Christmas in Gloucestershire 2019 is set to be a fun-filled festive season, complete with plenty of things to do for the whole family and all the festive celebrations and over-indulgence you could hope for.
SoGlos’s hand-selected guide to Christmas events in Gloucestershire 2019 will help you make the most of everything that’s on offer in the county, from festive fayres and where to meet Santa, to carol singing and special concerts.
Please note, this guide will be updated as events are announced across the county.
Wednesday 1 January 2019 at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Families can top off a fantastic Christmas with tickets to New Year's racing at Cheltenham Racecourse where entry is free for under 18s.
With thrilling racing action taking place on the track, little ones can also head to the Family Fun Zone to try out the inflatables, make some rosettes and meet Madagascar's Alex the Lion and Skipper the Penguin.
The perfect way to kick off the new year, New Year’s Day racing at Cheltenham Racecourse is free of charge for under 18s.
Tickets cost from £10 per person for adults and are free of charge for under 18s.
Call 0344 579 3003, or visit thejockeyclub.co.uk directly.
From Friday 29 November 2019 to Sunday 12 January 2020.
Kicking off the Christmas season with its traditional pantomime, Everyman Theatre’s annual spectacle returns to the stage to perform Cinderella.
Starring Tweedy the clown, the performance promises slapstick silliness, comic songs and heartfelt storytelling, as the classic fairytale of Cinderella, her ugly sisters and Prince Charming, is retold live on stage.
So, don’t forget your glass slipper as your make your way to Everyman Theatre for an unforgettable night of family entertainment this Christmas.
Everyman Theatre’s much-loved pantomime has become one of the must-do festive experiences for Cheltenham families. This popular event will sell out, so don’t miss out on a charming performance that children will remember for years to come.
Tickets start from £14, with concessions available.
Call (01242) 572573, or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.
Saturday 23 November 2019 at The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham.
Families will love The Brewery Quarter’s day of festive fun, as Father Christmas visits the entertainment venue to switch on the Christmas lights at 6.30pm. In addition, there’s the chance to meet the two Ice Princesses and their friendly snowman, as The Brewery Quarter celebrates the launch of Frozen 2 at Cineworld. Expect live music, dancers and festive shopping, creating a magical atmosphere filled with Christmas cheer.
If you’re still searching for unique gifts for family and friends this Christmas, shoppers can enjoy a festive shopping experience at The Brewery Quarter, where a Christmas arts and crafts market will set up across Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November 2019.
Admission is free, and the event starts from 3pm, with the light switch on taking place at 6.30pm.
Booking is not necessary, but for more information, visit thebreweryquarter.co.uk.
Saturday 23 November 2019 in Cheltenham town centre.
Follow the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future through Cheltenham town centre at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on event. Inspired by the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, the ghosts will tell their stories as they make their way towards The Queen’s Hotel on The Promenade, where they’ll meet Father Christmas to switch on the lights. With one starting at The Brewery, one from Cambray Place and one from Montpellier, the ghosts will be filling the streets of Cheltenham with festive cheer.
Christmas in Cheltenham is always a magical time, with friends and families gathering to celebrate the festivities and make the most of the season. Enjoy the Christmas market where you can find some unique gifts, pick up a mulled wine or two and tuck into some delicious hot food.
The ghosts set off from 4.30pm at The Brewery Quarter, Montpellier and Cambray Place, with the light switch-on at 5.30pm near The Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham.
Admission is free and booking is not necessary, but for more information, visit visitcheltenham.com
Thursday 21 November to Saturday 14 December 2019 on The Promenade in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Christmas Market will feature a range of handmade gifts, delicious Christmassy food, mulled wine and festive decorations from its German-style wooden chalets. Always a popular festive event, the market runs daily on The Promenade and is a prime chance to pick up some lovely gifts for friends and family.
Cheltenham Christmas Market is open until 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, meaning late-night Christmas shoppers can still pick up some lovely gifts from the chalets. With the Christmas light switch-on happening on Saturday 23 November 2019, the market will be ignited with festive illuminations, making for wonderful photo opportunities too.
Admission is free of charge.
