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More festive events in Leicester this Christmas

Published on Friday, December 2, 2016

PLENTY of festive events will be taking place at Leicester City Council venues this Christmas – including two family-friendly events this Sunday (4 December).

From 12 noon until 3.30pm, Newarke Houses Museum will host a Family Fun Day that will help everyone get in the mood for Christmas. Drop in any time and enjoy a range of activities for children. Admission is free.

Also on Sunday (4 December), collections of toys from Christmases past will be on show at a special Christmas Toys and Steam Day at the Abbey Pumping Station.

There will be Christmas music and a café, and there’ll also be an opportunity to ride on the pumping station’s narrow gauge railway. Admission is £3.50/£2.50, with a family ticket available for £8. The fun runs from 1pm until 5pm. 

At the Guildhall, the Leon String Quartet and the beautiful voice of Rabbi Mark Solomon will celebrate the world’s festivals of lights, with songs and music inspired by Chanukah, Diwali and Christmas. Tickets for ‘Festival of Lights’ cost £9, with the performance getting under way at 3pm on Sunday (4 December).

On Wednesday (7 December), the Guildhall hosts Pete Morton’s Magical Xmas Tree – an evening of superb acoustic music and beautiful old carols – with a very special Christmas Ceilidh taking place the following night (Thursday 8 December). Tickets for The Magical Xmas Tree are £12, while tickets for The Rites of Xmas Ceilidh are available for £5-£8. 

Belgrave Hall’s traditional Christmas fair returns on Saturday 10 December, with carol singing, craft stalls, festive music and a Victorian magic lantern show. 

‘A Traditional Christmas’ runs from 11am until 5pm. Entrance is £3.50 (£2.50 concessions), with a family ticket available for £8.

Also on Saturday 10 December is Leicester Adult Education College’s Christmas Craft Fair. 

Browse the stalls selling handmade cards and gifts, Christmas decorations, stocking fillers and gift ideas – including whiskey, books and jewellery – before enjoying a drink in the Old Library Café. The craft fair will be open from 10am until 3pm. Admission is free but donations to LOROS are welcome.

The same day (Saturday 10 December), the curtain will go up on Jack and the Beanstalk – this year’s De Montfort Hall Christmas pantomime.

Leicester’s Sam Bailey will take centre stage in a traditional family pantomime that promises music, laughter and a very clever dancing cow.

At the Guildhall, there’s a chance to learn how to make a beautiful Christmas wreath. Workshops take place on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 December from 7.30pm until 9.30pm, and the £25 charge covers the costs of all materials. Book your place by calling the Guildhall on 0116 253 2569. No experience necessary.

Information about all the events taking place in Leicester City Council venues this Christmas is available at

A summary of festive events taking place over the coming weeks is set out below: 

Art Awake: A Christmas Scene
Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 December
11am – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Discover paintings and sculptures through these interactive workshops.
T: 0116 225 4900

Festival of Lights: The Leon String Quartet
Sunday 4 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £9

Hear the beautiful singing of Rabbi Mark Solomon and enjoy the music of The Leon String Quartet. An evening of familiar and not so familiar music, with Karen Jolliffe and Kammy Pike on the violin, Matthew Brown on the viola and Mike Bacon on the cello.

T: 0116 253 2569.

Christmas Family Fun Day
Sunday 4 December
12pm – 3.30pm
Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens

Get in the mood for Christmas with our drop-in children’s activity day.

Christmas Toys and Steam Day
Sunday 4 December
1pm – 5pm
Abbey Pumping Station
Tickets: Adults £3.50, children/concessions £2.50, Family £8

Listen to Christmas music whilst exploring collections of toys from Christmas past. Plus train rides and café.

T: 0116 299 5111

A Pleasing Terror: Two ghost stories by M R James
Tuesday 6 December
7.30pm (Doors 7pm)
The Guildhall
Tickets: £8

More than a century after they were first published, the ghost stories of M R James retain their power to terrify and amuse. This gripping one-man show re-tells two of the earliest and eeriest. Performed by R M Lloyd Parry

Pete Morton: The Magical Xmas Tree
Wednesday 7 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £12

An evening of superb acoustic music, with vibrant new songs, beautiful old carols and stunning instrumentals – all in the presence of a very special Christmas tree.
T: 0116 253 2569

The Rites of Xmas Ceilidh
Thursday 8 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £5 - £8

An evening of energetic music and traditional English dancing! Great fun for all the family and a unique opportunity to do-si-do the night away in the beautiful Great Hall. With Ceilidh band 3Around3. All ages and experience welcome.

