This year for Christmas in Leicester we’re doing things slightly differently, and we’re sure that you’re going to love it.

With the return of festive favourites including our Ice Rink on Jubilee Square and the Big Wheel, there are also plenty more exciting things happening. We’re breaking it down by event and location so you know everything that’s happening.

Christmas Lights Switch On

On Thursday 18 November, at 5pm the fun begins. Around 16,000 sparkling bulbs across the city and a spectacular 50-foot tree at the Clock Tower will be lit up when the clock hits 6.30pm.

The celebrations will be slightly different to make sure crowds are spread out. While there will be no stage programme on Humberstone Gate, a countdown hosted by BBC Radio Leicester will be played at five locations across the city. There will also be food, films and music whilst costume characters and live entertainment roam the streets.

Town Hall Square and the interactive adventure

The iconic ‘Happy Christmas’ on the Town Hall, a wonderful nativity scene and the tableau of much love characters are joined for the first time by an interactive festive adventure. Get ready to explore Leicester in a free and interactive family adventure using augmented reality (AR) to bring fictional characters to life in the city centre.

You can find Santa’s Helpers, play a snowball dodge game, enter the Winter Wonderland portal, hail the Christmas Express, collect Reindeer Dust around the city centre and take part in lighting up a huge AR Christmas tree.

Download the Interactive Adventure Leicester app free from the App Store and Google Play store. And don’t forget to share all your images on social media using the hashtag #ChristmasInLeicester

Jubilee Square

This year sees the return of the Ice Rink in Jubilee Square, don’t worry about the weather, you can skate around on our real ice under a clear roof. The Ice Rink is open from Thursday 2 December through to Monday 3 January. Skate hire and a 45-minute session on the ice costs £7 at off-peak times. Tickets for all other times cost £10 for adults and £8.50 for children/concessions. Book your session now!

We also see the return of the wheel to Jubilee Square. From Friday 12 November a 22 metre ‘Happy Wheel will illuminate the area but a beautiful light display and take passengers for a ride. Then from the start of December prepare to take to the skies with the 35 metre Wheel of Light will return.  

Green Dragon Square

Here’s where you can find our famous Santa in the Square and this year he’s got an amazing gift for all the good boys and girls. As always, Santa in the Square is completely free, as are the festive films that we’ll be showing all the way up to Christmas.

From the Grinch and Frozen (including character appearances) to Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street, we’ll give you that festive feeling.

Cultural Quarter

This year you can experience the amazing free Rhizome display, a beautiful light display 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 now Leicester!

By the Clock Tower

This is where you can find the famous Leicester Christmas Tree! 50 feet tall and now with all new decorations for 2021, this is the iconic face of Christmas in Leicester! And just by the tree you can find the Billy Bates Funfair, with all the great rides you can expect.

Shopping while it snows

The Highcross shopping centre will be kicking off their Christmas on 18 November. Join them in St Peter's Square from 5pm for guaranteed snow and some icy surprises! Don't forget to take a photo with their resident reindeer too. Then from 5 December right up to Christmas eve there’s a forecast of guaranteed snow every day in St Peter’s Square between 12noon and 8pm.

The Snowman and the Snowdog

From 13 November 2021 to 20 February 2022 you can discover the magic behind the classic Christmas tale of The Snowman and The Snowdog in a special exhibition at Newarke Houses Museum. Gain a fascinating insight into the creative process that brought The Snowman back to life for a new generation.

We’ll also be showing both The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog before all our main film screenings on Green Dragon Square.

Getting here

Park and ride will be running until 9pm on the 18 November lights switch on (Birstall and Enderby only) and there will be timetabled service on every day in December apart from Christmas day. Bring your bike or use one of our e-Bikes to experience everything Christmas in Leicester has to offer!

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