16 things to do in the UK in December 2023

And just like that, December has made its delightful return! With Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa celebrations lighting up the entire month, there are countless ways to join in the holiday merriment this December.

From enchanting candle-lit orchestras to fun-filled wreath-making workshops and charming Christmas markets – December is full of thrilling events to keep you joyfully occupied throughout this festive season. Read on to discover our 16 top things to do in the UK in December.

Love Actually in Concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

1st December

Love Actually in ConcertGuess what, Glasgow? This December, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is bringing a festive cinema event that’s more heartwarming than a cup of hot chocolate by the fire.

Love Actually in Concert lets you enjoy your favourite Christmas rom-com on the big screen while a live orchestra serenades you with those iconic catchy tunes. Get ready to snuggle up with your special someone and enjoy a night of pure joyful bliss. Who needs mistletoe when you’ve got “Love Actually” in Glasgow?

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Christmas Wreath-Making Experience in Oxfordshire

1st & 8th December

Festive wreath making classGet creative this December with a Christmas wreath-making experience perfect for DIY lovers out there. Hosted at The Gin to My Tonic in Farringdon, Oxfordshire, learn the exciting floristry techniques that go into creating these Christmassy delights while enjoying an array of festive nibbles and tunes!

With all materials provided, you’re even welcome to take your creation home to appreciate throughout the Christmas season. With wreath-making experts on hand to guide you through the process, your magical creation is sure to sleigh the game!

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Big Big Christmas Christmas Party in Edinburgh

1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th December

People cheers-ing glasses at a Christmas partyGet ready to bounce to the beats, strike a pose in quirky photo booths, belt out some Christmas karaoke anthems, and dive into a whole sackful of festive fun. The ultimate holiday shindig is returning to the O2 Academy Edinburgh this December.

The Big Big Christmas Party is your six-night festive extravaganza. Sprinkle some serious Christmas cheer throughout your December weekends with a delicious three-course Christmas feast and a merry mix of yuletide tunes and cheeky novelties to keep the party going all night long. See off 2023 with a bang this December!

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Llandudno 5K Santa Run

2nd December

People participating in a Santa RunHo, ho, ho! It’s time to grab your Santa uniform and slip on those running shoes. The Llandudno 5K Santa Run is back for December 2023! Setting off at the scenic Llandudno Pier, why not join a buzzing crowd of Santas in the jolliest run of the year?

With your Santa threads included with your runner’s ticket, once you’ve danced and pranced your way to the finish line, you’ll even receive a finisher’s medal as a keepsake. Run, walk or simply come along to soak up the festive atmosphere! The Llandudno 5K Santa Run is the perfect Christmas event to support the community whilst enjoying the fresh December sea air.

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Frankfurt Birmingham Christmas Market

2nd November – 24th December

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas MarketNothing quite says Christmas like an authentic German Christmas market! Famed for being the largest of its kind outside of Germany and Austria, the Frankfurt Birmingham Christmas Market is a showstopping favourite for locals and tourists alike. It’s like the North Pole relocated to Birmingham, and everyone’s invited to join the jolly fun!

From traditional Christmas gifts and inspiration to a humongous selection of festive German treats – this Christmas market has it ALL. After devouring endless pretzels, schnitzels and bratwursts, don’t forget to wash it all down with a pint of weissbier, Gluhwein mulled wine or a scrumptious hot chocolate.

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Cotswold Reindeer Herd

Various dates

Reindeer grazing in fieldYou might know the Cotswolds for its rolling hills, tranquil meadows and storybook villages. But guess what? It’s also home to a rather unexpected bunch – meet the Cotswold Reindeer Herd.

Tucked away in this secret reindeer paradise, the Cotswold Reindeer Herd team of reindeer enthusiasts passionately work to improve the well-being and welfare of these magnificent creatures. This tiny piece of the North Pole has lots on offer! Walk the magical Santa Trail, grab a picture at the Selfie Sleigh, marvel at the array of Christmas trees and (of course) meet the wonderful herd of local reindeer.

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Festive Truffle Workshop at Hollychocs

15th December 

Truffle-making class Attention all chocolate lovers! Grab your golden ticket to the sweetest workshop in town, the Festive Truffle Workshop at Hollychocs Chocolate Engineers.

In this divine masterclass, you’ll be guided by expert chocolate engineer, Holly, as you learn intricate truffle-making techniques and even take home your creations. But that’s not all – after the workshop, the chocolate shop will be open for some cheeky after-hours exploring, plus a yummy 10% off all treats! You won’t want to miss out on this delectable adventure.

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Glide at Battersea Power Station

Various dates

Glide at Battersea Power StationThe sparkling Christmas activities have returned to Battersea Power Station! Whether you’re a pro on the ice or a wobbly newbie, the Glide at Battersea Power Station ice rink has become the coolest holiday tradition in the city. Located in the extraordinary setting of the capital’s most unique and historic building, lace up your skates and grab a festive selfie with this London ice rink’s jaw-dropping 30-foot Christmas tree.

