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Santa gets ready to swap Lapland for Leicester

Published on Thursday, December 6, 2018

Santa moves in to his grotto in Leicester's new market square

SANTA will be swapping Lapland for Leicester this Christmas – and he’s about to move into his cosy new home in the city centre.

The finishing touches are now being made to his snow-topped grotto in the new Market Square, where dozens of Christmas trees are helping to create an enchanting festive scene.

From 10am on Saturday (8 December), anyone who’s written a list for Santa will be able to hand their letter over in person – or they can post it in Santa’s special post office close by on Market Place. And of course every child who meets Santa will be given a small gift – free of charge.

Children wanting to see Santa are advised to wrap up warm, as there may be a queue – while mums and dads are reminded that the market and its food hall have got everything you need for a festive feast.

Santa will be in the square from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays, 10am to 4pm on Sundays and from 11am to 6pm from Monday to Friday.

He will be in his grotto – which is surrounded by Christmas trees – every day until Saturday 23 December.

Santa in the Square is a free Christmas experience for local children provided by Leicester City Council and run by Leicester Markets.

Other child-friendly attractions in Leicester this Christmas include the magnificent Jubilee Square ice rink, the giant Wheel of Light and a small funfair on Humberstone Gate. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional nativity scene and an animated scene featuring characters from Alice in Wonderland in Town Hall Square.

More information about Leicester’s Christmas events and attractions is available at



 • From Saturday 8 December: Santa in the Square. New Market Square

Visit Santa in his snow-covered grotto, every day until 23 December. Free admission – and free small gift for every child.

Saturday: 10am-6pm; Sunday: 10am-4pm; Monday-Friday: 11am-6pm

Christmas Ice Rink. Jubilee Square

Skate on our spectacular real ice rink, whatever the weather!

Tickets from, Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate and the Jubilee Square box office.

From 11am daily (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) until 6 January

Traditional nativity scene and Alice in Wonderland. Town Hall Square

See the story of Christmas and an animated tableau scene under the festive lights in Leicester’s historic Town Hall Square

The Wheel of Light. Jubilee Square

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Leicester’s Christmas lights from our 110-ft ferris wheel. From 12 noon daily (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) until 7 January

12 noon-8pm Mon-Thurs; 12 noon-10pm Fri-Sun.

• Funfair. Humberstone Gate

Family-friendly fairground rides in the heart of the city centre until 6 January

Christmas gift ideas at Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate:

Book your tickets for Leicester’s real ice rink. Choose from a wide range of Leicester-themed gifts, including gorgeous hand-painted baubles and Christmas cards.

From 13 December: Christmas in the Gardens. Cathedral Gardens

Add your own face to LightWeight – a unique interactive illuminated sphere – or just soak up the festive atmosphere in the beautifully lit gardens. Brought to you by BID Leicester and St Martins House every day until 22 December.

Daily from 5pm – 10pm

16 December: Art at Christmas. Leicester Market

Find the perfect original gift created by local artists at our special Christmas market 11am-4pm

Now open: The Jägerhaus. St Peter’s Square, Highcross

Enjoy the finest festive food and drink at Leicester’s German-themed outside bar. Open daily from 10am-9pm until 24 December

Christmas shows in Leicester include:

  • 6 December – 13 January: White Christmas. Curve
  • 8-10 December: High Spirits! The Guildhall
  • 13 December – 6 January: Treasure Island. Leicester Haymarket Theatre
  • 14 December – 6 January: Mother Goose. Little Theatre
  • 15 December – 6 January: Peter Pan. De Montfort Hall
  • 22 December – Cinderella. Y Theatre