19 Yorkshire Christmas Markets And Events That ARE Going Ahead This Year

Christmas might be looking like its cancelled (given how rubbish 2020 has been so far), but not all hope is lost – with a number of popular events still confirmed to be going ahead this Christmas. From Sheffield’s popular Christmas Market, to spectacular light installations and, of course, Santa’s Grotto visits – there’s plenty to see and do this festive season. Check out our guide to the Yorkshire Christmas markets and events that are pushing ahead this year.

Credit: Sheffield Christmas Market

1. Sheffield Christmas Market

Sheffield’s Christmas Market will still go ahead this year, despite other city’s opting to cancel theirs. The market will run from November 12th to Christmas Eve, with a new layout to assist with social distancing.

2. Bedale Christmas Market

Bedale Christmas Market is currently scheduled to go ahead, with a date set for Saturday 28th November. The Christmas Lights will be switched on at 5.30pm in the Market Place, with a number of stalls available to browse as part of the fair.

3. Knaresborough Christmas Market

Knaresborough Christmas Market will also be pressing ahead this year, taking place on the weekend of Saturday 5th December. The layout has been amended as a result of the Coronavirus, and the traders may vary from typical years. Expect stalls and lively entertainment as part of this year’s market.

Credit: Beverley Festival of Christmas

4. Christmas at Harewood House, Leeds

Harewood House will be opening its doors again for the festive period, with Christmas shopping, seasonal food, and a number of festive experiences to enjoy during your visit – including the stunning house decoration. Tickets are on sale now.

5. Christmas at Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey will be open for Christmas, with a number of events on to experience. Meet Santa, see the Abbey lit up in stunning Christmas lights, enjoy Carols by candlelight, sip on a hot chocolate, spot the deer, or even have dinner with Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

Credit: Castle Howard

6. Christmas at Castle Howard

Castle Howard has been working super hard behind-the-scenes to create a magical, COVID-safe experience for families, and this year, guests can enjoy a fantastic illumination show in collaboration with world class specialists The Projection Studio. Tickets for the event are on sale now, and you can pick yours up here. Further details about their Father Christmas events and other Christmas events are set to be announced in October.

7. York City Cruises Santa Experience

York City Cruises has implemented a number of COVID-safe measures for their 2020 Santa Experience, so guests can climb aboard and sit at their own table, with each child being allocated time to visit Santa in his Grotto. Tickets include a glass of wine for the grown-ups, 50 minutes on-board the boat, soft drinks for the kids, colouring sheets, a present from Santa and even all the tools to write an official letter to the Big Man.

8. Sleigh Rides at Piglets Adventure Farm

Tickets are now on sale for Piglets Adventure Farm’s Sleigh Rides, where the kids can head out on a magical sleigh ride to Santa’s Woodland Village – where they’ll be able to meet Santa in his grotto. Social distancing measures will be in place, with a number of changes for this year’s experience.

9. Scarborough Sparkle

Scarborough Sparkle is currently scheduled to go ahead between Friday 27th November and Sunday 29th November, with tasty seasonal food, luxury gifts, rides, Santa’s Grotto and a Tipi bar to enjoy during your visit.

Credit: NYMR

10. North Yorkshire Moors Railway Santa Specials

Santa’s Grotto with a difference – NYMR’s Santa Specials are confirmed to return for 2020 – with tickets going on sale September 17th. Each ticket includes a private compartment to sit in on the steam train, interaction with Santa’s Elves, a photo with Santa, a return journey from Pickering to Levisham and a present for each child.

11. Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience, Leeds

The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall is set to go ahead, with dates currently scheduled for 27th November – January 3rd. Santa and his Elves will be back to welcome guests – with a storytime experience with presents, a twinkling woodland walk and the ‘Wildlife World’ experience where guests can visit the penguins, see the flamingos and more.

12. The Polar Express Train Ride, Wensleydale

The popular Polar Express Train Ride in Wensleydale will go ahead this year, with social distancing in place so guests can enjoy the story of the Polar Express, with guests encouraged to turn up in their PJs to do it just like they do in the book. You’ll even get to meet Santa at the end. Tickets are on sale now, however, are selling fast.

13. Lightwater Valley Light Alice In Wonderland Lantern Trail

Lightwater Valley’s ‘Alice in Winderland’ experience will return for 2020, featuring the huge Alice in Wonderland themed lanterns including the famous characters from the story. Guests will be able to walk through and check out the huge illuminations, as well as enjoy food and drink and fairground rides.

Credit: Stockeld Park

14. Stockeld Park Christmas Adventure, Wetherby

Stockeld Park’s Christmas Adventure is back, including their fantasntic Winter Illuminations, Santa’s Grotto and their fabulous Silver Band. The Enchanted Forest will be coming to life after dusk, and will run from 21st November right up until 3rd January.

15. Yorkshire Wildlife Park Winter Illuminations

Yorkshire Wildlife Park will welcome the unmissable Lightopia this year, where guests will be able to walk through Yorkshire’s biggest lantern display. There’ll be over 2,400 metres of illuminated trails to follow, with seriously impressive sculptures in the shapes of animals, mystical creatures and more. There’ll be tunnels of light, festive food and so much more. Get tickets now.

16. Christmas at The Piece Hall

Christmas at The Piece Hall will go ahead this year, with COVID-safe events for all the family. From November 14 to December 31, visitors will be able to enjoy live music, a traditional carousel, the festive market, comedy nights, dinner and cabaret packages and even The Piece Hall’s first ever Father Christmas experience. Tickets for most events go on sale October 9.

17. York’s Chocolate Story: Chocolate Making With Santa

York’s Chocolate Story will be celebrating Christmas this year with a fantastic chocolate making class with the Big Man himself, with a number of sessions between 19 December and 23 December. More details on their website here.

18. Father Christmas at Bolton Abbey

While Christmas at Bolton Abbey may look a little bit different this year, there’ll still be some festive cheer being spread – with Father Christmas making an appearance every weekend until Christmas. The beautiful Strid Wood will be transformed into a sparkling Christmas Village, with the kids able to meet Santa for a little gift. Tickets are currently sold out, but keep your eyes peeled for any changes here.

19. Thornton Hall Country Park Christmas Adventure

Thornton Hall has finally revealed their 2020 Christmas experience, with a number of socially distanced events taking place. There’ll be a toddler Christmas party, magical walk-through areas, a drive-thru Reindeer experience, Christmas activities, Elves, meet and greets with Santa (with presents involved!), along with special needs sessions too. Find out more here.


  • Winter Wonderland, York
  • Malton Christmas Food and Gift Market
  • Burton Agnes Hall Christmas Twilight Weekend
  • Selby Christmas Market
  • Skipton Yuletide Festival & Christmas Market
  • Santa’s Grotto at Treasurer’s House, York
  • Nunnington Hall Father Christmas Experience, York
  • Christmas at Bolling Hall, Bradford
  • Christmas at William’s Den, North Cave
  • Scarborough Victorian Christmas Market


  • Leeds Christmas Market
  • Harrogate Christmas Market
  • Richmond Christmas Market
  • Whitby Christmas Festival
  • The Hepworth Wakefield Christmas Fair – online only
  • Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair
  • Grassington Dickensian Festival
  • Otley Victorian Fayre and Christmas Market
  • Enchanted Brodsworth Hall, Doncaster
  • The Snowman Cinema Screenings – no current venues planned in Yorkshire
  • Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend
  • Christmas in Haworth
  • York Christmas Market
  • Stories with Santa at Harlow Carr
  • Mother Shipton’s Cave Christmas Experience
  • Beverley Festival of Christmas