After you’ve worked up an appetite from all that skating, head over to The Glass House bar/café for a cosy hot chocolate that’ll warm your heart, not to mention the twinkling London skyline views that come with it. Glide is the place to be for a slice of winter magic in the heart of the city!

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Christmas Cocktail Masterclass at Bombay Sapphire Distillery

21-22nd December

Bombay Sapphire Gin

Cheeky Christmas cocktail anyone? Yes, please! This December, explore the incredible Bombay Sapphire Distillery and dive into this mixology heaven. You’ll be shaking, stirring, and sipping your way to cocktail glory, all while having a blast crafting exciting new concoctions.

The Christmas Cocktail Masterclass at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery is an immersive cocktail-making experience for mixology and gin lovers itching to broaden their skills and taste exciting new creations. But it’s not just about the cocktails! There will be festive mince pies to munch on, gin sampling to tantalise your taste buds, and a whole host of holiday ‘spirits’ to go around!

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Bath Christmas Market

23rd November – 10th December

Bath Christmas MarketThe festive cheer has returned to the picturesque streets of Bath with the reopening of the Bath Christmas Market 2023! Prepare for the alluring smells of festive sweet treats, an endless array of handmade creations and gifts and the sparkling, lively atmosphere of Bath’s city centre.

If you’re looking for a cosy, city break date night, take a stroll through the delightful streets of Bath and make your way through the 160+ sparkling chalet stalls. Or, for a jolly evening out with your mates, swing by the food stalls and grab a tasty treat with your pint – all while grooving to some toe-tapping, festive tunes.

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Burning the Clocks in Brighton

21st December

Burning the Clocks festival in BrightonThe Burning the Clocks festival is probably the most quirky and unusual December event on our list! Get ready for a heartwarming evening where reflection and community take centre stage, bringing families, friends and strangers together for a night of winter wonder.

In celebration of the year’s end, the Burning the Clocks is an annual event set on the 21st December, totally unique to Brighton. Locals are inspired to reflect on the year while making their own fascinating paper lanterns, parading them through the streets and then passing them onto the smouldering beach bonfire.

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Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

Various dates

Hyde Park's Winter WonderlandNo Christmas city break in London would be complete without a trip to the one and only Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. With a rollercoaster sleigh-load of theme park rides to keep your festive spirits soaring, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has endless festive activities to explore this December.

Open late into the night from late November to early January, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is the ‘world’s best destination for festive fun’ and guarantees a joyful night out. From tasty food stalls to thrilling roller coaster rides, there’s truly something for everyone at this dazzling Christmas event. Don’t forget to check out our guide to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland here.

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Christmas at Waddesdon

Various dates

Waddesdon Manor at ChristmasGet ready to be swept away into a magical Christmas fantasy at Waddesdon Manor this December. Every year, Waddesdon Manor is transformed into a wonderland of light and cheer – making for a heart-warming evening out with loved ones.

Set on the gorgeous Rothschild Estate grounds, Christmas at Waddesdon delivers a spellbinding woodland light display that will fascinate little ones and adults alike. And we can’t forget the charming winter fair that will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds and Christmas shopping desires.

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The Snowman Tour Liverpool Cathedral

22nd December 

The Snowman in ConcertGet ready to experience the Christmas classic of all classics as you’ve never seen it before. The Snowman Tour is making its grand entrance at Liverpool Cathedral this December. And this Christmas event is sure to warm your heart with festive nostalgia.

This enchanting showing of The Snowman inside the historic Liverpool Cathedral wouldn’t be complete without its jaw-dropping live orchestra that’ll leave you with goosebumps of joy. You’ll also be treated to an extra special screening of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, also performed with orchestral finesse!

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Silent Disco at the Natural History Museum

22nd December

Silent Disco at the Natural History MuseumLondon’s wildest (and quirkiest) silent disco is back and ready to groove this December. Taking over the magnificent Hintze Hall within London’s Natural History Museum, let’s just say, it’s a night out you won’t find anywhere else in the capital!

With all the essentials covered – a fully stocked bar to get you in the grooving mood, not one, not two, but three simultaneous live DJ sets, and an iconic venue that’s practically begging to be explored, it’s time to dust off those dance moves and get ready to two-step your way through a night of epic vibes and dino-sized fun!

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New Year’s Eve in St Ives

31st December 

St Ives New Year's Eve Fireworks on the beachBeginning as a humble beach celebration, New Year’s Eve in St Ives has evolved into a spectacular night of festivities. With a sensational firework display, plenty of spots to grab a late-night bite throughout the town and a street party that will get you ready to see out 2023 in style – St Ives is the ultimate NYE party destination.

And by the way, New Year’s Eve in St Ives takes fancy dress VERY seriously. So, grab your sparkliest sequins and silliest superhero costumes, because the more outrageous, the better!

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