13 Best Days Out at Christmas in Yorkshire for 2023

Looking for the best days out for Christmas in Yorkshire? There’s no better time of the year for a trip to Yorkshire than Christmas – here’s what you could get up to!

There’s plenty to enjoy in England’s largest county this Christmas. Whether it’s a Christmas day out in Yorkshire with the kids, or a festive romantic escape with your other half. Check out our top 13 choices for a memorable Christmas in Yorkshire.

Things to Do for Christmas in Yorkshire

Christams in Yorkshire

1. Celebrate Christmas at Mother Shipton’s Christmas Village

Sat 25th November to Sun 24th December 2023

Bring the whole family for a festive day out full of sparkle and magic. Wander through Mother Shipton’s enchanted Christmas Village with lots of beautiful photo opportunities to capture your family Christmas memories.

Mother Shipton's Christmas Village, Harrogate

Visit Mother Shipton’s for your day out at Christmas in Yorkshire, and you can enjoy a personal family visit with Santa in his cosy Christmas grotto and receive a special soft toy gift.

You’ll have the opportunity to gather around Holly Berry, the enchanting storyteller, as she weaves tales of wonder and merriment.

You can also create your very own bag of reindeer food – a magical blend that you’ll sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve to guide Santa’s reindeer to your home. There are many more surprises to enjoy too – just ask for the Snowy Owl Sorting Office when you get there!

Days out in Yorkshire christmas

Chief Elf Chestnut is on duty to lead the kids to see Santa Claus in his grotto. Optional gifts from the big man can be purchased from Santa’s Elf Helper. If you’re looking for a family photo to go on next year’s Christmas card, this is your destination. It’s a great day trip from Leeds too.

Venture into the depths of the woodland and discover the cave, the legendary Petrifying Well, and the Wishing Well. Close your eyes, make a wish, and let your heart dance with the possibilities of the season.

Mother SHipton’s Christmas Village

2. The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall, Leeds

25th November 2023 to 7th January 2024

The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall in Yorkshire at Christmas

Lotherton Hall loves Christmas, so for a spectacular Christmas day out in Yorkshire, head to this Leeds landmark. Elf crafts are back on the agenda this year and children can enjoy gingerbread decorating with Mrs Claus every day of the week from the end of November.

Another Christmas in Yorkshire highlight at Lotherton Hall is their festive woodland walk and fairy dell. Follow twinkling lights down mysterious, winding paths and become part of the experience at hands-on interactive stations along the route.

Tickets start from £4.75 per child and go up to £14.95 per child, depending on what activities you want to include in your visit.

3. Carolling by Candlelight at Fountains Abbey

Sun 3rd December and Sun 10th December 2023 from 15:00 to 16:00

Fountains Abbey, in North Yorkshire, has now confirmed the dates for its annual carol services. The Abbey, run by the National Trust, has a whole diary of special Christmas events, which make for a truly special Christmas date night.

Carols by Candlelight has to be their standout Christmas special and they’re expecting high demand. Tickets will be on a first come, first served basis on the day, so make sure you arrive early and pick up a candle to join in.

Check out their website for the whole range of Christmas special events and some of the best ways to spend Christmas in Yorkshire.

4. The Winter Illumination Trail

Selected dates from 17th November 2023 to 14th January 2024

How better to use the long hours of darkness than to light them up with exciting animals and mystical creatures? Well, that’s what Yorkshire Wildlife Park have in store for us this Christmas. Pick a brisk and dry evening, wrap up warm, grab a mug of hot chocolate and marvel at 2.5km of illuminated trail.

Plenty of surprises to witness first hand at this Yorkshire favourite. Remember to bring your camera!

You can find more illumination trails in our guide to the best Christmas days out in the Midlands.

READ MORE: The Most Amazing Yorkshire Beaches You Need to See

5. Have a Christmas Adventure and Visit Santa at Stockeld Park

Santa is waiting for you at Stockeld Park. Enjoy the illuminated Enchanted Forest after dusk when it opens, and check out the magical Snowflake Maze. You can even come and choose your very own Christmas tree and take it home with you to decorate in the lounge and put your presents under.

After listening to the band play all your favourite festive classics, head off to explore the maze and forest for an afternoon of outdoor Christmassy fun.

Of course, the highlight – as always – is Santa’s Grotto, which costs £20-£27 to visit with the Silver and Gold packages, which also include access to the Enchanted Forest, Snowflake Maze, and theatre show.

6. Chocolate and Santa at York’s Chocolate Story

If you had to choose between chocolate and Santa, what would you choose?

Luckily for us, we can have both!

Unwrap the history of chocolate at York’s Chocolate Story experience, where you’ll discover the history behind York’s famous chocolate brands. 

On special, Christmas-themed tours, having explored 3000 years of chocolate history (sweet!), and learned the art of the chocolatier, you’ll have a chance to visit Santa for the ‘Chocolate Making with Santa’ experience. There’s also a Christmas Family Workshop, a Christmas Chocolate Masterclass and Christmas Truffle Rolling, so lots going on for all ages between the 1st December and 26th December 2023.

York is one of the best days out in North Yorkshire so you can enjoy the city on your festive day out to the Chocolate Story Experience.

Fancy extending your trip? Check out these cool places to stay in Yorkshire so you can enjoy more of the festive activities.

