What's on this Christmas - at a glance
Wed 10 - Sat 20 Nov - White Christmas | The Marlowe Theatre
Irving Berlin’s timeless romantic comedy features the classic songs Blue Skies, Sisters and the most famous festive song of all, White Christmas.
Fri Nov 12 – Fri Dec 24 - Canterbury Christmas Market | Whitefriars Shopping Centre and St George’s St
Festively decorated huts, gifts, eats and treats plus a helter-skelter! Open Mon to Fri 10-6, Sat 9-6 and Sun 11-4. Plus, enjoy live music at the market every Fri, Sat and Sun afternoons.
5-7pm | Friday 12 Nov - Christmas Light Switch On | Marlowe Theatre Forecourt to Whitefriars
Come and celebrate the start of Christmas in Canterbury at the city centre switch-on. This year join the parade as we light a way through the city led by this year’s panto cast and the lord mayor!
11am-4pm | Sat 20 Nov - Westgate Hall Christmas Market | Westgate Hall
Local artisans and makers bring their produce, crafts, food, homewares, jewellery and more under one roof. Perfect for original and unique gifts
10am-2pm | Sat 20 Nov - Kent MS Therapy Christmas Fair | Kent MS Therapy Centre, CT4 7DZ.
Enjoy a Christmas Fair with craft stalls, the KMSTC pop up charity shop, games, raffle, Santa’s Grotto and much more
Sat 20 Nov - Bach’s Christmas Oratorio | Canterbury Cathedral
In a perfect event to start your countdown to Christmas, the Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir and Lay Clerks will perform J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (Parts I-III, VI), accompanied by frequent collaborators, The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen.
Fri 26 Nov – Sun 9 Jan - Jack and the Beanstalk | The Marlowe Theatre
Duncan James and local legend Ben Roddy star in this year’s panto extravaganza! Beg, steal or borrow a ticket to the Christmas season’s favourite night out of all.
10am-2pm | Sat 27 Nov - Family Advent Wreath Workshop | Canterbury Cathedral
Make your own Advent wreath with The Friends of Canterbury Cathedral. All materials will be provided, including greenery from the Precinct gardens. Booking essential.
Sat 27 Nov – Fri 24 Dec - Santa’s Grotto | Marlowe Arcade, Whitefriars Shopping Centre
Open on selected dates up to and including Friday December 24th. Come and meet the fairy, elves and the big man himself. Bookings are now open.
1 – 24 Dec - Merry Brickmas City Centre Trail | Canterbury City Centre
Inspired by Merry Brickmas at The Beaney (launching on 11 Dec), the businesses of Canterbury City Centre will be displaying their own lego creations in their shop windows – see how many you can spot! Pick up a trail leaflet from the Visitor Information Centre at The Beaney.
Sat 4 – Sun 5 Dec - Stick Man – Live on Stage | Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent
The popular Julia Donaldson book comes to life!
Mon 6 Dec - Christmas Tipple-Tasting Evening | The Abode Hotel
In an evening with an expert mixologist, get ready for the festive party season with a Christmas cocktail making demonstration. An expert mixologist will show you how to make five fabulous festive cocktails. A 4 or 5 course menu is included.
Tues 7 – Weds 8 Dec - Santa Paws | Whitefriars Shopping Centre
Bring your furry friend to meet Father Christmas in the grotto at Canterbury Christmas Market, Marlowe Arcade. Bookingsare now open.
7pm | Friday 10 Dec - Canterbury Choral Society Christmas Concert | Canterbury Cathedral
A Christmas feast for all the family! The programme features Canterbury Choral Society Youth Choir and the Festival Brass Ensemble. Children in the audience will be invited to come forward to sing Away in a Manger and I Saw Three Ships on the stage. (Event not suitable for under 2s).
Fri 10 - Fri 24 Dec - Beauty and the Beast | The Malthouse Theatre
Belle will have her Ball (oh yes she will) in this spectacular family pantomime ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Featuring stunning sets and costumes, side-splitting comedy, catchy hit songs and a dazzling West End cast, you don’t want to miss this festive treat for the whole family.
