Winter is a time of year to entertain and to be entertained. For some, this means hosting family gatherings at Christmas and new year. For others, there are social outings to catch up with friends and to treat yourself. 

After the write off that was winter 2020/21, Leeds and York are making up for it in 21/22 with an array of eclectic entertainment. From festive walks and Santa visits to music concerts and theatre shows, there are amazing options for all ages and tastes. Here’s a sample of the cities’ best wintertainment.

York Minster

At one of the world’s most amazing cathedrals, York Minster, you can explore the meaning of Christmas through a journey around the minster and take part in interactive activities. At ‘Experience Christmas Together’, from December 4th to the 18th, you can appreciate the evocative setting and enjoy a special day out with the family.


York Barbican has an eclectic selection of entertainment for this winter season, with some real Christmas crackers within. Following the UK Snooker Championship, December brings in big name comedy from Jack Dee, Katherine Ryan, Jason Manford and Alan Carr, and music that includes a Christmas Carol Concert, a Harry Potter show, and the annual joy that is folk singer Kate Rusby’s Christmas performance.

The Belfrey

The Belfrey is a large Anglican Church opposite York Minster. Built in the 16th century, this is a wondrous setting for The Big Christmas Concert. So, on the 3rd and 10th December that’s exactly what’s happening, with classic Christmas tunes, brass bands and bags of festive cheer. Mixing Slade and The Pogues with favourite carols, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy here.

Grand Opera House

The stunning York theatre gets us ready for the festive season with a week of the Christmas favourite Elf: The Musical from 25th November to 3rd December. This live adaptation by York Stage Ltd is followed by a month of performances from local legend Berwick Kaler in Dick Turpin Rides Again. Fun and frolics are not to be missed at this one which runs from 11th December to 9th January.

Over in Leeds there’s also plenty to see and do this winter…

Temple Newsam

Twinkling lights and seasonal sounds create a fabulous festive mood after dark at Temple Newsam’s beautiful grounds and gardens. Enjoy the illuminations with an evening wander between 26th November and 2nd January, and you might bump into Father Christmas along the way.

Leeds Playhouse

All of Leeds city centre’s theatres are getting us in the Christmas spirit, and nowhere more so than at Leeds Playhouse, who are travelling to Neverland this Winter. From 24th November to 22nd January Wendy & Peter Pan take to the stage for a theatrical and unforgettable journey for all the family.

Brudenell Social Club

With great gigs and an inclusive atmosphere, Brudenell has gained a reputation as one of the country’s best venues. Good times are enhanced here every Christmas and New Year when tribute acts and local favourites perform crowd pleasing sets, including Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Slade, AC/DC… and a Leeds Punk Rock Xmas!

Winter Village

At Leeds’ Temple Arches comes a new winter experience running until the end of the year. The cosy wonderland Winter Village is a joyous variety of goings on. Areas include ski lodge, tipis, food village and winter gardens, plus the stage and the two storey bar The Hutte entertain in ways that range from DJs to curling. A unique delight.


Images: York Minster, Grand Opera House York, York Barbican, Temple Newsam