The leaves have fallen from the trees, there’s an icy nip in the air, and it’s dark on the drive home from work – it’s official, winter is coming!
Despite the weather being cooler, for us, December is all about making memories, browsing Christmas markets with your loved ones with a hot chocolate in hand, wrapping yourself up in your warmest clothes to watch the Christmas light switch-on in your local town. Don’t get us wrong, we love snuggling up on the sofa in front of the TV as much as the next person, but there’s something magical in the air at this time of year, and a whole range of activities not to be missed, that it would be a shame not to make the most of it.
If you want to experience all the wonderful things on offer but don’t know where to start, don’t fear! We’ve done all the hard work for you compiling a list of our favourite events taking place in the local area this December.
There’s nothing quite like a Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit! We’re so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful villages and towns, all with great Christmas markets to enjoy. It’s the perfect time to purchase unique handmade gifts, indulge in mulled wine and a mince pie or two, or simply soak up the joyful atmosphere. Here are some of our favourites:
Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre (From 17th November 2022)
Christmas Suffolk Farmer’s Market, Trinity Park, Ipswich (10th December 2022)
Lavenham Christmas Fair, Lavenham Guildhall and Market Square (7th to 9th December 2022)
Markshall Estate Christmas Market, Coggeshall (3rd to 4th December 2022)
Sudbury Christmas Fair and Light Switch On – Dates TBC
Christmas Light Trails
Whether you want to spend quality time with friends and family this Christmas, or are looking for a romantic activity to enjoy with a loved one, Light Trails are the perfect choice to have some festive fun and do something a bit different (not to mention the Instagram opportunities are endless!) Here is a selection in Suffolk and Essex to choose from:
Helmingham Hall, Stowmarket – Illuminated Garden Trail (18th November to 18th December 2022)
Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds – Ickworth’s Light Nights (19th November to 5th December 2022)
Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire – Winter Lights 2022 (9th to 21st December 2022)
Hyde Hall, Chelmsford – Glow 2022 (22nd November to 30th December 2022)
Hylands Estate, near Chelmsford – Enlightened (24th November 2022 to 1st January 2023)
Colchester Zoo, Colchester – Enchanted Trail of Light (3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 21st and 23rd December 2022)
Is it really Christmas without watching a Christmas pantomime? Oh no it isn’t! Lots of brilliant productions are happening in Suffolk and Essex this year that the whole family is guaranteed to love. Discover a handful of the best local shows below:
Mercury Theatre, Colchester – Beauty and the Beast (26th November 2022 to 15th January 2023)
The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich – Goldilocks and the Three Bears (24th November 2022 to 28th January 2023)
Ipswich Regent Theatre – Peter Pan (16th to 31st December 2022)
The Spa Pavillion, Felixstowe – Snow White (23rd December 2022 to 2nd January 2023)
Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds – The Legend of Robin Hood (25th November 2022 to 14th January 2023)
Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea – Cinderella (4th December 2022 to 1st January 2023)
Meet Father Christmas
Christmas isn’t complete without taking your little ones to meet the man himself! Explore our favourite spots to meet Father Christmas and create magical memories with the whole family this December. We’d recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Stoke by Nayland Resort – Santa Sunday Events (4th, 11th and 18th December 2022)
Elveden Courtyard – Elveden Grotto (Weekends throughout December 2022)
Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park – Magical Christmas Experiences (2022 dates TBC)
Easton Farm Park, Easton – Festive Fun on the Farm (Weekends throughout December and 19th to 24th December 2022)
Mid Suffolk Light Railway, Stowmarket – Santa Specials (Weekends throughout December 2022)
Kentwell Hall, Sudbury – A Dickensian Christmas (10th & 11th and 17th & 18th December 2022)
Barleyland Farm Park, Billericay – Father Christmas Experience (26th November to 24th December 2022)
Colchester Zoo – Magic of Christmas (26th & 27th November, weekends throughout December and 19th – 24th December 2022)
Kersey Mill – Santa’s Workshop Experience (3rd to 23rd December 2022)
Team one of these amazing activities up with a one or two-night Winter Wonderland hotel break this December.