7. Living Advent Calendar in Saltaire

Every year, windows in Saltaire are illuminated with festive scenes, with a new scene being revealed each day from the beginning of December. This one requires a bit of commitment if you want to be there every day for the latest reveal, but all of the windows remain up to view until New Year’s Day, so perhaps head to Saltaire in the week between Christmas and New Year to see the full collection of window displays.

Saltaire’s Living Advent Calendar became a thing in 2006 and it keeps getting bigger and bigger each year – last year over 55 windows joined the fun!

We can’t wait to see what the village has up its sleeve in 2023. Saltaire is one of England’s top UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the best things to do for Christmas in Yorkshire.

8. Watch The Snowman with a Live Brass Band at the Uni of York

It really isn’t Christmas if you haven’t heard Aled Jones singing ‘Walking In The Air’, is it?

This year, head to the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at University of York to enjoy the classic film accompanied by the Shepherd Group Brass Band playing the famous, magical, Christmas soundtrack.

The special showing will take place on Sunday 10th December at 2pm, and tickets start from £7.50.

9. Feast on Local Treats at York’s Christmas Market 

16th November to 22nd December 2023 

The York Christmas Market (also known as Saint Nicholas Fair) will take over the streets of York to create one of the biggest Christmas events in Yorkshire. 

The city’s shops, restaurants and attractions will be draped in festive lights and decorations. In Saint Sampson’s Square and on Parliament Street, you can buy seasonal delicacies and artisan gifts from alpine chalets. 

If you can’t get enough of shopping over the festive season, read about these wonderful Christmas markets in England.

10. A Traditional Christmas Experience in Haworth 

Various dates between 25th November 2023 to 1st January 2024 

The weeks leading up to Christmas will see the cobbled streets of Haworth illuminated by twinkling fairy lights and festive decorations.  

Carol singers in Haworth enjoying Christmas in Yorkshire
Carol singers in Haworth

The village’s team rooms, independent gift shops and pubs look especially magical during the festive season. 

Celebrating Christmas in Yorkshire the traditional way, the local residents and traders will host bands, carol singing, choirs and Father Christmas events every weekend during the event. 

If you want to imagine yourself aboard the Polar Express, you can ride the steam train along the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway through Brontë country. 

If you plan on staying in or near Haworth, read about eight brilliant ideas for days out in West Yorkshire.

11. Glow Winter Illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr 

Selected dates from Sat 22nd November to 30th December 2023 

Brave the outdoors after dark this winter to see spectacular displays of light set against the beautiful landscaping of the RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr in Harrogate. 

Almost nothing beats the view of the festive-themed Streamside and the beautifully illuminated Doric Columns. New for 2023 at Glow Harlow Carr, you can cross Thaliana Bridge in a rainbow of lights and enjoy playing with family on the illuminated Logness monster. 

Tickets must be purchased in advance and cost £15.95 per adult and £8.45 for children aged 16 years and younger. Children aged 0 to 4 years can enter for free.

Glow at Harlow Carr is not to be missed if you’re looking for a magical family day out at Christmas in Yorkshire. 

12. Christmas at Roundhay Park Illumination Trail in Leeds

2023 dates TBC

One of the best new Christmas events in Yorkshire, Roundhay Park in Leeds hosted an illuminated walking trail for the first time last year. At the time of writing there’s no updates on whether it will run again this year, but it’s very possible!

Walking during Christmas in Yorkshire

The trail is decorated with larger-than-life light displays carefully choreographed to a soundtrack of festive music. 

The lighting installations have been designed by artists from across the globe. The trail promises to transform one of the biggest city parks in Europe into an incredible place to spend Christmas in Yorkshire. Keep an eye on their website for info on whether it will come back for 2023.

13. Ice Skating and Street Festivities in Harrogate 

Beginning of November ’til New Year’s Day (exact dates TBC)

Harrogate has long been one of the best places to spend Christmas in Yorkshire, but this spa town’s festivities are bigger and better for 2023. 

Ice skating for a Christmas in Yorkshire

This year, the Crescent Gardens will host an outdoor ice-skating rink from 1st to 31st December, which will sit alongside the event’s festive fairground and market. 

Artisan arts and crafts as well as yummy treats will be available at the Harrogate Christmas Fayre, which will run from the 1st to the 17th of December. To top all that off, there’ll be a 32-metre-tall Ferris Wheel providing bird’s-eye views of the town. Outdoor Christmas events in Yorkshire don’t come much more action-packed than this. 

After the festive season is over, you might want to find out about other amazing things to do to on a day out in Harrogate.

READ MORE: The Best Spas in Yorkshire

Christmas in Yorkshire

There are loads of great things to do for Christmas in Yorkshire this festive season. Make sure you book into any big events early though, as they’ll soon get booked up!

Quick List: 13 Best Days Out at Christmas in Yorkshire for 2023

  • 1. Celebrate Christmas at Mother Shipton’s Christmas Village
  • 2. The Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall, Leeds
  • 3. Carolling by Candlelight at Fountains Abbey
  • 4. The Winter Illumination Trail
  • 5. Have a Christmas Adventure and Visit Santa at Stockeld Park
  • 6. Chocolate and Santa at York’s Chocolate Story
  • 7. Living Advent Calendar in Saltaire
  • 8. Watch The Snowman with a Live Brass Band at the Uni of York
  • 9. Feast on Local Treats at York’s Christmas Market 
  • 10. A Traditional Christmas Experience in Haworth 
  • 11. Glow Winter Illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr 
  • 12. Christmas at Roundhay Park Illumination Trail in Leeds
  • 13. Ice Skating and Street Festivities in Harrogate 

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