York St. Nicholas Christmas Festival

Thursday November 16 2017to Friday December 22 2017

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If anyone is to be accused of stealing Christmas this year, it’s York. This historic city has so many Christmas-themed goings on, it’s hard to keep track. The festive spirit has infiltrated their castle and grand country houses; it’s flowing through the streets and into churches and museums; it’s in the roast chestnuts on every street corner and look behind you – Santa is approaching!

If you’re thinking of getting away for a little Christmas city break, York is pretty perfect as destinations go. Want carol singing and church services? Check. After fresh market produce to stock up your winter larder? Check. The children are wanting to meet Santa and stroke a reindeer? Check. The traditional Christmas pantomime can’t be missed? No, worries.  York is so saturated with Christmas, nothing has been left out.  Even just a simple mulled wine amidst the festive twinkling lights is an activity to be treasured in this stunning, old English town.

The daily Newgate market will be all decked out for Christmas; the Guildhall will be stuffed with gifts, present sand food with the annual Made in Yorkshire Festive Fayre, and the Barley Hall will be trying to match it with its Festive Market.

Chocolate lover sand history buffs alike take heed, York has delved into the history books to discover the role that chocolate played at Christmas in the trenches of WWI to bring you an exciting and in-depth exhibition: York’s Chocolate Story. With chocolate tours and exhibitions, a yuletide grotto for the kids and the chance to create your own chocolate goodies as well witness the professionals at work, it’s an event to get your mouth-watering and pick up some really great chocolaty gifts.

Then there’s the sumptuously decorated Castle Howard (yes, that’s Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII) with a plethora of events taking place, from candlelight carols to festive markets and an appearance from the big guy and perhaps Prancer and Dancer if you’re lucky. Santa takes to a steam train at the local locomotive museum for children’s storytelling and adventurous Christmas experience – if your kids love The Polar Express, trust me they’ll love this.

In other words, if there’s one Christmas Festival to rule them all, York is it. 

Event tags

Festival type: 

Christmas, Food Festival


Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, York


Food & drink, Arts & crafts, Children's activities, Entertainment

Disabled facilities

No information available

Festival address

Parliament Street

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Contact information
Visit York
01904 550099
[email protected]
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