Have yourself a merry little Christmas

The lights are on, the tree is covered in snow and the Nativity scene’s in place.  Let the festivities commence!

If you didn’t make it to Leicester for the best Christmas lights switch-on ever – worry not, as there are lots more exciting seasonal activities coming up.

The Jubilee Square ice rink opens for business on Thursday December 6, but get your skates on now to buy tickets as they are already being snapped up. A clear roof means you can skate in all weathers and enjoy a view of the majestic Wheel of Light as you do so. The rink & wheel will be in Jubilee Square until Monday January 7, giving you plenty of time to show off your moves!

Families will want to head to new market square where children can visit Santa in his enchanting traditional grotto from Saturday 8 to Sunday 23 December. Provided by Leicester Market, this opportunity to meet Santa in the Square is completely free of charge. Children can also post their letters to Santa in the Christmas ‘post office’ that has magically appeared opposite the square.

Proving he truly has magic powers, Father Christmas will also be at the Highcross’ Christmas Grotto from Friday November 23 up until Christmas, and at the Haymarket shopping centre from noon until 4pm on Saturday 1 December. Once you’ve handed Santa your wish-list, make sure to head to the Christmas funfair on Humberstone Gate, which is open all day, seven days a week from now until January 6.

The tastefully decorated Guildhall, complete with roaring fire and real tree is hosting Blast from the Past: A Christmas Carol in concert – a unique re-telling of Dickens’ heart-warming tale by talented musicians, singers and performers on Sunday 16 December. The Guildhall is also showcasing some of the best Christmas films ever produced, including the timeless classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” and festive family favourite, “The Muppets Christmas Carol”.

Feeling a bit peckish after a long day shopping? Make sure you head to the Jägerhaus, a German themed bar complete with its very own BBQ serving the ever popular Bratwurst and more. Find it just outside Highcross, in St. Peter’s Square.

Remind yourself of the true meaning of Christmas by taking part in one of the services or events at Leicester Cathedral. Join in with the Cathedral choir at the Advent Carol Service on Sunday 2 December, enjoy Carols after Work on Tuesday 4 December, or bring the whole family in for the Christingle Service on Saturday 15 December. A full programme of events is available here.

Leicester Cathedral will also provide the backdrop for Christmas in the Gardens from Thursday 13 to Saturday 22 December, when a stunning light installation with an interactive four-metre illuminated sphere at the heart of it will light up this historic part of Leicester.

For more information on all of these events, head to christmasinleicester.co.uk, or browse this year’s Christmas guide – available in person from Visit Leicester Information Centre or viewable online here.

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