Christmas events in Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 11:13 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:13 29 October 2020

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Archant

Count down the days to December 25th with these fabulous festive events.

For the little ones

Saturdays and Sundays from November 28th to December 20th

FATHER CHRISTMAS AT THE FARM

Meet Father Christmas and his elf helpers (and their rarebreed farmyard friends) at Tatton Park. Pose on Santa’s sleigh, make friends with the donkeys, sheep, cows and goats, and why not build a den or adventure on a family Christmas trail in the gardens to finish the day off?

Tatton Park, Knutsford, tattonpark.org.uk

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December 21st

THE SNOWMAN

Accompanied by a live orchestra comprising some of the UK’s top musicians picked from orchestras such as The Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic, this magical presentation of The Snowman returns for its eighth year to delight audiences with lots of festive surprises throughout the event.

chestercathedral.com

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NAUGHTY OR NICE?

Get your lists at the ready because for the very first time, Father Christmas is making a stop at Little Moreton Hall. Each 25-minute slot includes storytelling, activities and a chat with the big man himself – plus a gift to take home.

Little Moreton Hall, Congleton, nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall/features/father-christmas-at-little-moreton-hall

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SANTA’S GROTTO LIVE

Make those Christmas wishes come true with a magical video call with Father Christmas himself.

santasgrotto.live

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Make a day of it

from november 12th

WINTER ISLAND

Explore the magic that Escape to Freight Island has to offer this Christmas as the UK’s largest fully outdoor, heated winter market takes over the platform. Expect a 45ft Christmas tree, hog roasts, bratwurst (German sausage), mulled drinks, a chocolate stall, cheese stall and a full festive entertainment lineup.

Escape to Freight Island, Depot Mayfield, Manchester,

escapetofreightisland.com/winter-island

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November 17th to January 3rd

SKATE MANCHESTER

Cathedral Gardens’ enchanting ice rink is making a return for the festive season and this year promises to be bigger than ever.

The Cathedral Gardens, Manchester,

skatemanchester.com

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December 3rd to January 3rd

WINTER FUNLAND

Spend four hours of fun at Winter Funland with a huge ice-skating rink, a magical festival circus (The Circus of Truth) and a gigantic indoor and outdoor funfair.

Eventcity, opposite intu Trafford Centre, Manchester, winterfunland.com

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December 5th to 9th

CHRISTMAS AT ARLEY HALL

Mooch around the outdoor Christmas gift market in the stunning grounds of Arley Hall and Gardens before relaxing with a festive afternoon tea. Local primary schools have been invited to decorate a Christmas tree (don’t forget to vote for your favourite) and there’ll be floral demonstrations by Jonathan Moseley on December 9th and 10th (pre-booked tickets only).

Arley Hall and Gardens, Northwich, arleyhallandgardens.com

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Every Tuesday to Sunday

A CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON OUT

Head to the Housekeeper’s Store for mouth-watering food and drink for the festive season: you’ll find Tatton Farm-reared meat, fresh fruit and vegetables from the Kitchen Garden and artisan chutneys, cakes, chocolates and beers from the best local suppliers.

Tatton Park, Knutsford, tattonpark.org.uk

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Selected dates in December

A FESTIVE WEEKEND AT THORNTON MANOR

Experience the magic and beauty of Lord Leverhulme’s Thornton Manor with a festive stay in the manor house accommodation, decorated with a 22-foot Christmas tree, wreaths, garlands and the smell of cinnamon in the air. The exclusive stay includes a warm mince pie and glass of mulled wine on arrival, a festive three-course dinner and full English breakfast the following morning,

Thornton Manor, Thornton Hough, thorntonmanor.co.uk/whats-on/festive-weekends-at-thornton-manor

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Light it up

To November 7th

MAGICAL WOODLAND

Dazzling displays under cathedral canopies of fairy lights, showers of glow-in-the-dark stars and dancing tunnels of borealis-style lasers make up this magical, 15-acre walking trail at Blakemere Village (expect occasional uneven surfaces and steep inclines). Dress for the weather and enjoy the show

that comes with it, in Cheshire woodland that makes a superb natural backdrop.

