Here’s our pick of the best events coming in December across the destinations and attractions we work with. Most events require booking in advance. As ever, please check individual websites for the latest updates.
Lord Mayors Christmas Tree Festival
Until 17 December 2022
Back for 2022, Hull Minster hosts a display of Christmas trees, each decorated or sponsored by a local business.
Until 17 December 2022
In some ways, Hull is a place defined by its relationship to the sea. It is a place grounded by a body of water- always pulling out, always coming back in again. Sea Change is an exhibition which brings together the work of five artists, all with connections to Hull.
Christmas at the Fruit Market
Hull’s Fruit Market is putting on a Christmas programme of fun for all the family to enjoy this festive season. A packed line-up of events includes a six-day show; a dance workshop; vintage songs; a fire show; a seasonal market; late night shopping; plus, Father Christmas himself. The highlight is “An Enchanted Story with Father Christmas and Friends”, a festive hour of Christmas magic, storytelling and singing, with the chance to send Christmas wishes to the North Pole.
P&O Ferries Dine With Santa
3, 4, 17 and 18 December 2022
Tickets: Adults £21.59, Child £27.59 (0- 3yrs free)
Santa is taking a well-earned break from all his Christmas preparations and sailing into Hull this December. Join Santa and his elves on board for a day full of family festive fun. Head to the Show Bar for some Christmas crafts, get your festive face paint on, join in the jingle disco games and listen to a magical Christmas story before meeting the big man himself.
Jack, Mum & the Beanstalk
Hull Truck Theatre
7 – 24 December 2022
Tickets £10 – £12
From the writer of The Christmas Ugly Duckling and How To Fly Like A Reindeer comes a new festive adventure for young children and their families, inspired by the well-known fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk.
A Dickensian Christmas
Hull City Hall
17 December 2022
Tickets: from £23.50
Stephen Mangan joins the London Concert Brass and Canzonetta Choir conducted by Mark Edwards. Toast the Christmas spirit with Charles Dickens and celebrate the very best of Victorian carols, classics and a selection of readings from Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.
A Dickens of a Christmas
East Riding Theatre
7 – 23 December 2022
An entertaining extravaganza of fun-filled festive theatre by the cast of Charles Dickens’ travelling company arrives in Beverley to brighten December days and nights.
Beverley Christmas Tree Festival
2 – 11 December 2022
Admission: £5 adults
A twinkling spectacular of more than 100 Christmas trees will be on display in Beverley Minster, hand decorated by local businesses, organisations and charities.
Dickensian Christmas Festival 2022
4 December 2022
Step back in time and enjoy a traditional Christmas Festival. Set around Bridlington’s Georgian High Street, there will be an authentic festive atmosphere with 40 stalls, which will include hot chestnuts, crafts and street food. A vintage street organ will play festive tunes and there will be plenty of period costumes on show, plus vintage children’s rides and a visit from Father Christmas on his sleigh.
Festival of Angels
St Mary’s Church, Beverley
11 December 2022 – 14 January 2023
St Mary’s Church will be transformed with huge angel sculptures hanging high above the pews. Created by artist Anne Marie Kerr, the beautiful display will be brought to life with lights and sounds, creating an ethereal experience.
Farmer Christmas Tractor Run
11 December 2022
An illuminated light up festive tractor run. 125 tractors travelling along a 25-mile route through villages on the Yorkshire Wolds. Setting off at 3.30pm at Foxholes, travelling to various villages before returning to Foxholes.
Flamborough Fire Festival
31 December 2022
See in 2023 at one of the UK’s most unusual New Year events – and this year even more is planned, including a Strongest Viking Competition alongside a 1,200 Torchlight Procession and the traditional burning of a Viking Longship. Back after being cancelled in 2021, Flamborough Fire Festival is one of East Yorkshire’s top New Year events, and will feature the burning of a replica longship, “Flamborough Fireballs”, an eye-catching Viking parade, and a firework spectacular at midnight.
A Season to Explore
Until 5 February 2023
QUAD presents an Autumn/Winter season of exhibitions, workshops, talks and events that invites audiences to explore reimagined worlds, share memories and experience new horizons. It features the work of Lawrence Lek, one of the most lauded artists in the UK, who works across the fields of film, music, and video games,
Wind in the Willows
Until 31 December 2022
Tickets £13.50 – £28.50
This Christmas, join Toad, Ratty, Mole, Badger and their animal friends for an exciting whirlwind adventure amidst the English countryside. Featuring live music, songs and a talented company of actor musicians, this adaptation by Toby Hulse of Kenneth Grahame’s classic story, The Wind in the Willows, will be staged by Derby Theatre.
