgettable.

text says '34 Magical Things to Do at Christmas in Yorkshire'
Things to Do at Christmas in Yorkshire

Things to do at Christmas in North Yorkshire

I have written a full post on things to do in York at Christmas that covers lots of things in this area, please see this post if you would like more options to do in North Yorkshire.

Now let’s look into some Christmas things to do in Yorkshire.

1. Castle Howard

Castle Howard offers a royal Christmas experience that is nothing short of magical. From November 11th to January 2nd, this majestic castle transforms into a fairytale wonderland. Visitors can step into a world of wonder, with grand rooms turning into magical forests and faraway kingdoms. The experience is enhanced by theatrical installations and projections that bring your favourite fairytales to life. Castle Howard is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and enchanting Christmas in Yorkshire. Tickets go FAST so make sure you get them as soon as they go on sale so you don’t miss out on the Christmas magic!

Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA

Website: https://www.castlehoward.co.uk/DB/latest-news-2/christmas-in-neverland-at-castle-howard

2. Carols by Candlelight at Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire sets the stage for a special Christmas event. Each Christmas the abbey hosts its annual carol services, offering a lovely Christmas experience. The event sees high demand, so be sure to grab your tickets early. Enjoy the echoes of carols against the ancient walls of the abbey, and immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas in Yorkshire. Dates TBC.

Address: Fountains, Ripon HG4 3DY

Website: TBC

3. York’s Chocolate Story

At York’s Chocolate Story, guests can unwrap the history of chocolate, discover the story behind York’s famous chocolate brands, and even meet Santa on special Christmas-themed tours. This Christmas event in Yorkshire offers a blend of history, craft, and festive fun, making it an excellent choice for families. Christmas chocolate – YUM!

Address: 3-4 King’s Sq, York YO1 7LD

Website: https://www.yorkschocolatestory.com/

4. The Snowman with a Live Orchestra in York Minster

York Minster provides a magical Christmas experience with its live screening of The Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra. This special event is a must-see for families, offering a unique way to enjoy this classic Christmas film. The dates have not been confirmed yet but I will update as soon as they are!

Address: Deangate, York YO1 7HH

Website: TBC

5. York’s Christmas Market

From 16th November to 23rd December, the streets of York come alive with the St Nicholas Fair, one of the biggest Christmas events in Yorkshire. The festival features alpine chalets selling seasonal delicacies and artisan gifts, making it a perfect spot for Christmas shopping in Yorkshire.

York Christmas market gets busy – it’s best to visit in November during the week if you want to enjoy it a bit more!

Address: 4-6 Parliament Street, York YO1 8SE

6. Glow Winter Illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Over Christmas, the RHS Garden at Harlow Carr in Harrogate lights up after dark for their Glow Winter Illuminations. These spectacular displays of light set against the beautiful landscaping of the gardens create a magical Christmas experience in Yorkshire. Dates are to be confirmed

Address: Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate. North Yorkshire, HG3 1QB

Website: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr/whats-on/glow-winter-illuminations

7. Ice Skating and Christmas Attractions in Harrogate

From December 2nd to January 3rd, Harrogate hosts ice skating and street festivities, including an outdoor ice-skating rink and a festive fairground. A 32-metre-tall Ferris Wheel adds to the festive atmosphere, making Harrogate a top spot for Christmas in Yorkshire.

Address: Crescent Gardens, Harrogate, HG1 2SG

Website: https://www.visitharrogate.co.uk/events/christmas-attractions-at-crescent-gardens

8. Harrogate Christmas Fayre

From the 1st of December until the 17 December, visit Harrogate for the Christmas Markets and explore the arts, crafts, food and drink. The Christmas lights will be on and they’ll be music and entertainment to make it a real festive experience!

Address: Cambridge St, Harrogate HG1 1RX

Website: https://www.visitharrogate.co.uk/events/harrogate-christmas-fayre

9. Polar Express Yorkshire

Experience the magic of the Polar Express Yorkshire, a captivating train ride that brings the beloved story to life. Step aboard the beautifully decorated Polar Express train in Yorkshire, England, and be transported to a winter wonderland. Get your cosy pyjamas on and enjoy live performances of iconic songs from the movie soundtrack. Sip on hot chocolate and savour delicious cookies as you journey to the North Pole. At the enchanting North Pole, witness a dazzling light display and meet Santa Claus himself, who will personally gift each child. The Polar Express Yorkshire is amazing adventure and could be one of the best Christmas events In Yorkshire!

Tickets are already selling – so book fast!

