Christmas markets, Santa specials and what's new for the season at our region's stately houses - find something to do for all the family

Christmas markets, Christmas at stately houses and Santa specials, there is plenty to do this season in our region.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 9:24 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 9:24 am
Season's events are being held across our county

Victorian Christmas market, Westborough, Scarborough, from Tuesday December 10 to Sunday December 15

Victorian street entertainers, shopkeepers, and craftspeople with a chance to buy original and handcrafted Christmas gifts.

Victorian games, magic and street theatre, Ice-carving artists will be creating a giant ‘Frozen’ ice sculpture in the town centre.

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Free event

Christmas through the ages at Burton Agnes Hall, Thursday December 5 at 2pm.

Discover the secrets of Christmases past at this talk with head guide Pauline Waslin.

Christmas twilight weekend, Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8

Enjoy the decorated hall with an extended opening until 9pm.

Every visitor will receive a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie on arrival. Children can visit Father Christmas in his courtyard grotto and everyone can enjoy carols in the hall.

Twilight carols by the fireside, Thursday December 19 from 5pm to 9pm.

Join Simon Cunliffe-Lister for grand piano-led carols by the fireside and enjoy mulled wine, mince pies Christmas Hall Trail from now until Monday December 23 Children are invited to enjoy a festive trail around the hall, seeking snowmen and hunting for clues as they visit each room.

Meet Father Christmas in his courtyard grotto. Weekends in December (except 28 and 29) from noon to 4pm

Cost £5 per child; booking is not essential.

An Audience with Father Christmas and his Head Elf

Saturdays December 7, 14 and 21, and Sunday December 22. Performances at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Join Father Christmas, Mrs Christmas and Jingles the Magic Elf for a performance of magic and song, a special gift and photographs. Cost £12.50 child, £11.00 Adult, £10.50 Senior.

Booking essential on 01262 490324

Santa’s Underwater Wonderland, Sea Life Centre Scarborough, from Saturday December 7 to Sunday December 22

Embark on a special mission and help the elves find missing presents hidden around Santa’s Underwater Wonderland. There are lots of stops along the way with workshops including making reindeer food.

Once you’ve found all the presents you will be able to enter Santa’s grotto for a meet and greet experience.

Don’t forget to stop at the new turtle rescue centre where you can rescue an interactive turtle head over to the walk-through penguin enclosure.

Admission charges apply

Captions: Sea Life Santa

Christmas on the Crescent and Santa in the Sitwell, Woodend, The Crescent, Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8

Weekend of festive activities with a Victorian theme.

At 10am and 1pm on both days, Santa will welcome young visitors for a two-hour festive experience. He’ll read a seasonal story, and each child will receive a traditional Victorian-style toy and a chocolate gift. Parents will have the opportunity to take their children’s photo before families take part in a craft workshop create their own Victorian Christmas card.

On the same days, the conservatory at Woodend will host a festive local makers’ market from 10am to 4pm, including Christmassy treats and entertainment alongside unique arts, crafts and gifts from local artists and makers.

Entry to Woodend is free; Santa in the Sitwell is £10 per child

Visitors will also enjoy free entry to Scarborough Art Gallery throughout the weekend.

Victorian Weekend, Robin Hood’s Bay, Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8

There will be music, a variety concert and a pie and pea supper. Art exhibition and old crafts, visit period cottages and a guided walk, learn about St Hilda’s snakes and sea monsters, follow your duck in the annual RNLI Duck Race and see the Christmas trees in St Stephen’s Church.

Carollers, hand-bell ringers, lucky dips, tombolas, draws, spinning demonstrations, ganseys, mince pies.

Santa will be in attendance, there will be a one-man pantomime, outdoor picture show, the fire eating man, children’s arts and crafts, welly-wanging and Victorian games.

May activities are free: donations welcome.

Festival of Christmas Trees, St John’s Burlington Church, Bridlington, from Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8; Friday December 13 to Sunday December 15, daily from 10am to 4pm

There will be 60 decorated and illuminated trees contributed by schools, churches, uniformed organisations, charities and local businesses.

Gala concert featuring Weighton Waytes Choir supported by Hilderthorpe Primary School Choir on Friday December 6 at 7pm. Throughout the days when the festival is open for viewing there will be singing by local choirs and music groups.

Entry to festival is free: concert tickets £5 on 07817 885163

Filey Fishtive Tree, Coble Landing, Filey, Saturday December 7

Filey celebrates its Fishtive Tree, inspired by the town’s fishing heritage.

