Essential guide to Harrogate's Christmas markets and events this weekend - and district

Get ready for a festive weekend - the biggest programme of festive events ever seen in the town will see, not one, but four different Christmas markets taking place this weekend in the Harrogate district.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 11:16 am
Try the carousel in Harrogate's Crescent Gardens this Christmas weekend. (Picture: Gerard Binks)

When combined with Christmas lights and a range of new family attractions, it all adds up to the most concerted effort in living memory to bring festive cheer to the town - and its shops, bars and restaurants.

It promises to be a Harrogate Christmas to remember with events across the district over the next three days - and beyond!

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Friday, December 3-Sunday, December 12:

Harrogate Christmas Fayre

(Cambridge street area)

The new Harrogate Christmas Fayre will run for ten days from tomorrow (Friday) and feature around 50 traders from Yorkshire, the UK and Continental Europe who will be welcoming visitors with wooden chalet-style stalls erected at Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent.

The event hosted by Market Place Europe is presented by Harrogate Borough Council and Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID).

Opening times:

Dec 3-4: 10am-9pm.

Dec 5: 10.30am-4.30pm.

Dec 6-8: 10am-7pm.

Dec 9-11: 10am-9pm.

Dec 12: 10.30am-4.30pm.

Saturday, December 4-Sunday, December 5:

Little Bird Christmas Artisan Market, Harrogate

(Valley Gardens)

Little Bird Made presents more than 60 stallholders offering a variety of festive arts and crafts, clothing, homeware, jewellery and locally produced food and drink in the Valley Gardens.

Opening times:

December 4-5: 10am-3pm running to December 24:

The Father Christmas Experience, Harrogate

(The Crown Hotel, Harrogate)

Harrogate BID presents Santa’s grotto and an Elf School for children and families at the Crown Hotel.

Thursday, December 2-Sunday, December 5:

The Great Yorkshire Christmas Fair 2021 Harrogate

(Yorkshire Event Centre)

An indoor festive fayre featuring 155 top companies selling everything family and friends could want in the way of gifts at Christmas time.

Taking place at Yorkshire Event Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground, the event includes festive decorations; wow factor wreaths; unusual food; gorgeous gifts and stunning stocking fillers to decorative accessories for your home and garden; charming children’s products; dazzling jewellery; arresting art; tempting toys; fabulous fashion and fashion accessories.

There are also two large restaurants, a cafe, a champagne bar and free parking on hardstanding.

Opening times:

Dec 2-4: 9.30am-5pm.

Dec 5: 9.30am-4pm.

Friday, December 3-Sunday, December 12:

Harrogate ferris wheel & carousel

(Crescent Gardens, Harrogate)

Harrogate council and Harrogate BID present a Ferris wheel and a Victorian carousel at Crescent Gardens.

Friday, December 3-sunday, December 12:

Harrogate helter skelter & road train

(Cambridge Crescent)

Harrogate council and Harrogate BID present a giant helter skelter facing Bettys tearooms in the town centre.

Also look out for the multi-coloured tunnel on the piazza in front of Victoria Shopping Centre and a festive road train called Candy Cane Express running around the town centre from December 3-12.

Running to December 24:

Magical Window Trail

(town centres in Harrogate & district)

Follow the Magical Window Trail around Harrogate, Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Masham, Pateley Bridge and Ripon with a friendly character at each destination.

Running to January 16:

Harrogate Theatre's Cinderella pantomime

(Harrogate theatre)

The return of Harrogate Theatre’s magical family pantomime.

Performance times:

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: 10am.

Friday: 2pm and 7pm.

Saturday and Sunday: Noon and 5pm.

Monday performances on December 27 and January 3 only.

Please check exact times before booking tickets. Times may vary.

Saturday, December 4-Sunday, December 5:

Knaresborough Christmas Market

(Knaresborough town centre)

Knaresborough’s traditional Christmas Market returns to the historic Market Place this weekend from 10am-5pm both days.

Expect festive events, independent shops and plenty of eateries throughout the town offering tasty festive treats.

Running to January 4:

The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park


Plenty of festive fun with ice skating rink, the enchanted woods, Nordic Ski Trail and Christmas goods for sale.

Tickets booked in advance.

Sunday, December 5:

Little Bird Christmas Artisan Market, Ripon

(Ripon Market Place)

Running this Sunday from 10am until 3pm, the market place will be alive with stallholders selling a selection of arts and crafts, hot and cold food, plants and clothes. There will also be live music and an outdoor bar.