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Christmas 2021

Welcome to our page for things to do during Christmas Half-term. We will continually update content, as more venues start to open and activities.

If you know of an activity, or run an activity and we have not listed you here, please get in touch or complete our online Get Listed form.

If you are looking for childcare during the school half-term holidays get in touch with York Family Information Service email fis@york.gov.uk, call 01904 554444 or text 07624 802244

Under 5 activities

York Minster

 

Christmas Tree Festival

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. The Festival runs until 6th January 2022, 10am -7pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is a FREE to visit.

Winter Village 

The Winter Village is situated near South Door of York Minster, The Winter Village comprises several decorative wooden cabins offering food, drinks, gifts and the perfect place to sit and admire the view. The Village is open until 6th January 2022, 10am- 8pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is FREE to visit.

Families Get Active 

Families Get Active is a project funded by WEA and Sport England to help support families to get active together.
They can offer you and your family FREE workshops in York. If you would like to try out bushcraft, willow weaving, photography walks, nature walks and beginner runs then drop them a line at rrowan@wea.org.uk.
You can also join their friendly Facebook group, “families get active york” to find out more about what is on offer…including prizes!

Upcoming Events from Families Get Active:

red christmas themed poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

York Inspirational Kids

Christmas Craft Fair. Free entry. Saturday 27 November 10am - 12noon.

Held at Acomb Parish Hall, Front Street, YO24 3BZ

Crafts £5 per adult and £3 per child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore York

 

York Castle Museum 

A Christmas Spectacular

 Step foot into a Christmas tale at York Castle Museum this winter and rediscover all the magic of the season!

On selected dates between 13th November 2021 and January 2022

November
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm

December
Late open hours:
Wednesdays & Thursdays until December 23, 11am-8pm.
Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December, 11am-8pm
 
Fridays 11am – 4pm
Saturday to Sunday,  11am-5pm

Tickets to the Christmas experience are included within general admission to York Castle Museum.

Adults: £13, Child: £6.50, concessions available

Pre-book to guarantee entry. Book your tickets here!

Our 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. 

Christmas at the National Railway Museum

Blow off the cobwebs with a ride on our Miniature Railway, guaranteed to bring cheer to children and grown-ups alike. Warm up with a hot drink and indulgent festive treat in our café, before continuing your adventure through time. You will meet Rocket—the locomotive that sparked the beginning of the railway age—Queen Victoria’s opulent ‘Palace on Wheels’ in our stunning collection of royal carriages and Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. 

Visit the website to book your tickets for all this fun and much more

 

 

 York Racial Equality Network       

 Festive Virtual Party 

Missing a seasonal trip to the Pantomime and your work's Christmas do?

Come along to our FREE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY on 23rd December starting at 3pm.

EVERYONE WELCOME INCLUDING NON MEMBERS. email info@yren.co.uk to book your place 

3pm Introduction, Christmas Game and Quiz

 3.30pm  Performance by the Beat Bantido’s, a unique acoustic London Mariachi band who will be playing Christmas Songs.

4pm  York’s Hoglets Threatre Presents The Snow Bear, an adaptation of a Norwegian Fairy Tale.

4.30pm  Puppet Making Workshop with The Snow Bear

5-11 activities

York Minster

Christmas Tree Festival

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. The Festival runs until 6th January 2022, 10am -7pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is a FREE to visit.

Winter Village 

The Winter Village is situated near South Door of York Minster, The Winter Village comprises several decorative wooden cabins offering food, drinks, gifts and the perfect place to sit and admire the view. The Village is open until 6th January 2022, 10am- 8pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is FREE to visit.

Families Get Active 

Families Get Active is a project funded by WEA and Sport England to help support families to get active together.
They can offer you and your family free workshops in York. If you would like to try out bushcraft, willow weaving, photography walks, nature walks and beginner runs then drop them a line at rrowan@wea.org.uk.
You can also join their friendly facebook group, “families get active york” to find out more about what is on offer…including prizes!

