Despite being smaller than its surrounding cities, Derby has plenty of entertainment on offer around Christmas time! Throughout December, this city is bustling with Christmas spirit, from lively Christmas markets to fantastic theatre performances. Whether you head out in to the countryside or stay in the city centre, we’ve planned the perfect day out for families and friends throughout the festive season.
Every Christmas, Derby’s Ice Rink comes to life, offering either ice skating lessons for beginners or a chance to play around with friends for those who know what they’re doing. Situated outdoors, this is a really fun and different experience, offering a taste of winter in NYC without the need to hop on a plane. Situated right in the city centre, it’s mega convenient and you can even visit while you’re out shopping!
Day plan: Visit between the 3rd to the 23rd of December and pick up those remaining xmas gifts at the fantastic Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair, filled with homemade goodies. After an afternoon of ice skating and shopping, you’re sure to be peckish, so settle down with the delightful Festive Lunch for £10.90 at Restaurant Zest. Could this day get any more festive?
If you’ve never visited the impressive Chatsworth House at Christmas time, you’re missing out! This (already beautiful) historic building is kitted out with the most impressive decorations. Wear some cosy layers and wander around the glorious gardens before goggling at the impressive interiors. If you get a tour, you can find out about the history of this venue whilst admiring the decor – the perfect duo!
Day plan: A morning spent exploring this classic venue wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of Derbyshire’s beautiful villages. Start your day at Chatsworth and once your tummy starts to rumble hop in the car and drive the short distance to the quaint town of Bakewell. Head to Le Mistral for a cosy meal before grabbing a Bakewell Tart from one of the neighbouring bakeries.
Theatre for Families – Naughty Meg and The Christmas Elves
A little different to a classic pantomime, Derby Live’s performance of Naughty Meg and The Christmas Elves is sure to get plenty of giggles from kids and adults alike. Taking place in The Guildhall Theatre, it’s in a really convenient location, so you can even go ice skating alongside it if you fancy! This budget theatre option is a fantastic choice for a weekend of festive fun.
Day plan: Bring along the kids and book yourself in to the bright and early 10.30am performance. Follow a morning of giggles with a delicious lunch at one of the city centre’s fabulous family friendly restaurants (we recommend Nicky’s Fish Bar and Restaurant for a really relaxed lunch or The Brasserie for somewhere posh).
Theatre for Grown-Ups – A Christmas Carol
Dickens’ popular Christmas story has been adapted for the stage and is a wonderful choice if you’re after evening entertainment for teenagers and adults. The heart-warming performance is certain to bring some magic to Derbyshire, with a truly talented cast for this fantastic story.
Day plan: Book yourself in to the evening performance and enjoy a pre-theatre meal beforehand. We’re huge fans of The European Restaurant’s Festive Dinner served from 6pm and The Blacksmith’s Loft for a tasty British roast. After the show, wander around Derby and admire the Christmas lights.
Derbyshire Christmas Market
For two days only, Derbyshire has it’s very own bustling Christmas market, offering the ideal chance to grab some Christmas gifts. Open on Saturday 15th November and Sunday 16th November, it’s the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season. Situated in The Roundhouse, this gathering of all the best stalls is just outside of the city centre, so easy enough to get to.
Day plan: If you’re lucky enough to be free on the Sunday of this market, you’re in for a treat, as this is also the day that Derby’s Christmas lights are switched on! Spend the day shopping and then head towards the city centre and treat yourself to a delicious meal to refuel. We recommend Mansion Restaurant and Wine Bar or Opulence. The Christmas lights event is free of charge, so you can make up for a morning of spending and still have a lovely time!
Hopefully there’s something to catch your eye among all these Christmas festivities! If you’ve got something different planned, we’d love to hear what it is in the comments. For a wider range of restaurants in Derbyshire, click here to find the perfect accompaniment for your festive day.
If you fancy a bespoke recommendation or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us on any of our social platforms – we’re always happy to chat!
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