Gloucestershire Christmas events guide

Find Christmas events in Gloucestershire in 2020, including family fun, where to meet Santa, and much more, with SoGlos’s guide to the best festive events in the county.

Get ready for some socially distanced festive fun in Gloucestershire this Christmas 2020, 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 2020 will help you make the most of everything that’s on offer in the county, with Christmas lights, where to meet Santa, and even a drive-in pantomime!


About the sponsor – Lilian Faithfull Care

Putting people above profits, Lilian Faithfull Care creates a home for life for every resident living at one of its five Gloucestershire homes.

Established in 1946, the charity provides a range of elderly care options, from day care, assisted living and residential care, to specialist nursing and dementia care.

For more information, visit lilianfaithfull.co.uk.


Christmas events in Cheltenham


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


When and where?

Stagecoach West’s Park & Ride in Cheltenham is a convenient choice for Christmas shoppers and those hitting the January sales.

What’s happening?

During the Christmas holidays, save yourself some time, money and hassle by using Stagecoach West’s Park & Ride service to get you into the centre of Cheltenham.

With free parking and traffic-busting bus lanes, there are two choices in Cheltenham – Arle Court Park & Ride in the south and Cheltenham Racecourse Park & Ride in the north of town.

SoGlos loves

If you’re taking the family on a festive shopping trip or to see the Christmas lights on the The Promenade, two under-16s can travel free of charge with every adult.

The important bits

A two-person adult return costs £4.80, with buses running frequently from both of Stagecoach West’s Park & Rides in Cheltenham.

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 Everyman Theatre

When and where?

Friday 4 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021 at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.

What’s happening?

No panto this year? Oh yes there is! Tweedy’s Reduced Pantomime promises big laughs with a small cast for this socially distanced Christmas show. See Tweedy clowning around and getting up to his usual tricks, plus there’ll be an appearance from one of Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters to boo and hiss at (under your mask, of course).

There’s also Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being brought to life through puppetry and music, from Saturday 19 to Thursday 31 December 2020, too.

SoGlos loves

With socially distanced seating arrangements, ‘pod’ based booking and a whole lot of hand sanitiser, theatre-lovers of all ages can enjoy the magic of a live show safely at the Everyman Theatre, this Christmas.

The important bits

Tickets for Tweedy’s Reduced Pantomime cost from £26 per person while tickets for A Christmas Carol cost £15 per person, and can be booked in groups of two, three, four, five or six.

How to book

Visit everymantheatre.org.uk.


Car Park Panto at Cheltenham Racecourse

When and where?

Monday 21 December 2020 at Cheltenham Racecourse.

What’s happening?

The ‘world’s first drive-in Christmas show’ is coming to Cheltenham Racecourse this December, with two performances of Horrible Christmas to watch from your car.

The show tells the story of a boy who sets out to save Christmas from being cancelled, with appearances from King Henry VIII, Charles Dickens and a host of other historical characters.

SoGlos loves

Family bubbles can wrap up and bundle into the car for a safe, socially distanced live show that’s sure to delight kids and grown-ups this Christmas.

The important bits

Tickets cost £45 per car.

How to book

Visit ticketmaster.co.uk.


Christmas events in the Cotswolds


Enchanted Light Trail at Cotswold Farm Park


When and where?

Friday 4 December 2020 to Friday 1 January 2021, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, at Cotswold Farm Park.

What’s happening?

See Cotswold Farm Park in a whole new light at the brand-new Enchanted Light Trail – an illuminated outdoor display weaving around the farm park, offering a perfect winter treat for Gloucestershire families.

Cotswold Farm Park will be filled with colour, light and sound and, as well as static and interactive lighting installations, visitors can expect fire pits, a festive shop and tasty food to tuck into along the route.

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 to ensure social distancing is possible, between 4.30pm to 7.30pm, with the trail taking around 60- to 90-minutes to complete.

How to book

Visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.


Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

When and where?

Families can once again explore Westonbirt Arboretum’s illuminated Enchanted Christmas trail on selected evenings from Saturday 28 November to Monday 21 December 2020.

What’s happening?

Follow the magical light trail through the trees of Westonbirt Arboretum, in search of the West Pole – one of Father Christmas’s secret workshops, hidden right here in Gloucestershire.

With spellbinding light displays and festive spectacles to get you in the Christmas spirit, families will also get the chance to meet Santa’s hardworking elves and maybe even catch a glimpse of the man himself!

SoGlos loves

To maintain social distancing, there will be two Christmas villages at Westonbirt Arboretum this year, giving families the chance to tuck in to some tasty seasonal treats or have a go on traditional fairground rides both before and after the trail.

The important bits

Enchanted Christmas tickets must be booked in advance and cost £16 for adults, £8 for children over five years-old and free for under-fives. Enchanted Christmas will take place from 4pm to 9.30pm.

How to book

Visit forestryengland.uk.