Upcoming Events from Families Get Active:

York Inspirational Kids

Christmas Craft Fair. Free entry. Saturday 27 November 10am - 12noon.

Held at Acomb Parish Hall, Front Street, YO24 3BZ

Crafts £5 per adult and £3 per child

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Trust 

 

Brimham Rocks - Interactive Story telling. 

This Christmas, a brand new experience awaits our younger visitors with: Sticks, Stones & Christmas Tones, an interactive storytelling adventure with actor, Richard Kay. 

Join in the fun on a journey around Brimham Rocks as you listen and take part in a mythical and enchanting new story based on the nature all around you. 

This event takes place each day at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and lasts approximatley 40 minutes. You'll need to pre-book a ticket to attend. Tickets for 1 adult and 1 child are £10 and this includes a small gift for each child. Tickets can be booked here: https://bit.ly/3ohvumq

 

Nunnington Hall - Percy Park Keeper Winter Wander

Winter is a busy time for Percy, so step into his wellies and help him with his daily tasks.

The trail will take place between Saturday 4 December and Sunday 19 December, Friday - Sunday, so come along and explore the beautiful gardens at Nunnington Hall.

Available 10:30am-3.15pm, trail sheets are £2 per child and include a prize, payable at the Welcome Hut.

Beningborough Hall - Undercover Discover

On open days throughout winter, 10am - 3.30pm November - February

Pick up a free nature trail for your time exploring in the garden. Bring your pencil to make the most of the activity sheet helping you get closer to the shapes, sizes and fascinating facts behind the trees around the garden. There are two to choose from, one for younger children and another for older teenagers and adults so everybody can take part.

York Castle Museum 

A Christmas Spectacular

Step foot into a Christmas tale at York Castle Museum this winter and rediscover all the magic of the season!

On selected dates between 13th November 2021 and January 2022

November
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm

December
Late open hours:
Wednesdays & Thursdays until December 23, 11am-8pm.
Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December, 11am-8pm
 
Fridays 11am – 4pm
Saturday to Sunday,  11am-5pm

Tickets to the Christmas experience are included within general admission to York Castle Museum.

Adults: £13, Child: £6.50, concessions available

Pre-book to guarantee entry. Book your tickets here!

Our 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. 

Explore York

Christmas at the National Railway Museum

Blow off the cobwebs with a ride on our Miniature Railway, guaranteed to bring cheer to children and grown-ups alike. Warm up with a hot drink and indulgent festive treat in our café, before continuing your adventure through time. You will meet Rocket—the locomotive that sparked the beginning of the railway age—Queen Victoria’s opulent ‘Palace on Wheels’ in our stunning collection of royal carriages and Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. 

Visit the website to book your tickets for all this fun and much more

 

 

York Racial Equality Network       

 Festive Virtual Party 

Missing a seasonal trip to the Pantomime and your work's Christmas do?

Come along to our FREE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY on 23rd December starting at 3pm.

EVERYONE WELCOME INCLUDING NON MEMBERS. email info@yren.co.uk to book your place 

3pm Introduction, Christmas Game and Quiz

 3.30pm  Performance by the Beat Bantido’s, a unique acoustic London Mariachi band who will be playing Christmas Songs.

4pm  York’s Hoglets Threatre Presents The Snow Bear, an adaptation of a Norwegian Fairy Tale.

4.30pm  Puppet Making Workshop with The Snow Bear

11- 15 activities

York Minster

Christmas Tree Festival

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. The Festival runs until 6th January 2022, 10am -7pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is a FREE to visit.

Winter Village 

The Winter Village is situated near South Door of York Minster, The Winter Village comprises several decorative wooden cabins offering food, drinks, gifts and the perfect place to sit and admire the view. The Village is open until 6th January 2022, 10am- 8pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is FREE to visit.

Families Get Active 

Families Get Active is a project funded by WEA and Sport England to help support families to get active together.
They can offer you and your family free workshops in York. If you would like to try out bushcraft, willow weaving, photography walks, nature walks and beginner runs then drop them a line at rrowan@wea.org.uk.
You can also join their friendly facebook group, “families get active york” to find out more about what is on offer…including prizes!

