Here’s our guide to top events in Shrewsbury this Christmas from Santa visits to the most festive nights out!
Shrewsbury’s Top Christmas Events
Shrewsbury's Christmas Light Switch On event has been cancelled out of respect for four young teenagers who lost their lives in an accident in North Wales. Our beautiful lights will now be turned on quietly to mark the start of Christmas in the town. Shrewdolf, the giant reindeer outside the Darwin Centre, will also return this year.
The Winter Warmer event at the Market Hall has also been postponed until December 13th (to coincide with Carols in The Square) when the market will stay open late with a selection of eateries, bars and stalls open until 9pm. If you buy from one of the retailers between 5pm and 7pm, you’ll receive a free mince pie and glass of mulled wine courtesy of the Food Hub. The Hungry Guy will be transforming surplus food into culinary delights for shoppers too.
Look out Shrewsbury, legendary Dame and Director Brad Fitt is back with another family pantomime. Jack and the Beanstalk comes to Theatre Severn from November 29th until January 7th. With Brad at the helm, you are guaranteed a hilarious, fun-filled show for the whole family.
Carols in the Square is set to take place on Wednesday, December 13th, 5.30pm – 8pm. It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Shropshire and on large TV screens inside the Market Hall – where there’ll be another Winter Warmer night taking place. There will be music from Shrewsbury Brass Band and Shrewsbury Male Voice Choir who will lead the crowds with renditions of classic Christmas carols.
Make a Date with Santa
Meet Father Christmas in a traditional workshop at the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from December 1st – 23rd. The elves will guide you and your family along the flagstones, through the archway to begin your climb up the original sweeping staircase. You’ll arrive at a wonderous workshop, crammed full of history and magic, to meet Father Christmas himself! Children can post a letter to Father Christmas in the museum’s special post box during the festive period too.
You can see Santa, the Grinch and Polaris the Polar Bear at Shrewsbury Shopping Centres from December 2nd – 23rd. They’ll be roaming around, so keep an eye out! There’s also a chance to have breakfast with Santa and The Grinch at Massarella’s café for £10 per person on December 10th and 20th. All the details are here.
The Twilight Trail at Love2Stay
From November 25th until December 23rd Santa will be at Love2Stay in his Grotto. You can even bring your pet dog along to meet Santa Paws! Book tickets here. Love 2 Stay is also running a 400m Twilight Trail daily from the end of November.
Santa will be visiting Dobbies garden centre. An elf will guide you to find the Little Seedlings characters along the way before arriving in the wildlife forest clearing where the little ones will make a special item to take home, before going on to meet Santa in his grotto.
Pick up a Christmas Tree
Love Plants is holding a Christmas VIP event on November 24th 4pm-7pm. You can explore their wonderland of trees and tag your tree to secure it. They’re offering free delivery within a 5-mile radius. There will be complimentary mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies and a brass band providing the Christmas music. Trees are available after this date, but you won’t get the VIP treatment!
Pick your tree at Arscott Farm in Pontesford from November 25th until December 22nd (or when they run out!) 10am – 5.30pm daily. Back at the grotto you’ll find luxury wreaths, tree stands, mistletoe, hot chocolate and complimentary mulled wine and mince pies. You can even meet and feed the reindeer!
Leaton Forest, who have been selling Christmas Trees for 40 years, opens from November 25th.
The Shrewsbury Winter Fair takes place on November 25th, 10am – 4pm at St Mary’s Place.
The annual Charity Christmas Card Shop returns to St Mary’s Church until December 9th. Now in its 56th year and staffed by volunteers, it’s THE place to buy cards whilst supporting a range of brilliant charities.
The Market Hall has a late opening on December 2nd – a selection of stalls will be open until 7pm, eateries until 9pm and bars until 10pm.
Shrewsbury Abbey Christmas Fayre is on December 9th, 10am – 4pm with a bouncy castle, stalls, games and refreshments.
Also on December 9th, there’s the Made in Shropshire Artisan Fair in the Square from 9am – 5pm, a great place to pick up locally produced gifts.
Shrewsbury Prison Christmas Market is taking place on December 9th & 10th, 10am – 4pm. Lots of stalls, street food, and mulled wine.
There’s a Shrewsbury Farmers Christmas Market on December 15th & 16th, 9-3:30pm in the Square.
Christmas Daytime Events
The Shrewsbury Christmas Jumper Run is Sunday, November 26th at the Quarry. Choose from 2.5K, 5K and 10K with proceeds going to Severn Hospice.
For the first time ever, Attingham Park will have a festive eco skate rink! It’s open December 2nd – January 7th.
They also have a Tale Trail from December 2nd – January 7th. Spot the decorated trees and work out which fairy tale or story has inspired each tree.
SM&AG is running ‘A Christmas Carol’ Tours on December 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th to re-visit some of the film locations featured in the iconic 1984 film adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol'.
Old Market Hall is showing that very same 1984 classic from December 10th – 24th if you fancy some Shrewsbury spotting!
