THE COUNTDOWN to Christmas continues in Leicester this weekend, with festive films, Christmas crafts and the return of panto to De Montfort Hall.
On Saturday (11 December), Leicester’s medieval Guildhall hosts a Frosty Fun Day, with lots of Christmas-themed crafts and even an indoor snowball fight. The fun runs from 11am to 3pm and costs £3, payable at the door.
The Snowman™ and The Snowdog provide the theme for a craft weekend at Newarke Houses Museum. Activities for children aged 5+ will take place on both Saturday and Sunday (11-12 December) from 12 noon to 3pm. A £3 charge applies. Admission to the museum’s Christmas exhibition, The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, is free of charge.
Also on Saturday, family favourite Miracle on 34th Street will be shown on the Corn Exchange screen in Green Dragon Square – free of charge. The film starts at 5pm and film fans are encouraged to wrap up warm to enjoy some outdoor movie magic.
The curtain goes up on De Montfort Hall’s panto on Saturday (11 December), with Sleeping Beauty starting its Christmas run. The traditional panto promises slapstick, songs and silliness that all the family will enjoy. Tickets can be booked here.
Anyone who loves a Christmas film should head for the Guildhall on Sunday (12 December). The Muppet Christmas Carol at 11am will be followed by some Magical Christmas Film Shorts at 2pm, with the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life rounding things off at 6pm. Tickets should be booked in advance.
Also opening in time for the weekend is a familiar Leicester landmark: the giant Wheel of Light (pictured).
The 35m-high big wheel will open to the public tomorrow (Thursday 9 December) and replaces the smaller ‘Happy Wheel’, which has been taking visitors for a spin above Jubilee Square since mid-November. Tickets on the Wheel of Light are £6, with discounts for small children and family groups of four.
The Wheel of Light takes its place next to Leicester’s real ice rink, which this Friday (10 December) hosts a Christmas disco from 6pm onwards. Skaters can enjoy the Christmas disco-theme on Saturday (11 December) night too.
Due to demand, opening hours at the ice rink have been extended on Friday and Saturday nights, with an extra session at 9pm.
Skating aids for young children – in the shape of penguins and seals – are available and can be hired on the day at the ice rink, subject to availability.
Standard ticket prices remain unchanged from 2019, with individual adult and child tickets priced at £10 and £8.50 respectively. Group tickets (four or more people) will benefit from discounts, so an adult with three children can skate for £33, while skating at off-peak times is a flat rate of £7.
People can book their 45-minute sessions on the real ice rink via Leicester’s dedicated Christmas website, from the Visit Leicester information centre inside the King Richard III Visitor Centre on St Martins, or from the ice rink ticket office in Jubilee Square.
Leicester’s ice rink is open every day until Monday 3 January, apart from Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information, and to buy your tickets, go to www.christmasinleicester.co.uk/ice-rink/.
With COVID-19 infection rates still high, and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, the city council is asking people to do a quick test before coming to the ice rink, or attending any Christmas events. Face coverings must now be worn in shops and on public transport, and should be worn whenever you’re in a crowded space.
More information about Christmas in Leicester is available at christmasinleicester.co.uk
Leicester City Council is grateful for the support of its sponsors this Christmas:
Octopus Energy, Goldsmiths, CityFibre, Gem
Christmas in Leicester 2021
‘£’ denotes a charge applies or a ticket is required:
From 9 Dec until 2 Jan: Wheel of Light in Jubilee Square. Open 7 days a week: 12pm-8pm weekdays; 12pm-10pm weekends (£)
Until 2 Jan: Town Hall Square:
- Traditional nativity scene and the story of Christmas
- Christmas tableau and Interactive Adventure, featuring an augmented reality experience for children
Until 2 Jan: Billy Bates’ Festive Funfair on Humberstone Gate (£)
Until 20 Feb: The Snowman™ and The Snowdog: Exhibition at Newarke Houses Museum
Until 23 Dec: Santa in the Square (Green Dragon Square)
Until 3 Jan: Christmas ice rink in Jubilee Square (£)
Until 24 Dec: Let it Snow at Highcross
11 Dec: Frosty Fun Day at the Guildhall (£)
11 Dec: Festive film in Green Dragon Square at 5pm: Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
11-12 Dec: Christmas Craft Weekend at Newarke Houses Museum (£)
12 Dec: The Muppet Christmas Carol at the Guildhall (£)
12 Dec: Magical Christmas Film Shorts at the Guildhall (£)
12 Dec: It’s a Wonderful Life at the Guildhall (£)
15 Dec: Two Ghost Stories by MR James at the Guildhall (£)
18 Dec: Festive film in Green Dragon Square at 5pm: The Santa Clause
18-19 Dec: Christmas Craft Weekend at Newarke Houses Museum (£)
23 Dec: A Christmas Carol with Gerald Dickens. The Guildhall (£)
Christmas Park & Ride services
December: Park & Ride services will operate every day in December, apart from Christmas Day. The extra services will be running every Sunday in December, including Boxing Day. On those Sundays (December 5, 12, 19 and 26), buses will be running every 15 minutes between 10am and 5.30pm from the sites at Meynell’s Gorse, Enderby and Birstall.
The services on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December will also be running from 10am to 5.30pm, with the 7am-7pm buses resuming on Wednesday 29 December.
1-31 Dec: The Smeds and The Smoos at Curve (£)
3-31 Dec: A Chorus Line at Curve (£)
10-11 Dec: Santa’s Best Ever Christmas at the Y Theatre (£)
10 Dec – 2 Jan: Cinderella at the Little Theatre (£)
11 Dec–3 Jan: Sleeping Beauty at De Montfort Hall (£)
19 Dec: Adam Kay: Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas at Curve (£)
19 Dec: Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker – stage on screen at the Phoenix (£)