A POPULAR York museum Christmas attraction is set to reopen after being forced to partially close after collapse-risk concrete was discovered in parts of its roofing.

As The Press reported back in September, York Museums Trust confirmed that the north side of York Castle Museum, which houses Kirkgate, the Period Rooms and Shaping the Body had RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in the roofing.

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And in line with government guidelines those parts of the the building have remained closed until the necessary specialist inspections were completed, which has now happened the trust said.

The rest of York Castle Museum, including the Prison Cells, the Sixties Gallery and the First World War Gallery have remained open.

York Press: York Castle Museum at the Eye of YorkYork Castle Museum at the Eye of York (Image: Staff)

Now, Kirkgate and the Period Rooms are set to reopen with a fanfare to celebrate Christmas with a magical yuletide experience and organisers say there are activities for all ages, to get everyone into the festive spirit from December 8 – January 7. Only Shaping the Body will remain closed for the time being while work is carried out.

York Press: Christmas in Kirkgate in magicalChristmas in Kirkgate in magical (Image: Mike Cowling)

A trust spokesperson said that the RAAC has been inspected and is in good condition throughout the site and extra supports have been fitted to ensure current building regulations are met.

It means that on selected dates throughout the holiday season Scrooge will appear on Kirkgate and there'll be a family-friendly re-telling of Charles Dickens’ festive novel A Christmas Carol.

After-hours Scrooge will also return for an adult-only evening performances at an additional cost.

York Press: Father Christmas will be putting in an appearanceFather Christmas will be putting in an appearance (Image: Anthony Chappel-Ross)

A Victorian green clad Father Christmas will be on Kirkgate welcoming visitors every weekend throughout December until Christmas. The Father Christmas of this time was known for bringing jollity, talking of food, feasting, games, dancing and songs. Visitors will be welcome to join in, and to make their own Christmas card.

On Sundays, including Christmas Eve, the cobbles will ring to the sound of carol singers singing traditional songs which will bring smiles to the faces and warm hearts even on the coldest of days.

As well as experiencing the Christmas cheer on Kirkgate, visitors can step back in time as they stroll through some of our popular Period Rooms, from a 17th century dining room to a Victorian worker’s cottage.

York Press: Scrooge at the Castle MuseumScrooge at the Castle Museum

For younger children, the award-winning Story Craft Theatre will bring some cute Museum Mice to life with puppets, games and lots of fun for all the family followed by a craft activity on several weekdays.

The 2023 festive season continues into ‘betwixtmas’ with events running between December 27 and January 6, with performances sharing New Year traditions and the opportunity to make a New Year’s card ready to welcome in 2024.

This year’s Christmas offer is part of general admission to York Castle Museum, giving access to the museum for 12 months.

For further information on the events and to book tickets, please visit www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.ukYork Press: Christmas in KirkgateChristmas in Kirkgate (Image: Charlotte Graham)