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The best things to do in York at Christmas

We may be biased, but there really is no prettier place than York at Christmas. Twinkling lights draped between the historic buildings, festive markets, and lots of things to do – you’ll find there’s plenty to fill you with Christmas spirit. Here’s our round up of the best things to do in York at Christmas in 2022.

Is there anything quite as festive as choral music, performed in one of the country’s grandest cathedrals? York Minster has a range of different events open to the public throughout December, from classical performances of Bach, to the well-attended Christmas Carol Concerts.

For littler ears, there will be a special screening of the classic tale, The Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra on 10th December. And for those who aren’t so interested in musical performances, there’s the Christmas Tree Festival and special family craft activities on Saturday mornings.


Visit the Nutcracker Christmas Shop

Nestled in one of the city’s most famous and historic streets, the Nutcracker Christmas Shop is a must visit for anyone who lives in or visits York at Christmas. Whatever your taste in festive baubles, you’re going to find the perfect item here – as each and every wall is adorned with delicate and intricate decorations from top to bottom. Add to this this historic setting in The Shambles and the gentle sound of Christmas Carols in the background and you’ll leave feeling suitably Christmassy -we guarantee it!


Home to the ever-popular York Christmas Markets, St Nicholas Fair is a celebration of all things Christmas, right at the centre of the city. Now in its 30th year, the fair will run from 17th November until 23rd December. Here you’ll find craft stalls, festive food, mulled drinks, and activities for all the family.

This year brings a sophisticated twist to the fair, with a unique dining experience right at the heart of it all. The Winter Hutte (York’s very own Swiss Chalet) will serve up alpine-inspired delights – hearty fondues, mountain meats, topped off with mulled tipple and spritzes. The menu has been designed by Michelin Star chef, Andrew Pern – so you know to expect exceptional quality.


Take in a pantomime

What is Christmas without a panto?! This year, the York Theatre Royal’s Panto takes to the skies with its modern rendition of Peter Pan. Featuring a star-studded cast comprising your favourite characters from the tale – including Tinkerbell and Captain Hook – follow the adventures of Peter Pan, in a retelling that’s as hilarious for adults as it is for children! The show runs from Friday 2nd December until Monday 2nd January.

If you fancy something a little bit different, The Grand Opera House’s pantomime for 2022 is Old Granny Goose. The much-loved team of Berwick Kaler return this year for another family friendly production. Performances run from 10th December until 8th January 2023.

York at Christmas is nothing short of magical. Whether you live in the City, the surrounding area, or are planning a visit – follow our top tips of things to do and you’re sure to have a festive time indeed!