Christmas Events & Activities
We’ve got a packed (advent) calendar of festive fun and enchanting events.
Chow Down Winter Village. 11th Nov – 31st Dec, Temple Arches
Your favourite outdoor food experience is having a festive makeover.
Christmas at Harewood. 13th Nov – 3rd Jan
Celebrate the festive season at Harewood. Delve into a voyage of the imagination with Lord Whitney’s fantastic Upon a Christmas Wish installations in the House. Take a magical walk around the Lakeside Path, twinkling with festoon lights. Let the kids run free and explore the Woodland Wonderland and Adventure Playground, and see the Terrace Gardens beautifully decorated with sparkling lights and giant Christmas trees. Visit the Bird Garden and see how the animals are preparing for Christmas! You can even spend a winter evening exploring the house after dark.
(Christmas at Harewood – Tom Arber)
Après Ski Bar, Trinity Leeds. 12th Nov – 19th Dec
Shoppers can hit the slopes at Trinity Leeds this Christmas with an Après Ski Bar, alpine-themed Christmas decorations – and even weekend snow flurries. The Après Ski Bar is now open, serving up hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows – or for something stronger for the adults, you can opt for a Baileys hot chocolate, a warm mulled wine with Amaretto or cherry brandy options, or cider and lager. Every weekend from November 27th until December 19th, Trinity Leeds will also host the ‘Après Ski Weekender,’ featuring regular snow flurries at intervals throughout the day, live DJs playing festive favourites, and special giveaways where you could take home sweet treats from hot chocolate stirrers to hand-decorated gingerbread biscuits.
Leeds Wheel of Light, 19th Nov – 1st Jan, Victoria Gardens
Looking for the best views of the city? Take a ride on the Big Wheel and enjoy the breath-taking views of Leeds! Located in Victoria Gardens, the 110ft Wheel will open on Friday 19th November and run right through until New Year’s Day.
Carousel 19th Nov – 1st Jan, Cookridge Street
The dazzling Golden Gallopers will take centre stage on the new events plaza on Cookridge St between 19th Nov and 1st Jan. The traditional carousel ride, thought to have begun its remarkable life back in 1881, has captivated thousands of families in Leeds over many years at Millennium Square and is sure to remain a popular Leeds Winter Favourite!
THOR’s Tipi. 20th Nov – 2nd Jan
Celebrate Christmas in a Viking inspired, pop-up tipi bar nestled in the heart of the city! Once inside you’ll find cosy log fires, twinkling lights & Christmas cheer in abundance. Outside you can enjoy the Winter garden with Christmas trees, atmospheric lights and outdoor heating. Feast on wholesome Winter fodder, from outdoor BBQ’s, washed down with the best Ales, Mulled Wine, Hot Cider, Hot Chocolate, Prosecco and much more.
(THOR’S Tipi – credit Carl Milner Photography)
The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park. 20th Nov to 4th Jan
What was once but a simple Christmas Tree shop, from this small acorn grew what came to be Stockeld Park’s most famous adventure season. Join Stockeld for Christmas fun, get active and discover large themed outdoor playgrounds within the beautiful woodland of Stockeld Park. Watch the Enchanted Forest come alive after dusk with their famous winter illuminations!
The Candy Cane Club at the Merrion Centre. 20th Nov – 24th Dec
Take a trip to The Candy Cane Club this Christmas! Follow your nose to The Candy Cane Club to find Santa and all his presents. At The Candy Cane Club you can enjoy a visit with Santa, maybe you’ll choose to get a present and definitely take lots of photos in our wacky winter wonderland at The Merrion Centre this year! The Candy Cane Club can be found on the main mall within the Merrion Centre and all visits must be pre-booked!
Tipi Christmas on Briggate. 24th Nov to end Dec
NEW Briggate Pop-up Tipi, with Christmas themed decorations, family café and seating. You can bring your own food and drink so why not make use of the stalls and street food vendors around the city. Mid-November to end December 10am to 8pm Mon-Sat, 11am to 5pm Sun.
