Christmas in Chester is definitely happening in 2021, and after last year’s disappointments and challenges there will be no stopping us. Chester will not disappoint when you are looking for that seasonal magic and festive feeling that only comes alive at this time of year.
Whilst we all obviously need to do our bit to keep everyone safe, Christmas in Chester is as ever about pulling together to ensure festive activities can be enjoyed by all.
Christmas lights, lanterns and Christmas trees
The sparkling Christmas lights in Chester will shine throughout the streets from Foregate Street, Eastgate Street, Watergate Street and Bridge Street and Hoole and Cheshire Oaks will be lit up as usual with lights and decorations to bringing festive cheer to our surroundings!
Chester lights switch on – Date tbc
Mid November the beautiful centrepiece Christmas tree will arrive in the Town Hall Square on Northgate Street with lights twinkling brightly and setting the whole city alight throughout the main streets radiating from Chester’s cross to keep you in the Christmas mood in the city.
Hoole lights switch on – Date tbc
Cheshire Oaks lights switch on – Date tbc
The 90ft centrepiece Christmas tree at Cheshire Oaks takes centre stage with a wonderful Christmas market and plenty of Christmas cheer throughout the Designer Outlet.
The Lanterns at Chester Zoo – 12 Nov to 23 Dec
Experience Chester Zoo transformed into a magical illuminated wildlife wonderland – not to be missed and extremely popular this amazing spectacular often selling out very early so we recommend you get your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
Child tickets start from £11 and adults start from £13 (children under 2 and carers FREE).
Chester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival – Date tbc
The magic of Christmas continues in Chester Cathedral where the annual Christmas Tree Festival takes place from the end of November. An abundance of Christmas trees will grace the cloisters of Chester Cathedral decorated by local schools and businesses in aid of local charities. This festive family favourite is always guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit and you can even get involved decorating your own tree to adorn the Cathedral grounds for all to enjoy!
Chester Cathedral CheSTAR – Date tbc
Once again the stunning CheSTAR is lit up in the grounds of Chester Cathedral on St Werburgh Street, as an important part of the annual Christmas celebrations. The giant sparkling Christmas star, known as the ‘CheSTAR’, was handcrafted especially for the city. Standing 25ft high and 25ft wide it features almost 19,000 twinkling lights that will be sparkling brightly in the city centre this festive season bringing delight to many, as it has done since 2016.
Christmas markets and shopping
Chester’s hugely popular Christmas Market resides outside Chester Town Hall on Northgate Street festively wrapped around the sparkling centrepiece of Chester’s beautiful Christmas tree.
The market will run from Thursday 18 November until Wednesday 22 December, Sundays to Wednesdays 10.30 am – 6.30 pm, Thursdays to Saturdays 10.30 am – 8 pm.
Taste Cheshire Christmas market – Dates tbc
You can get purchasing right now online – take your pick from gorgeous gifts and decorations and amazing experiences like swimming with sharks to adopting animals, memberships and gift vouchers galore by browsing our Christmas Shopping in Chester page not to mention getting all your wine, beer and spirits from our local specialists at great prices for real quality.
With extended opening hours over Christmas you’ve got plenty of shopping time to get that perfect gift in the city centre and you can also give the gift of Chester this Christmas with the Chester Gift Card which you can preload to be used in the city at a venue or business of the recipient’s choice.
Favour your city’s local businesses for your Christmas shopping this year over the online giants and the supermarkets and you’ll be surprised at the great presents you’ll find along with the warm Christmassy feeling you’ll get from supporting your local economy.
Meeting Santa in Chester
The big man himself will be making various appearances in and around the city through December and as you know Father Christmas loves his food so he’s inviting you to meet him at The Grosvenor Pulford Hotel or Chester Cathedral for a spot of delicious brunch and festivities or over at Oddfellows for a lovely afternoon tea.
Check out the all the details and get yourself booked in before he get’s booked up on our Meet Santa page.
Dating from the 1400’s Chester’s Winter Watch Parade has been a regular occurrence at Christmas, and after having to take a year out last year due to safety measures the parades will return to the streets of Chester in 2021 and there are plenty of other Christmas things to do this year.
Christmas things to do and festive eating and drinking
There is no shortage of Christmas things to do from spectacular Christmas shows, meeting Santa, charity Santa Dashes, Christmas Tree Festival, Christmas party boat rides and so much more!
The bars and restaurants of Chester are of course always full of Christmas spirit and this year will be no exception. The Christmas parties are back on providing plenty of festive fun with fabulous food and drinks for you to enjoy and savour the magic of the city.
Travelling into Chester and parking
If you’re coming into the city Christmas shopping in December leave your car at home and use the Park & Ride which is now available for just £1 but if you prefer to bring your car you can park all day from only £4.50 at Linenhall Car Park and from the 4 December there is free parking from 10 am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Chester Racecourse and at Linenhall Car Park on Sunday 29 November and Sunday 27 December!
Christmas tree recycling
Remember to do your bit for the environment at the end of the season by recycling your Christmas tree with The Hospice of The Good Shepherd.
Whatever you do this Christmas keep safe and take great care of yourselves and each other!