Cirencester Rocks

A touch of Christmas magic: festive events in and around Cirencester for all the family

‘Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to spread some festive cheer than to take the family to some of the many Christmas events happening right on our doorstep.

From pantomimes to traditional pantos to seasonal advent markets, here’s our round-up of festive events in and around Cirencester to get you in the mood for Christmas!

There’s no need to leave your present buying to the last minute – Cirencester’s got you covered. As well as an array of local shops where you can find a great selection of gifts, a number of outdoor Christmas Markets are being staged in Cirencester’s Market Place throughout December, as well as the regular Charter Markets.

Indoor markets are being held in the Corn Hall.

You’ll find a wealth of independent food shops in Cirencester where you can stock up on everything you need for Christmas. You can also head to the Festive Farmers Markets for some delicious treats.

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Cirencester Parish Church has been turned into a magical wonderland with over 30 Christmas trees decorated by local schools and businesses. The church’s Christmas Tree Festival runs until 16 December and is open daily from 10am-4pm.

For a truly magical (and memorable) experience, why not take the family to the Gateway Ice Rink at the Cotswold Water Park where you can skate on real ice! The all-weather ice rink is open until 3 January. Afterwards, pop in to one of the nearby food outlets offering everything from wood-fired pizzas to crepes and waffles. There is also a fire pit so don't forget to pack the marshmallows!

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional tale or two to cast some magic, so why not bag some tickets for a seasonal play or panto?

The Barn Theatre’s production of The True Adventures of Marian and Robin Hood promises a mix of magic, myth, music and medieval slapstick as the famous duo try to thwart the sheriff and overthrow his evil protector. The show runs until 6 January. Family tickets represent great value for money. Suitable for ages 4+

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Family show Santa Saves Christmas is being staged at the Sundial Theatre on 22 December with performances at 11am and 2pm. Packed with fun and laughter, this festive adventure is suitable for 2–7-year-olds - and every child gets a present from Santa!

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For a mesmerising outdoor adventure, pay a visit to the Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum on selected evenings until 21 December. The magical illuminated trail features new light displays and there will also be some fun-packed activities to keep little ones entertained along the way. They might even meet some mischievous elves!

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The popular craft sessions at the Corinium Museum return with a Mosaic Bird Tree Decoration Children’s Workshop on Monday 19 December, 10.30-11.30am. Recommended for children aged 8 and above, it costs £8-£9 and booking is essential.

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While you’re there, enjoy the ‘We are the Romans!’ family trail and take in the amazing Gladiators: A Cemetery of Secrets exhibition.

If you go down to the woods today… you’re sure to find Santa’s Grotto @ Cirencester Golf Club! Children will get the chance to ride on a reindeer truck to Santa’s Grotto in the magical woods during this festive event on 17 and 18 December, and take home a small present. Money raised will be donated to Cirencester Food Bank.

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Little ones will love Roves Farm Father Christmas Grotto and Nativity. Visit Father Christmas in his magical grotto and meet his workshop elves, make reindeer food and craft some fun festive decorations to take home. There’s also an amazing nativity scene complete with a real donkey, sheep and alpacas (instead of a camel!). Pre-book tickets online.

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Yes, it’s pantomime season and there’s a wealth to choose from in our region. Everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy is making his now traditional appearance at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre in Dick Whittington And His Cat Tweedy. The Sub Rooms in Stroud have Cinderella; Beauty and the Beast is on at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon; Snow White at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury; and, if you’re looking for the ultimate villain, Craig Revel Horwood is the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome.

And finally, why not make Christmas shopping a fun day out for all the family? Visit your local shops, browse the Christmas stalls and markets and pop in to one of the many child-friendly cafes for a hot chocolate and mince pie along the way.

Head over to our Local Business Guide to see some of our fantastic local, independent stores.