Gloucestershire Christmas events guide

Discover the best Christmas events in Gloucestershire in 2021, including festive days out, where to meet Santa and much more, with SoGlos’s guide to the best festive events in the county.

Christmas in Gloucestershire is going HUGE in 2021, with plenty of festive things to do for the whole family and all the over-indulgence you could hope for.

SoGlos’s handpicked selection of Christmas events in Gloucestershire will help you make the most of the festive season in the county, from Christmas lights and where to meet Santa to the very best pantomimes in the region. Oh yes it will!


Guide sponsor – Stagecoach West

Providing bus services to top shopping destinations including Cheltenham town centre and Gloucester Quays, as well as two Park & Ride sites, Stagecoach West buses are the ideal choice for Christmas days out across the county.

With its fleet of 21 new environmentally friendly buses on the Service 10 route between Lower Tuffley, Gloucester, Brockworth and Cheltenham, Stagecoach West is also providing some of the greenest travel in Gloucestershire.

For more information, visit stagecoachbus.com.


Christmas 2021 events in Cheltenham


Christmas shopping and events in Cheltenham with Stagecoach West’s Park & Ride

When and where?

Enjoy Christmas days out without the hassle of car parking with Stagecoach West’s Park & Ride in Cheltenham, this Christmas 2021.

What’s happening?

Stagecoach West offers convenient and hassle-free travel from its two Park & Ride sites at Arle Court and Cheltenham Racecourse.

Offering free parking and traffic-busting bus lanes, Christmas shoppers and families on a festive day out can breeze into Cheltenham without the worry or expense of town centre parking, saving time, money and hassle.

SoGlos loves

If you’re taking the family on a festive shopping trip or to see the Christmas lights on the Promenade, two under-16s can travel free of charge with every adult on Stagecoach West buses from Cheltenham Park & Ride sites.

The important bits

A Cheltenham Dayrider ticket costs £4 or a two-person adult return costs £4.80 when travelling together.

Parking at Arle Court and Cheltenham Racecourse Park & Ride sites is free, with frequent bus services to and from the town centre.

Discounted tickets are available on the Stagecoach West app.

How to book

There’s no need to book Stagecoach West’s Park & Ride in advance, simply pay the driver with a contactless payment method when you board the bus.

For more information, visit stagecoachbus.com.


Christmas shows at the Everyman Theatre

When and where?

Friday 26 November 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022 at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.

What’s happening?

GIANT of a pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, will be stomping onto the stage at the Everyman Theatre in 2021 – with 70 opportunities for families to boo and cheer to their heart’s content!

Tweedy the Clown, Samuel Holmes, Kevin Brewis and Kane Verrall – who all starred in the brilliant Tweedy’s (Reduced) Pantomime last year – are all back on the Everyman stage this year, with some talented newcomers to look out for too.

SoGlos loves

We’re really pleased to see that once again this year, the Everyman Theatre is hosting signed and relaxed performances of the panto – giving more people the opportunity to soak up the Christmas magic. With tickets costing from just £5, it’s more affordable than ever too.

The important bits

Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk cost from £5 per person.

How to book

Visit everymantheatre.org.uk.


Swing into Christmas at Cheltenham Town Hall

When and where?

Enjoy a glamorous evening of live jazz on Wednesday 22 December 2021 at Cheltenham Town Hall.

What’s happening?

Get into the Christmas spirit in the sophisticated surroundings of Cheltenham Town Hall, with its Corinthian-style columns and beautiful balconies, for a night of live music courtesy of the 25-piece Down for the Count Concert Orchestra.

Original arrangements of festive favourites like Winter Wonderland and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting) will be accompanied by faithful recreations of 1950s showstoppers by Nat ‘King’ Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

SoGlos loves

The Down for the Count swing band was a regular fixture at Ronnie Scott’s in London before the Down for the Count Concert Orchestra was formed during lockdown.

Its members kept themselves (and the rest of us) entertained by performing from home and sharing videos online – catching the attention of a certain Michael Bublé and racking up over 1,000,000 views. They even found time to record an album for charity too.

The important bits

Tickets for Swing into Christmas at Cheltenham Town Hall cost £28 each.

How to book

Visit swingintochristmas.co.uk.


Free Christmas events at Regent Arcade

When and where?

Cheltenham families can get in the Christmas spirit with FREE festive events taking place at Regent Arcade shopping centre on selected dates between Saturday 20 November and Monday 27 December 2021.

What’s happening?