Sat 11 Dec - Sun 2 Jan - Merry Brickmas! | Special Exhibition Gallery, The Beaney
Visit Santa’s workshop at The Beaney featuring BRICKLIVE Christmas models including life size Santa, Reindeer and those cheeky elves! (Closed Mondays, 25 December, 26 December and 1 January) FREE entry.
12–4pm | Sun 12 - Dec Festival Family Fun Day | Houdini’s Magic Bar
Live Magic with Darren Cullen. All ages welcome. Booking essential. Call 0333 006 4151.
3pm | Sun 12 Dec - Concert by The Choir of Clare College Cambridge | Gulbenkian Theatre
Enjoy a performance of Praetorius’s Christmas Magnificat, Palestrina’s ‘Surge, illuminare’, hymns to the Virgin by Pierre Villette and Benjamin Britten, James Long’s invigorating ‘Vigilate’, motets by Messiaen, Tavener, Will Todd, and John Rutter, and a beautiful selection of arrangements that tell us that Christmas has truly begun.
7.30pm | Mon 13 Dec - Philharmonia at Christmas | The Marlowe Theatre
Feel the festive cheer with the brass ensemble of the Philharmonia Orchestra. From glittering fanfares to gentle carols, nothing captures the spirit of the festive season like the warm sound of a brass ensemble at Christmas.
Mon 13 Dec - Christmas Wine Tasting | The Abode Hotel
Christmas Wine Tasting Evening. Just in time for Christmas, a wine expert will guide you through a selection of wines that pair perfectly with your Christmas roast and other festive dishes. A 4 or 5 course meal is included.
11am-4pm | Sat 18 Dec - Christmas Craft Market | Westgate Hall
Local artisans and makers bring their produce, crafts, homewares, food, jewellery and more under one roof. Perfect for original and unique gifts, and a lovely place to browse and soak up the festive atmosphere.
7.30pm | Sat 18 Dec - The Albion Christmas Band | Gulbenkian
As much a part of the build-up to Christmas as the local Village Christmas Bazaar or the pre-cooking of the sprouts! The Albion Christmas Show sells out all over the country, leading up to Christmas every year. Described as “the perfect antidote to the corporate Christmas”. An evening of traditional English Christmas music, humorous stories and spine-tingling Christmas carols and ballads sung by Kellie While and Simon Nicol
1pm & 3pm | Mon 20 Dec - The Nutcracker | The Malthouse Theatre
Journey through the magical night with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince, meet the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy in the beautiful Land of Sweets. Ballet suitable for all ages, especially children (inc. those with special needs). Duration 50 mins (no interval). Photo opportunity after every show for children with the dancers on stage.
7pm | Mon 20 Dec - Celebration of Christmas | Canterbury Cathedral
The Celebration of Christmas event is back at Canterbury Cathedral, raising money for Demelza Hospice care. Enjoy festive readings and carols in this glorious setting.
7.30pm | Thurs 23 Dec and 3pm | Fri 24 Dec - Canterbury Cathedral Carol Service | Canterbury Cathedral
Doors open at 6pm (23 Dec) and 1.30pm (24 Dec), first come, first seated. These are two identical public carol concerts, open to the public.
6pm | Fri 24 Dec - Lord Mayor’s Christmas Eve Carol Sing-along | Rose Square (outside Primark)
Join the Lord Mayor, plus the Archbishop of Canterbury and a few thousand locals for a community carols sing-along in Rose Square. There will be plenty of classic Christmas carols and some modern favourites too. Wrap up warm and bring some coins for the charity collection at the end!
1pm | Tues 28 Dec - Family Christingle | Canterbury Cathedral Studio
Join the Rev Dr Emma Pennington, Canon Missioner, in a workshop where children will create their own Christingles to take to the Cathedral Christingle Service at 3pm. A joyful celebration that brings families and communities together to share the light of Jesus and spread a message of hope. A collection will be taken for The Children’s Society. BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
6.30pm | 31 Dec - New Years Eve at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge | Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
A spectacular backdrop to seeing in the New Year in Canterbury. Enjoy prosecco and canapés on arrival, a 5-course gala dinner, DJ and dancing with live band, followed by a Scottish Piper at midnight. This event is strictly black tie and adults only.