Booking isn’t necessary – just come along and spread the festive cheer! For more information, visit visitcheltenham.com
Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 January 2020 at Bacon Theatre.
Ahoy me hearties! Join the cast at Promenade Productions and follow Robinson Crusoe on his exciting adventures on a desert island, from battling pirates to finding a shipwreck. A great way to entertain little ones, the pantomime invites plenty of audience participation, especially when Robinson meets the fabulously extravagant dame.
Promenade Productions bring festive joy to the post-Christmas season, putting on annual pantomimes that never fail to brighten spirits. At this year’s performance, Robinson Crusoe will need all your help to fight off the pirates and save him and his friend, Friday! So, book tickets today to avoid missing out.
The performances are at 7pm on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 January 2020; 12pm and 4.30pm on Saturday 18 January 2020; and 2.30pm on Sunday 19 January 2020. Tickets cost between £11 and £16 per person.
For more information, visit promenadeproductions.co.uk and to book tickets, call (01242) 224144.
The Christmas Lights Switch-On event is happening inside Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, with entertainment starting at 3.30pm.
Meet Father Christmas, dance along to live music by the Rock Choir and Ducie Jazz, and explore the hot air balloon decoration at this magical Christmas event. With dancers, entertainers, and cafés selling delicious sweet treats, families can truly get into the festive spirit.
As well as the Christmas lights switch-on event, Regent Arcade has events running over the Christmas period, including a Teddy Bear Workshop and a Christmas crafts day, where you can visit the Whoville-inspired garden and meet Who 1 and Who 2.
Admission to the Christmas lights switch-on is free. The entertainment starts at 3.30pm, with the lights switched on at 4.15pm.
Christmas on the Farm at Cotswold Farm Park takes place on various dates from Saturday 23 November until Monday 23 December 2019.
Providing a magical day out for families, youngsters can combine an exciting wintery trip to Cotswold Farm Park with the opportunity to meet Father Christmas and make a Christmas Eve box with his helpful elves.
Families can explore the elves Toy Room, and enjoy a special gift from Santa himself, before spending the day jumping, bouncing and running around Cotswold Farm Park’s many exciting activity barns.
This charming experience is popular with families every year, often receiving rave reviews about the magical meeting with Father Christmas. Farm park entrance is included in the price of a ticket to the grotto, meaning that the festive fun can last all day for active families wanting a Christmas experience to remember.
This event books up fast, so families wishing to enjoy the ultimate Christmas day out are advised to book online as soon as possible. Available dates include Saturday 23 November, Sunday 24 November, Saturday 20 November, Sunday 1 December, Saturday 7 to Monday 9 December, Friday 13 December to Monday 16 December, and Thursday 19 to Monday 23 December 2019.
To book tickets for Christmas on the Farm visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk directly.
Fridays to Sundays from Friday 29 November to Sunday 22 December 2019 at Westonbirt Arboretum.
Families can once again explore Westonbirt Arboretum’s illuminated Enchanted Christmas trail through the towering trees, this Christmas. The festive fairies have been busy turning the trees into an enchanting woodland and little ones can look out for magical creatures.
After making their way through the glowing trees, families can head to the Christmas village for a delicious hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine for the adults.
Westonbirt Arboretum is running two relaxed Enchanted Christmas sessions this year, on Saturday 7 and Saturday 14 December 2019, from 4pm. These sessions will not include the use of flashing lights, smoke machines and loud noises to make them suitable for people with autism or other additional needs.
Tickets must be booked in advance and cost £15 for adults, £7.50 for children over five years-old and free for under fives. Enchanted Christmas will take place from 4pm to 9pm.
Call Westonbirt Arboretum on 03000 674890 or visit forestryengland.uk.
Father Christmas will make a magical stop at Cotswold Clubhouse in Bourton-on-the-Water this December, for two special breakfast mornings on Sunday 8 and Sunday 15 December from 9am.
Young visitors can enjoy access to Cotswold Clubhouse’s soft play facility before it opens to the public, then families can indulge in a delicious spread in the Christmas room, where Father Christmas will come to meet them.