Yet more Dickensian merriment can be enjoyed with a performance of A Christmas Carol with Robin Case as Charles Dickens in the dining room overlooking the gardens at Darwin House on Sunday, December 10th, 3pm – 6pm.
Watch Dear Santa at Theatre Severn from December 12th – 24th. It promises to be a lovely introduction to theatre for ages 2 and over.
The Shrewsbury Christmas Tree Festival runs daily at St Chad’s from December 15th until January 2nd. St Chad's will be ablaze with twinkling lights and beautifully decorated and illuminated Christmas trees to delight visitors to the annual festival. There will also be an ongoing and diverse daily programme of Christmas music, song and dance. Admission is free.
Christmas Evenings Out
The ultimate Christmas singalong, Massaoke Christmas, is happening at The Buttermarket on December 1st, 6pm. Expect massive Christmas anthems, a live band of spandex-clad rockstars, extraordinary outfits and giant video lyrics to help you sing your heart out.
The Soden Collection is celebrating its 6th birthday with a Winter Exhibition on December 1st 6-8pm. The show includes works by Barbara Rae RA, Halima Cassell MBE, Donald Hamilton Fraser RA, Dan Baldwin and a range of new artists.
There’s a family-friendly Christmas Carol Service at St Mary's on Sunday, December 3rd at 6.30pm, with St Giles' Church Community Choir, Christmas Music and readings.
Tanners are holding a Cellars Tour and Carols evening on December 7th, 7pm – 9pm. You can enjoy a tour of the historic shop, Tanners Cava, music from Shrewsbury Male Voice Choir in the Passageway, and locally made mince pies.
Lingen Davies Cancer Fund is organising a Christmas Concert at Shrewsbury Abbey on Saturday, December 9th at 6pm with music from The Hot Jazz Biscuits, Shawbury Military Wives Choir and Shrewsbury Brass Band.
There’s a Christmas Charity Concert at St Chad’s on December 9th at 7pm featuring the world-famous Desford Colliery Band, who are four times champions of Great Britain, and the Choirs of Wrekin College. It’ll be a festive and sparkly evening! All profits will go to Cancer Research UK and the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
St Alkmund’s Church will hold a low-tech but most enjoyable Carol Service on Monday, December 11th at 6pm. If the weather allows it will be outdoors, otherwise it’ll be in the church.
Enjoy an exceptional Christmas evening of candlelit classical music with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at Christmas in the beautiful setting of Shrewsbury Abbey on December 12th, 7:30pm.
Watch The Nutcracker from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House live on screen at Old Market Hall on December 12th, or replayed on the 17th.
Handel’s Messiah will be performed by Shrewsbury School Community Choir at Shrewsbury Abbey, December 16th, 7:30pm – 10pm. This concert will raise money for local charities Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shrewsbury Foodbank and PALZ UK – Shropshire (a recently founded local Alzheimer’s and dementia charity).
There’s a Christmas Concert from Shrewsbury Cantata Choir at the United Reformed Church on December 17th, at 5:30pm with mince pies and mulled wine.
Christmas Greetings Live is a magical family concert with violinist and musical director Matt Glossop at St Chad's Church on December 23rd - with two shows at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
Learn the ancient technique of applying gold leaf at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery on November 25th.
Glory Goldsmiths Flora will be running Christmas Wreath Workshops on December 1st & 3rd at Highly Flammable Studios.
You can crochet a Christmas bauble at Snoop on December 2nd and they have a wreath and dried floral bauble-making workshop on December 3rd. All the details are here.
There’s wreath making at Love Plants on December 2nd.
Christmas Crafts for ages 3+ on December 9th, 10:30am – 12:30pm at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. £3 and just drop in.
Splat n Splodge have a Christmas Bauble Workshop with cream tea on selected dates until Christmas.
Park Hall Countryside Experience’s Santa Experience includes a visit to Santa in his grotto, along with an interactive family show from the Elf Academy, and a whole farm’s worth of fun, all included in the ticket price.
Take an enchanting boat journey across the lake to visit Santa Island at Alderford Lake.
At Hawkstone Park Follies you can take a 4x4 journey to visit Santa in his hillside grotto.
Ride The Polar Express™ with Telford Steam Railway – an immersive one-hour magical train ride.
Inspired by the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, enjoy a festive Christmas experience at Sunnycroft this December, which can include a visit to Father Christmas.
Have breakfast with Santa in Coalbrookdale, before a trip to Enginuity and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron. Ironbridge also has Victorian Christmas Weekends and Christmas Lates. All their Christmas events are listed here.
Cambrian Heritage Railways are running Santa Trains from Oswestry. Go on a journey that includes a visit from Santa.
And Christmas things happening outside of town…
The Oteley Estate in Ellesmere has a Christmas Market on November 30th with local independents, Christmas music, mulled wine and refreshments.
Much Wenlock has a Christmas Fayre on December 2nd.
The Shropshire Distillery has a wreath-making workshop that comes with a mulled gin cocktail, Antipasti Charcuterie Board and a mince pie. November 29th and December 6th.