Seasonal events to celebrate Christmas in Oxford
The clocks have changed, the mornings are frosty, and Bonfire Night is behind us – and that can only mean one thing. That’s right: Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re not quite feeling the festive spirit yet, here are some local yuletide events to get you in the mood.
Oxford’s Christmas Lights Festival
Kicking off the festive season here in Oxford, the Christmas Lights Festival takes place this weekend (17 – 19 November 2017), with lots of free events unfolding at various city centre locations. With a theme of ‘The World in Oxford’, this year’s festival celebrates the city’s diverse communities with a look at journeys to Oxford from around the world. Expect lanterns, music and street artists galore, along with a Christmas market on Broad Street, a live dance stage in Gloucester Green, and light and sound installations in the Castle Quarter and Westgate.
Christmas at Blenheim Palace
Starting on 24 November and running until New Year’s Day, Christmas at Blenheim Palace is a magical occasion. The Formal Gardens are lit with thousands of twinkling fairy lights in an enchanting light trail, while brightly lit boats illuminate the Great Lake. After walking the trail, enjoy traditional fairground rides and finish off your visit with a warming cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Christmas theatre in Oxford
One of the delights of the festive calendar in Oxford is undoubtedly the panto at the Oxford Playhouse. This year it’s Jack and the Beanstalk, running from 24 November to 7 January. Billed as ‘Oxford’s most GIGANTIC panto yet’, it’s an unmissable show for young and old alike. Alternatively, head to Summertown to see Dickens’ A Christmas Carol performed by the Creation Theatre at the North Wall between 2 December and 6 January.
Christmas carol concerts at Oxford University
If you’re someone who favours a more traditional festive experience, you’ll probably agree that Christmas in Oxford wouldn’t be Christmas without a carol concert at one of the college chapels. While Christmas at Christ Church is now sold out, there are plenty more concerts to get you into the Christmas spirit. You could experience the magic of Carols by Candlelight at Magdalen on 9 or 10 December, for instance, or head to one of the Christmas concerts performed by New College Choir.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
If you’re happy to venture slightly further afield for a dose of festive fun, make your way to London for Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – the ultimate Christmas event. From the Bavarian-style Christmas market to the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, and from Zippo’s Christmas Circus to the Giant Observation Wheel, there really is something for everyone at this Christmas extravaganza.
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