Fab Festivals in York – What’s On and When – I like to update this festival post every year with new festivals and dates.  2021 is a little unusual but I’ll do my best!  As ever, please do check with the individual venue to get the most current info!  The Festivals are organised in date order so you can find the right time of year for you.  If I am missing one, please let me know.


York Resident’s Festival

Usually the last weekend in January

York Resident’s Festival will return in 2022.  The event is organised as a way of saying thank you to residents for the warm welcome they give to York’s 6.9 million visitors each year, with  attractions opening up their doors free of charge for the weekend.  The festival encourages residents to explore their own city and experience it in a different way – discovering a range of attractions, tours and unique events right on their doorstep.

festivals in york


York Ice Trail

5th and 6th February 2022

The biggest outdoor Ice Trail in the UK will be returning for two days on 5th and 6th February 2022 with forty magnificent ice sculptures transforming York’s city centre. This year’s theme will be ‘fantastical fiction and fairy tales’ with sculptures ranging from spectacular unicorns and magic mirrors to famous magical characters from books, films and cartoons.

York Ice Trail
©Charlotte Graham

Jorvik Viking Festival

Usually in February

There’s always lots to see and do at the Jorvik Viking Festival. From Storytelling to ‘Have-a-Go’ Sword Combat and Archery.  One of the many things to do in York February half term.

Recognised as the largest event of its kind in Europe; visit York in February  for an exciting programme of events, including living history encampments, markets, workshops, talks, tours and dramatic combat performances.  Whether you’re well-versed in the sagas or looking for a thrilling half-term break, there’s something for everyone at JORVIK Viking Festival.

February half term in Yorkshire


York Restaurant Week

Usually in March

For obvious reasons, York Restaurant Week has not yet been able to take place during 2021, “however we’re optimistic and excited that the event will be able to return later in the year. We’ll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy!”

york restaurant week - festivals in york


York Chocolate Festival

14th to the 18th April 2022

York has a proud heritage in chocolate making and celebrates with a Chocolate Festival in April.  The festival including the markets and demos are FREE entry. Specific events are at various prices (which can be found on the website programme).  The festival market, bars, food factory and demonstrations are located on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square.  Events such as wine tastings, dinners, trails etc are city wide.


Bloom! York


York Food and Drink TASTER Festival

10th to the 12th June 2022


York Food and Drink Festival

17th to the 26th September 2021

festivals in York


York Balloon Fiesta

27th-30th August 2021

50 hot air balloons taking to the skies above York, a live music stage featuring some of the UK’s best tribute acts, arena stunt show and falconry display and so much more will help make York’s biggest family-friendly weekend at the end of August, when York Balloon Fiesta returns with more free things to do than ever before.

York Balloon Fiesta - Festivals in York



28th – 31st October 2021

York is set to enjoy beer, bratwurst and all things Bavarian when a brand-new event – Yorktoberfest – comes to York Racecourse this October.  The residents of York and beyond will be invited to eat, drink and be merry-go-round at the Clocktower Enclosure on the Knavesmire from 28th – 31st October, where a giant Bavarian-styled beer tent and traditional funfair will set a festive scene.

festivals in york yorktoberfest


York Festival of Christmas – St Nicholas’ Festival

York is a lovely place to visit at Christmas and it’s Dickensian-like streets really put on a festive show.  There are places to visit Santa, at least two pantomimes to attend and of course the fabulous York Christmas Fair.

Christmas festival in York

Visiting York at certain times of the year?  Have a look at our ‘What’s on in York’ guide.

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