This winter, York will welcome its newest attraction, as the City’s beloved York Museum Gardens are transformed into an illuminated trail to host Christmas at York Museum Gardens. Opening on Thursday 16 November, the gardens will be filled with light, colour and music as the City’s beautiful, medieval grounds play host to an exciting yuletide experience.

Home to over 10 acres of stunning botanical gardens in the heart of York, the award-winning York Museum Gardens are famed for their fantastic collection of trees, plants and historic architecture, set against the stunning backdrop of the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey and the City’s prized Yorkshire Museum.

For the first time ever, York Museum Gardens will welcome visitors to a magical Christmas after-dark illuminated experience as the Gardens are transformed into a landscape of twinkling lights and festive cheer.

As visitors are welcomed to the attraction, they will step into a Fairy-tale Christmas village with a vintage funfair ride, colourful face painting and delicious warming pies from the Yorkshire Pudding Pie Company and other festive fare. Leading down from the village square, visitors will follow a mystical UV light pathway and children can unearth hidden Christmas messages in a unique game of hide and seek.

Greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, visitors will walk beneath tree canopies drenched in colours. The festive journey begins in the ‘edible garden’ with the ‘12 Frames of Christmas’, followed by a stroll past a forest of singing trees glittering with lights, which then leads on to a spectacular projection onto one of York’s best kept secrets, St Mary’s Abbey ruins.


The walk will feature a unique and majestic installation specially-commissioned by a local Northern artist, and within the gardens, visitors will be immersed in the music of Christmas as they reach the 14th century Hospitium. After the excitement of discovering Father Christmas in his secret bothy, children will be captivated by the display of ever-changing coloured mirror balls and an enchanting 20m tunnel of light.

The Finale of Fire on the Library lawn will envelope visitors in a warming glow, providing the perfect opportunity to contemplate the year gone by and look forward to the promise of the New Year ahead. Traditional Christmas treats round off the experience, with mulled wine, spiced cider and hot chocolate available, together with toasted marshmallows and a selection of hot food.

Book Tickets

Christmas at York Museum Gardens admission

Thursday 16 November 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018 
4:45pm – 9:30pm daily (except Christmas Day)

Ticket Prices:

Adult £14.95
Child £8.95 (Aged 16 and under)
Family £40.00 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
Children Free (under 4)

(The transaction fee is £2.00 for E-ticket (Print-at- home) or £2.50 for Standard Delivery. Please note that this fee is per transaction and not per ticket.)

Optional Activities:
Children’s vintage merry-go-round - £4
Games stall - £3 (with a prize every time)
Face-painting - £4

Box Office

08442 097362 (calls cost 7ppm plus network charges)

Entry Times

Entry to the walk is by timed ticket.

16:45     17:00     17:30     18:00     18:30
19:00     19:30     20:00     20:30

It is recommended that visitors book in advance as there will be limited tickets available for each time slot.

Behind the scenes

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, leading international producers of live entertainment, and the company behind Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland and THOR’S tipi bar, have partnered with Raymond Gubbay Ltd, world-renowned producers of illuminated Christmas trails and events in the United Kingdom to bring this magical new experience to the city.