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Magical Winter for Families in Leeds

As the festive period approaches, Leeds is set to host an array of magical events and activities, helping families get into the yuletide spirit with world-class entertainment, shopping and delicious food and drink.

From the city’s biggest festive market and a magical reindeer trail, to a spectacular skating attraction and spellbinding winter productions, soak up the festivities with a selection of the city’s seasonal delights.



Experience the unique continental atmosphere of Leeds’ Christkindelmarkt with its twinkling lights and traditional carousel ride, on Millennium Square from 13th November. Browse over 40 authentic German wooden chalet stalls or retreat to the cosy surroundings of the ‘Kuh Stall’ log-style cabin or ‘Alp Chalet’ Bavarian eatery. With everything from its famous gluhwein and speciality foods, to live evening entertainment, handcrafted gifts and a selection of children’s rides, this German market is ideal for the whole family to enjoy.

For something a little bit different, explore the Asian Bazaar in Kirkgate Market, Europe’s biggest indoor market, between 4th and 30th December. Fusing Asian and Indian cultures, this open air market offers stalls of softly woven silk saris, ornate jewellery and exotic spices.

Leeds German Christmas Market - Credit Leeds City Council
Every Sunday in December, up to Christmas, Briggate Farmers Market offers foodies the chance to taste sweet and savoury treats from a selection of local independent cheesemongers, bakers, greengrocers and butchers.

For a truly alternative shopping experience, visit Artsmix arts, crafts and produce market on Albion Place. Every Saturday throughout November and December, visitors can dig deep into the treasure chests of handmade goodies on display to find a selection of unique Christmas gifts, from bespoke jewellery and homewares, to bunting and plenty in between – with some scrumptious edible treats on offer too.

Trinity Reindeer

Go on an enchanting adventure to find 11 reindeers at landmarks across the city. Follow the trail map and move from unique landmarks to attractions and restaurants, to discover a festive collection of uniquely decorated reindeers - including real reindeer at Leeds Kirkgate Market and The Merrion Centre - in an ideal Christmas photo opportunity for the whole family.

Download the map here.


Christmas isn't the same without a good old fashioned pantomime, so fasten your seatbelts for a magical carpet ride of mystery, sparkling romance and stunning adventure as Carriageworks Theatre presents the much-loved story of Aladdin, running from Friday 4th December 2015 to Saturday 9th January 2016.

Set to dazzle and delight, the lavish production of Aladdin promises a pantomime flight of spectacle, slapstick and song. This is one panto favourite not to be missed!

(L to R) Joe Connors as Abanazar, Charley Maclaren as Princess Jasmine, Lee Brennan as Aladdin, Step
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse

One of the world’s favourite musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, will be landing on 2nd December at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, promising laughs and magic galore! Perfect for a family Christmas treat, the fun-filled production is ideal for all ages and will have audiences flying high with songs including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Truly Scrumptious and Me Ol' Bamboo, until its last show on 30th January.

Gear yourself up for a real Christmas cracker, as Northern Ballet brings The Nutcracker to life. Between 16th December and 2nd January 2016, everyone’s favourite festive story performed to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting musical backdrop will open at Leeds Grand Theatre. The ballet’s magic is sure to capture the hearts of the young and old.

Northern Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker, photo by Bill Cooper
Ice Cube at Millennium Square - Credit Zagni Photography
Chase away the winter blues with a visit to Yorkshire’s coolest wintertime attraction, as Ice Cube returns to Millennium Square from 22nd January 2016, with fun activities for all the family.

Skate on the real outdoor ice rink, enjoy a fun-filled ride down the long 40m Capital FM Snowslide or, if you dare, try the chilling North Pole Starflyer which towers almost 100ft above the square, with riders whizzing 360 degrees into the air, taking in views of Leeds as it passes beneath their feet. There’s a nursery rink for budding ice skaters up to eight years-old.