Harrogate Venues Looking Forward to a Busy Christmas Season

30 November 2022

Harrogate is gearing up for its busiest festive season in years. After a tentative 2021, where the country was only a few months out of lockdown, this year looks promising.

In fact, towns and villages all across North Yorkshire have unveiled an exciting array of events for November and December. Residents and visitors from the following places:

  • Ripon
  • Knaresborough
  • Boroughbridge
  • Brearton

Will enjoy a packed calendar over the next few weeks.

With Christmas markets across Yorkshire already getting into the swing, Harrogate Christmas Fayre is coming soon. However, many other venues are already looking festive, having decked the halls for the holidays.

All the shops and over 135 restaurants in Harrogate have hung their decorations and switched on their lights. Trees are appearing and little elves have been hard at work shining each bauble and bell.

If you’re visiting the area over this magical season, or live locally, here are some things to consider.

A profile of Harrogate and its top things to do

For those who haven’t been to Harrogate before, it is a Victorian spa town nestled right beside the Yorkshire Dales. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so attracts many hikers and photographers.

1. Royal Pump Room Museum

Located in North Harrogate, this museum was originally a retreat for affluent guests to enjoy the spa waters. Explore what life was like more than 150 years ago in Harrogate.

There are displays of old shopfronts and the hotel, and details from surprising visitors through the ages. It opens every Tuesday – Sunday and family tickets are available for £10.

2. Turkish Baths

In keeping with the town’s heritage, visitors can enjoy a proper Turkish bath experience that has been offered for centuries. The facilities have been modernised, but the healing powers of the waters have not changed.

As well as the heated and cool chambers for the Turkish bath ritual, there are also:

  • Foot spas
  • Plunge pool
  • An aroma room

And a range of therapies including facial, manicures and body scrubs. The Turkish bath is open every day until 8.30 pm.

3. XO Casino Slots

This amusement centre in central Harrogate is the perfect way to pack some excitement into your day. It’s open from 9am to 9:30pm, making it a great option at any time of day. There’s a huge range of games, providing the ideal break after a day in the Dales or you’re taking a break from Christmas shopping. Either way, you can have some fun at the casino in Harrogate. Before your visit, get some practice in online and play some free slots with free coins so you know what to expect when you walk through the entrance.

Top Christmas events

1. Aladdin 2022

Harrogate Theatre is putting on a magical pantomime from 23 November – 15 January 2023. Singalong songs, a stunning set and plenty of laughs will make this a memorable show to enjoy.

2. Magical Christmas Experience at Mother Shipton’s

From 26 November, the spirit of the season comes to life at Prophecy House. A special place any time of year, it is absolutely mesmerising this time of year.

The visit includes:

  • A welcome by Santa’s elves and a festive activities pack for those visiting Santa
  • A visit to Santa’s grotto and a gift from the big man in red
  • Enchanting Christmas tales by Holly Berry
  • A chance to go inside Santa’s sleigh and get a photo

The Petrifying Well is a must-see and don’t forget to make a wish for the future.

3. Ripon Cathedral Christmas Gift & Food Fair 2022

Start your Christmas shopping on the last weekend in November at this lovely family event. There’ll be:

  • Craft activities
  • A chocolate tombola
  • Live entertainment
  • Over 100 stalls with gifts, homewares and food

There will also be a café onsite providing light lunches, snacks, mulled wine and mince pies.

4. Christmas rides and ice rink in Crescent Gardens

The picturesque gardens will be lit up in splendour from 2 December with rides for little ones and the rink. A perfect place to meet family or friends, there will also be an apres-skate area with seasonal treats and refreshments.

5. Country Living Christmas Fair

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the fair runs from 1 – 4 December and promises to generate around £450,000 for Harrogate. More than 200 exhibitors will deliver a range of products and services over the four-day event.

Guests can:

  • Participate in interactive workshops
  • Learn new skills
  • Book tailored tasting sessions
  • Make unique gifts and decorations

Or simply enjoy some mulled wine while browsing a staggering array of handcrafted products, clothing and gourmet fare.

6. The Harrogate Christmas Fayre

The yearly event returns with a wonderful mix of traders and a fantastic atmosphere. Running daily from 2 – 11 December, it can be found in the pedestrianised area of Cambridge Street and Market Place.

You can hop aboard the free Candy Cane Express to get around the fair!

Wherever you are in North Yorkshire over the season, it’s worth popping along to one of these events. Kids and adults alike will be enchanted by the efforts of many to make this a Christmas to remember.

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