Guests will enjoy a festive story time and can unwrap a special gift, given by Santa. Families are welcome to stay in the Clubhouse after the breakfast session to continue playtime.
Cotswold Clubhouse is also running a range of free festive activities throughout the Christmas period. Open to anyone taking part in soft play or Open Clubhouse, the free events include a festive treasure hunt across the clubhouse with the chance to win a prize; Christmas colouring and crafts, including making your own snow globe and festive cards.
Breakfast with Father Christmas at Cotswold Clubhouse takes place between 9am and 11am on Sunday 8 December and Sunday 15 December 2019, with prices still to be confirmed by Cotswold Clubhouse at the time of publication.
To book tickets for Christmas on the Farm visit cotswoldclubhouse.co.uk directly.
Go along to Sudeley Castle on Saturday 30 November 2019 for a day of festive activities, starting at 10.30am.
From choirs to orchestras, harpists to singers, there will be plenty of Christmassy entertainment to enjoy. Plus, Lady Ashcombe will lay the ‘Dent-Brocklehurst’ Christmas dinner table in the library and the castle’s festive menu will be available in the restaurant for visitors to indulge in.
The Christmas events at Sudeley Castle are included in the admission price, allowing visitors make full use of their day. With exhibitions, beautiful gardens and an adventure playground for the kids, there’s plenty to do and see at this historic castle. Pick up a lovely gift at the shop, sit back with a meal, and spot the rare pheasants at the pheasantry.
Book your advanced tickets to Sudeley Castle’s Christmas events day online to save 20 per cent. Tickets are also available on the day at the Visitor Centre. Admission is £16.75 per adult, £7.75 per child, and £45 per family. The castle is open from 10am to 4pm, with activities between 10.30am and 3pm.
Call Sudeley Castle on (01242) 604244, or visit sudeleyecastle.co.uk .
The Songs of Celebration concert is on Saturday 7 December 2019; Carols on the hour start from 11am until 4pm on Saturday 14 and 21 December; the Christmas Market is from 10am on Saturday 14 December 2019; Family Crib Services start from 3pm on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 December 2019; and Boxing Day Carols start at 3pm on Thursday 26 December 2019.
Gloucester Cathedral is playing host to a series of festive events to celebrate Christmastime. Visitors can enjoy carols on the hour during two Saturdays in December; a Songs of Celebration concert; a Christmas market; family crib services; and Boxing Day carols.
Gloucester Cathedral will be decorated with fabulous Christmas trees, illuminated in beautifully festive fairy lights. Promising a true Christmassy atmosphere, visitors can’t help but be swept up in the Christmas spirit during a trip to this iconic Gloucestershire venue.
Many events are free, or ask for donations to a chosen charity. Tickets to the Songs of Celebration concert cost £20.
Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market runs from Thursday 14 November to Sunday 24 November 2019.
One of the most popular events in Gloucestershire’s festive calendar, Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market returns to the shopping centre for 2019, promising more than 150 festive stalls, delicious foodie treats and the return of the ever-popular open-air ice rink.
Guests can expect one-of-a-kind crafts, heaps of Victorian entertainment, and local food and drinks producers to add a touch of glorious Gloucestershire charm to your festive table and stockings this Christmas.
Put on your skates and glide underneath the stars at Gloucester Quays’ Christmas open-air ice rink – a great way to spend the day, no matter how impressive your skating skills are. It’s also suitable for families, with training aids to help little ones who aren’t so steady on their skates.
Access to Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market is free of charge. Parking is available on site.
You don’t to book ahead for the Christmas market, but for more information call (01452) 338933 or visit gloucesterquays.co.uk/events directly. Advance booking is required for ice-skating.
From Friday 6 December 2019 until Saturday 4 January 2020
Celebrating the festive season in the heart of Gloucester, families will love Gloucester Guildhall’s 2019 performance, Pinocchio. Retelling the famous tale of the wooden puppet who wants to be real, join Pinocchio as he braves a fun factory, meets a nosy cricket, tackles foxes, and discovers a whale at the bottom of the ocean.
Produced by Strike A Light, the magical show includes songs, live music and puppetry.