Father Christmas Experience
Selected dates until 24 December 2022
Tickets: from £15.95
Celebrate the wonder of Christmas with an interactive Father Christmas Experience, including the beauty of The Wishing Woods, toy making skills in Humbug the Elf’s Workshop and the Peculiar Penguin Sleigh Journey. Plus, join Father Christmas for a night-time sleigh ride
VR Santa sleigh ride experience
1 – 24 December 2022
Tickets: from £4, children under 2yrs free
Take a flight with Santa’s helper Dash on board his sleigh this Christmas, thanks to a virtual reality experience at Derbion retail and leisure centre in Derby city centre. Put on your VR headset and take a trip around the North Pole, take in the sights, sounds and even the breeze with this 4D 360-degree experience.
Christmas at Doddington
Until 23 December 2022
Tickets: £15 adults, £8.50 children (4-16yrs) must be pre-booked
The Elizabethan Hall is again transformed for the festive period and decorated throughout for the theme ‘Christmas on the Riverbank’. Bringing the outdoors in, visitors follow the flow of the riverbank throughout the Hall as winter stories unfold. Decorations are largely handmade using material that’s grown or produced on the Estate. The free-to-enter Bauble Barn is also back.
Christmas at Belton
Until 1 January 2023 (closed 5, 12 & 25 Dec)
Admission £21.5 adults, £15 children, £71 family (2+2)
Christmas at Belton promises to be even more magical this year, with a new after-dark illuminated trail transforming the gardens with over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds. This year, there is a new route around the National Trust gardens with colour-changing spheres, an immersive triangular tunnel, Luminosi trees and a tunnel of hearts leading to a larger-than-life mistletoe display.
The Real Christmas Experience at Rand Farm
Rand Farm Park
Until 24 December 2022
Tickets: from £14.95, must book in advance
Journey through Rand Farm Park’s extensively themed Christmas Zones meeting some of Santa’s elves, Mrs Clause, real reindeer and Santa himself.
Christmas Open House
Harlaxton Manor, Grantham
3 – 11 December 2022
See website for ticket details
Explore Harlaxton Manor this Christmas as the House opens its doors for the last time this year. Discover festively decorated state rooms, with beautifully decorated Christmas trees in each room and learn the history of the Manor while being entertained by a singer and pianist. Constructed in 1831, Harlaxton Manor is a dramatic country house set within 300 acres of parkland and gardens in rural Lincolnshire with impressive views across the Vale of Belvoir.
Christmas Santa Specials
Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway
Weekends in December 2022
Tickets: £14.95 adults, £16.95 children (12 months – 16 years), must be pre-booked
All aboard the magical Christmas Express, as one of Britain’s oldest seaside miniature railways takes visitors on a journey to Lapland Central. Whilst waiting to see Santa, adults can enjoy complimentary seasonal refreshments including mince pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine, with juice and biscuits for the children. Plus, there is the chance to have a ride on Santa’s sleigh, write a letter to Santa, make your own Reindeer food!
Biddulph Grange Garden
Various dates in December – see website for details
Admission: £8.50 adults, £6.50 children over 5yrs, must be pre-booked
Take an illuminated journey around the world at this masterpiece of Victorian garden design, which features an important collection of plants from around the world arranged in a series of garden ‘rooms’. For December, follow a lit-up walk around the garden, while on selected dates find Father Christmas in his Christmas Cottage (£10 per child, which includes the trail and a present).
Leek’s Twilight Market
Market Place, Leek
9 December 2022
The popular evening Christmas Market returns to Leek, alongside the usual daytime stalls within The Indoor Market. There will be a bar, hot food and live music to enjoy, and Santa will be there for the little ones to meet.
Santa Specials at Apedale Light Railway
10 – 11, 17 -18 December 2022
Tickets: £10 children, £7 adults, in advance
Heritage line the Apedale Valley Light Railway, whose historic steam and diesel locomotive trains travel beside Apedale Country Park, is running its Santa Specials again this December.