Upcoming Events from Families Get Active:

York Inspirational Kids

Christmas Craft Fair. Free entry. Saturday 27 November 10am - 12noon.

Held at Acomb Parish Hall, Front Street, YO24 3BZ

Crafts £5 per adult and £3 per child

 

 

 

 

 

 

York Castle Museum Presents:

A Christmas Spectacular

Step foot into a Christmas tale at York Castle Museum this winter and rediscover all the magic of the season!

On selected dates between 13th November 2021 and January 2022

November
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm

December
Late open hours:
Wednesdays & Thursdays until December 23, 11am-8pm.
Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December, 11am-8pm
 
Fridays 11am – 4pm
Saturday to Sunday,  11am-5pm

Tickets to the Christmas experience are included within general admission to York Castle Museum.

Adults: £13, Child: £6.50, concessions available

Pre-book to guarantee entry. Book your tickets here!

Our 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. 

Christmas at the National Railway Museum

Blow off the cobwebs with a ride on our Miniature Railway, guaranteed to bring cheer to children and grown-ups alike. Warm up with a hot drink and indulgent festive treat in our café, before continuing your adventure through time. You will meet Rocket—the locomotive that sparked the beginning of the railway age—Queen Victoria’s opulent ‘Palace on Wheels’ in our stunning collection of royal carriages and Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. 

Visit the website to book your tickets for all this fun and much more

 

 

York Racial Equality Network       

 Festive Virtual Party 

Missing a seasonal trip to the Pantomime and your work's Christmas do?

Come along to our FREE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY on 23rd December starting at 3pm.

EVERYONE WELCOME INCLUDING NON MEMBERS. email info@yren.co.uk to book your place 

3pm Introduction, Christmas Game and Quiz

 3.30pm  Performance by the Beat Bantido’s, a unique acoustic London Mariachi band who will be playing Christmas Songs.

4pm  York’s Hoglets Threatre Presents The Snow Bear, an adaptation of a Norwegian Fairy Tale.

4.30pm  Puppet Making Workshop with The Snow Bear

15- 25 activities

York Minster

Christmas Tree Festival

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. The Festival runs until 6th January 2022, 10am -7pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is a FREE to visit.

Winter Village 

The Winter Village is situated near South Door of York Minster, The Winter Village comprises several decorative wooden cabins offering food, drinks, gifts and the perfect place to sit and admire the view. The Village is open until 6th January 2022, 10am- 8pm daily (excluding Christmas Day) and is FREE to visit.

Families Get Active 

Families Get Active is a project funded by WEA and Sport England to help support families to get active together.
They can offer you and your family free workshops in York. If you would like to try out bushcraft, willow weaving, photography walks, nature walks and beginner runs then drop them a line at rrowan@wea.org.uk.
You can also join their friendly facebook group, “families get active york” to find out more about what is on offer…including prizes!

Upcoming Events from Families Get Active:

York Inspirational Kids

Christmas Craft Fair. Free entry. Saturday 27 November 10am - 12noon.

Held at Acomb Parish Hall, Front Street, YO24 3BZ

Crafts £5 per adult and £3 per child

 

 

 

 

 

 

York Castle Museum 

A Christmas Spectacular

Step foot into a Christmas tale at York Castle Museum this winter and rediscover all the magic of the season!

On selected dates between 13th November 2021 and January 2022

November
Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm

December
Late open hours:
Wednesdays & Thursdays until December 23, 11am-8pm.
Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st December, 11am-8pm
 
Fridays 11am – 4pm
Saturday to Sunday,  11am-5pm

Tickets to the Christmas experience are included within general admission to York Castle Museum.

Adults: £13, Child: £6.50, concessions available

Pre-book to guarantee entry. Book your tickets here!

Our 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. 