Ice Rink and Igloo Bar in Millennium Square. 26th Nov – 24th Dec
Millennium Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink and Igloo Bar opening from the 26th of November and also new for this year are pop-up market stalls and a free festive themed family trail located around key locations across the city centre. The traditional Carousel returns to the newly created public space on Cookridge Street.
Christmas at Temple Newsam. 26th Nov – 2nd Jan
After Dark illuminated trail through the grounds. Discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath the trees illuminated in Christmas colours. For a moment of reflection, pause at mesmerising, flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze at the specially chosen illuminations and glimpse Father Christmas along the way!
(Temple Newsam, Tunnel of Light by Mandylights. Photo by Richard Haughton)
Saving Santa’s Sleigh Trail. 27th Nov to 2nd Jan.
Santa’s sleigh has crashed and we need your help! Find each of Santa’s missing items from the list provided on the map and write down what location they are in. Return your completed trail map to Santa’s elf in the Tipi on Briggate to receive your certificate. Or, hold on to your completed trail until 22nd or 23rd December then head to Briggate to get a special thank you certificate from Santa himself!
The Christmas Experience at Lotherton. 27th Nov – 2nd Jan
The Christmas Experience at Lotherton returns this year, with Santa and his elves ready to welcome visitors. BRAND NEW for 2021 is the Festive Woodland Walk which will include larger than life Christmas traditions including interactive elements for all of the family to enjoy. Families are invited to come on down to the elven bivouac to meet Santa and the elves under the magical wishing tree for stories and elf tales. Gather reindeer food for Rudolf and post a letter to Santa before finally meeting the main man himself outside Santa’s Cabin. You can also join the elves and Mrs Claus for Christmas crafts and Gingerbread decorating. Then take a walk through the magical, interactive festive woodland walk, visit the Wildlife World with the playful penguins, flamingos and many more and see the house in all its Christmas glory. There is even a shorter Santa experiences for pre-schoolers every weekday. Tickets and more information available here.
Reindeer Trail at Kirkstall Abbey. 1st December – 23rd December
This Christmas Santa’s favourite furry helpers are hiding all over Kirkstall Abbey. Come along this December and see if you can spot all of the reindeer dotted around the grounds and ruins in this special festive reindeer trail. Sporting different costumes and patterns, they are dressed up and decorated, ready to be discovered. Take pictures of each one you find and let us know which is your favourite!
Santa at the Museum, Abbey House Museum. 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, 18th-23rd Dec
Santa will be meeting families in the snowy square, next to his grotto stuffed full of presents! There is plenty of room for the whole family to join in safely. Don’t forget to bring your camera! As well as your chance to tell Santa if you have been good you can write him a list and pop it in the post box! The Victorian streets will be seasonally decorated. There will be trails to try, sprouts to spot, silly hats to selfie and cosy corners to curl up for a story all included with your entry. There is also a craft bag for each child to take home.
Harewood: Father Christmas Family experience. 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, 18th – 23rd Dec
Make their Christmas magical with a private family visit to Father Christmas at Harewood from Saturday 4 December. This year he will be taking up residence in the historic Old Library, where twinkling lights and rich decoration make for a truly authentic experience. There will be storytelling and gifts to add a sprinkle of magic to all who visit. With each individual family group having their own short private audience with Father Christmas, tickets are limited for this unforgettable experience. Each child will receive a gift from Father Christmas and there will be an opportunity for a family photograph.
See What Santa Sees, Victoria Quarter. 4th – 23rd Dec.
Pull on your elf ears, grab a spot, sit, and listen to Santa at our immersive storytelling experience. Santa is inviting his favourite elves to join him as he tells us all about the secret places he visits on a 360 immersive trip around the world. Follow him and discover who he meets, where he goes on his travels and see how Christmas is celebrated around the globe. FREE entry but booking a ticket for your required date and time is advised.
Festive Fun Days at Royal Armouries 18th-24th December
Experience a day of family Christmas cheer at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. Enjoy live performances, combat displays, story telling and a treasure hunt in the museum galleries. Plus out in the stables, you’ll be able to meet some real reindeer. All completely free. To guarantee your visit, pre-book a free ticket to the museum through Eventbrite.