Dates: 10th November – 23rd November

Address: Wensleydale Railway, DL7 9AR

Website: https://yorkshiredalesthepolarexpressride.com/

10. Scarborough Sparkle

Scarborough Sparkle is a festive event at the Scarborough open-air theatre. Experience the magic of twinkling lights, a Christmas market with unique gifts, live performances, and the chance to meet Santa Claus. Immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere and create lasting holiday memories.

Dates: 24 Nov 2023 – 26 Nov 2023

Website: https://www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com/discover/whats-on/scarborough-sparkle-p1289901

Address: Northstead Manor Gardens, Burniston Road, Scarborough, YO12 6PF

11. Days of Christmas – Bolton Abbey

Experience the magic of Bolton Abbey at Christmas in the scenic Yorkshire Dales. Enjoy illuminated ruins, festive markets, Santa’s grotto, and enchanting woodland walks. Create cherished holiday memories in this captivating setting.

Dates: TBC

Website: https://boltonabbey.com/whats-on/12-days-of-christmas/

Address: Bolton Abbey Skipton, North Yorkshire BD236EX

12. Wetherby Christmas Market

The annual ‘Dickensian Christmas Market and Craft Fayre’ will be held in Wetherby town centre on December 10th, 2023 . The event features an ‘Artisan Market’ with local artisan traders selling handmade goods and products, as well as a Craft Fayre event. Visitors can enjoy festive music played by various bands and choirs, and local charities will have stalls at the market. The market will also have Santa’s Grotto and two alpacas from Elmet Alpacas in Sherburn. The market location and address have not been specified in the search results.

Dates: 10th December 2023

Website: https://www.wetherbylions.org/dickensian-christmas-market

Address: Wetherby Market Place, 219 Nags Ln, Wetherby LS22 6JA

Things to do at Christmas in West Yorkshire

A Christmas MArket

13. Meeting Santa at Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park in Wetherby is known for its magical Christmas events. From November 18th until December 24th, the park becomes a hub of festive activities. Children can meet Santa, experience winter illuminations in the enchanted forest, discover the secrets of the Snowflake Maze, or have fun at the ice rink. The park also offers real Christmas trees grown on the estate, perfect for bringing a slice of the magic home.

Address: Stockeld Park, Wetherby, North Yorkshire, LS22 4AN

Website: https://stockeldpark.co.uk/activities/season/christmas/

14. The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall, Leeds

Lotherton Hall in Leeds offers a spectacular Christmas day out. With elf crafts, gingerbread decorating with Mrs Claus, and a festive woodland walk, Lotherton Hall is a must-visit for a traditional Christmas in Yorkshire. You can also explore some of the stunning Edwardian estate. The Lotherton Christmas experience is an excellent way to celebrate Christmas in Yorkshire

Address: Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB

Website: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/events/lotherton/the-christmas-experience/

15. Living Advent Calendar in Saltaire

Every December since 2006, the windows in Saltaire illuminate with festive scenes, with a new display being revealed each day. This unique advent calendar runs throughout December, creating a charming Christmas atmosphere in the village. Saltaire’s Living Advent Calendar is a delightful way to count down the days until Christmas in Yorkshire.

Be show to check out the website to find out the location of the trail before you visit!

Website: https://saltaireinspired.org.uk/events/living-advent-calendar/

16. Christmas at Roundhay Park Illumination Trail in Leeds

Every year, Roundhay Park in Leeds hosts an illuminated walking trail, transforming the park into a magical Christmas wonderland. This Christmas event in Yorkshire features large light displays choreographed to festive music. The dates are to be confirmed.

Address: Mansion Lane, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH

17. Haworth Christmas Festival 2023

The village hosts bands, carol singing, choirs, and Father Christmas events throughout the season like the nativity parade and the torchlight parade. A ride on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway adds to the traditional Christmas experience in Yorkshire.

Key dates:

Saturday 2nd December: Christmas lights turned on

Sunday 3rd December: Haworth Rotary Santa Park Run 

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December: Torchlight Procession Weekend

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th December: Festive Music Weekend

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th December: Nativity Parade with Donkeys Weekend

18. Ilkley Festive Augmented Reality Trail

Try something new this holiday season with the family-friendly augmented reality Christmas trail in Ilkley. Witness enchanting festive characters spring to life as you explore the town centre, taking in the crisp winter air and admiring the beautiful surroundings. Get ready to go on an unforgettable experience by searching for “Discover Ilkley” in the App Store on your smartphone and create lasting memories with this captivating AR adventure. Dates TBC.

Address: Ilkley town centre.

