For those of you out there who seem to contract a strong, annual case of Christmas cabin fever during the festive period, fear not, we hear you. To many of us, it can soon become an overload of too much food, too much TV, and too much, well… stuff. After the big day is done, and you feel well-fed and rested, then you may start to feel the twitch to get outdoors and make the most of your precious days on holiday. Luckily for us, in and around York, you can find a whole heap of things to do and places to see during the days between Christmas and new year which often seem to blur into one. So, without further ado, get your diaries at the ready, and we shall begin!
On Christmas Day, Castle Howard will hold a Christmas Day service (Book of Common Prayer and Holy Communion Service), in this stately home’s infamous pre-Raphaelite-style chapel. With the service beginning at 10am, you can enjoy the inevitably early morning filled with present-opening before heading to Castle Howard to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! And we can’t think of anywhere better to do so than this ornate Anglican chapel.
But that’s not the only excuse you’ll have this December to visit the magnificent Castle Howard. As Fox & Edwards events are offering what might just be the perfect festive day out. Starting in the centre of York, guests will be taken on a round-trip to the North York Moors National Park, including a steam train trip on a world-famous railway, before heading to Caste Howard. So, if you’re looking for a little adventure to fill one of the days between Christmas and New Year, we reckon this will be just the ticket to get the whole family out to enjoy Yorkshire’s magnificent scenery in all its winter glory! All Aboard!
And if the kids need to burn off that Christmas-chocolate-induced energy surge, we’ve got you covered! Over at Barley Hall in York, kids are given the chance to discover how magic infiltrated this notoriously religious time in the middle ages, whilst exploring the overlapping borders between science, religion, and magic at The Three Kings Magic & Mystery Exhibition.
At York Minster, kids can discover more about the Christmas story by following the trail and exploring the stops which are hidden around the minster. Young explorers have the chance to pick up a Christmas themed Little Explorer Bag pack filled with gifts and gadgets to help them along their way, and to discover the cathedral at this special time of the year, filled with items to touch, smell, look at and discuss all along this immersive trail.
Families can enjoy a dazzling performance over at Scarborough’s YMCA Theatre, as YMCA Productions present this December’s panto, Jack and the Beanstalk. Packed with everyone’s favourite pantomime characters, this spellbinding tale combines magic, laughter, and silliness to create a perfect festive treat for the whole family to thoroughly enjoy.
If you’re looking to switch up the usual boxing day boozing, this year we suggest heading for the beach. Yes, you did read that correctly. Over in Scarborough, the long-standing festive traditions will return for another year of great fun for an even greater cause. Events begin on Boxing Day, with the much-loved Fishermen Vs. Firemen Charity Football Match; teams will meet in Scarborough town centre on the day, before marching down to the South Bay seafront, followed by the comic band. While the fishermen and firemen compete to win the coveted trophy, the usual mile of pennies will be once again built by locals. Festive activities continue into the afternoon, with the infamous Raft Race, organised by Scarborough Sub Aqua Club, taking place in Scarborough’s harbour at 12:30pm.
And Scarborough isn’t the only seafront carrying out festive traditions; Whitby plays host to yet another charitable Boxing Day tradition, though arguably for the more daring! Over the years, it has become somewhat of a ritual for the brave people of Whitby to enjoy a rather refreshing dip in the North Sea on Boxing Day morning, all in the good name of charity. And for this one, fancy dress is a must. The tradition has now been ongoing for more than 46 years, and year after year has seen a growing number of dippers, as well as a growing number of supporters. So this year, why not switch up the usual Boxing Day traditions and take part in a new tradition, whether you’re braving the dip, or supporting a great cause.
But if a bitter beach breeze doesn’t sound like your cold cup of tea, then fear not, York City Screen’s the Basement have two (very different) alternatives. For an older crowd, December 28th marks the return of Frieda Nipples, and this time, it’s a Christmas special; a show full of Burlesque, Drag and Cabaret with Internationally Acclaimed Artists from all over the country. And for a New Year’s Eve treat, The Basement presents the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club, an evening of top notch live stand-up from four professional comedians. This returning event has previously seen the likes of Jason Manford, John Bishop and Sarah Millican, performing in the cosy and intimate venue; so why not get yourself down to The Basement on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be sure to have the last laugh (of the year)!