All we want to know now is, can we ask Father Christmas for another holiday once it’s all over so we can recover? 🎅🎅🎅
1. Enjoy the Christmas lights in York City Centre 🎄
The Christmas lights in York this year are better than EVER! The Tree of Light (near Clifford’s Tower) is must-see – a single tree wrapped in 10,000 lights! Why not take a selfie next to the huge tree in St Sampson Square, and don’t miss the four city wall bars, covered in shimmering lights.
Enjoy a festive trip to the National Railway Museum. There are plenty of free festive activities happening to give the children entertained.
🚂 Make your very own working cardboard railway lantern to take home with you
🚂 Create your own light-up Christmas card
🚂 Solve challenges to design a Christmas picture with our Pixel Puzzles!
ℹ️ See the National Railway Museum website for more information 💷 Cost? Entry to the museum is free, pre-booking required 📅 When? Open 10.00–17.00 every day from Saturday 18 December until Monday 3 January, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day. 🗺 Where? National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ
3. Complete the Santa Search from York BID 🎅
Enjoy some festive fun in York with the latest York Quest. This mobile phone app trail features a festive ‘Santa Search’.
You’ll need to find seven Christmas characters in the city centre who have taken up residence on York’s historic street. Don’t forget to take a photo and share on social media using #yorkquest!
💷 Cost? Free – download the York Quest App 📅 When? All holiday 🗺 Where? York City Centre
4. Make a donation to a charity 🎁
Why not choose something together to donate to a charity or organisation this Christmas? We’ve listed lots of places in York looking for your help in the run-up to the festive period.
Perhaps you could choose a toy together or buy some Christmas treats like chocolates or biscuits. Details of what can be donated, where you need to drop off your donations and by when are listed on our Christmas charity blog.
ℹ️ See a suggested list of charities and organisations you could donate to here 💷 Cost? Whatever you feel is right for your family 📅 When? Any dropoff deadlines are detailed on our blog 🗺Where? Dropoff locations are also detailed on our blog
5. Visit York Minster Christmas Tree Festival 🎄
This new festival is in a festive marquee by the South Piazza and features over 30 trees decorated by local businesses, schools and charities. You can VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE HERE
You can also visit the activity marquee to write your own Christmas message on a tag which will be added to a tree at the festival, or inside the cathedral’s East End.
ℹ️ For more information see our review and more details here 💷 Cost? Free – donations welcomed 📅 When? Now until 6th January 2022, 10am – 7pm every day. 🗺 Where? Festive marquee by the South Piazza, York Minster, Deangate
6. Visit the library and read some Christmas books 📚
Why not take a trip to the Explore York Library in the city centre and enjoy reading some Christmas books together?
Whilst you are there, you can always stay for a festive drink and snack in the family-friendly cafe.
ℹ️ See Explore York website for more information 💷 Cost? Free 📅 When? See website for opening times. Closed 25-28 Dec & 1-3 Jan 🗺 Where? Library Square, York YO1 7DS
7. Get out for a walk in York🚶♀️
Long or short, Mumbler has a list of over 50 walks in and around York. Roughly how long they take and if they are buggy and or dog-friendly is detailed. Get everyone some fresh air and discover a new walk together. Some great walks to provide even more entertainment, where there are things to see and spot include:
🚶♀️York City Walls 🚶♀️York Cat Trail 🚶♀️York Solar System Walk
Enjoy our brand new magical and mythical trail. We’ve created this quest for your family to enjoy for free in York! Watch our video of the Quest here!
Our Mumbler Mythical Creature Quest takes you on a short but magical walk around York to seek out eight mythical creatures that are hiding in the city. Perhaps you’ve walked past some of them before and never even noticed them?
Once you find each creature you’ll need to unscramble the clues to uncover the magical Mumbler password! Download your FREE map here or collect a copy from Visit York Information Centre.
ℹ️ For more information & to download your map here 💷 Cost? Free 📅 When? Anytime 🗺 Where? York City Centre
9. Visit the Winter Jungle at Spark:York 🦓
Explore a Winter Jungle at Spark:York. Delve deep into the urban rainforest to enjoy a tropical take on Winter.
It might be warmer than you think in the Jungle in winter as Spark:York have heaters on every table and a canvas roof. With an amazing array of traders, events and place to eat and drink the space is thriving and vibrant. Say hello to all the latest jungle residents – life sized tropical animals hiding in the greenery. See if you can spot them all!
ℹ️ For more information see Spark:York website 💷 Cost? Free 📅 When? Now until March 2022 🗺 Where? Spark:York, Picadilly, York
10. Complete York Minster’s Experience Christmas Trail 🎄
Discover more about the Christmas story by exploring six activity stops hidden around the Minster.
Families can follow a special trail with items to look at, touch, smell and discuss at each point. Collect your family trail from the admission desks.
DON’T FORGET: York residents can visit the Minster for FREE all year round. Pre-booking is still required.
ℹ️ For more information see our review and more details here 💷 Cost? Free – donations welcomed 📅 When? Now until 6th January 2022, whilst the building is open for sight-seeing 🗺 Where? York Minster, Deangate
💜🎅💜We hope you enjoy some of these free things to do in York this Christmas & New Year and have lots of festive fun out and about! 💜🎄💜