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What’s On

Christmas in Leicester promises to be full of magical moments – packed with festive activities and an exciting Festive Adventure trail to follow, celebrating the best the city has to offer!

From ice skating on a real ice rink, meeting Santa in his snow-covered grotto, taking a ride on the Wheel of Light, to exploring the festive light trail at Enlightened Leicester at Abbey Park or enjoying the ‘Emergence’ immersive audio visual experience at the Circle on New Walk.

Download the trail map


There is plenty to entertain the whole family throughout the festive season from enjoying traditional pantomimes and world-class shows to watching blockbuster films at the cinema. And if that’s not enough there are also exhibitions, craft fairs, carol services, fantastic competitions and much more!

What's On

Christmas tree in the Guildhall courtyard
Saturday 2nd-Sunday 3rd December The Guildhall

Guildhall Christmas Craft Fair

Enjoy a unique Christmas shopping experience in the beautiful medieval Guildhall; with a real fire, Christmas tree in the historic courtyard and Quirky events. There will also be a taste of Christmas with mince Pies, mulled wine & cider!

There will be lots of exciting and original stalls selling handmade arts and crafts from local artists and makers. It’s a brilliant chance to buy a special gift for your family & friends.

Adults £1/Children free


Visit Guildhall Christmas Craft Fair Site
Band holding instruments with festive border
Friday 8th December The Guildhall

Govannen & Friends at Christmas

Popular Celtic band Govannen, raise the curtain on the Christmas season, along with their original and traditional songs, jigs & reels.

Special guests and good friends Cathy Lesurf (Albion Band, Fairport Convention), and singer-songwriter Dave Kirk bring an extra dimension to, what promises to be, a magical evening.

Govannen have released 9 albums, and their “Celtic Christmas” album was featured in the Dreamworks animation film “How To Train Your Dragon”.

7pm doors – 7.30pm start
Tickets £12

Visit Govannen & Friends at Christmas Site
Saturday 9th December Haymarket Shopping Centre

Santa Saturday at Haymarket


The Haymarket will be hosting their annual Santa Saturday on Saturday 9 December. Come along and meet Santa, who will be talking to our visitors of all ages, plus enjoy a variety of performers, Santa giveaways and much more.

Times 11am – 3pm

Entry/ticket costs free

Other Haymarket events during the festive period include

  • 30th November to 3rd December – Festive Makers Fayre
  • 7th December – supporting Christmas Jumper Day
  • Throughout November and December there will be extending trading hours with particular focus on 22nd November and 11th December- 23rd December.
Visit Santa Saturday at Haymarket Site
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Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December The Guildhall

Christmas Wreath Making

Create your own traditional Christmas Wreath, using time-honoured methods and skills with willow and evergreen foliage provided specifically from Belgrave Hall & Gardens.

All equipment and greenery will come directly from our gardens and be supplied, furthermore our Head Gardener, Chris Brooks will advise and guide you through each step.

There are 2 sessions available for each day:

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th:

  • 10.30am – 11.30am
  • 2pm – 3.30pm

Cost £30

Visit Christmas Wreath Making Site
Sunday 10th December The Guildhall

Green & Matthews: A Christmas Carol in Concert

This unique retelling of Dickens heart-warming tale uses an array of traditional and modern instruments and authentic musical arrangements.  It brims with warmth, wit and wonder.

Modern day balladeers Green Matthews take the well-loved festive adventure back to its Victorian fire side roots, painting a vivid and evocative picture of Dickens world.

Uplifting and melodic, Green & Matthews: A Christmas Carol perfectly recaptures the simple Yuletide delights of fellowship, laughter, and good cheer.


Standard £14
Under 25s £12

Visit Green & Matthews: A Christmas Carol in Concert Site
The Guildhall in the snow
Sunday 10th December The Guildhall

Guildhall free Guided Tours for the Festive Season


A much-loved landmark – The Grade I listed; timber-framed Guildhall has been at the centre of Leicester history for 630 years.

Over the years it has been used as a court, town hall, venue for Shakespeare, prison, and now a museum and venue. Believed to be one of the ‘Most Haunted’ places in Leicester, uncover its ghostly stories.

Leicester is privileged to have one of the best-preserved timber framed halls in the country dating back 600 years … find out more with a festive guided tour:

Tour Dates:

Sunday 10th – with Liz

Tour Times:

11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm.

A skull wearing a santa hat lit by candle
Friday 15th December The Guildhall

Chilling Tales for Christmas

Enter the Guildhall after dark for a lantern-lit evening of spooky tales by the fireside in the Great Hall

In the days before television families and groups of friends made the most of the long dark nights over Christmas by gathering together to share ghost stories.

Reignite the tradition this year with host Charles Dickens, assistant Thursday and renowned festival storyteller Jacob Cracker (Dec’d) in the atmospheric surroundings of the Great Hall in Leicester’s Medieval Guildhall.

An interactive evening of chilling tales for Christmas and New Year served with a festive twist

Suitable for ages 11+


Visit Chilling Tales for Christmas Site
Santa at Guildhall
Friday 15th and Saturday 16th December The Guildhall

Tell Tale Theatre present Santa at Leicester Guildhall

A Santa experience for ALL the family
Join Father Christmas and his Elves for a Dickens of a Christmas

Follow the puzzle trail around the medieval Guildhall, meeting festive characters & challenges along the way.

Become a member of the Elf Guild and discover tales of Christmas history with Thursday the Elf. Make your own shadow puppets & try your hand at our ‘take home’ craft activities. Pit your family’s wits & skills together in Mr Charles Dickens’ game show for ALL generations.

Last but not least, spend some quality time with Santa and place an extra special Christmas wish on his Magic Wish Tree.

All visitors will receive a gift of a specially commissioned pocket storybook from Santa.

“Christmas is a time for all conditions of people: little & big, young & old: yet growing up, or already growing down again.

Tickets: £10 (Babies in arms and carers go free)

Time slot entry (average length of visit 45 mins – 1hr)

Time Slots:

Friday 15th: 3pm, 3.45pm, 4.30pm, 5.15pm

Saturday 16th: 11am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 2.15pm, 3pm, 3.45pm, 4.30pm, 5.15pm

Candlelit Christmas Carols event poster
Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 December Leicester Cathedral

Candlelit Christmas Carols and Music

Tickets are now on sale for two special candlelit evening concerts with the Leicester Cathedral Choir on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 December.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite priced at £10.54 / £8.43 for concessions (under 18s, students in full-time education, unwaged people). The price includes the booking fee, a drink, and a mince pie.

The Cathedral is also hosting traditional Carol Services on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December at 6.00pm

Visit Candlelit Christmas Carols and Music Site
An image from the Muppet Christmas Carol
Sunday 17th December The Guildhall

Film at the Guildhall: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Be entertained with this classic film in the atmospheric Guildhall, with a real, roaring fire.

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve. The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Other Muppets — Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle — weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases — past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness.

Cert U, 1h 25min

Tickets: £5 each

Visit Film at the Guildhall: The Muppet Christmas Carol Site