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Get in the Christmas spirit at Leicester museums

Published on Thursday, December 1, 2022

5 minute read

Art and craft Christmas decorations

LEICESTER’S museums are offering a bumper programme of festive entertainment, activities and family fun in the run-up to Christmas.

Anyone looking for a unique or handmade gift should visit the popular Christmas craft fair at Leicester Guildhall. Local artists and makers will take over the medieval building on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, offering plenty of inspiration and festive ideas, as well as mulled wine and mince pies in the courtyard. Admission is £1 (under 13s free of charge) and the event is open from 11am-4pm.

There will also be a led group winter walk heading off from the Guildhall and taking in some the festive sights in the city centre on Saturday 3 December, from 10am.

And people can get crafty at a Christmas wreath making workshop in the festive surroundings of the Guildhall on Saturday 10 December. Sessions begin at 11am and 3pm and cost £30 per person, including all materials. Places are limited and advanced booking is recommended.

Visitors will receive a warm welcome at Belgrave Hall’s traditional Christmas on Sunday 11 December, from 11am-3pm, with activities including a magic lantern show, displays of mechanical and clockwork toys, wassailing and a chance to make your own Christmas tree decorations. There’ll even be a visit from Father Christmas between 11am-1pm. Admission is £2 (under 17s free of charge). There will be a small charge for some activities.

Father Christmas at Guildhall
Belgarve Hall traditional Christmas crafts
Guildhall Xmas tree

Children can make their own Christmas decorations inspired by the patterns in the arts and craft gallery at a drop-in session at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 17 December, from 11am-3pm. Activities coast £1 per child.

The medieval Guildhall will also be hosting a fantastically festive programme of live music, theatre and film throughout December.

Acclaimed musicians Green and Matthews will present Gaudete! – a festive romp through 600 years of Christmas music, songs and carols – on Sunday 11 December, from 7pm. The show will bring the festive season to life with a repertoire spanning from the Middle Ages to the present-day featuring carols, winter folk songs, and a plethora of weird and wonderful instruments. Tickets are £14 (£12 for under 25s).

Tell Tale Theatre present a Santa experience for all the family at the Guildhall on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December. Visitors can follow a festive puzzle trail, become a member of the Elf Guild and discover tales of Christmas history with Thursday the Elf. There will be craft activities and a chance for families to pit their wits in Mr Charles Dickens’ game show. Sessions begin at 3.15pm, 4pm and 4.45pm. Tickets start at £10 per person and must be booked in advance.

Thursday the Elf will also be joining Santa in the Guildhall’s atmospheric Mayor’s Parlour for storytelling, songs and games at 11.30am and 2pm on both days. Tickets start at £5.

There will be more festive musical treats on Thursday 15 December with Pete Morton brings the Magical Christmas Tree tour to Leicester Guildhall. Expect an unruly mix of carols, popular songs, social commentary and a sprinkling of silliness. Tickets cost £10.

Steve Cartwright in Concert at Christmas comes to the Guildhall on Friday 16 December, with an evening of original music and poetry. Tickets cost £10.

And people can enjoy a traditional Christmas concert with Kingfisher Chorale at Leicester Guildhall on Saturday 17, Monday 19 and Wednesday 21 December. Tickets cost £13 (£11 concessions).

Cinema lovers are in for a festive treat on Sunday 18 December with screenings of three classic Christmas films in the atmospheric medieval Guildhall, complete with roaring fire and seasonal refreshments. The featured films will be The Muppet Christmas Carol at 12.30pm, The Shop Around the Corner at 3.30pm, and It’s a Wonderful Life at 6pm. Tickets for each screening cost £5/£7.

And on Friday 23 December people can get into the festive spirit with an extraordinary telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by the author’s great-great-grandson Gerald Dickens, who will perform all 26 characters including the unforgettable Ebeneezer Scrooge. Performances begin at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets cost £13.

To book tickets, or to find out more about these and other events taking place at Leicester’s museums, visit