Christmas is less than ten weeks away, yes you read that right! Its almost time to crack open the mulled wine, mince pies, eat way to many pigs in blankets and demolish at least two massive boxes of Roses!
I have put together a list of the very best Christmas events and family days out in and around Leicestershire (please note that some are in other Counties but just a stones throw) to help you with your festive planning! I have included links (links in green) where possible for further details and tickets if necessary. By no means is this an exhaustive list and as with all events they may be subject to change. I will try to add to the list over the next few weeks.
Table of Contents
Christmas Markets and Fairs
Bosworth Battlefield Christmas Fayre – Friday 30th November (6pm – 9pm)
Entry is free, although there is a £3 charge per child for Santas Grotto. You can expect a variety of crafts, local artisan stalls, delicious food and much more.
1620s House and Garden Christmas Fayre – Sunday 2nd December (11am-4pm)
Entry and parking is free. Enjoy a range of artisan and craft stalls, local food and drink and more.
Leicester Guildhall Christmas Fair – Saturday 1st December and Sunday 2nd December
Entry is just £1 for adults and free for children. Soak up the festive atmosphere in the stunning surrounds of the Guildhall. Buy special gifts or treat yourself. Children can enjoy trails, crafts and face painting.
Ashby de la Zouch Food Gusto Christmas Fair – Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December (10am – 4.30pm)
We are big fans of the Food Gusto festivals. Get into the Christmas spirit with locally produced food and drink. There will be live entertainment all day.
Melton Mowbray Victorian Christmas Fayre – Friday 30th November to Sunday 2nd December (10am – 4pm)
Enjoy a slice of Dickensian Britain with victorian stalls, street urchins, Punch and Judy shows, Brass bands and much more. Entry is free.
Leicester Christmas Market Woodside Animal Centre – Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November (11am-4pm)
Held at the Woodside Animal Centre the fair promises to be the largest yet. Enjoy skating on the ice rink, live entertainment, festive food and drink as well as 50+ craft stalls. Santa will also be present in his magical grotto. Booking is essential. All proceeds go to the RSPCA.
Hinckley Tin Hat Fair – Friday 16th November (4pm onwards)
Regent Street will house the bustling fair that promises great arts and crafts stalls, live entertainment and festive food and drink. Entry is free.
Sock Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair – Sock Gallery Loughborough Sunday 25th November (11am-4pm)
Buy gifts or treat yourself to handmade wares, visual art, jewellery and much more at the first Sock Gallery Arts and Crafts Fair.
Market Harborough Christmas Fair – Friday 7th December (6pm – 9pm)
A magical night of snow, Santa’s Reindeer, craft stalls, live entertainment and traditional fair fun.
Calke Abbey Evening Christmas Gift Market – Friday 30th November, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December (5pm – 8pm)
Entry is free, however normal park entry costs apply. Head along to Calke Abbey for the launch of their advent themed Christmas with an atmospheric evening gift market in the Riding School. Buy your Christmas gifts or treat yourself to something festive you might even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas arriving!
Calke Abbey is hosting some fantastic events over the festive session. See their website for details and information.
Winter Wonderlands and Grottos
Conkers Winter Wonderland – various dates throughout December
Explore the enchanted forest, valley of Christmas lights and take Twinkle Toes Train to the woodland grotto. You can meet Santa and his Reindeer. Every child will receive a present (included in cost of entry). Booking is essential.
Tamworth Snowdome Winter Wonderland – 16th November to 31st December
Now in its 14th year the famous Winter Wonderland promises to be better than ever. Follow Santa’s snow trail, see Santa live on stage and meet his Reindeer. Check the website for times and prices. Booking is essential. Watch a video here.
National Forest Adventure Farm North Pole Adventure – selected dates from Saturday 24th November
Be transported to the North Pole this Christmas at the National Adventure Farm. Join the magical two hour family journey to the North Pole to meet Father Christmas and his friends. Your child will receive a personalised ticket to take to the North Pole. Collect Elf coins and spend them in the Victorian style street. Visit the ice cave and meet the polar bears, decorate gingerbread men and much more. Adults can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies. Every child will receive a present. Booking is essential. We attended the North Pole Adventure in 2017 and it really was a magical experience, see our review here.
Sunnyside Garden Centre Ibstock – Santa’s Express and Grotto 1st December to 23rd December
Take a ride on the magical festive train through enchanting woods before heading into the elves workshop. See Rudolph and friends before meeting Santa. Every child receives a quality present. Book online.
