Christmas is less than eight 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 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.
Christmas Markets and Fairs
Leicester Christmas Market – 23rd November to 23rd December
Leicester’s first Christmas Market will be held in New Market Square. Gorgeous gifts, quirky crafts, perfect presents and festive family fun will be on offer! There will also be fabulous food and drink. See the website for full details.
Bosworth Battlefield Christmas Fayre – Friday 24th November (6pm – 9pm)
Entry is free and you can enjoy a variety of crafts, local artisan stalls, delicious food and much more.
Ashby de la Zouch Food Gusto Christmas Fair – Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd 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.
Leicester Christmas Market Woodside Animal Centre – Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November (11am-6pm)
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. All proceeds go to the RSPCA. Entry is Free.
Leicester Guildhall Christmas Fair – Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd 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.
Calke Abbey Evening Christmas Gift Market – Friday 1st 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.
Moira Craft and Chistmas Fair – Sunday 24th November (10am – 4pm)
Held at the Moira Village Hall the fair promises handmade gifts, arts and crafts, children’s activities and refreshments. Entry is free.
Christmas at Swannington Mill – Sunday 3rd December (2pm-4pm)
Explore the 200 year old mill, browse craft stalls, enjoy festive food and drinks. Children can meet Santa and join in Christmas activities.
Melton Mowbray Victorian Christmas Fayre– Friday 1st December to Sunday 3rd 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.
Hinckley Tin Hat Fair – Friday 17th November and Saturday 18th November (evening)
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 26th 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 1st December (6pm – 9pm)
A magical night of snow, Santa’s Reindeer, craft stalls, live entertainment and traditional fair fun.
Winter Wonderlands and Grottos
Conkers Winter Wonderland – selected dates throughout December
Explore the enchanted forest, valley of Christmas lights and take Santa’s special 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 – 17th November to 31st December
Now in its 13th 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 25th 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. See our review here.
Staunton Harold Garden Centre Santa’s Grotto – every weekend from 18th November to 23rd December
Ride the magical express through enchanting animated scenes before reaching Santa’s grotto. Every child receives a quality present. Charges apply.
Sunnyside Garden Centre Ibstock – Santa’s Express and Grotto 24th November 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 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 8th December
Get your skates on and head to Jubilee Square for skating on real ice. 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.
Planters at Bretby Garden Centre Ice Rink– 11th November to 7th January
Bretbys famous ice rink is back again this year. Skating is undercover making it perfect in all weather. Booking is essential.
Christmas Lights Switch Ons
Leicester Christmas lights switch on – Thursday 23rd November (5pm – 9pm)
Enjoy live music and entertainment on the stage at Humberstone Gate and meet the stars of the Beauty and the Beast Pantomime!
Castle Donington “A celebration of Christmas Cheer” Friday 1st December (5pm onwards)
Castle Donington will come alive with the official switch on. Enjoy lantern processions, meet Santa and his Reindeer plus much more. Lights will be switched on at 6.30pm.
Hinckley lights switch on – Friday 17th November (4pm onwards)
Celebrate the city light switch on with live entertainment. Children can visit Santa in his grotto, join in festive activities and be wowed by fireworks. Lights will be switched on at 6.30pm.
Century Theatre Coalville presents Aladdin– 7th to 10th December
Enjoy a panto classic at the Century Theatre in Coalville. What mischief will the Widow Twankey get up to in Agrabah? Booking is essential. Tickets start at just £9.50.
De Montfort Hall Leicester presents Beauty and the Beast – from 16th December
Get lost in a tale as old as time at De Montfort Hall this Christmas. Starring Sam Bailey, Richard McCourt and Sarah Accomando as Beauty, this is sure to delight the whole family. Booking is essential.
Festive Family Fun
National Space Centre Small Space Santa Special – 22nd December
Aimed at under 5s. Children will enjoy festive songs, stories, games and Santa will be making a visit!
Twycross Zoo Breakfast with Santa – selected dates throughout December
You will be welcomed by the elves, before enjoying your breakfast. You will then be invited into Santa’s magical corner for games and sing alongs! Santa will then escort you into the Zoo before the rest of the visitors arrive. Booking is essential. Some dates are already sold out. Every child receives a quality present.
Drayton Manor Magical Christmas – 18th November to 31st December on selected dates
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. You will also be treated to a brand new adaption of the Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas in the 4D Cinema. Book online.
Great Central Railway Loughborough Santa Steam Train – selected dates throughout December
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 – throughout 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.
Christmas in Coalville – 2nd December
The festive spirit will takeover the town on the 2nd December with Christmas celebrations, entertainment, Santa’s grotto and fireworks. Inside and outside of Coalville Market will follow the festive theme with guest stalls. Entry is free.
Cattows Farm The Original Afternoon Tea – from 18th November (see website for times)
Tuck into a festive afternoon tea at one of Leicestershires best farms. Enjoy delicious treats including Grasmere pork pies, homemade Bailey’s and dark chocolate cheesecake and Taylors of Harrogate tea. Booking is essential.
Cattows Farm is hosting several other Christmas events over the period including Christmas lunch. Please check the website details.
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. Adults £14.95 Children £7.95. Book online.
Moo Music Ashby and Coalville Music Event – 9th December 2pm
One for the little people! Moo Music is having a Christmas Moo Music event at David Taylor Hall in Heather. It will incorporate sensory activities and messy play!
Bradgate Park Conversatory Tea Room Brunch with Santa – 10th December
Join Santa at his big breakfast table for a delicious brunch. All children will receive a present and something special for Christmas Eve. Elf hats, Antlers and Animal onesies can be woren. For 3 – 8 year olds. Booking is essential.
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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