The giant tree, made of crab/lobster pots and all things fishy, will be lit up after dark from the first Saturday in December to the first week of January.

Come to the switch-on for entertainment, food, a promise of snow and Santa. Free event

Christmas lights switch on,

Christmas Market, Malton, Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8 from 9am to 3pm

More than 100 stalls – festive gifts, street food, live music, choirs and entertainment including Victorian themed fairground rides.

Festive foodie goodies. Don’t forget trips to Talbot Yard for stocking filler gifts.

The Penny Players will be performing at various intervals during the market on the Saturday as part of the Dickensian Festival.

Free event.

Christmas Through Time, Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole, Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8, from 10am to 4pm

The open-air museum has 20 heritage buildings, representing a range of periods from the reconstructed Iron Age Roundhouse, all the way through to a 1950s village store.

Discover the world of Tudor Christmas and meet a traditional green-garbed Father Christmas.

Prehistoric winter rituals and 1940s NAAFI cafe.

Carolling, dance performances, Mummery plays, birds of prey and traditional crafts.

Admission charges apply

Caption: Ryedale Folk Museum Christmas

Thornton le Dale, Saturday December 7 from 4.30pm

A variety of seasonal stalls serving hot food and mulled wine.

Music from the EASY Band and the local school choir. Santa Claus will be arriving at 5pm with gifts for all the children who visit his grotto.

The Lights will be switched on at 6pm. Free event

Flamingo Land Christmas Experience, from now until Christmas Eve

Santa’s Grotto, select a present from Santa’s magical toy shop, meet two real reindeer and make some reindeer food, selection of crafts, see a real life nativity scene, take a trip on the Santa Express,✨ meet and greet Peter Rabbit, visit the zoo and enjoy a selection of children’s rides.

Admission charges apply

North Bay Railway Santa Specials, Scarborough

Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8; Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15; Monday December 16; Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 22 and Christmas Eve

Evening Santa Express are running Friday December 13 and Thursday December 20 at 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

Admission charges apply

captions Santa specials

Festive Fun Run, North Bay, Scarborough, Sunday December 8, from 10am to 1pm

Sport your best Christmas fancy dress outfit. Walk, jog, skip or sprint along Scarborough’s North Bay starting from the Sea Life Sanctuary.

Choose the 2K route to The Sands and back or take a 5K option to Hairy Bob’s Skate Park and back.

For those who want to go even further, there is also a 10K options. This is the same as the 5K route… but you do it twice.

In aid of St Catherine’s Hospice.

Sign up:

Weekend of Christmas at Sewerby Hall and Gardens, near Bridlington, Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8, daily from 11.30am to 3pm

Festive music, adventures, Christmas crafts and magic.

There will be chances to make Christmas cards in the Servants’ Hall and decorate Christmas tree biscuits in the Victorian kitchen.

Concert in the Orangery on Saturday December 7 at noon, 1pm and 2pm: Ruth Getz will perform festive jazz and swing with songs made famous by Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holliday.

Swing boats and donkey rides.

Rusticus Nutcracker adventure at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm: outdoor event will be a musical adventure into the Land of Toys, with an opportunity to meet the toymaker, dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy and help the Nutcracker escape the clutches of the mean Mouse King.

Sunday: the house will be filled with Christmas Magic – visitors will be able to meet Jingles, the magical elf, and watch magic shows, enjoy face painting, and Christmas games.

Father Christmas will also be making an appearance.

Exhibition the Making of Christmas looks at how the Victorians adopted ancient customs at Christmas time.

Zoo also open.

Admission charges apply

A Christmas Masquerade, Castle Howard, from now until to Sunday January 5

Experience the magnificent decorations as you journey through the house’s grand state rooms. Open fires, candle light and live music 25ft traditional Christmas tree adorned with over 3,000 baubles providing a breath-taking highlight in the Great Hall.

The theme is A Christmas Masquerade and includes displays and installations to celebrates the house’s theatrical roots and the influence of the Italian Baroque on its architecture and interiors.

Among the decorations and costumes, a troupe of travelling players prepare festive entertainments for the guests.

Admission charges apply

Christmas Through the Ages

Nunnington Hall, Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8; Friday December 13 to Sunday December 15, daily from 10.30am to 4pm

Discover the hall as it would have been through history, from the indulgent Georgian era and impressionist Victorian age to the memorable post war years.