Calke Abbey Father Christmas in his Grotto – various dates from Saturday 1st December
Find Father Christmas in his magical stable Grotto. £5 per child (please note that normal park entry fees apply). Booking is essential.
Jubilee Square Ice Rink Leicester – from 22nd November to 6th January
Get your skates on and head to Jubilee Square for skating on real ice, this year the rink will be bigger than ever before. 45 minutes sessions and skates can be booked online. Skating aids will be available for the younger skaters. Prices vary depending on the times etc. See our review here.
Planters at Bretby Garden Centre Ice Rink– from Monday 10th November
Bretbys famous ice rink is back again this year. Skating is undercover making it perfect in all weather. Booking is essential.
De Montfort Hall Leicester presents Peter Pan – from Saturday 15th December
Soar off through the night to Neverland with the Darling children, in the ultimate family pantomime. Starring Sam Bailey, Kevin Kennedy and Cat Sandion, this is sure to delight the whole family. Booking is essential.
Century Theatre Coalville presents Cinderella– 6th to 9th December
Enjoy a panto classic at the Century Theatre in Coalville. Will the prince find poor Cinder before midnight? What mischief will the ugly sisters get up to? Booking is essential. Tickets start at just £9.50.
Festive Family Fun
Christmas in Leicester – 16th November to 6th January
As well as the fantastic Ice Rink at Jubilee, the city of Leicester is putting on its festive best this year. Back again is the beautiful Wheel of Light, take a trip for views over the city. Enjoy the giant Christmas Tree and Fun Fair on Humberstone Gate West and the Alice in Wonderland Tableau at Town Hall Square. See our review of last years event here.
National Space Centre Small Space Santa Special – Friday 21st December
Aimed at under 5s. Children will enjoy festive songs, stories, games and Santa will be making a visit!
Magical Christmas at Twycross Zoo – 17th December to 24th December
Twycross is the place to be this Christmas with some magical events taking place, enjoy a festive breakfast, supper or afternoon tea with the big man himself. Enjoy Santas story time, place a key on the Santa Key Tree, take a stroll through Santas Donkey Trail, get crafty with some gift making and meet Santa on his sleigh. You can find information about all of the great events taking place on the Twycross Zoo website.
Drayton Manor Magical Christmas – 17th November to 31st December on selected dates (Santa is only in the park until the 24th December)
Enjoy live Christmas shows, carol singing, light shows, festive food and meet Santa (every child will receive a present). There will be a firework display every night. Booking is essential.
Great Central Railway Loughborough Santa Specials – selected dates from Saturday 24th November
Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun filled journey on an enchanting steam train. Ride onboard the Santa special and be surprised in your seat by the man himself. Every child will receive a present. There are two journeys two choose from the Santa Special and the Santa Deluxe. Booking is essential.
Twinlakes Park Christmas – 17th November – 24th December
Twinlakes have pulled it out of the bag again this year when it comes to Christmas. There are so many things on it would be a whole blog in itself! Head over to their website for a list of events and information. Events includes Breakfast with Santa, Party in the park, Winter Wonderland plus much more.
Manor Farm Park and Woodland – weekends from Saturday 8th December
Festive fun on the farm is the order of the day at Manor Farm Park and Woodland. Visit the winter marquee for songs and stories, visit Santas is his woodland cabin (£2 per child is booked before 11th November, £3 thereafter), join in festive Woodland activites such a woodland games and making toast on the campfire. Make a special something to take home in the craft room.
Charnwood Forest Alpacas Christmas Alpaca Experience – various dates throughout December
Enjoy a wonderland Christmas experience at Charnwood with one of the friendly “Reinpacas”. There will be festive lights, music and of course Mulled Wine for the grown ups. Why not treat yourself to delicious two course Christmas platter feast with all the trimmings whilst your there.
Sunnyside Garden Centre Ibstock Afternoon Tea with Santa – selected dates throughout December
You will be greeted by an elf and shown to your table, where you will enjoy a festive afternoon tea. Children can then decorate a cake or biscuit before jumping onboard the magical Santa express to be whisked off to the grotto. Each child will receive a present. Book online.
Battlefield Line Railway Santa Specials – 1st December to 24th December (varies dates)
Meet Santa on his special train, children will receive a gift and parents festive refreshments. More details to follow soon.
I really hope this blog is useful, thank you for reading. Have a magical Christmas! Please feel free to share with friends and family. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with Christmas events, days out, travel inspiration and much more.
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