T: 0116 253 2569

A Traditional Christmas
Saturday 10 December
11am – 5pm
Belgrave Hall

Entrance £3.50 adults and £2.50 children / concessions. Family ticket £8
Enjoy a traditional Christmas at Belgrave Hall. Join in the carol singing, browse the craft stalls, meet the reindeer, enjoy festive music, and watch a Victorian magic lantern show. Café available. Parking available on Vicarage Lane.

T: 0116 229 8181

Christmas Craft Fair
Saturday 10 December
10am – 3pm

Leicester Adult Education College, Belvoir Street

Pop in and browse the stalls selling handmade cards and gifts, Christmas decorations and stocking fillers, and then enjoy a drink and a snack at the Old Library café. Admission free – donations to LOROS welcome.

Jack & The Beanstalk
Saturday 10 December until Tuesday 3 January
De Montfort Hall

Family tickets from £35

Leicester’s Sam Bailey takes centre stage at this year’s Christmas pantomime. Join us for a traditional family pantomime, full of music, laughter and a dancing cow…

T: 0116 233 3111

De Morgan Decorations: Beautiful boxes
Saturday 10 December
11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Explore William De Morgan's stunning artwork by creating your own decorative arts and crafts box.

De Morgan Foundation: Sublime Symmetry
10 December – 5 March 2017
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Discover the mathematics behind the work of William De Morgan, the celebrated Victorian Arts and Crafts designer. With interactive games and a family trail for budding mathematicians, young and old. Free admission.

T: 0116 225 4900

Herrick Theatre Present: ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Saturday 10 December, 6pm
Sunday 11 December, 4pm & 7.30pm
Monday 12 December, 7.30 pm
The Guildhall
Tickets: £11 / £8.50 16 and under

Follow the White Rabbit to a charmed land of tea parties, grinning felines and royal decrees. A family-friendly frolic filled with silly songs where everything gets curiouser and curiouser.

T: 0116 253 2569

Storytelling Sunday: Winter Tales
Sunday 11 December
2pm – 2.30pm & 3pm – 3.30pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Join us in the Victorian Art Gallery for charming seasonal tales of wintertime.

T: 0116 225 4900

Spirits of Christmas
Tuesday 13 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £7/£6.50

Chill out with some chilling tales! Book early to avoid disappointment.

T: 0116 253 2569

A Theatrical Night at the Museum
Wednesday 14 December
7pm – 8pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Eight actors from Leicester College’s foundation degree acting course will perform pieces of drama, dance and music in response to exhibits within the Victorian Art gallery.
T: 0116 225 4900

Christmas Wreath Making
Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 December
7.30pm – 9.30pm
The Guildhall
Tickets: £25

Welcome your guests to your home with a beautiful festive wreath for your front door. All materials included and no experience is necessary.

T: 0116 253 2569

The Longslade Consort
Friday 16 December
5pm – 7pm
The Guildhall
Tickets: £5

Music by Vivaldi, Handel, Bach and more.

T: 0116 270 9984.

Children's Wintertime Trail
Saturday 17 – 24 December
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Collect your free trail sheet and track down a selection of winter-themed objects.

T: 0116 225 4900

Kingfisher Chorale
Saturday 17, Monday 19 & Wednesday 21 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £9 / £7.50

Kingfisher Chorale return with their ever popular eclectic mix of carols. The programme will include carols and Christmas songs spanning 400 years.

T: 0116 253 2569

Tell Tale Present: A Victorian Christmas Past
Sunday 18 December
The Guildhall
Tickets: £9 / £5

Join Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and a host of other characters for a festive evening of carol singing, parlour games, shadow puppetry and stories from the pen of Hans Christian Andersen.

T: 0116 253 2569

De Morgan Decorations: Angels and angles
Monday 19 December
11am - 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Will you make a right angle or a right angel? Make maths fun by creating your own festive decorations in the Victorian Gallery.

T: 0116 225 4900

Dino doodle day
Tuesday 20 December
11am – 3pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Come along to have a doodle in our Dino gallery! Materials will be available to create your own arty dinosaur drawings.

T: 0116 225 4900

De Morgan Decorations: Pin Wheels
Wednesday 21 December
11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Revolving rotations and sublime symmetry. Create your own paper pinwheel windmill and explore the beautiful patterns within William De Morgan's stunning artwork.

T: 0116 225 4900

Sketch Day in the Victorian Art Gallery
Thursday 22 December
11am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Pick up your materials from reception and try your hand at sketching.
T: 0116 225 4900

A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens
Friday 23 December
1pm & 7pm
The Guildhall
Tickets: £12.50 / £11 Concessions

Enter the world of Charles Dickens in this ghostly tale for the festive season. Performing 26 different characters, Gerald Dickens brings his great-great-grandfather’s most famous book to life. With a real fire, mulled wine and mince pies for sale, it’s the perfect way to get in the festive spirit!

T: 0116 253 2569