It’s cold, wet and we are nearly at the end of the semester (already?). But if you need a break from the never-ending nights in the library, Christmas events can be the perfect way to cheer yourself up. Go with some friends, make a day out of it and press pause on the hectic university schedule.  You don’t need snow to take a snow day – plus, everything’s all Christmassy, so what more could you want? Keep reading to find some of the best Christmas events in Nottingham to check out this winter.

Winter Wonderland

The best christmas events in Nottingham
Source: Flickr: It’s No Game

Winter Wonderland is practically synonymous with Christmas in Nottingham. From the 7th of November to the 31st of December, Old Market Square is transformed into a Christmas spectacle. There’s an ice rink, a sky skate ice path, bars, food, a Ferris wheel, a toboggan slide and a Christmas market. What more could you want? You will have to pay for some things like the Ferris wheel or the ice path, but you can simply just show up and witness the magic yourself, for free. 

Christmas at Wollaton

The best christmas events in Nottingham
Source: Visit Nottinghamshire

If you’re looking for something a little less high-octane, then Christmas at Wollaton could be the one for you. Located in Wollaton Park, literally just off the University of Nottingham campus, the park transforms into a winter wonderland complete with a brand new illuminated light trail. Wollaton Park is already one of the best spots for a date in Nottingham, but if you’re looking for some flirty festive fun, a nice romantic stroll in Wollaton Park at Christmas could be the perfect idea. It could also be a great way to spend one last night with your friends to celebrate the end of the semester before heading home for winter break. 

Tickets can be purchased here and they’re selling out quickly, so hurry! 


Best Christmas events in Nottingham
Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash

Panto is a traditional Christmas activity showing a different story each year. Going to the theatre as a kid and watching a pantomime was always a fun pastime, so why not revisit it this year? There are pantomimes across the city, but one of the biggest ones is held at the Theatre Royal each year. 

Christmas Lights Switch On

Christmas light switch on in Nottingham
Source: Visit Nottingham

A Christmas lights switch on is another iconic Christmas event in Nottingham. Gathering with a group of people, and seeing the lights come on, it’s almost as if that’s the official start of the Christmas season. The city centre transforms into a wonderful winter wonderland to celebrate this moment. The Christmas lights switch on in the city centre at the National Ice Centre. A surprise guest will be switching on the lights on the 25th of November, then the rink will be open for the first festive ice skating session of the season. An adult ticket costs £10 per person. However, for students, this is a mere £5.50 per person, for the lights and a skate. That’s almost half price. Gotta love a good bargain when you see one, right? 

Alternatively, for students who can’t make it into the city centre or don’t have the time, the Beeston Christmas lights switch is on a week later. It also comes complete with a Christmas market, Santa’s grotto, fun fair, live music and even fireworks. Talk about an explosive way to get the Christmas season started. 

Christmas Comedy Specials

Just the Tonic Nottingham Christmas event
Just the Tonic Comedy Club

If you’re looking for some festive humour, then the Christmas comedy special at Just the Tonic Comedy Club is what you’re looking for. The club will be putting on four shows, on the 2nd, 9th, 15th and 16th of December. The comics vary depending on the night, but you’re in for a treat no matter what. As of the time of writing, general admission tickets are available for all shows at £16.50 per person (£15 face value + £1.50 booking fee). Bear in mind that this event is strictly for 18+. 

Christmas Evening at Waterstones Nottingham

Best Christmas Events in Nottingham 2023
Source: Waterstones

For the bookworms among us, this is one of, if not the, best Christmas events in Nottingham for you. Waterstones is hosting a Christmas Evening at their shop in the city centre on the 6th of December from 6 to 8 pm. You can go in and shop for yourself or Christmas presents while enjoying a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine. You also have the opportunity to meet authors like M.A. Kuzniar and Talia Hibbert, with more to be announced. And, even better, the event is completely free! 

Christmas Covers Party

The Bodega Christmas events in Nottingham
The Bodega Nottingham

This one might be a little late for students as you’ll probably have gone home for Christmas by then, but if you’re staying in Nottingham over the break or you live in Nottingham anyway, this is a great option. The Bodega is hosting its 20th annual Christmas Covers Party on Saturday the 23rd of December. So far, 8 bands have confirmed that they will be attending to perform cover versions of all your favourite pop songs. Tickets in advance cost £8 per person, but you can also purchase them at the door for £10, with all proceeds going to charity. 

The Garage Christmas Party

Best Christmas Events in Nottingham 2023
Source: The Garage Chilwell

If you’re looking for one last hurrah with your friends following the end of term before you head home, this is a great option. On Saturday 16th of December, The Garage in Chilwell is hosting a Christmas Party. Some of the best street food chefs will be cooking up some festive street food, alongside Christmas cocktails and craft beers. There will be a brass band, games and competitions, making for one fun-filled evening. Tickets are £10 per person. 

Elementary! A Christmas Murder Mystery

Best Christmas Events in Nottingham 2023
Source: National Justice Museum

The National Justice Museum is putting on Elementary!, a Christmas murder mystery. Work together with your fellow guests to solve clues and crack the case. As of the time of writing, the dates left that are available are: Friday 24th November, Saturday 25th November, Friday 1st December, Wednesday 6th December, Thursday 7th December, Wednesday 13th December and Thursday 14th December. Tickets are quite expensive at £52.99 per person, but it comes with a lot. In addition to the murder mystery event itself, you’ll also receive a three-course Christmas meal and a cocktail or mocktail upon arrival. 


So, there you have it. These are some of the best Christmas events in Nottingham. For anyone who hates to see the end of the Christmas market, don’t worry there’s plenty of other great markets to wander round in Nottingham to keep you occupied. 

Last Updated on January 24, 2024