Described as a ‘treat for all curious, creative and fearless adventurers’, this performance is suitable for the whole family and offers one of the only opportunities to enjoy a pantomime in the heart of Gloucester.
Performances start from 2pm until 4pm, with standard tickets costing £12 per adult and £8 per child. Premium tickets cost £15 per adult and £10 per child.
Call (01452) 503050, or visit gloucesterguildhall.co.uk directly.
Throughout December at The Museum of Gloucester.
With two exhibitions running through December and into 2020, visitors can explore The Magical World of William Simmonds: Puppets and Paintings and discover everything from the circus to enchanting woodland through the work of William Simmonds.
As well as that, there’ll be free children’s Christmas crafts from Mondays to Saturdays, tours of the chamber, ancient games during December.
With standard admission free of charge, The Museum of Gloucester is a great value day out for Gloucestershire families, especially during the expensive festive period.
Children’s Christmas crafts take place on Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and are free of charge. The Eastgate Chamber Tour is taking place on Saturday 14 December 2019 from 3pm to 3.40pm and costs £5 per person or £3 for concessions. The Magical World of William Simmonds: Puppets and Paintings is on Mondays to Saturdays and is free of charge.
There’s no to book in advance, but to find out more about The Museum of Gloucester, visit, gloucester.gov.uk/museum-of-gloucester.
From Saturday 30 November 2019 to Saturday 4 January 2020 at The Roses Theatre.
Get swept away with Aladdin, Jasmine and the magic genie on an exotic adventure to save the Princess’s kingdom. The Roses’ traditional family panto is an interactive show for families – promising cheer, laughter and fun. Meet magical characters, sing along to classic songs and discover the talented cast’s fantastical journey in the Far East.
An absolute festive favourite with the SoGlos team, The Roses’s annual pantomime is a wonderful way to celebrate the festive season with the whole family – suitable for children as young as four.
Tickets start at £15 per person, with concessions and group tickets available.
Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 December 2019 at Dean Heritage Centre. Doors open at 10am.
Enjoy a Christmassy day out at Dean Heritage Centre this December, where the little ones can meet Father Christmas, who’ll be giving out presents and take part in a range of fun-filled activities in the magical Forest of Dean.
A prime place to pick up some unique, locally-produced gifts in time for Christmas, Dean Heritage Centre will also be offering visitors delicious treats in the galleries and coffee shop and a local choir will be filling the air with classic Christmas carols on Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 December 2019.
Visitors to Dean Heritage Centre can learn more about what life was like for residents in the Victorian times, explore the old Forester’s Cottage and even try out what it was like to be a school pupil at the Victorian school. With all attractions open during the Christmas events, it makes for a fun day out for the whole family.
General admission to Dean Heritage Centre costs £7.20 per adult, £6.30 per concession and £5.40 per child. Under threes are free of charge.
Saturday 7, Sunday 8 December, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15, Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 December 2019 at Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
Santa Claus is coming to Slimbridge, with a magical grotto, gingerbread decorating and a choice of breakfast or afternoon tea included in special festive packages.
Families can get in the Christmas spirit with marshmallow toasting and Christmas crafts, plus children can write a letter to Santa and send it off at the festive post office.
Visitors to Slimbridge’s festive meet Santa events can take their pick between a hearty breakfast or an afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes and mince pies – making for a tasty and memorable way
Tickets for the Santa Experience cost £19.95 per child, £12.50 per adults and £6.95 for children under three including a gift?
Call Slimbridge Wetland Centre on (01453) 891900 or visit wwt.org.uk.
Saturday 21 December 2019
Unleash the little devils this Halloween, with SoGlos’s dedicated guide to the best spooky spots to head to for a frightfully...
See the biggest and best Christmas lights and illuminated trails in Gloucestershire, in SoGlos’s guide to all the festive events...
Discover the perfect Covid-safe venue to host your smaller Christmas party celebrations in Gloucestershire in 2020.
Visiting a Gloucestershire spa is the perfect way to enjoy some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Check out SoGlos’s guide...
Soak up the last of the sunshine and dine outdoors, with inspiration from SoGlos’s Gloucestershire alfresco dining guide.