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Christmas Events in Leeds

20 November 2016

Look Forward to an Unforgettable Festive Season Filled with Unique Shopping Experiences, Family Days Out & Outstanding Entertainment

Boasting over 1,000 shops, an outstanding line-up of entertainment for all ages and mouth-watering dining experiences, Leeds is the perfect destination for a festive escape this December. Whether you fancy shopping-till-you-drop at craft markets and designer boutiques, raising a glass during luxurious seasonal celebrations, or enjoying a fun-filled family day out that includes meeting the big guy himself, we’ve put together a guide to what’s on in Leeds this December so you can start to plan an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Christmas Shopping in Leeds

Otherwise known as the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’, Leeds has long been renowned for its outstanding array of shops. High street favourites fill Trinity Leeds, while the likes of Mulberry, Michael Kors and Harvey Nichols reside in Victoria Leeds. The Grade 1 listed Leeds Corn Exchange and Grand Arcade offer the chance to browse some of the city’s many independent boutiques, and Kirkgate is home to Europe’s largest covered market. However, away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s regular shopping hotspots, there’ll also be the chance to buy unique gifts at exclusive seasonal markets.

Online marketplace Etsy is a key website for those seeking handmade creations and quality vintage picks, however, it’ll also be offering the chance to shop locally with a pop market on the 3rd and 4th of December. The ‘Etsy Made Local Christmas Market’ will be gathering over 70 local designers in Leeds City Museum; offering the chance to buy something a little special, participate in workshops and take the opportunity to browse the musuem’s six exhibition spaces.

Meanwhile, Leeds’ legendary Christkindelmarkt will be home to over 40 wooden chalet stalls until the 18th of December. The city’s German Christmas Market will offer the chance to sample gingerbread, pretzels and Frankfurter sausages while browsing traditional tin toys, honey scented candles and glass baubles. On Sunday mornings, little ones can look forward to receiving a gift from Father Christmas during the German breakfast buffet at the Alp Chalet… before attending free children’s shows on the market square stage. Meanwhile, the Ski Hutte and Kuh Stall will be offering a range of drinks, with the latter also boasting a roaring log fire to cosy up to.

Seasonal Entertainment & Delicious Dining

Alongside its many chic bars and gastro pubs, Leeds is also home to leading theatres and concert venues, ensuring that whatever your taste and mood, the perfect night out awaits. Those seeking a more traditional festive experience should head over to City Varieties Music Hall for its ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto’ – Sleeping Beauty. The classic fairy tale of an enchanted sleeping princess awoken by a kiss will be comically retold until the 8th of January, with an outstanding soundtrack of songs by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Cher.

Continuing with fairy tales, Leeds Grand Theatre will be offering the chance to see Northern Ballet’s elegant interpretation of Beauty & The Beast between the 15th of December and 7th of January. The story of a prince-turned-Beast in search of true love will be accompanied by a live performance from the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, with music by composers including Debussy. Meanwhile, First Direct Arena has an eclectic line-up that includes Biffy Clyro, Status Quo, Dutch violinist André Rieu… and a sold-out performance by Rod Stewart!

Those wishing to raise a glass to the season may want to head to Christmas pop-up bar, Thor’s Tipi. Take the opportunity to sip on mulled wine, hot cider and ales by local brewers next to an open fire in Victoria Gardens until the 31st of December. However, if it’s a party you’re after, look no further than our very own boutique hotel. Throughout December, we’ll be hosting private dining experiences in our beautiful River Room, with three mouth-watering menus to choose between.

With breath-taking views over the glittering River Aire below, friends, family and colleagues can come together to celebrate the season in style. Our two set menus boast up to four tempting options per course from £29.95 per person; from the traditional turkey roulade and Christmas pudding with brandy cream… to maple and mustard pulled pork and a trio of desserts that include the 42 favourite, chocolate brownie Santa hats. Meanwhile, those seeking a slightly more laid-back celebration may prefer to opt for our buffet menu that offers platters of seasonal treats from just £20 per person. For a Christmas experience to remember, take a look at our menus here and call 0113 244 099 to make a booking today.

Festive Fun for the Whole Family

Though Christmas can reawaken the big kid in all of us, there are a whole host of attractions on offer in Leeds that are specifically designed to entertain little ones. Stockeld Park is opening its doors to its award-winning Christmas Adventure, with an illuminated Enchanted Forest, ice rink and the chance to Nordic Ski along a woodland trail. Head inside a log cabin to find Santa’s Grotto, shop in Yorkshire’s largest bespoke Christmas shop and lose your way in a two mile maze lined with a thousand lights until the 3rd of January.

The Magical Lantern Festival in Roundhay Park will be equally as dazzling with 30 handmade displays created using 40,000 lightbulbs. From a giant peacock lantern measuring 12 metres wide, to an installation representing the union of eastern and western cultures… and a glowing Santa, it’ll be an awe-inspiring experience for all ages in Europe’s largest city park. Aside from the illuminated trails, there’ll also be a funfair, grotto and street food on offer until the 2nd of January.

Experience an Edwardian Christmas at Lotherton Hall on the 10th and 11th of December, with the likes of carol singing and wreath-making… alongside a whole host of other attractions including a 12 Days of Christmas Walk until the 23rd. Meanwhile, film fans can watch The Snowman accompanied by the Orchestra of Opera North in Leeds Town Hall on the 18th, or a MENCAP charity screening of Home Alone at The Everyman cinema on the 29th of November.

Whether you’re planning a festive family break, a romantic weekend away to visit Leeds’ seasonal markets or an unforgettable seasonal celebration, our city and hotel can deliver a truly enchanting Christmas experience for all this December.

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42, The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW, Tel: +44 (0) 113 244 0099, Fax: +44 (0) 113 234 4100,