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Ideas for families during the Christmas school holidays

Published on Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas in Leicester

FAMILIES looking for free things to do during the school holidays in Leicester will find lots of ideas on a city council website.

From story-telling to cinema, and from pop-up play to a lunchtime New Year’s Eve party, there are plenty of free activities taking place at the city’s children’s centres.

Visit for more ideas and information.

Families will also be able to enjoy a day out at New Walk Museum over the school holidays. Youngsters can explore the dinosaur gallery and find out about the ancient Egyptians every day, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, when the museum will be closed.

Ideas for festive activities also include a trip to Leicester’s Christmas ice rink or to the panto at De Montfort Hall.

The Jubilee Square ice rink is open every day, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Tickets are £10/£8.50, with discounts available for group bookings.

More information is available at

Tickets for De Montfort Hall’s Christmas panto – Aladdin -  are available from

More information about Christmas in Leicester is available at

A summary of child-friendly activities taking place in Leicester this Christmas is set out below:


Friday 20 December – Monday 6 January:

Christmas Treasure Hunt at Beaumont Leys Library

Find the pictures of presents hidden around the library and win colouring sheets and puzzle packs!


Monday 23 December

Tuesday 24 December

Saturday 28 December

  • Free family workshop
    Hands-on creativity and play based activities for child aged 5-10 years but younger/older siblings and participants are more than welcome.
    Leicester Gallery, Vijay Patel Building, De Montfort University from 1pm to 3pm

Monday 30 December

Tuesday 31 December

  • Open Play: New Years Eve Party
    Put your party hats on for Leicester Gallery's first ever New Year’s Eve Party for babies and toddlers aged 0-4 years. There will be music, refreshments and play led activities. Older siblings welcome!
    Leicester Gallery, Vijay Patel Building, De Montfort University from 11am to 1pm

Thursday 2 January 2020

Friday 3 January


  • Traditional nativity scene and Woodland Tales. Town Hall Square

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


Paid for activities:

The Wheel of Light. Jubilee Square

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Leicester’s Christmas lights from our 110-ft Ferris wheel.

Daily (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) until 6 January.

Standard ticket £5; children under 1.4m £4; family ticket £15.

11am-9pm Mon-Thurs; 11am-11pm Fri-Sat; 12noon-9pm Sun.


Funfair. Humberstone Gate

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


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. £10/£8.50.

From 10am daily until 8pm until 5 January. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.



Christmas shows in Leicester include:

  • 23 November – 11 January: West Side Story. Curve
  • 9-31 December: Giraffes Can’t Dance. Curve
  • 9-26 December: Beauty and the Beast. Peepul Enterprise
  • 13 December – 5 January: Robin Hood. Little Theatre
  • 14 December – 5 January: Aladdin. De Montfort Hall