With shopping destinations like H&M, TK Maxx and Pandora all under one roof, grown-ups can enjoy a stress-free trip to Regent Arcade, searching for Christmas gift inspiration while little ones enjoy festive activities.

Children can try free craft sessions, making their own special wishing stars under the guidance of Regent Arcade’s Aurorer Explorer elves on Saturday 18 December 2021; explore the magical winter wonderland set, which is open until Monday 27 December 2021; and even meet Father Christmas on Saturday 11 December 2021.

SoGlos loves

As a ‘thank you’ for shopping locally this Christmas, customers can pick up a special Regent Arcade bauble when shopping in participating stores from Saturday 4 December 2021. For every bauble it gives away, Regent Arcade will be pledging 50p to local charity, Winston’s Wish – while all bauble recipients are in with a chance of winning a £100 voucher to spend at the shopping centre.

The important bits

All Christmas events at Regent Arcade are free, but booking is required for the children’s Christmas craft sessions.

How to book

Visit regentarcade.co.uk.


Christmas 2021 events in the Cotswolds


Enchanted Light Trail at Cotswold Farm Park

When and where?

Saturday 27 November until Friday 31 December 2021, from 4.30pm to 10pm, at Cotswold Farm Park.

What’s happening?

Back by popular demand in 2021, there’s another magical opportunity to see Cotswold Farm Park in a whole new light at Enchanted Light Trail, this winter.

Offering a perfect after dark treat for Gloucestershire families, visitors of all ages can enjoy the illuminated outdoor display of lights, which weaves its way around the farm park.

SoGlos loves

As well as the illuminated trail, there’s also fire pits for toasting marshmallows, a festive shop for gift-buying and tasty food to tuck into along the route. And our favourite bit? The chance to feed the animals their bedtime snacks.

The important bits

Tickets cost £15.60 for adults, £12 for seniors, £11.60 for children aged three to 15, £6 for toddlers aged two and three, while babies under two are free of charge.

Trail start times are staggered, between 4.30pm to 6pm, with the trail taking around 90-minutes to complete.

How to book

Visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.


Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

When and where?

Families can once explore Westonbirt Arboretum’s illuminated Enchanted Christmas trail on selected evenings from Friday 26 November to Tuesday 21 December 2021.

What’s happening?

Follow the magical light trail through the towering trees of Westonbirt Arboretum to help reunite Father Christmas with his faithful reindeer after an almighty storm has separated them.

With spellbinding light displays and festive spectacles to get you in the Christmas spirit, families will need to weather the storm as they search for clues, with the chance to meet Santa’s helpful elves and maybe even catch a glimpse of the man himself!

Plus, there’s two Christmas villages for families to soak up some festive cheer and tuck in to tasty seasonal treats both before and after the trail.

SoGlos loves

To make it a magical experience for all, the trail will be adapted for those with additional needs on Saturday 27 November and Saturday 4 December 2021 from 4pm to 5pm – when features like strong flashing lights, loud sounds and smoke effects will be temporarily deactivated.

The important bits

Enchanted Christmas tickets must be booked in advance and cost £18 for adults, £9 for children aged three to 18 and are free of charge for under threes. Enchanted Christmas will take place from 4pm to 9.30pm, with time slots every 10 minutes from 4.30pm to 8.20pm.

How to book

Visit forestryengland.uk.


Christmas trail and festive family walks at Batsford Arboretum

When and where?

Head off on a festive family walk through the outdoor trails at Batsford Arboretum, open every day from Wednesday 1 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022.

What’s happening?

Batsford Arboretum’s brilliant outdoor trails have a festive twist, giving families and nature fans the chance to follow the Christmas trail to find Santa and his friends, who are hiding around the spectacular Cotswold woodland. What’s more, every child will receive a special prize for helping to find the festive buddies!

With acres of natural winter wonderland to explore, it’s not just the kids who will enjoy a day out at Batsford this Christmas either – with a garden centre packed with present ideas and the Batsford café serving steaming mugs of cocoa and mince pies.

SoGlos loves

With real Christmas trees for sale, there’s also a chance to buy the perfect fir or spruce to put your presents under at Batsford Arboretum; with holly, mistletoe and beautiful handmade wreaths for sale too.

The important bits

Tickets for the Children’s Christmas Trail cost £2.50 per child, plus standard admission fees of £3.50 per child and £8.95 per adult.

How to book

Visit batsarb.co.uk.


Sustainable Christmas shopping at New Brewery Arts

When and where?

The craft shop at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester takes over the gallery for A Crafted Christmas from Friday 5 November to Friday 24 December 2021.

What’s happening?