19. Winter Wonderland in Wakefield City Centre

Go on a magical journey through an enchanting snow maze in the centre of Wakefield city centre. Follow along to the captivating interactive story as festive characters guide you through the twists and turns, unravelling the thrilling Mystery of the Missing Santa. Don’t miss the chance to enter a free prize draw for a chance to win delightful Christmas treats!

Outside the maze, an enchanted forest entrance awaits, providing a picturesque backdrop for capturing Christmas selfies.

Dates 3rd & 4th December 2023

Address: Northgate, Wakefield WF1 1HG

20. The Piece Hall

Experience the enchantment of the holiday season as the magnificent Piece Hall becomes a winter wonderland. In previous years, it had a breathtaking 30ft Christmas tree and a traditional carousel. Prepare to be captivated by the return of the fantastic circus-style Spiegeltent, featuring a delightful lineup of family shows, live music, side-splitting stand-up comedy, and late-night cabaret. Immerse yourself in the magic, and don’t miss the opportunity to participate in family craft workshops.

Dates: TBC

Address: Blackledge, Halifax HX1 1RE

21. Temple Newsam

Temple Newsam in Leeds becomes a magical Christmas destination. The historic estate dazzles with festive decorations, including Christmas trees and lights. Meet Santa, stroll through the enchanting light displays and enjoy festive events and activities. Experience the joy and wonder of Temple Newsam at Christmas.

Read my review of Temple Newsam Farm here.

Dates: TBC

Address: Temple Newsam Rd, Leeds LS15 0AE

22. The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall

Take your children to Lotherton Hall to enjoy the Christmas Experiences. With prices starting from £4, you can go on a magical journey through the world of Christmas. There’s an elf village, woodland walk and you can visit Santa himself!

Website: https://thechristmasexperience.co.uk/

Dates: 25th November 2023 – 7th January 2024

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford. Leeds LS25 3EB

Things to do at Christmas in South Yorkshire

York Christmas Shop
York Christmas Shop

23. The Winter Illumination Trail at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Over Christmas, Yorkshire Wildlife Park lights up the long winter nights with its Winter Illumination Trail. The trail covers 2,400 meters and is filled with surprises. Wrap up warm, grab a hot chocolate, and marvel at the illuminated trail. The park is a favourite for families and offers a unique Christmas experience in Yorkshire.

Read my review of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park here.

Dates 17th November – January 14th.

Website: https://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/things-to-do/special-events/winter-illuminations/

Address: Hurst Lane, Doncaster DN9 3QY

24. Sheffield Christmas Market 2023

Get ready to be enchanted by the Sheffield Christmas Market, spreading sparkle and joy throughout the city centre. With over 50 log cabins dotted along Fargate, the Peace Gardens, and the Moor, this market is a treasure trove of Christmassy delights. Explore the stalls and find unique gifts, festive treats, and handmade crafts. Don’t forget to visit Santa’s Grotto and take a ride on the iconic Big Wheel for a breathtaking view of the market. Warm up with delicious street food and sip on mulled wine at the Alpine Bar as you soak in the festive atmosphere.

Dates: Nov 18, 2023 – December 24, 2023 

Address: Fargate, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LG

25. The Muppet Christmas Carol Concert- Film with Live Orchestra, Sheffield City Hall (5th December)

Experience the magic of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale with a Muppet twist! Head to Sheffield City Hall on the 5th of December for a special screening of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” accompanied by a full orchestra. Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the Muppet family on a heartwarming journey filled with laughter, music, and holiday spirit. This unique concert promises to be a truly unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Date: 5th December:

Get Tickets Here.

Address: Barker’s Pool, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2JA

26. Love Actually in Concert- Film with Live Orchestra, Sheffield City Hall (6th December)

Love Actually, the beloved star-studded romantic comedy, is coming to Sheffield City Hall with a magical twist. On the 6th of December, immerse yourself in the world of love and laughter as you watch the film projected on a huge screen, accompanied by a live orchestra. Let the iconic soundtrack come to life and relive the heartwarming moments that have made Love Actually a holiday classic. This is your chance to experience the film like never before, surrounded by the enchantment of live music.

Date: 6th December:

Get Tickets Here.

Address: Barker’s Pool, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2JA

27. Quayside Christmas Market, Victoria Quays

For a festive blast by the water, head to Victoria Quays on the 10th of December for the Quayside Christmas Market. This market promises a delightful mix of independent and local stalls, offering a wide range of unique gifts, crafts, and delicious street food. Explore the charming market and be captivated by the festive atmosphere. Don’t miss the special performance by Cirque Du Funk, adding an extra touch of magic to your day. Treat yourself to hot drinks and indulge in scrumptious food as you enjoy the outdoor festivities.