Admission charges apply

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet from now until Sunday January 5

North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink with a 30ft high tree, après-skate experience in PapaKitchen, with cosy furs and delicious home-made fare.

Plus vintage funfair rides and live weekend entertainment.

Free entry but costs for rides etc

A Country House Christmas at Burton Constable Hall, between Bridlington and Beverley, from now until Wednesday December 18, daily from 11am to 4pm

Meander upstairs and downstairs through 30 rooms filled with fine art and furniture that will be transformed with seasonal floral displays, decorations and garlands for the festive season.

Children can search for the cute Reindeers hidden in each room.

Enjoy an exclusive evening visit to see the Hall at its twinkling best with our Mulled Wine and Mince Pie Evening on Friday December 6 or be entertained by a performance of Festive Spirits: A Christmas Ghost Story by the Smashing Mirrors Theatre Company on the evening of Sunday December 15.

Admission charges apply

captions: Burton Constable

Whitby Krampus Run - Street Parade, Whitby, Saturday December 7

The Krampus is a fearsome horned creature who accompanies Saint Nicholas on his rounds. the Krampus punishes the naughty ones.

It’s a fundraiser for local charities and provides a colourful spectacle in the run-up to Christmas. Free event

The St Nicholas Christmas fair, York, from now until Sunday December 22

With wooden chalets spread across Parliament Street and into the Coppergate Centre, plus festive fairground in King’s Square. New dedicated break-out zones and seating areas.

The Scandinavian-style Thor’s Tipi serves a selection of warming drinks while the rustic Yorkshire Barn in St Sampson’s Square will warm up the guests with festive food and drink, from hot chestnuts to mulled wine.

Free event

Christmas market, Beverley, Sunday December 8, from 10am to 4pm

An array of seasonal stalls and three Victorian markets with the traditional parade leading its way from Wednesday Market to Saturday Market at 10am.

Live music, dancing and carols, face painting, traditional Victorian fairground rides and the chance to get a picture with Santa. Free event

Santa Specials, North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Departing from Pickering and Grosmont Stations, the Santa Express brings Christmas to life and gives children the chance to meet Santa on board the train. They will be able to tell him what they would like to open on Christmas morning.

Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8; Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15 and Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 22. Admission charges apply

Northern Lights Express, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Saturday December 7 and Sunday December at 7pm; Thursday December 12 and Friday December 13 at 5pm and 7pm; Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 at 7pm; Thursday December 19 and Friday December 20 at 5pm and 7pm; Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 22 at 7pm; Monday December 23 at5pm and 7pm

Illuminated journey starts at Pickering Station, where the train with heritage carriages awaits you, decorated with thousands of lights.

You will travel through a twinkling forest then arrive at Levisham Station, where a light show will begin.

Admission charges apply

Victorian Christmas Market Weekend, Market Hall and Vaults, Scarborough, Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15

Craft stalls, live entertainment. The shops and traders will be open on all three floors.

Free event

Christmas Grotto, Humble Bee Farm, Flixton, near Scarborough, Saturday December 14

Open to non-guests. Join Emerald the Elf and her friend Rudolph as they need help to rescue Santa in time for Christmas. On arrival guests need to collect their pre-booked tickets from main reception before boarding the sleigh that will signal the start of the experience.

The farm’s nomadic yurts will be transformed into festive locations. Interactive games and challenges, guests can meet Santa Claus himself and children will receive a gift.

Shows last an hour and take place at: 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm.

Pre-booking is essential and cost per child is £10.

Book: 01723 890437

Flamborough Fire Festival, New Year’s Eve, from 10.30pm

Festival organisers plan to burn their Viking Longship by setting fire to it with a ring of two thousand flaming Viking torches.

The lighting of more than 2,000 Viking torches is one of the new attractions this year with others being flaming Fire Swords, a Viking Mead Hall and more than 30 Flamborough Fireballs in action.

Followed by a fireworks spectacular set to music at midnight.

The festival’s arena will be festooned with coloured lights with the Battle drums resounding.

At the start, the festival will be besieged by Viking invaders, led by King Canute wielding his Fire Sword and leading the invasion of Flamborough along with the Great God, Thor with his mighty hammer.

The festival encourages children, friends and families to take part in torchlight procession and the Viking costume and longship parade.

Prizes awarded to the best dressed Vikings.

Admission by donation – unless in costume.