Christmas in Colchester 2019

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.

From Santa's grotto to pantomime, a trip to Colchester offers everything you need to keep your Christmas spirits up! And as usual, many of the town's unique attractions and venues 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.

For up to date information on the town centre and Christmas shopping events why not visit In Colchester, the website of Colchester's BID.

Colchester Castle in the snow

Featured Christmas Events

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 Christmas Markets. 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

Shopping and more!


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.


To co-incide with late night shopping events council-owned town centre car parks will be free on the evenings of 4, 11 and 18 December from 3pm

On Sunday 8 December car parks at Butt Road, Napier Road, Sheepen Road, and Middleborough will also be free to co-incide with the Christmas Market

Red Lion Yard
Fenwick at Christmas

Late Night Shopping

Late night shopping will run on Wednesday nights in the run-up to Christmas. Many of Colchester's shops will stay open until 9pm on 4, 11 and 18 December and council car parks will be free from 3pm on these days.

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

Christmas Markets