Lots of people enjoy the Christmas period, counting down the days til they can put the tree up! For some students it can also feel a bit overwhelming, with exams and assessments coming up, an endless list of Christmas shopping, and plenty more on your mind! So we’ve curated a handy guide of all the best Christmas events on offer in Bristol, so instead of searching, planning, and organising, you can spend your spare time just enjoying!

Christmas markets

Bristol Christmas markets is one of the best events in the city
Source: Visit Bristol

The main Christmas market in Bristol is located near Cabot Circus. The Shopping Quarter Christmas market sells a wide range of things from crafts, quirky gifts and seasonal items!  There’s also several food stalls and live music, so you can eat, sing and dance away! Plus, the decorations look absolutely stunning so even if you aren’t going to buy anything you can just go to soak up the wholesome Christmassy vibes.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could even book a slot in the Christmas igloos or heated ski gondolas for a really unique and fun escapist experience. Alternatively, you could go to St Nicholas’ Market, which is great to go to at any time, but both the indoor (from November 14th) and outdoor (from December 10th) markets become much more Christmas-themed this time of year. This is also very handy if you’re looking for fun or quirky presents. You could even pop over to Bath to see their Christmas market, ranked as the number one Christmas market in the UK.

St George’s Bristol Holiday Concerts

St George's Bristol
Source: Flickr: Robert Cuffs

St George’s Bristol is a beautiful concert hall in the heart of Bristol, and hosts an array of events during the Christmas period. You can find anything from traditional carols to folk or Baroque festive music to enjoy. Concerts include the City Voices Bristol choir concert on December 4th, Cara Dillon’s “Upon a Winter’s Night” folk concert on December 9th, and the Bristol Bach Choir concert on December 10th. You can also catch Fantasia, Start warming up the vocal chord so you can sing along!

Avon Valley

avon valley
Source: Avon Valley

Avon Valley is an adventure and wildlife park between Bristol and Bath which offers brilliant seasonal, family-friendly events at Christmas time. This includes festive outdoor ice skating on offer for skaters of all abilities from 26th November up until the new year. Or you could attend the mesmerising ‘Christmas Nights Light Trail’ in which the beautiful natural surroundings are used as a backdrop for a light show from an award-winning event lighting specialist. The play barn is open for a Christmas-themed disco, and there’s also the ‘Santa’s Sleigh Surprise Show’ which is great if you have younger siblings coming to visit around the Christmas period.

Winter Propyard

Winterland at Propyard
Source: Visit Bristol

Located near Temple Meads train station, Bristol’s Propyard transforms its studio into a beautifully festive area during the Christmas period. The Winter Propyard offers Bristol’s only indoor ice rink, which hilariously offers “ice training dolphins” to help out those who are more inexperienced on the ice. There’s also ice bumper cars for all ages to try, and Winter Socials featuring DJs playing every Friday and Saturday. You can also relax at the Apres Skate Bar, serving cocktails, mulled wine, hot chocolate and a bunch of festive drinks. Or wander around the Winter Markets, which showcase the best of Bristol’s crafts, gifts and homewares every weekend leading up to Christmas, as well as the full week of the 19th to the 24th of December.

If you have the budget for it, you could also book the Winterland Party Package if you want to book a table or area at the Winterland with an option to skate. Finally, it also screens all the World Cup matches if you’re looking for a venue to watch them in.

Vintage Winter Wonderland 


Vintage Winter Wonderland
Source: Visit Bristol

The Harbourside’s Millennium square features the Vintage Winter Wonderland, which includes rides, the Skyview Observation Wheel, vintage games, a Christmas food market. There’s also the Apres Bar, which has a great selection of wines, spirits, cocktails and some of the best locally-brewed ale, beer and cider, something Bristol is famed for. Overall, it’s a great place to spend time and enjoy a fun Christmas atmosphere by the Harbourside.

So there you go, there are some of the best Christmas events in Bristol. For more to get you in the holiday spirit, here’s our recommendations for some of the best Netflix original Christmas films.

Last Updated on February 6, 2023