Christmas events in Gloucester


Christmas events at Gloucester Cathedral


When and where?

Gloucester Cathedral is open every day in December 2020. Carols will be played or sung in the cathedral during opening hours, while visitors will also enjoy the chance to follow the Christmas Family Trail, which runs until Wednesday 7 January 2021. With two special streamed services to tune into too!

What’s happening?

Christmas might be a bit different in 2020, but Gloucester Cathedral is making it every bit as special with its ‘From Your Cathedral To You’ campaign.

Every day in the build-up to Christmas, until Thursday 24 December 2020, enjoy Gloucester Cathedral’s Digital Advent Calendar, which includes a short video from the choir, clergy, community partners and local charities.

On Sunday 20 December 2020, there’s a special family Online Christmas celebration service being streamed, with a chance for families to get into the festive spirit.

There’s also an Online Carols Anthems and Readings service being streamed on Wednesday 23 December 2020, including some poignant festive readings and a traditional selection of Christmas carols.

SoGlos loves

The live-sized Knitivity! Don’t miss seeing all of the nativity characters in knitted form, situated in the north transept. It’s really rather lovely.

The important bits

Admission to Gloucester Cathedral is free of charge, although donations are encouraged.

How to book

Pre-booking is not required, visit gloucestercathedral.org for more information.


Christmas events at the Museum of Gloucester

When and where?

There’s festive family fun planned at the Museum of Gloucester from Saturday 12 December 2020 to Monday 4 January 2021.

What’s happening?

With new digital activities to celebrate the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, visitors of all ages can get into the Christmas spirit at the Museum of Gloucester, this December 2020.

What’s more, families can follow a brand-new bauble inspired trail across Gloucester, with Christmas goody bags for every child that takes part.

SoGlos loves

With traditional Christmas decorations all around, visitors are bound to feel festive after a trip to the Museum of Gloucester’s magical gallery.

The important bits

Admission to the Museum of Gloucester is free. Tickets for the Bauble Trail cost from £3 per child and include a goody bag, little elves under three-years-old can take part for free.

How to book

Visit museumofgloucester.co.uk/christmas.


Christmas at Gloucester Guildhall

When and where?

Christmas has arrived at Gloucester Guildhall, with festive film screenings and one-off specials from Friday 18 to Wednesday 23 December 2020.

What’s happening?

See a twist on a festive favourite, with A Christmas Carol told by Martin Freeman, Carey Mulligan, Andy Serkis and other famous voices as a talented cast of dancers take on the roles of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas. Screenings start at 4pm on Friday 18, Saturday 19, Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 December 2020.

Mixers will be delighted to see Little Mix LM5: The Tour Film at 7pm on Saturday 19 December 2020, while theatre-lovers can see a special showing of the National Theatre’s performance of War Horse at 7pm on Wednesday 23 December 2020.

SoGlos loves

Gloucester Guildhall has also teamed up with the Museum of Gloucester and Blackfriars Priory for a bauble-inspired family trail – tickets are available from the Museum of Gloucester for £3 per child, including a goody bag.

The important bits

Tickets for A Christmas Carol cost £6 per person, while tickets for War Horse and Little Mix cost £15 each.

How to book

Visit gloucesterguildhall.co.uk.


Christmas events in Stroud


Christmas at Stonehouse Court Hotel

When and where?

Join Santa and his helpers for A Magical Christmas at Stonehouse Court near Stroud, on Saturday 5, Sunday 6, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December 2020

What’s happening?

Children can see Santa in his grotto and receive an early Christmas gift, before indulging in hot chocolate and a biscuit while they write a letter to post into Santa’s magical post box. There may also be the chance to make friends with some real-life reindeer!

For the grown-ups, there’s a Christmas craft market, offering unique artisanal Christmas gifts, stocking fillers and decorations.

SoGlos loves

Make the whole day magical by adding on a festive afternoon tea, with a selection of sandwiches, homemade cakes, scones with clotted cream and jam, and of course, a warming pot of tea or coffee.

The important bits

Tickets cost £15 per child while accompanying adults can attend for free. Children’s tickets are discounted to £7.50 each when adding on a festive afternoon tea for £15 per adult.

How to book

Call Stonehouse Court on (01453) 794950, or visit stonehousecourt.co.uk.


Christmas events at Slimbridge Wetland Centre

When and where?

Father Christmas is making his annual visit to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, from Saturday 12 to Tuesday 22 December 2020.

What’s happening?

A brand-new festive event for 2020, children will have the chance to meet Santa Claus and his elves over breakfast or afternoon tea in Slimbridge’s Kingfisher Kitchen restaurant.

Keeping a safe distance, 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

Perfect for picking up stocking fillers, Slimbridge’s Christmas shop has everything from festive decorations made from fresh winter fruits, to wildlife-themed crafts, jigsaw puzzles and family games.

