Skip to content

Christmas events bring city centre to life

Published on Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas globe

AS the countdown to Christmas continues, visitors coming into Leicester can experience an enchanting light show as part of the festive wonders on offer.

Cathedral Gardens is the venue for a specially commissioned, stunning light show taking place in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas in the Gardens opened on Thursday and runs until Saturday, December 22, and sees the beautiful public space in front of Leicester Cathedral come to life.

The cathedral and gardens are magnificently lit with coloured light boxes illuminating the trees, while carol singers and other familiar seasonal activities help create a festive retreat in the heart of the city.

The luminous centrepiece of the gardens is an installation called LightWeight – a giant, inflatable, four-metre diameter sphere, glowing with intense colours and imagery.

Visitors can watch video and animation effects spin magically around the entire surface of the illuminated globe, created by artists Impossible.

The audience can even see their own animated portraits dancing across the structure, thanks to a nearby face-recognition camera booth which captures images and maps them onto animations in real-time.

The spectacular attraction is being funded by BID Leicester, with support from St Martin’s House in the cathedral precincts, and with the Big Difference Company producing the event.

Christmas in the Gardens is open from 5pm to 10pm daily.

It is located between Jubilee Square Ice Rink and Leicester’s thriving independent shopping areas of St Martins Square and The Lanes, so is just a stone’s throw from the other festive delights on offer in the city centre.

Elsewhere, Santa in the Square brings Father Christmas’s snow-covered grotto to New Market Square, every day until December 23. Admission is free, with a free gift for every child. It runs from Monday – Friday 11am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Jubilee Square hosts the impressive Wheel of Light ferris wheel, offering stunning views of Leicester’s Christmas lights from 110ft in the air. It runs from 12 noon daily, until January 7.

At the foot of the Wheel of Light, Leicester’s largest ever Christmas ice rink is open from 11am daily, with tickets available from

Both the Wheel of Light and ice rink are closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Town Hall Square hosts the traditional nativity scene and Christmas tableau, with this year’s theme being Alice in Wonderland, beneath the twinkling festive lights.

Humberstone Gate also features family-friendly fairground rides in the heart of the city until January 6, while Leicester Market’s Art At Christmas event on December 16 gives visitors the chance to buy original gifts created by local artists. It runs from 11am to 4pm.

More information on Leicester’s Christmas events and attractions, as well as details of Park and Ride bus services, city centre parking and journey planning is available at