What’s on in December; local events to fill you with festive cheer 

Macmillan Carol Concert by Candlelight, Ripon Cathedral  

Monday 4 December, 7.30pm 

The Macmillan Carol Concert is the start of Christmas for many. This wonderful evening offers a festive programme of uplifting music in the atmospheric surroundings of the candlelit cathedral featuring professional musicians and choirs. All proceeds go directly to Macmillan Cancer Support to fund projects in the local area. 

To book tickets, click here 

Wreath Making Workshop, Staveley Arms

11 December from 6pm

Pop over the road to the Staveley Arms to join Sophie from Walter and Blossom for a festive evening of wreath making with seasonal refreshments. Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended, contact Sophie direct at


Festive Music and Lights at Fountains Abbey,

Every Saturday and Sunday until 31 December

After a winter walk around the water gardens, as the light begins to fade, wander through the abbey ruins lit by all the colours of the rainbow. Walk beneath the cellarium’s vaulted ceilings and listen to live choirs and bands as they fill the ruins with festive music and carols. Refreshments available including hot food from the Mill Café. 

For more information on live performances click here 

Festive Trail and Santa’s Grotto – Thorp Perrow Arboretum, near Bedale 

Until 24 December 

Follow the festive trail until you reach Santa’s grotto nestled deep in the woods. The elves will welcome and guide you through the winter wonderland where you’ll meet a host of wonderful creatures, before arriving outside Santa’s cosy log cabin. He’ll welcome you to his sitting room for a chat and a photo with a gift for every child. 

Pre-booking is essential, for more information, click here  

RHS Glow at Harlow Carr, Harrogate 

Until 30 December, 4.30-8.30pm 

Experience Harlow Carr in a whole new light as you follow an enchanting trail around magnificent trees and shrubs awash with colour, as the gardens are illuminated by dazzling installations including a ‘pixel lawn’ covered in hundreds of synchronised dancing lights. 

Take a break along the way to tuck into festive treats and warming drinks from Betty’s Tea House including mulled wine, mince pies, or hot chocolate. 

Book tickets here 

Christmas Canal Cruise and Market

16 & 17 December, 11am-4pm

Cruise along Ripon’s scenic canal aboard the Pride of Ripon with cosy blankets for your knees and mulled wine, fruit punch or a luxury hot chocolate and a mince pie for a festive treat. On your return to dry land, finish your Christmas shopping at the local producers’ market in the canal basin. For further information and bookings click here.

Illuminated Winter Wonderland, Ripon Spa Gardens

15-17 December, 2pm to 8pm

As darkness falls, the Spa Gardens will be filled with twinkling lights and carol singing, with an alternative Christmas tree competition, seasonal refreshments and a visit from Santa and his reindeers, a festive atmosphere is guaranteed. Entry is free but all donations will be gratefully received. Find out more here

Christmas Carol Concert, Ripon Cathedral

December 17, 5.30pm

Celebrate Christmas in Ripon’s stunning medieval cathedral with a traditional carol concert featuring the wonderful Ripon Cathedral Choir accompanied by the excellent St Cecilia Orchestra. A bar will be open for refreshments throughout the event. Book tickets here.

New Year’s Eve, Ripon Market Square

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Ripon Market Square begin shortly after the famous Hornblower sets the ‘watch’ at 9pm with live music from a steel band and fireworks after midnight. Find out more here.

What’s on in December; local events to fill you with festive cheer