A Crafted Christmas sees the entire gallery at New Brewery Arts filled with handcrafted Christmas gifts and decorations, made by local and independent artists and crafters.

Offering an eclectic selection of gifts including ceramics, jewellery and textiles, as well as sustainably made glass and wooden Christmas tree decorations, the Cirencester craft gallery is encouraging Gloucestershire shoppers to buy fewer, more thoughtful and better-quality gifts to help make Christmas shopping more sustainable.

SoGlos loves

For crafty types looking to make their own gifts, New Brewery Arts is also offering a fantastic range of festive craft workshops from wreath-making to embroidered Christmas decorations throughout November and December 2021.

The important bits

New Brewery Arts is open from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm on Sunday and from 9am to 4pm on Christmas Eve. Entrance to A Crafted Christmas is free.

How to book

There’s no need to book tickets to A Crafted Christmas in advance – just pop into New Brewery Arts when it’s open.

For more information, visit newbreweryarts.org.uk.


Christmas 2021 events in Gloucester


Festive Orchard Street Market and Open Air Ice Rink at Gloucester Quays

When and where?

Gloucester Quays is transformed into a magical winter wonderland with its Festive Orchard Street Market and Open Air Ice Rink, this November and December 2021.

What’s happening?

Every weekend in the run up to Christmas, High Orchard Street, Llanthony Road and Mariners Square will be packed full of local makers, bakers and artisans offering everything from Christmas gifts and handmade crafts to delicious street food like burgers, waffles, mulled wine and more.

Then on Thursday 25 November 2021, the Open Air Ice Rink opens making Gloucester Quays’ transformation into a winter wonderland complete. Situated in the heart of the Quays, visitors can get their skates on and glide across the rink while taking in the festive atmosphere.

SoGlos loves

With so much going on at Gloucester Quays, make a day of your festive visit and enjoy savings up to 70 per cent on your Christmas shopping in its fantastic range of shops; pirouetting around the ice rink; warming up with street food and delicious hot chocolate or mulled wine from the Festive Orchard Street Market; then cosying up with popcorn and a movie at Cineworld Gloucester.

The important bits

The Festive Orchard Street Market takes place every weekend from Saturday 6 November to Sunday 19 December 2021.

The Open Air Ice Rink is at Gloucester Quays from Thursday 25 November 2021 until Monday 3 January 2022. Ticket prices are yet to be announced.

How to book

For the chance to win an incredible family day out at Gloucester Quays, including ice skating, see win a festive family day out with ice skating at Gloucester Quays, or fill out the entry form at gloucesterquays.co.uk/winafestivedayout.


Family Christmas Trail at the Museum of Gloucester

When and where?

Throughout December 2021, families can explore the Museum of Gloucester on Brunswick Road on its Christmas Trail – ideal for entertaining little ones during the festive season.

What’s happening?

The Museum of Gloucester is hosting a family-friendly Christmas Trail this December 2021. Collect a trail sheet from reception for just £1 and head off into the museum, looking for clues and things to find in amongst its collection of 750,000 artefacts!

Spot real human skulls, the famous Birdlip Mirror and Roman ruins as you explore, and pick up a goody bag for just £4 once you’ve completed the trail.

SoGlos loves

As well as a whole host of fascinating artefacts and fun family events, the Museum of Gloucester also hosts a range of exciting exhibitions, including She Has Rizzen – a colourful retrospective of artwork from Gloucester-based artist, Rizpah Amadasun; and History, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story – a thoughtful exhibition or work from local artists mentored by esteemed photographer, Vanley Burke, which visitors can see until Friday 31 December 2021.

The important bits

The Museum of Gloucester is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 3pm. Admission is free, with Christmas Trail sheets costing £1 and goody bags costing £4.

How to book

Visit museumofgloucester.co.uk/christmas.


Christmas 2021 events in Stroud


Meet Santa Claus at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

When and where?

Father Christmas is making his annual visit to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 December 2021.

What’s happening?

Bringing back Christmas festivities for 2021, children will have the chance to meet Santa Claus and his elves over a full English breakfast in Slimbridge’s Kingfisher Kitchen restaurant.

Santa will stop by each table to hand out gifts and chat with well-behaved diners, while the whole family tucks in to some seriously delicious food. Then, head out to explore Slimbridge’s own winter wonderland with 100 acres of wetland to discover.

SoGlos loves

From meeting the world’s rarest goose to seeing wetland birds soar overhead, there are a host of new exhibits and experiences to discover at Slimbridge after meeting Father Christmas – with Mission Possible, the Living Wetland Theatre and Waterscapes Aviary all new for 2021.

