Make it Leeds this Christmas #LeedsChristmas

1st November 2018

A spectacular programme of festive events in Leeds is set to get thousands of visitors from across the UK and beyond in the Christmas spirit this year.


With a huge selection of exciting events taking place across the festive season, the city is preparing to welcome huge numbers of seasonal visitors thanks to its growing reputation as a top weekend break destination.


Last year alone, Leeds welcomed more than 29 million tourists, with leading travel guide Lonely Planet also naming Leeds one of its top ten European tourist destinations.


This year, Christmas in Leeds will get under way with the traditional Lights Switch On, with a spectacular event taking place at Victoria Gardens on Thursday 8 November with live music, entertainment and a visit from Santa and is expected to attract crowds in excess of 20,000.


The switch-on is followed by Leeds Christkindelmarkt which runs from Friday 9 November until Saturday 22 December on Millennium Square; with traditional chalet stalls selling fantastic festive gifts, toys, decorations and authentic German food and drink. This is one of the most popular German Markets in the UK and is a family affair with Santa hosting breakfast every weekend.


Thors LeedsChristmas-credit Carl Milner for Visit Leeds


Visitors can also celebrate Christmas in Viking style at Thor’s Tipi on Victoria Gardens with cosy furs, an open fire pit and plenty of cheer. Beside it the Leeds Wheel of Light towers 100 foot into the sky, a wonderful way to view the festive lights from a new angle.


New for this year is Leeds BID’s Christmas Tree Trail with twinkling trees and festive art installations brightening up the night skies; check out the dramatic interactive 10m tree in the heart of Briggate.


Experience dazzling performances in an unmissable programme of family friendly events; Northern Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Grand Theatre and Opera House is the ultimate festive entertainment; Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Leeds Playhouse has Christmas spirit, fun, music and magic at its heart; Beauty and the Beast at the Carriageworks Theatre is the perfect pantomime experience; City Varieties Music Hall gives its unique rock’n’roll makeover to Cinderella; whilst Leeds Town Hall hosts festive favourites supported by the Orchestra of Opera North.


One of the Treasure Houses of England, historic Harewood House transports you back to Christmas Eve 1928; experience the Edwardian splendour of Lotherton decked in its finest decorations; or enjoy a cosy Christmas at Temple Newsam with log fires, choirs and festive crafts; each hosting a traditional visit to Santa and activities for all ages.


Why go anywhere else when there’s so much to enjoy and enjoy in Leeds, a city that’s full of festive entertainment, unrivalled Christmas shopping and a food and drink scene you simply won’t experience anywhere else.


Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:


“Leeds is a world-class city and I am extremely proud that we are a leading European city-break destination not just at Christmas but throughout the year. We have a city steeped in history, amazing architecture, our own repertory theatre, opera and ballet companies; and most important we recognise the value of offering a family-friendly experience and a warm welcome.”


Make it Leeds this Christmas, find out more at


To join the conversation and find out why more people than ever are visiting Leeds, follow the hashtags #LeedsChristmas and #VisitLeeds.


Angelica LeedsChristmas-credit Carl Milner for Visit Leeds