Date: 10th December

Address: Victoria Quays, , Sheffield, United Kingdom, Sheffield, United Kingdom

28. DN Festival of Light at Doncaster Minster

From the 25th to the 28th of November, Doncaster Minster will be transformed into an immersive world of light and colour for the DN Festival of Light. Collaborating with creative duo Heinrich & Palmer, Right Up Our Street will create a bespoke experience that showcases the beauty of the Minster in a unique way. Prepare to be dazzled as you explore this enchanting display.

Dates: 17th November 2023 – 19th November 2023

Address: 9 Church St, Doncaster DN1 1RD

29. Enchanted North at Thornhurst Manor

Step into a world of pure seasonal magic at Enchanted North. Over Christmas, Thornhurst Manor will be transformed into a woodland wonderland. Encounter fairy folk, dazzling elves, and mythical creatures as you journey through this enchanting experience. And who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus himself.

Dates: TBC

Address: Holme Lane, Doncaster DN5 0LR

30. Beauty and The Beast at Cast

Embark on a magical journey with Beauty and The Beast at Cast. Follow Belles’s adventures in this classic story. This pantomime is sure to entertain audiences of all ages, so grab your tickets and get ready for a magical night out.

Dates: 1st December 2023 – 31st December 2023

Address: Sir Nigel Gresley Square Doncaster South Yorkshire DN1 3BU

31. Festive Raceday at Doncaster Racecourse

Christmas isn’t over yet at Doncaster Racecourse! On the 29th of December, the Festive Raceday will keep the Yuletide fun going. Gather your friends and family for a day of thrilling horse racing and festive entertainment. This is the perfect way to extend the holiday spirit and create lasting memories.

Date: 29th December 2023

Address: The Grandstand Leger Way Doncaster South Yorkshire DN2 6BB

Things to do at Christmas in East Yorkshire

Christmas festivities in Yorkshire

32. Beverley Christmas Market

This market is known for its charming setting and traditional stalls. Browse through a variety of crafts, local produce, and handmade gifts while enjoying the festive ambience.

Dates: Wednesday 6th – Friday 9th December 2023

Address: Market Place, Beverley, HU17 8BB

33. Bridlington Christmas Market

Located near the picturesque Yorkshire coastline, this market offers a delightful mix of food, crafts, and entertainment. Take a stroll along the stalls and indulge in the festive treats on offer.

Dates: TBC

34. Yorkshire Wolds Railway Christmas Trees & Fair

Get your Christmas tree from the Yorkshire Wolds. There’s also a fair which showcases the best of local artisans and producers. Discover unique treasures and enjoy the warm community spirit.

Dates: 2nd December 2023

Address: Yorkshire Wold’s Railway, Fimber Roundabout, YO25 3HG

35. Sledmere’s Santa Experience

Experience the enchanting Sledmere Santa Experience, a day filled with festive delights and unforgettable family moments. Immerse yourself in the Christmas village, where you’ll encounter friendly animals, enjoy exciting games, and listen to captivating stories from the North Pole. Get ready to meet Santa Claus himself and create cherished memories. After your visit, explore the VIP elf store and select a special gift. And don’t miss the merry tractor ride, where you can catch a glimpse of Sledmere’s magnificent red deer herd, rumoured to be Rudolph’s favourite playground.

Dates: TBC

Address: Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG

36. Burton Agnes Hall

Step into a winter wonderland at Burton Agnes Hall, an Elizabethan stately home adorned with handmade decorations. Explore the beautifully decorated rooms and discover the hidden snowman doll in each one.

Dates: 14th November 2023 – 23rd December 2023

Website: https://www.burtonagnes.com/DB/Events_2/christmas-at-burton-agnes-hall.html

Address: Rudston Rd, Burton Agnes, Driffield YO25 4NB

Enjoy Events Christmas in Yorkshire!

So there you have it, the best things to do in Yorkshire at Christmas. These activities and events will be sure to get you into the festive spirit! With such a wide range of festive activities, you’re sure to have a very Yorkshire Christmas here!


  1. I mean.. how dare you? But seriously, this is a fantastic list. As you know, I’ll be much closer to York soon when I live in Lincolnshire, so I think I’ll definitely be making a trip up there around Christmas as well!

  2. I’ve always wanted to visit Yorkshire and I’m seeing sooo many amazing posts about Yorkshire at Christmas! It all sounds so dreamy and so perfect as a little family!

  3. These are great things to do and maybe won’t spend there I will save it for future. Thank you for sharing

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