The lights in York city centre are set to be better than ever! The winter light scheme this year includes the Tree of Light at the Eye of York, beautiful Christmas trees on St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market and York’s historic bars illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights.
Why not enjoy an early evening walk to see them and have a cheeky take out (hot chocolate/tea or even some dinner) whilst you are at it! The main lights are on from 18th November. The bar lights & Tree of Light & Coppergate are lit up now.
As it gets closer to Christmas, lots of houses will start to look Christmassy with many people choosing to put Christmas lights outside. You could go for a walk or short drive once it’s dark and spot the houses lit up for Christmas!
On selected dates between 13th November 2021 and January 2022
The famous Victorian Street, Kirkgate, will be transformed into a glistening snow-covered ‘stage’ where spectacular large-scale projections present a very special Christmas story full of festive cheer! As the theatrical curtain rises, colourful animations of Victorian puppets Annie and Tom will go on an adventure to bring the magic of Christmas back to Kirkgate. Merry music will fill the air and lights will adorn shimmering trees to immerse you in a truly unique experience at this most wonderful time of year.
Tickets to the Christmas experience are included within general admission to York Castle Museum.
Running from the 4th December – 19th December 2021
Avocado Events have teamed up with 11 local York businesses for their Christmas window trail. Simply take a photo of yourself with each of the eleven window stickers and tag Avacado Events and the business on any of Avacado Events social media. A lucky winner will be picked on Monday 20th Dec and will receive an exclusive Christmas hamper with treats donated by each business taking part. For a list of the businesses taking part and more details click this link.
St Paul’s School Christmas Window Trail
Go on the Festive hunt around Holgate for Christmas windows. Running from 3rd – 17th December.
This year’s window trail will start on Friday 3rd December. The windows will be lit up between 5pm and 8pm each night, until Friday 17th December. There are over 20 windows to spot, plus a mystery word to find and snowmen to count! Trail maps will be £2 and will be available to buy from St Pauls Primary School Christmas Fair which is taking place on Friday 3rd December.
Monday 13th December until Wednesday 5th January 2021
Discover more about the Christmas story by exploring family-friendly activity stops hidden around the Minster. Follow a trail with items to look at, touch, smell and discuss at each stop. Young explorers can also collect a Christmas themed Little Explorer Backpack filled with gadgets to help them discover the cathedral at this special time of year.
Trail available in-line with building opening hours for general admission throughout Advent and Christmas.
The festival will run daily from Saturday 18th November to 6 January (except Christmas Day) and admission is free although donations are encouraged. No pre-booking required.
Experience our first Christmas Tree Festival set in the cathedral’s grounds with the medieval Minster as its backdrop. The new festival will take place in a festive marquee by the South Piazza and feature trees decorated by local businesses, schools and charities. See around 40 trees decorated to individual themes, vote for your favourite tree in our ‘best dressed tree’ competition and visit our 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.
Explore the Winter Jungle. Delve deep into the urban rainforest to enjoy a tropical take on Winter.
As the winter winds continue to chill, it might feel a bit warmer than you expected in the North of England. They have heaters on every table and the return of the canvas roof means the venue is now fully waterproofed and toasty! Spark have an amazing array of traders and events which will keep the space thriving and vibrant. Don’t forget to say hello to the latest jungle residents, life-sized tropical animals hidden amongst the greenery – see if you can spot them all!
Spark: York 17—21 Piccadilly, York. YO1 9PB
Heworth Winter Windows Walk
11th – 12th December 3.00-4.30pm
Enjoy hot chocolate and festive treats from Glen Gardens kiosk. Cash donations welcome. Glen Gardens is set in the local area of Heworth, about 20 minutes walk from York. The nearest council car park is East Parade car park (approximately 2 minutes walk away). You can also use on street parking in the surrounding streets.
Dunnington Christmas Trail
The Christmas Trail will be on Friday 17th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th December 2021. Additionally on Saturday 18th December there will be a limited number of slots to see Father Christmas,
Lots of homes and businesses throughout Dunnington have got into the festive mood with decorations galore. Maps will be available from Costcutter during the week of the event at a cost of £5 (cash) Father Christmas £6 Limited slots available on Sat 18th Dec 2.30-5.30pm. All profits will go towards York Foodbank.
A brighter run up to Christmas! Derwenthorpe Aglow is a display of home-made ‘stained glass’ effect pictures in windows throughout Derwenthorpe during December.
Visit the Derwenthorpe Residents Association WEBSITE for more info.
Sutton Upon Derwent School PTFA Christmas Windows Trail
Running from 26 Dec to 31 Dec! Festive family fun just down the road at Sutton Upon Derwent. Don’t forget to buy your trail maps from Elvington Shop or Sutton Post Office! £2.50 per map and every returned entry has a chance to win a prize!
A brand new event, unique to the area, will brighten up December at Sewerby Hall and Gardens this year: Sewerby Winter Woodland will take you on a magical outdoor journey of spectacular sounds and lights. Join the Sewerby polar explorer on his expedition as you travel through an illuminated tunnel into the winter woods, and embark on a quest into the Snow Queen’s domain. As you journey deeper into the enchanted woodland, you will have the opportunity to make some winter magic of your own – taking part in activities such as wand making with Moonlight, the enchanted moth; learning spells; and even meeting the Snow Queen herself, before enjoying the grand finale of a superb lighting display set to music!
Each weekend in December and every day from 19 December to 3 January. Come together this Christmas for a full festive day out each weekend in December and every day in Christmas week. As the afternoon light starts to fade, make your way to the abbey and wander through the ruins aglow with bright and colourful lights.
You can experience Christmas here all day but the lights will start to show as it gets darker in the afternoon. Last entry to the estate is at 4pm.
Normal admission charges apply. You will have to pre-book a ticket to visit.
Make sure you bring lots of warm clothing and your torch (it’s dark by 4pm).
It’s time to Glow! See the garden sparkle this festive season and follow dazzling displays lighting a magical trail. Enjoy a magical adventure at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, discovering spectacular light displays along your way. See iconic features such as Streamside, the Queen Mother’s Lake, Winter Walk, Doric Columns and Kitchen Garden glow with dazzling colours.
Looking to get some Christmas decorations or supplies? There’s some beautiful garden centres nearby, with some magical Christmas displays to inspire you.
Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA
“Castle Howards Garden Centre is very Chrismassy and you can also get a coffee and cake.”
Langlands, York Road (A1079), Shiptonthorpe, York. YO43 3PN
“Langlands garden centre at Shiptonthorpe is amazing! My little boy who’s 5 thought it was magical.”
Deans Garden Centre, Stockton Lane, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York YO32 9UE
Dobbies Garden Centre, Northfield Lane, Upper Poppleton, YO26 6QE
“Deans and Dobbies both entertained my little on for well over an hour.”
Spring Garden Centre, Hornsea Road, Sigglesthorne, Hornsea HU11 5QL
“Spring Garden Centre in Hornsea is absolutely magical!!”
Keep checking back, as more will be added!
If there’s anything you know of that is not listed in the blog, do let us know so that we can share, email firstname.lastname@example.org
🎄 🎄 🎄 We hope you enjoy a festive walk and see some Christmas lights and start feeling very festive! 🎄 🎄 🎄