Festive Derby is on the way and we have lots of shows and activities to keep you and the little ones entertained as Christmas rolls around.
There will be lots to do throughout the city during the Festive Derby period this year, as we bring you a jam-packed programme including events, family activities, markets, trails, entertainment and much more.
Sponsored by Smooth Radio, Festive Derby will start with a bang with our Christmas Lights Switch-On which will be hosted in Derby City Centre on Saturday 12 November. The event will begin with a lantern parade lighting up the sky with handmade lanterns, making its way to The Market Place and Corporation Street. A stage show here will host live music, dancers and large helpings of festive cheer leading up to the switch-on at 6pm. This is a great free evening for all the family to enjoy and you’re bound to leave full of Christmas spirit. More information will be available on our website including the full programme closer to the event, but make sure to save the date in your diary!
Heading to Markeaton Park, Family Festivities will return between Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 December. The event has become a staple for many families in the wider Derbyshire area due to the event being free entry, with lots do to around the park for the whole weekend. This year, the event will feature lots of festive live music, which will be a backdrop to your visit, along with walkabout characters and festive food available from The Orangery Café. The free Elf Trail will return after the successes of last year; perfect for the little ones. You can also come and post your downloadable letter to Father Christmas at the Markeaton North Pole post box. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the craft units to shop local for your Christmas gifts and snap a picture of the decorations for a festive social media post. Festive Mini Golf will also be available, so get ready to unleash your competitive streak.
Returning to Festive Derby by popular demand is our Ice Rink between Monday 5th and Saturday 31st December. The Ice Rink will be in the Market Place next to the performance venue and will be in housed in a marquee which will have glass panel sides and an internal walkway for spectators to watch on and enjoy the twinkling lights. The sessions will be split into peak and off-peak sessions, with prices varying accordingly as well as having toddler and themed sessions. The themed sessions are a great opportunity to dress up with your friends and have a fun, festive time. The themes include 80s, 90s, 00s, superhero, fancy dress, Christmas and New Year’s Eve Party. We’re offering group discounts on bookings ranging from 4 people to 50+ people. Skating aids will also be available on the rink free of charge first come first serve, so don’t worry if this is your first time on the ice!
The little ones will be delighted to know that after the success of last year’s Hungry Trolls, Babbling Vagabonds are returning this Christmas with another fantastic show. You can expect all the usual fun and mischief with this years’ The Christmas Toy Shop Mystery running in Derby Market Place between Friday 9 and Friday 30 December. The show features colourful characters, catchy tunes, puppets and theatrical magic; all with a splash of festive fun. Find out what really happens when a ballerina stops dancing, a robot stops computing and a jack in the box loses his bounce.
Flying on a magic carpet to Derby Arena this Christmas is our pantomime: Aladdin! This year’s pantomime is another fantastic opportunity for some family friendly fun as we’ve teamed up with Little Wolf Entertainment to transport you to the town of Shangri-La. Accompanying you on your trip is Cold Feet and The Masked Singer sensation John Thomson who will take to the stage as the wicked sorcerer Abanazar. Alongside John is our award-winning Best Dame and Derby panto favorite: Morgan Brind. Prepare for spectacular sets, breathtaking special effects, gorgeous costumes and
mountains of mayhem when Aladdin comes to town between Friday 9 and Saturday 31 December at Derby Arena.