This year the city of Leicester is hosting some magical Christmas events. The city centre is in full festive mode and we were lucky enough to spend a day exploring what is on offer. I can honestly say that it didn’t disappoint!
Jubilee Square Ice Skating Rink
First stop on our Christmas day out was the fantastic undercover Ice skating rink in Jubilee Square. We’ve only ever been ice skating once before in Belgium so we were keen to have another go. L was champing at the bit so get his skates! We collected our tickets from BBC Radio Leicester which is directly opposite the rink. Skating sessions are 45 minutes in length and begin on the hour. We had the 2pm session booked.
First up was skate selection. It’s pretty simple, you hand over your shoes and the friendly staff hand you your skates. Once we were suitably booted up we headed over to collect a skating aid for L. We knew he would need it. There are two different aids to choose from, one being the traditional sit down seal and the other a “stand up” penguin so if your little skaters are feeling adventurous they can hold themselves up with the penguin and have a go! L chose the sit down option to start with.
Thankfully G is a good skater because had L been relying on me to push him around it would have taken a while. L and G whizzed around whilst I gingerly made my way around the edge. I don’t think skating is my forte but I gave it a good go. After 15 minutes or so I exited gracefully. L then decided to have go on his own! I think he was auditioning for Bambi on ice. He soon figured out that letting Dad hold him up was alot easier.
Before long our session was over and we were collecting our shoes. Our second ice skating experience was a success!
Jubilee Square Ice Skating Rink is open until the 8th January. Off peak tickets (Monday – Friday 11am-4pm) cost £8 per adult and £6.50 for children/concession, all other times tickets are £9 per adult and £7.50 per child. Please see the Visit Leicester website for full details.
Top tips –
– Take extra socks! You have to hand over your shoes in order to get skates and the ground can be very wet.
– Lockers are available for £2 in the BBC Radio Leicester building which is handy is you have big bags etc.
Christmas Wheel of Light
Standing impressively in Jubilee Square is the Christmas Wheel of Light. A beautifully big illuminated Ferris Wheel. This was next of our agenda. L was a bit nervous but also excited. With 24 undercover gondolas the Wheel of Light is suitable in almost all weather conditions. There is also one wheelchair accessible gondola.We handed over our tickets and waited for a gondola to take us high above the city.
Each ride takes 8 – 10 minutes and you get to stop at the top on one of the revolutions. L’s nerves soon went away and were replaced by pure excitement. Even though it was a bit cold and a bit wet if didn’t dampen the experience. The views from the top are pretty amazing. You get a particularly good view of the stunning Leicester Cathedral.
L was disappointed when our journey ended. I’m pretty sure he could have gone around a few more times.
The Christmas Wheel of Light will be in Jubilee Square until the 8th Janaury. Tickets cost £5 per adult and £4 per child/concession. Family tickets are available for £15. Please see the Visit Leicester website for full details.
Christmas illuminations and Christmas Markets
After our fun filled afternoon in Jubilee Square we headed into the centre to admire the beautiful Christmas lights. There is hardly a street untouched by festive lights. The centre piece has to be the enormous tree next to The Clock Tower.
There is a fantastic fun fair on Humberstone Gate West that will delight children of all ages. Unfortunately the heavens had opened by the time we made our way down there so we ducked into the nearest coffee shop for a warm drink.
After our coffee and cake (of course!) we braved the elements and headed for the Christmas Markets in New Market Squares. Open until the 23rd December the inaugural Christmas markets are full of artisan arts and craft stalls, curiorites and delicious food and drink. L insisted on having a nutella crêpe. Cue the sugar rush. There is great live music on throughout the day. We were really impressed considering it’s the first year!
Next up was a stop at Leicester Town Hall to admire the festive tableau that is inspired by the mythical land of Narnia. L is a big fan of the Chronicles of Narnia series so was delighted to see all of the characters. The town hall itself is adorned with lights and a festive greeting!
Image – Courtesy of Visit Leicester
It was then time for us to leave the centre and make our way to De Montfort Hall for the Beauty and the Beast Pantomine. I will be covering this in a separate blog post. You can see our review here.
I have to say that we were so impressed with the Christmas events and attractions that are on offer in Leicester city centre. I can’t wait to see what they do next year! You can find full details of all the Christmas events on the Visit Leicester website.
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Check out our Christmas in Leicester vlog below:
Disclaimer – we were guests of Visit Leicester and were provided with tickets for the purposes of this review. Our thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.