North Pole Adventure
National Forest Adventure Farm
4, 5, 11, 12, 18-24 December 2022
Tickets: from £19 adult, £29 child (2-16), £19 – £30 toddler (12 – 23 months)
Experience the wonder of Christmas on an adventure to the North Pole. Check-in and be magically transported to Father Christmas’ hometown, help the elves get ready for Christmas and meet the talking polar bear.
Christmas at Wedgwood
World of Wedgwood
Throughout December – check website for dates and prices
From Festive Pottery Painting & Glazing and helping in Santa’s Toy Workshop to shopping at a festive pop-up market showcasing handcrafted goods of independents at Josiah & Co Presents: A Christmas Mini Market, World of Wedgwood has plenty of seasonal treats. There is also the chance to get up close with festive designs in the V&A Wedgwood Collection archives, and discover stories from Wedgwood Christmases gone by, on a special Festive Archive and Tour.
3 – 4, 10 – 11 December 2022
Free to enter
Enjoy a festive gift shopping extravaganza in the cobbled Victorian streets and indoor function rooms at Middleport Pottery, the home of world-famous Burleigh pottery since 1889, and now a popular visitor destination.
Christmas at Gladstone
Gladstone Pottery Museum
17 December 2022
Free with museum admission (£8.50 adults, £5.95 children 4 – 16 years)
Enjoy a traditional Christmas at Gladstone – the country’s only complete Victorian pottery factory – with Santa and his Elf in a grotto, festive face painting and craft activities. Children can also make their own fresh table decoration with an experienced floristry tutor (extra charge and must be prebooked). Finish the day off with our early evening carol concert.
Southampton Ice Rink
West Quay Shopping Centre
Until 8 January 2023
Admission: £13 adults, £11 children
Whether you’re an ice dance champion, a total newbie or anything in between, Southampton’s real ice-skating rink, within the Esplanade next to the Medieval Walls and Westquay South, offers the perfect spot for some festive fun. The rink is 900 sqm of real ice and this year there is a new SKATE path through a winter paradise of alpine fauna and festive lighting.
Light Up at Christmas
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
Until 31 December 2022
Tickets: from £20 adult, £12.50 child
New for 2022, the award-winning Sir Harold Hillier Gardens are transformed into an awe-inspiring kaleidoscopic, and multi-sensory world of light and sound. The walk-through light trail features a shimmering Tree of Joy, lasers around the pond, projected animals on the trees and a breathtakingly light show in Himalayan Valley. There is also a feast of delicious street food and festive drinks,
A Celebration of Christmas
Selected dates 3 – 23 December 2022
Tickets: from £35, in advance
Discover a magical celebration of Christmas at Paultons, one of Britain’s most popular family theme parks – and home to Peppa Pig World. This December the park has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland, with illuminations across the park, Peppa and George in their seasonal outfits and a Christmas show featuring Father Christmas. along with rides in Lost Kingdom and Critter Creek!
Winchester Science Centre
3 – 24 December 2022
Tickets: £25 adult; £29 children
A new immersive family adventure comes to the Science Centre this festive season. Hidden in an intergalactic wonderland there’s a Christmas space tale waiting to be told. Join Santa and help him recreate the story of his epic first mission to the International Space Station, plus a 45-minute live-action performance in the Planetarium auditorium. Tickets also include entry to the Science Centre’s two floors of interactive exhibits and activities.
Paddle to meet Santa
New Forest Activities
10 – 23 December 2022
Tickets: £34 adults, £22 children (18 months – 16 years)
Perhaps one of the most unusual ways to meet Father Christmas. Take a festive paddle on the Beaulieu River exploring the stunning river on a 90-minute guided tour before meeting Saint Nick. All children will receive a gift from Father Christmas and there’ll be hot chocolate on hand for all.
Christmas at Chawton House
Until 1 January 2023
Admission: £10 adults, £5 children (under 16 years)
Chawton House – owned by Jane Austen’s brother Edward and known to her as ‘the Great House’ – will be reopening its doors for the festive season, with a beautiful festive display celebrating Christmas traditions of days gone by. See the House dressed with handcrafted traditional decorations, and with trees cut from the Chawton House estate. Step into the Dining Room and admire Edward Austen Knight’s dining table, all set up for a festive meal.
Christmas at Belton House, Lincolnshire. Photo by Richard Haughton for Sony Music
Hull at Christmas
Christmas in Beverley, East Yorkshire
Christmas lights, Derby
Christmas at World of Wedgwood, Stoke-on-Trent
Southampton Ice Rink at West Quay, Hampshire