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 local Christmas markets, 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.
1. Bedale Christmas Festival
While the November event will no longer take place, Bedale will host a Christmas Festival – where visitors can attend an indoor Christmas shopping event on December 4th and 5th, with a number of gift stalls to visit. Additionally, there’s currently another event on December 19th in the works, where the kids will hopefully be able to meet Santa before the big day.
2. 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.
3. Christmas at Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey will be open for Christmas, with a number of events on to experience. See the Abbey lit up in stunning Christmas lights, sip on a hot chocolate or spot the deer.
4. 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 visit with Santa, as well as the Courtyard Grotto from December 4th.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Christmas Supper at Bolton Abbey
Following the cancellation of their Christmas events due to customers failing to social distance during the pandemic, Bolton Abbey will only be hosting a Christmas Supper this year – which will take place at the Cavendish Pavillion. Guests will be able to enjoy turkey with all the trimmings, with sticky toffee pudding to finish in a wonderfully festive setting. Find out more here.
14. 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.
15. Christmas at Burton Agnes Hall
Burton Agnes will be welcoming visitors this Christmas to enjoy its beautiful festive decor, with a candy cane trail running through the enchanted woodland (which includes illuminated mini homes) to find. Once you’re done, head to the stables to enjoy mulled drinks, hot chocolates and even mince pies.
16. Mother Shipton’s Winter Woodland Walks
Adapting their Christmas offering to provide a fun, COVID-safe atmosphere for guests to enjoy, Mother Shipton’s is hosting magical Winter Woodland Walks, where attendees will be greated with gorgeous twinkling light displays and Santa’s sleigh. Santa will also be on hand for socially-distant selfies, too.
17. RHS Harlow Carr Glow 2020
Harlow Carr has been fully decked out with stunning light sculptures this Christmas, and its the perfect illuminated walk for those looking for a COVID-safe festive stroll. While the event is currently sold out, there is sometimes cancellations. Keep your eyes peeled for any limited ticket releases here.
18. North Bay Heritage Railway Santa Specials
North Bay Heritage Railway in Scarborough will be continuing with the festive celebrations this month, with COVID-safe rail rides featuring Santa himself. Hot drinks are included for all guests to warm up during your journey, with elves and the Big Man himself on hand to greet the kids at a social distance. Find out more.
19. Yorkshire Drive In-Cinema, Scarborough
A fantastic drive-in cinema has opened in Scarborough, screening a number of festive classics throughout December. Guests will be able to enjoy the festivities from the safety of their own cars, where you can pig out on all the treats and even turn up in your PJs if you wish! Tickets here.
20. Daisy Duke’s Drive-In Cinema: York & Sheffield
Another Christmas-themed drive-in cinema has landed in Yorkshire – with screenings taking place in both York and Sheffield. Expect the usual classics to get you feeling a little Christmas joy (despite all these bloomin’ restrictions) with plenty of movies to choose from. Find out more.
- Christmas at Bolling Hall, Bradford
- Christmas at William’s Den, North Cave
- Leeds Christmas Market
- Sheffield Christmas Market
- Harrogate Christmas Market
- Richmond Christmas Market
- Whitby Christmas Festival
- York’s Winter Wonderland
- 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
- Bedale Christmas Market (November)
- Knaresborough Christmas Market
- ‘Wish Upon A Frozen Star’ at Castle Howard
- Scarborough Sparkle
- The Polar Express Train Ride at Wensleydale
- Christmas at the Piece Hall
- Malton Christmas Food and Gift Market
- Selby Christmas Market
- Skipton Yuletide Festival & Christmas Market
- Santa’s Grotto at Treasurer’s House, York
- Nunnington Hall Father Christmas Experience, York