ONE of the new festive attractions to hit York this winter, Christmas at York Museum Gardens, is now open.

Sponsored by TalkTalk, Christmas at York Museums Gardens launched last night (Thursday).

From now until Monday, January 1, the City’s historic gardens will be transformed into an illuminated trail, filled with seasonal colour and music.

From the modern display of musical LED trees to the projection of a traditional Christmas scene onto the ruins of the medieval St Mary’s Abbey, there is something to capture the heart and imagination of each visitor that steps through the historic gates.

The fantastic scenery of the gardens has been utilised to its full extent, making every twist and turn of the hour-long illuminated route a Christmas experience like no other.

As visitors arrive, they will step into a Christmas village with the familiar sights and smells of Christmas, including a vintage funfair ride and games stall, festive face painting and delicious warming pies from the Yorkshire Pudding Pie Company.

From here, visitors will enter the ‘edible garden’ to discover the ’12 Frames of Christmas’ - based on the traditional song but with a special York-inspired twist, before stepping through the gateway to see the musical LED trees and a sea of ever-changing coloured globes adorning the lawn opposite.

The dramatic St Mary’s Abbey ruins provide the backdrop for a series of Christmas scenes, spectacularly projected onto the walls of the Grade I listed building.

This leads to a display of neon as a specially-commissioned art installation by local Yorkshire artist Richard Wheater makes a unique and majestic statement on the lawn outside the Yorkshire Museum.

Visitors then have a chance to get creative at the musical tree stumps before reaching the 14th century Hospitium.

From here, the trail passes Father Christmas in his secret bothy, tucked away within the trees, and through a 20m tunnel of lights before reaching a display of glittering mirror balls.

The walk ends with the Finale of Fire on the Library lawn where visitors can warm themselves with mulled wine, spiced cider and hot chocolate, along with a toasted marshmallow or two.

The company behind this new festive attraction, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, are leading international producers of live entertainment; partnering with Raymond Gubbay Ltd, a world-renowned producer of illuminated Christmas trails and events in the United Kingdom.

For tickets and more information go to