The important bits

Tickets to meet Santa at Slimbridge must be booked online in advance and costs £22 for adults, £19.15 for children aged four to 16, and £14.95 for children aged two and three. Please note, depending on Covid-19 guidance during the winter, bookings may be subject to change.

How to book

Visit wwt.org.uk/slimbridge.


Christmas panto at The Sub Rooms

When and where?

Wednesday 22 December 2021to Saturday 1 January 2022 at The Sub Rooms in Stroud.

What’s happening?

The enchanting family classic Beauty and the Beast will be heading to the stage at The Sub Rooms this December 2021 – with the promise of a bigger, better and more beautiful and BEASTLY show than ever before.

Packed with sing-a-longs, dazzling effects and Christmas magic, the spellbinding story of Belle will unfold as she enters the beasts castle and melts the heart of the monstrous creature.

SoGlos loves

The Sub Rooms is celebrating switching from council ownership to charity status – with some new additions to Stroud’s iconic entertainment venue including launching a beautiful new art-deco bar and kitchen for audiences to enjoy before and after seeing a fantastic diverse of entertainment.

The important bits

Tickets for Beauty and the Beast cost from £15 per person.

How to book

Visit thesubrooms.co.uk.


Christmas 2021 events in Tewkesbury


Christmas panto at The Roses Theatre

When and where?

See King Arthur: The Panto! at Tewkesbury’s Roses Theatre from Saturday 27 November to Friday 31 December 2021.

What’s happening?

Cheer on the heroic King Arthur as he heads off on his quest for glory in the magical festive family show, King Arthur: The Panto!

From King Arthur’s beginnings as a humble baker boy to vanquishing the evil Morgana Le Fey, the panto promises swords, stones, dragons, wizards and plenty of laughs for all the family.

Set in medieval Tewkesbury, the show has been specially created by BAFTA award-winning writer Maurice Gran and is sure to be one of the highlights of Christmas 2021 for Gloucestershire families and theatre-lovers alike.

SoGlos loves

There are family and group discounts available on most performances of King Arthur: The Panto! so the whole family can enjoy some festive fun together.

The important bits

Tickets for King Arthur: The Panto! cost between £15 and £25 each.

How to book

Visit rosestheatre.org.


Christmas events and services at Gloucester Cathedral

When and where?

Experience the true spirit of Christmas at Gloucester Cathedral this festive season, with spectacular decorations, carol concerts, traditional services and evening openings throughout December 2021.

What’s happening?

Gloucester Cathedral is a spectacular sight all year round, but especially so at Christmas-time, with its biggest ever Christmas tree being put up on Cathedral Green on Saturday 27 November 2021.

From Saturday 11 December 2021 until Friday 7 January 2022, there’ll be festive decorations adorning the beautiful building, with Christmas trees, garlands and festive lights all around, including decorations in the Cathedral’s famous cloister; a Christmas Story Trail with miniature displays to discover throughout the building; and Gloucester Cathedral’s famous Knitivity in the quire.

Its Carols on the Hour event takes place on Saturday 11 December 2021, when the cathedral’s choirs will fill the building with Christmas music every hour, on the hour from 11am until 4pm.

Visitors can see the building all lit up and soak up the Christmas atmosphere after dark, with special ticketed evening openings on Saturday 11, Friday 17, Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 December 2021.

Gloucester Cathedral’s famous Carol Services take place at 6pm on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 December 2021, with traditional Christmas music from the Cathedral Choir; then there are two Family Crib Services taking place at 2.30pm on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 December 2021 with songs and family-friendly readings.

SoGlos loves

For anyone not able to make it to Gloucester Cathedral in person, the Carol Service on Wednesday 22 December 2021 and the Family Crib Service on Thursday 23 December 2021 are both being live streamed online.

The cathedral’s hugely popular Digital Advent Calendar is also returning from Wednesday 1 December 2021, with a poem from Gloucestershire’s Poet Laureate, Ziggy Dicks, being released every day until Christmas Day.

The important bits

Gloucester Cathedral’s Family Crib Services on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 December 2021 at 2.30pm and Carol Services on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 December 2021 at 6pm are all free to attend, but tickets must be booked online in advance.

How to book

For more information, see Carols on the Hour at Gloucester Cathedral, Cathedral Experience at Night at Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral Carol Service and Gloucester Cathedral Family Crib Service, or to book tickets, visit gloucestercathedral.org.uk.


For more information about Stagecoach West, visit stagecoachbus.com.

© SoGlos
Thursday 02 December 2021

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