Cheshire Outdoors, Blakemere Village, magicalwoodland.com

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Selected dates from November 13th to December 23rd

THE LANTERNS AT CHESTER ZOO

Join Chester Zoo as it transforms into a spectacular wonderland, with 11 fantastical worlds to take you on an illuminated adventure. This year’s route will take you on a journey to discover faraway lands, each filled with colourful lanterns, costumed characters and Christmas scenes.

chesterzoo.org/events/the-lanterns-a-starlit-christmas

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November 17th

VIRTUAL MANCHESTER CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON

Three NHS key workers have been chosen by Manchester City Council, BBC Radio Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to switch on the lights in a small, socially-distanced event, live-streamed on social media.

facebook.com/bbcmanchester

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November 20th to December 30th

CHRISTMAS AT DUNHAM MASSEY

Surround yourself with sparkle as the after-dark trail lights up for its fourth year. Expect giant glittering deer, stunning tree canopies and worlds festooned with seasonal cheer, soundtracked by festive classics.

nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey/features/christmas-at-dunham-massey

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November 20th to January 3rd

LIGHTOPIA

Lightopia is returning to Heaton Park with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and the magical illuminated trail. New themes this year include a stand-out Christmas showcase, astronomy display and the immersive Musical City. Plus, last year’s favourites are back, including the antler-framed Love Gate, the Tree of Life and the Lakeside water show.

lightopiafestival.com

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November 28th to January 3rd

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL

Chester Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival is returning this year “to bring light and hope to all those that visit”. Organisations can sponsor and decorate their own 6ft or 8ft tree, with the cathedral urging them to lift people’s spirits, inspire them and “give them hope”.

chestercathedral.com/about/christmas-tree-festival

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The Arts

November 7th to January 17th

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

A Storyhouse Originals production written and directed by Storyhouse artistic director Alex Clifton, this big-hearted Christmas show is full of song and laughter. In their own words, it is, “suitable for the entire population and will run until someone stops us, or at least until 2020 is the ghost of Christmas past.”

Storyhouse, Chester, storyhouse.com/event/a-christmas-carol

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November 4th to January 4th

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA

A Christmas treat for families of all ages, Judith Kerr’s much-loved children’s book will come to life with a life-size model tiger, interactive kitchen and artwork from the book.

Grosvenor Museum, Chester, events.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

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November 26th to December 13th

AT THE DRIVE IN

No car? No problem. This festive drive-in comes with private domes, Alpine chalets and pods where you can expect film favourites such as Elf, Love Actually and The Holiday (plus many more), stand-up comedy, carol karaoke and a Christmas quiz.

Emirates Trafford Stadium, Manchester, atthedrive.in

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Creating & gifting

November 26th, December 3rd and 6th

CHRISTMAS WREATH WORKSHOP

An overwhelming (and very welcome) number of requests has prompted the go-ahead of Covid-secure wreath workshops with Delamere Flower Farm. There’ll be mulled wine and seasonal refreshments, but if you’d rather stay home, wreath making kits and pre-made wreaths are ready to order.

Norley Village Hall, Norley, delamereflowerfarm.co.uk/workshops-and-talks

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November 26th to December 22nd

CHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET

Back with a new look and new home, Chester Christmas Market will be sitting pretty outside Chester Cathedral, Storyhouse and the historic Town Hall and join up with the indoor market.

christmasinchester.com

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November 26th to 29th

BIG CHRISTMAS WEEKEND

A Christmassy weekend highlighting independent shopping across the city centre, in support of Small Business Saturday.

Chester City Centre

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December 5th and 6th

THE FROZEN MOP CHRISTMAS MARKET

“Think big, shop small” is the motto for The Frozen Mop’s outdoor Christmas market, with festive stalls, food, drink, arts and crafts.

The Frozen Mop, Faulkner’s Lane, Mobberley

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December 14th and 16th

A CHRISTMAS WREATH

Create your own Christmas wreath under the guidance of Arley Hall head gardener Gordon Bailie, using foliage from the gardens.

Arley Hall and Gardens, Northwich, arleyhallandgardens.com

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To December 20th

CHESHIRE AND FLINTSHIRE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS MARKET

Get comfortable on the sofa with a mulled wine and take a look at the small businesses you can support this Christmas, selling handmade gifts, cards, foodie treats and much more.

facebook.com/groups/361210888410697

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