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Festive Things to Do in Nottingham

Updated: Dec 11, 2018

Can you feel the festive excitement building? The Christmas lights are on, the shops are adorned with all manner of colourful decorations, and Christmas adverts are on the TV.


Whether you’re ready or not, Christmas is coming! So, why not embrace the festive spirit with a day out in Nottingham? To help you, we’ve had a look at what there is to do in the city in the run up to Christmas.



Christmas Wonderland in Nottingham’s Market Square 2018

Christmas Wonderland (running until 31st Dec 2018)

Each year the Christmas Wonderland takes over Nottingham’s Market Square, and this year it’s better than ever.


There are a huge variety of stalls to browse, selling everything from delightful stocking fillers and Christmas decorations, to hand-crafted gifts for that special someone. To keep you fuelled as you shop, there’s an extensive selection of delicious European foods available. There’s mulled wine too to help with the festivities!


In fact, for those looking for a drink or too, there are three bars to try – including one where the interior is made entirely of ice! Plus, as an added bonus this year, multiple-award-winning restaurant, Bar Iberico, is serving some of their most popular dishes in the Sur-La-Piste bar.

They’ve not forgotten families either. Why not take to the ice on the colourfully illuminated ink rink, you’ll find nestled under the towering Christmas tree? Plus they’ve included some fantastic children’s rides. So, whether it’ll a ride on a traditional carousel or coming down King Street in a rubber ring on the new ‘toboggan’ slide, there's something to keep the whole family happy.

You can find out more about the Winter Wonderland on their website.


Christmas markets (various dates)

If the Winter Wonderland has given you a taste for Christmas markets, or you’ve still not found that special gift, there are a whole host of Christmas markets taking place across Nottingham throughout the festive period. Some the ones we’re the most excited about are:


- The Etsy Made Local Christmas Market at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union on Saturday 1 December. There is going to be 40 stalls of beautiful, handmade gift items that will make the perfect present. Find out more here.

- Focus Gallery’s Christmas Showcase is a mix of artwork from artists across the country that will make a really unique gift. On from now until 24 December and well worth a visit as part of any festive day out. Visit this website for more details.


Nottingham Independents

Nottingham is able to boast a wealth of fantastic independent shops and eateries all year around, but the city’s independent business seem particularly determined to not be out-done on the festive front.


Many of Nottingham’s restaurants have special menus available over the Christmas period and you’ll be able to find one for every taste or situation. Some of our favourites include World Service if you’re looking for an intimate meal for two, and Copper City for anyone wanting a relaxed evening out.


If you’re on the hunt for that perfect present, here’s a list of the top 10 gift and speciality shops according to Trip Advisor. There’s everything from books, to chocolates, to craft supplies. Of course, you could always treat yourself too!


Panto (throughout December)

If shopping isn’t your thing, then how about some theatrical entertainment? Nottingham is lucky enough to have a choice of pantomimes and festive plays to choose from this year. They range from gentler performances geared towards the littlest little ones, to full stage performances jam-packed with lights, music, belly-laugh inducing jokes and a lavish sprinkling of fairy dust. Which one will you choose?


- Visit Never-Never Land at The Theatre Royal with their production of Peter Pan.

- Nottingham’s favourite outlaw goes festive at the Nottingham Playhouse this year, with their panto, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

- The Nottingham Playhouse are also showing The Elves and The Shoemaker, which is specifically aimed at younger audiences.


Elf: A Christmas Spectacular (28 – 30 December)

If live performances are your thing, then you’re in for an extra special treat as the West End and Broadway hit based on the blockbuster movie, Elf is coming to Nottingham. Yes, Buddy will be here! Or at the Motorpoint Arena to be exact. Find out more on their website.


Mariah Carey (9 December)

In fact, the Motorpoint Arena are pulling out all the festive stops this year and also bringing you Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You tour on Sunday 9th December. What could be more festive than seeing the Queen of Christmas songs performing live? You can find out about this here.


Meet Santa

Of course, if you’ve got little ones, then a festive day out won’t be complete without meeting the big guy himself. And, once again Nottingham will not let you down.


You can have brunch with Santa at The National Ice Centre or visit him in his grotto at the Intu Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. If you’ve got a canine companion, you can even take them to meet Santa Paws at Wollaton Park!


Why not turn your Christmas shopping trip or festive day out, into a mini break and book into one of our serviced apartments. What could be better than putting your feet up in the comfort of a private apartment after a day of enjoying yourself? And, once you’ve recharged your batteries, you’ll be ideally located to get going with the festive fun again the next day! Click here to take a look at what we have available.


Our latest Swish City Centre Serviced Apartment

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