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As the cold days of winter give way to spring, children will enjoy exploring our gardens and discovering nature’s signs that the seasons are changing.
Using our spring spotter sheet as a guide, keep your eyes peeled for pretty white snowdrops, spot magnolia buds preparing to bloom and listen out for the twittering sound of the dawn chorus.
See what else you can find in our grounds which show the gardens are coming to life after the long, cold winter.
Let off steam at the adventure playground and refuel at the Boathouse Café which will be serving up drinks and snacks daily throughout half term, from 18 to 26 February.
Find out more
Explore the great outdoors this Christmas holidays with festive walks around the gardens
to reinvigorate after the over-indulgence of Christmas!
Whilst the house closes on Friday 23 December, the gardens and adventure playground are open every day except Christmas Day for those wanting to stretch their legs, or park up and discover the wider estate on a longer walk.
The coffee shop offers hot drinks and treats for those in need of refreshment at the start or the end of a Boxing Day walk and from 27 December enjoy breakfast and lunch options and a spot of shopping at the stable courtyard
This Christmas many of our most recognisable features have been recreated in gingerbread by contemporary food artists Bompas and Parr.
Taking 3 bakers over 200 hours to complete the architectural model depicts the house as originally conceived by Sir John Vanbrugh and is surrounded by estate monuments and working gingerbread hornby train.
The installation which measures 3.5metres by 2.5metres is made from 40kg flour, 15kg sugar, 3kg treacle, 3kg syrup, 1.5kg ground ginger and 18kg butter.
The model will be on show throughout our Christmas opening, from 19 November to 23 December.
Book online in advance and save on your admission.
Gather friends and family for some Christmas inspiration with a visit
during our first week of opening. Book in advance online
and SAVE 20%
on standard admission prices for a visit between 19 and 25 November and SAVE 10%
This Christmas we're bringing the outside in with a host of festive arrangements inspired by the Yorkshire countryside, from handmade garlands and wreaths to oak branches glittering with baubles and real trees soaring skyward.
Plus, discover the buildings and monuments of Castle Howard inspired by the original vision of Sir John Vanbrugh, reimagined in gingerbread by contemporary artists Bompas & Parr.
Between 19 November and 23 December the house is open daily from 10am, with last entry at 4pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. For more information about our Christmas experience visit our website
From 22 to 30 October
, budding witches and wizards are invited to brush up on broom making, polish up on potions and put their trick or treating to the test with our Rusticus
adventures! Plus daily creepy critter trail.
- Broom Making: 22, 24, 26 & 28 October
This is the class that all the young witches and wizards look forward to! The Professor reveals the secrets of supernatural flight, as you construct and fly your own Supersonic Sweeper!
- Potion Lessons: 23, 25 & 27 October
Cauldrons at the ready! The Potions Professor reveals some of the recipes from his ancient book of spells with enchanted eruptions, wizardy whiffs and a few more magical surprises!
- Trick or Treat Training: 29 & 30 October
Give your wizard some wiz, your pixie some dust, and roar up your monster. Come and enjoy the magical world of Halloween, create wild and wacky characters and make spine-chilling Halloween masks. Visit in your best trick or treat costume for a Halloween treat.
Included in admission, workshops run in our Grecian Hall at 12noon, 1.30pm and 2.30pm and places are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Combine your visit to the house and gardens at Christmas with a sumptuous festive afternoon tea
in our elegant Grecian Hall. Enjoy an exclusive private dining experience by the warming fire.
This indulgent treat is the perfect excuse for a pre-Christmas get-together with friends or a delightful seasonal celebration. Experience our grand interiors decked for Christmas before enjoying our brand new Christmas afternoon tea which has been created especially for the festive season by our head chef.
The afternoon tea
will include a range of finger sandwiches, savouries, dainty cakes and scone plus a choice of tea or coffee.
The house is open for Christmas from 19 November to 23 December,
with afternoon teas available on selected dates from 3pm - book now to avoid disappointment as places are limited.
Visit our What's On pages for selected dates and prices.
Tickets for our hugely popular Audiences and Evenings with Father Christmas
will go on sale on Monday 19 September
. Tickets will be sold via the Castle Howard website
only and will be available to buy from 9am.
Audience with Father Christmas
Gather around the fire as our wizard WonderPhil entertains with magic;
join in with Father Christmas as he tells stories and sings songs before
handing out personalised presents.
Evening with Father Christmas
Gather in the Grecian Hall for a festive tea party before setting off on a candle lit trail into the house to
discover Father Christmas and his bundle of presents.
Sessions are available at various times every weekend from 26 November and daily from 19 to 23 December.
Given the demand for tickets please be patient if you are trying to book on Monday during this very busy time.
Head out on a summer expedition and explore Castle Howard's gardens this summer with daily activities to spark children's imaginations.
Discover more about wildlife and nature with:
- Brass rubbing trail
- Animal crafts
- Boat rides with bird spotter sheets
And on selected dates, join:
- Steve Race on wildlife photography workshops getting up close to the bugs, beasts, birds and butterflies that reside in the gardens.
- Rusticus adventures on animal journeys of fantasy and magic, meeting wildlife characters out in the grounds.
- York Bird of Prey Centre as they introduce owls and hawks with a chance to have a hold too.
Discover everything Castle Howard has to offer this summer, find out what's on when now!
Our annual Proms Spectacular is almost upon us and the surrounding hills will be filled with the sound of classical favourites when the English National Orchestra take to the stage on Saturday 20 August.
Led by musical maestro Jae Alexander, the orchestra will perform rousing medleys from traditional orchestral arrangements to interpretations of modern pieces.
Also taking to the stage this year will be star soloist, Aled Jones and soprano Janet Mooney.
The concert will draw to a dramatic end with a spectacular firework finale lighting up the sky above Castle Howard's vast Great Lake.
Book your tickets now
Spend summer days exploring our gardens with daily animal adventures to keep the whole family entertained. From Wednesday 27 July:
- FOLLOW THE FOOTPRINTS CHILDREN'S TRAIL with brass rubbings and animal actions
- CRAFT TENT with mask making, finger painting and bug making
- FAIRGROUND RIDES (from 28 July)
- BOAT RIDES with binoculars and bird spotter sheet
We'll be adding to the outdoor adventures with interactive activities on selected dates:
- RUSTICUS OUTDOOR ADVENTURES an introduction to nature's colourful characters
- CHILDREN'S WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY with Steve Race from Yorkshire Coast Nature
- BIRDS OF PREY handling and talks from York Birds of Prey Centre
- FACE PAINTING
Don't miss out, find out what's on when now in our packed calendar of summer fun! Family gardens tickets start from just £26.90 for 2 adults and 3 children.
Small additional charge for boat rides, fairground and face painting.