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What’s On

Christmas in Leicester promises the most magical of experiences this year with an exciting Festive Adventure trail, 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 delving into a large-scale light installation and entering a winter wonderland in our interactive adventure.

Download the trail map

Get into the spirit of the season enjoying traditional pantomimes, world-class shows and watching classic Christmas films. enter a winter wonderland in our interactive adventure. And if that’s not enough there are also exhibitions, craft fair, carol services, competitions and much more!

Keep Leicester Safe: All spaces are COVID Secure and follow current government guidance with procedures in place to protect your safety. If you’re coming to any of our events do a quick lateral flow test before you go out, wear a face covering in crowds and indoor spaces, and please stay at home if you feel unwell.

What's On

Thursday 18 November City centre, various locations

Christmas Lights Switch-On

Free

From 5PM

The most wonderful time of the year kicks off on Thursday 18 November with Leicester’s Christmas Lights Switch-On. The Town Hall and city’s streets will be illuminated with over 16,000 sparkling bulbs and a spectacular 50-foot tree decorated with festive lights and baubles will take centre stage at the Clock Tower.

This year the celebrations will be different to previous years to ensure crowds are spread out around the city centre. There will be no stage programme on Humberstone Gate, instead a countdown hosted by BBC Radio Leicester will be played out on speakers across the city at 6.30pm to switch-on the Christmas lights, so you can see the streets come alight wherever you are!

During the evening there will be food, films and music whilst costume characters and live entertainment roam the streets. The city’s traditional nativity scene and a festive tableau scene, featuring a new augmented reality experience for youngsters, will be installed in Town Hall Square.

On the trail
Thursday 2 December – Monday 3 January Jubilee Square

Jubilee Square Ice Rink

Preview sessions: Thursday 2 December 5pm – 9pm / Saturday 3 December 11am – 9pm

2021 will see the return of the 680 square-metre real ice rink to Jubilee Square. With its clear roof, skaters can show off their best moves, come rain or shine, under the starry sky.

Visit Jubilee Square Ice Rink Site
On the trail
Friday 12 November – Sunday 2 January Jubilee Square

Christmas Wheel of Light

From 11am daily (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Leicester’s Christmas lights from the 110-ft Ferris wheel. 
Tickets: Standard £6, small child (under 1.4m) £4.50, Family (2 adults + 2 Children or 1 adult + 3 children) £18

Tickets can be purchased from the ticket booth on site. A ride is approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  There are 24 covered gondolas, each seating 6 people. Wheelchair access is available to one of the gondolas – assistance will be provided for anyone using this gondola.

On the trail
Thursday 18 November – Sunday 2 January Humberstone Gate

Billy Bates Fun Fair

Experience all the fun of the fair in the heart of the city this Christmas!

On the trail
Thursday 18 November – Thursday 6 January 2022 Town Hall Square

Interactive Adventures!

Free

Brand new for Christmas 2021 is a free and interactive family adventure using augmented reality (also known as AR) to bring fictional characters to life in the city centre and in your own home!

The free app can be downloaded on the App Store for Apple devices and on the Google Play store for Android users.

Visit Interactive Adventures! Site
On the trail
Thursday 18 November – Thursday 6 Jan 2022 Orton Square

Rhizome

Free

Experience the bright world of Rhizome this Christmas, a glowing series of tall structures, gentle colour changing neon ropes and accompanying soundscape by renowned visual artists Tom and Lien Dekyvere. Exploring the boundaries between nature and technology Rhizome has travelled the globe from Sydney to Baltimore and many more places in-between. Feel a sense of wonder in this powerful visual spectacle that signifies new life hope and positivity… and one of the most ‘Instagramable’ shots in the city!

On the trail
Thursday 18, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November Green Dragon Square

Outdoor Film Nights

Free

What better way to get in the festive mood than with a Christmas movie! To celebrate the opening of the The Snowman and The Snowdog™ exhibition at Newarke Houses we’re bringing the characters to our big screen along with some other well know favourites, plus an appearance from The Snowman at each screening!

Thursday 18 November
5.15pm The Snowman
6.40pm The Grinch

Friday 19 November
5pm The Snowman
6pm Frozen
with appearances from characters from Frozen

Saturday 20 November
5pm The Snowman
6pm Home Alone

On the trail
Thursday 18 November – Sunday 2 January Town Hall Square

Traditional Nativity Scene

Free

Experience the traditional nativity scene with an audio story telling from Bishop Street Methodist Church Sunday school children and accompanying illustrations.

On the trail
Saturday 4 – Thursday 23 December Green Dragon Square

Santa in the Square

Free

Monday to Friday 12noon – 6 pm / Saturday 11am – 6 pm / Sunday 11am – 4pm

Visit our enchanting snow-covered Christmas grotto in Green Dragon Square and create some magical memories. Children of all ages can visit Santa and his elf for free, to make this truly a memorable experience. And those on the nice list will also receive a wonderful free gift! 

Saturday 13 November – Sunday 20 February Newarke Houses

The Snowman and The Snowdog™

Free

This delightful exhibition is inspired by the iconic story of The Snowman and The Snowdog™. On display are over 40 original illustrations from the film, as well as behind-the-scenes drawings and preparatory sketches. These give a fascinating insight into the creative processes that brought The Snowman™ back to life for a new generation of viewers. A wonderful way to share festive memories across the generations. Admission free.

Visit The Snowman and The Snowdog™ Site