The important bits

Tickets to meet Santa at Slimbridge must be booked online in advance and cost £22 for adults, £19.15 for children aged four to 16, and £14.95 for children aged two and three. Following government guidelines, tables can seat a maximum of six people including adults and children.

How to book

Visit wwt.org.uk/slimbridge.


Christmas events at Cattle Country Adventure Park

When and where?

Father Christmas’s sleigh will be parked at Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley from Saturday 5 to Wednesday 23 December 2020.

What’s happening?

Climb aboard Santa’s magic sleigh for that all-important family photo opportunity and don’t miss the chance to meet the man himself – from a safe distance, of course.

Children will receive a special Christmas Eve kit from the elves, as well as getting to post their Christmas lists to the North Pole and make their own decorations to hang proudly at home – and this is on top of all the usual Cattle Country animal feeding and adventure playground fun!

SoGlos loves

There’s festive fun on the menu for foodies too, as Cattle Country’s delicious restaurant GRAZE will be open on selected evenings throughout December 2020. With traditional turkey and roast Christmas dinner options, as well as a juicy brisket-topped burgers, and a licenced bar too.

The important bits

Those wanting to meet Father Christmas must book their tickets to Cattle Country online in advance, with specific time slots to be booked on arrival. Admission costs £13 for children aged four and above, £8.50 for toddlers aged one to three, and £12 for adults.

All Christmas activities are included in the cost, but additional £1 charges apply for animal feeding and ride-on vehicles.

How to book

Visit cattlecountry.co.uk/christmas.


Christmas events in Tewkesbury


Christmas wreath and table centre workshops at Tewkesbury Park

When and where?

Wreath making workshops on Sunday 29 November and Thursday 3 December 2020 and a festive table centrepiece workshop Sunday 20 December 2020 at Tewkesbury Park.

What’s happening?

Get crafty this Christmas at a wreath or table centrepiece workshop at Tewkesbury Park.

Led by Jo Hiorns from Simply Flowers, guests will be given step-by-step instructions and provided with everything they need to make a completely unique festive decoration for their home.

SoGlos loves

As well as creating a stunning centrepiece or wreath to take home, workshops also include either Sunday brunch, complete with Tewkesbury Park’s indulgent chocolate fountain, or a delicious Festive Afternoon Tea with sandwiches, cakes and a cuppa.

The important bits

Tickets cost £65 per person and include everything that’s needed for the workshop, your wreath or centrepiece to take home and either Sunday brunch or Festive Afternoon Tea.

How to book

Visit tewkesburypark.co.uk.


Christmas events in the Forest of Dean


Christmas adventures at the Forest of Dean

When and where?

From following the family cycle trail to spotting winter birds of prey, there’s lots to see and do at the Forest of Dean – with its main sites, including Beechenhurst, Cannop Cycle Centre and Symonds Yat, open every day except Christmas Day in 2020.

What’s happening?

Don your wellies and head to the Forest of Dean for a breath of crisp, fresh air this Christmas time. Perfect for family days out in the great outdoors, there are plenty of frosty forest trails to crunch through, and cafés offering decadent hot chocolates and steaming drinks to warm up with.

Visitors to Beechenhurst can also follow the interactive Gruffalo Spotters trail, with the augmented reality app giving little ones the chance to wish their favourite characters a merry Christmas as they appear in the forest all around them.

SoGlos loves

From making Christmas tree-toppers with twigs to painting festive pine cone robins, Forestry England’s free downloadable activity sheets are full of inspiration for families looking to get crafty this season – using natural resources from the Forest of Dean.

The important bits

Beechenhurst, Cannop Ponds, Wenchford, Mallards Pike, Cannop Cycle Centre and Symonds Yat are open from 8am to 5pm daily. Admission is free and parking costs £5 for the day.

How to book

Booking in advance is not required. For more information, visit forestryengland.uk.


Jack and the Beanstalk at Puzzlewood

When and where?

Families can catch Puzzlewood’s interactive open-air panto, Jack and the Beanstalk from Saturday 19 to Wednesday 30 December 2020, with performances from 10.15am on selected days.

What’s happening?

Delivering classic panto gags in an enchanting open-air setting, Puzzlewood’s Jack and the Beanstalk will have audiences of all ages laughing their stockings off this Christmas season – as furloughed forester, Jack, makes the fateful decision to sell Boris the cow for some magic beans!

With plenty of outdoor space, family groups and bubbles can safely enjoy some traditional pantomime fun – with entrance to Puzzlewood included in the ticket price for a festive fairy-tale adventure.

SoGlos loves

Audience participation is the hallmark of every traditional panto – and Puzzlewood’s fully-interactive performance takes it to the next level, as ticketholders are invited to follow Jack’s story through the grounds, and even take part in an epic family sword fight against the giant!

The important bits

Tickets cost £17 and must be booked online in advance.

How to book

Visit puzzlewood.net.


© SoGlos
Friday 18 December 2020

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