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Festive events in Leicester this Christmas

Published on Thursday, November 24, 2016

THE COUNTDOWN to Christmas continues this weekend, with plenty of festive events at Leicester’s museums.

On Saturday and Sunday, there’s a chance to pick up some unique gifts at the Guildhall’s Christmas Craft Fair.

The medieval hall will provide a festive backdrop for the craft stalls, with a real fire crackling in the grate, a Christmas tree in the courtyard, and a range of tasty food provided by a local organic farm shop.

Children can enjoy trails, crafts, puppet shows and face painting at the Christmas fair, which is open on Saturday and Sunday (26-27 November) from 11am to 4pm.

Admission is £1 for adults, with no charge for children.

The Guildhall is also the venue for an evening of spine-chilling theatre on Tuesday (29 November).

Don’t Go Into The Cellar – who specialise in imaginative adaptations of Victorian thrillers – present their ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ at 8pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions).

New Walk Museum hosts some interactive workshops with a Christmas theme on 3-4 December (Saturday and Sunday), which aim to explore the museum’s paintings and sculptures.

‘Art Awake: A Christmas Scene’ runs from 11am to 4pm on 3-4 December.

At 3pm on Sunday 4 December, 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, Christmas and Diwali. Tickets for ‘Festival of Lights’ at the Guildhall cost £9.

Family activities will be taking place at two city museums on Sunday 4 December, with a Christmas Family Fun Day (12 noon to 3.30pm) at Newarke Houses Museum (free admission), and a Christmas Toys and Steam Day at the Abbey Pumping Station (1pm-5pm).

The pumping station will display collections of toys from Christmases past, and there’ll also be an opportunity to ride on its narrow gauge railway. Admission is £3.50/£2.50, with a family ticket available for £8.

At Newarke Houses Museum, grown-ups can learn how to make luxury bath bags, using herbs and flowers from the museum’s gardens. Places on the workshop – which runs at 12 noon and again at 2pm on Sunday 4 December – should be reserved in advance. Tickets cost £2.50.

Information about all the events taking place in Leicester’s museums this Christmas is available at

A summary of events taking place in Leicester’s museums over the next two weeks is below:

Christmas Craft Fair
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November
11am – 4pm
The Guildhall
Admission: Adults £1, children free

A unique Christmas shopping experience in the beautiful medieval Guildhall, with a range of stalls selling handmade arts and crafts. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with a real fire, a Christmas tree in the historic courtyard and tasty food from Picks Farm. Trails, crafts, puppet shows and face painting for children throughout the day.

T: 0116 253 2569

Don’t Go Into The Cellar presents: Ghost Stories for Christmas
Tuesday 29 November
The Guildhall

Tickets: £10/£8 concessions

A theatre show featuring original spine-chillers in a vintage vein. An evening of vengeful revenants, restless spirits and malevolent ghouls is guaranteed for those brave enough to join us!
T: 0116 253 2569.

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

Listen to 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.
T: 0116 225 4980

Luxury Bath Bags
Sunday 4 December
12pm & 2pm
Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens

Adult craft activity: £2.50

Make your own luxury bath bags with herbs and flowers gathered from Newarke Houses’ garden. Please note: This activity is not suitable for anyone prone to allergic reactions or with sensitive skin. Pre-booking recommended as places are limited.
T: 0116 225 4980

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