Christmas at the National Railway Museum

Blow off the cobwebs with a ride on our Miniature Railway, guaranteed to bring cheer to children and grown-ups alike. Warm up with a hot drink and indulgent festive treat in our café, before continuing your adventure through time. You will meet Rocket—the locomotive that sparked the beginning of the railway age—Queen Victoria’s opulent ‘Palace on Wheels’ in our stunning collection of royal carriages and Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive. 

Visit the website to book your tickets for all this fun and much more

 

 

York Racial Equality Network       

 Festive Virtual Party 

Missing a seasonal trip to the Pantomime and your work's Christmas do?

Come along to our FREE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY on 23rd December starting at 3pm.

EVERYONE WELCOME INCLUDING NON MEMBERS. email info@yren.co.uk to book your place 

3pm Introduction, Christmas Game and Quiz

 3.30pm  Performance by the Beat Bantido’s, a unique acoustic London Mariachi band who will be playing Christmas Songs.

4pm  York’s Hoglets Threatre Presents The Snow Bear, an adaptation of a Norwegian Fairy Tale.

4.30pm  Puppet Making Workshop with The Snow Bear

Children and Young People with special education needs and disabilities

York Inspirational Kids

Christmas Craft Fair. Free entry. Saturday 27 November 10am - 12noon.

Held at Acomb Parish Hall, Front Street, YO24 3BZ

Crafts £5 per adult and £3 per child

 

 

 

 

 

 

We regular update Shine with new activities. In the meantime, if you are interested in any activities in the above age categories and have questions about how they can be made inclusive for your child; please get in touch directly with the organiser.

Search for Ofsted Registered holiday schemes

York Family Information Service hold a database of all Ofsted registered childcare providers. You can search for a childcare provider via our online search facility choose Holiday Scheme from the drop down list, or contact York FIS directly for a tailored list. 01904 554444 fis@york.gov.uk

Activities just outside of York

 National Trust 

 

Brimham Rocks - Interactive Story telling. 

This Christmas, a brand new experience awaits our younger visitors with: Sticks, Stones & Christmas Tones, an interactive storytelling adventure with actor, Richard Kay. 

Join in the fun on a journey around Brimham Rocks as you listen and take part in a mythical and enchanting new story based on the nature all around you. 

This event takes place each day at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm and lasts approximately 40 minutes. You'll need to pre-book a ticket to attend. Tickets for 1 adult and 1 child are £10 and this includes a small gift for each child. Tickets can be booked here: https://bit.ly/3ohvumq

 

Nunnington Hall - Percy Park Keeper Winter Wander

Winter is a busy time for Percy, so step into his wellies and help him with his daily tasks.

The trail will take place between Saturday 4 December and Sunday 19 December, Friday - Sunday, so come along and explore the beautiful gardens at Nunnington Hall.

Available 10:30am-3.15pm, trail sheets are £2 per child and include a prize, payable at the Welcome Hut

Beningborough Hall - Undercover Discover

On open days throughout winter, 10am - 3.30pm November - February

Pick up a free nature trail for your time exploring in the garden. Bring your pencil to make the most of the activity sheet helping you get closer to the shapes, sizes and fascinating facts behind the trees around the garden. There are two to choose from, one for younger children and another for older teenagers and adults so everybody can take part.

Grue - Scarborough

cardboard reindeer surounded by lights and cut out of treesPay as you feel, cardboard magical winter wonderland!

A new interactive and immersive art adventure called Grue is coming to the Old Parcels Office in Scarborough this Christmas. The magical experience is aimed at families and will explore ideas
around sustainability and community - unlocking the imaginations of young people from around the Yorkshire Coast.

Dates Opening Sat 4 Dec - until Christmas.

Each slot will take approximately 15-20 minutes, with the option to stay, have a drink and create your craft at the end. The installation is quite intimate, so
groups of up to six will be admitted every five minutes. Booking is essential and can be done via www.hello-arcade.com/grue  

 

 

Looking where to see Father Christmas?

Visit the below for information where to see Father Christmas this year!

Visit Little Vikings Where to see Santa in York 2021

Visit York MUMbler Places to see Santa in York