Christmas in Colchester 2017

Looking for things to do at Christmas?

This year, embrace the festive season with a visit to Colchester where you will find something on offer for all the family. Whether you are interested in traditional seasonal events, need to find activities to keep the kids entertained in the holidays, or simply want to enjoy shopping for presents, Colchester has something for everyone.

Many of the town's unique attractions will be doing something extra-special to celebrate, creating some truly not-to-be-missed events that will make this Christmas in Colchester one to remember.

Santa in Colchester

Festive Things To Do in Colchester

Many of Colchester's top attractions are doing something extra-special for Christmas. Enjoy Colchester Zoo by Starlight, visit the Castle for free, or experience a Festive Day Out with Thomas at the East Anglian Railway Museum.

Whether you live in Colchester or are just visiting there are some cracking events taking place throughout the festive season. From traditional panto courtesy of the Mercury Theatre, to carol concerts, and a Christmas Market. Colchester is bound to have something to keep you entertained.

If you're more Bah Humbug than Ho, Ho, Ho don't despair, escape into a tinsel free zone with alternative comedy at Colchester Arts Centre, some contemporary art at Firstsite, or catch a live band at one of our pubs and clubs.

Browse through our "What's On" guide to find up-to-date information on festive events happening in Colchester.

Festive Events

Firstsite

Colchester Vegan Christmas Fair

Colchester

Thu 26 Oct 2017

Christmas Vegan Fair at Firstsite

Abberton Visitors Centre By Mark Draper

Creating Christmas Cards with Encaustic Art

Colchester

Sat 28 Oct 2017

Craft Event at Abberton Reservoir

Christmas Craft

Christmas Craft Fayre

Colchester

Sat 25 Nov 2017

Christmas Fair in Rowhedge Village Hall

Christmas Zoo

Christmas Starlight Night

Colchester

Sat 25 Nov 2017

Late Night Christmas Fun at Colchester Zoo

Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Colchester

Sat 25 Nov 2017 - Sun 14 Jan 2018

Classic panto fun for all the family at the Mercury Theatre

Reindeer

The Magic of Christmas

Colchester

Sat 25 - Sun 26 Nov 2017

Christmas Fun at Colchester Zoo

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights Switch On

Colchester

Sun 26 Nov 2017

Christmas starts here! Watch the grand illumination of Colchester's Town Centre lights.

Dedham at Christmas

Dedham Christmas Market

Dedham

Sat 2 Dec 2017

Christmas Market on Dedham High Street

Made in Colchester

Made in Colchester Christmas Fair

Colchester

Sat 2 Dec 2017

Christmas Fair at Colchester Arts Centre

Reindeer

The Magic of Christmas

Colchester

Sat 2 - Sun 3 Dec 2017

Christmas Fun at Colchester Zoo

Christmas Lights

Late Night Shopping

Colchester

Sun 3 Dec 2017

Christmas Late Night Shopping in Colchester Town Centre

Town Hall

Themed Town Tour: Victorian Colchester

Colchester

Sun 3 Dec 2017

During the festive period that they loved so much, join our costumed guide to discover the Colchester that the Victorians knew.

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots

Colchester

Wed 6 - Sun 10 Dec 2017

The Headgate's popular panto written by Gary Sullivan

Day Out With Thomas

Festive Day Out With Thomas

Colchester

Sat 9 - Sun 10 Dec 2017

Thomas the Tank Engine makes an appearance at the East Anglian Railway Museum

Manningtree Christmas Festival and Market

Manningtree Christmas Festival and Market

Manningtree

Sat 9 Dec 2017

Manningtree Town is getting into the Christmas spirit with a one day Christmas Festival and Market

Nick Cope

Nick Cope's Christmas Concert

Colchester

Sat 9 Dec 2017

Christmas Kids gig at Colchester Arts Centre

Sing Christmas! with Witham Choral

Sing Christmas! Concert

Colchester

Sat 9 Dec 2017

Sing Christmas! A concert full of splendidly Christmassy music and carols galore for both choir and audience. Excerpts from Messiah, Charpentier's Midnight Mass and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols will be featured.

Reindeer

The Magic of Christmas

Colchester

Sat 9 - Sun 10 Dec 2017

Christmas Fun at Colchester Zoo

Layer Marney Tower

Christmas Carol

Colchester

Mon 11 - Fri 15 Dec 2017

The Christmas Carol organised by Groups Direct – tour, three course lunch and Christmas

The Chimes

The Chimes by Charles Dickens

Colchester

Mon 11 Dec 2017

Adapted and Performed by Robert MacCall at the Headgate Theatre

Shopping and more!

Shopping

We've got great places to shop and get all those important presents; from big name stores to local independent traders. Enjoy shopping on the High Street, and the town's flagship department store Fenwicks, then head to the Lion Walk and Culver Square shopping centres to find those must have brands. Don't forget to explore the narrow lanes and streets at the heart of Colchester to see what our independent boutiques and stores have to offer.
Fenwick at Christmas

Parking

Remember Colchester Borough Council has special Christmas parking deals: FREE parking after 3pm on Wednesdays from the 29 November to 20 December at all its town centre car parks and money-saving offers available at other times too, including parking on Sundays for £1 all day at selected sites.
Red Lion Yard
High Street Lights

Late Night Shopping

Late night shopping will run every Wednesday from 29th November to 20th December, with free parking in council-run car parks after 3pm, so why not hit the shops and grab a bite to eat after work – the town centre has eateries to suit all tastes and pockets. Better still come and make a night of it; find the perfect place to stay now!
Tiptree Christmas Selection