Christmas 2023: Festive events for the whole family in and around Luton

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – with festive fun for the whole family taking place in and around Luton.

There are plenty of events in store – from the chance to meet Santa to Christmas markets to pick up a bargain. Whether you fancy taking it easy over the festive period or want to really get stuck into the holiday spirit, there is something for all in and around Luton this November and December.

Christmas lights switch-on in Luton:

A snowflake ornament on a Christmas tree. Photo: Jill WellingtonA snowflake ornament on a Christmas tree. Photo: Jill Wellington
A snowflake ornament on a Christmas tree. Photo: Jill Wellington

On Saturday, November 25, Luton’s festive lights will be officially turned on at an outdoor music event in the town centre.

From 2pm, people and families are invited to meet Peppa Pig, get involved with Christmas crafts, and listen to bands and choirs from across Luton. The lights will be switched on at around 6pm outside the town hall.

Santa’s grotto in The Mall Luton:

Every weekend from November 25 to December 24, children can meet Father Christmas and meet his clever little elves in his new workshop in The Mall.

This event is free to attend, but there will be a donation point for guests to drop off children’s toys for Luton Foodbank. Parents are asked to book tickets for their children here.

Luton and Dunstable Hospital Christmas tree light-up ceremony:

On Thursday, November 30, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is lighting up its Christmas tree with a ceremony to honour those who have died as we start off the yuletide season.

The event will take place at the hospital’s office block, Nova House, between 5pm and 7pm.

Keech Hospice Christmas Market:

On November 25 and 26, Keech will be hosting a Christmas market at Barnfield College in Luton - with over 50 stalls offering homemade cakes, crafts, refreshments, and more. Entry costs £3, concessions are £2, and under 14s can enter for free - tickets can be bought on arrival.

Light Up a Life is an outside remembrance celebration on Sunday, December 3, at 4pm. The event will include music, readings, and Keech will be switching on the tree lights in memory of all the people being remembered.

It will be taking place at Keech Hospice on Great Bramingham Lane, and the event will also be livestreamed - there is no charge to attend or dedicate a light, but donations are welcomed.

Click here for more information on Keech events.

High Town Christmas:

Luton’s High Town will be celebrating the magic of Christmas with two events. A Christmas fair will be taking place on December 1 at St Matthew’s Primary School from 3.30pm to 7pm, and a High Town’s first Christmas tree lights ceremony will be held at High Town Methodist Church on December 2, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. For more information, click here.

Aled Jones performance:

On Thursday, December 7, Aled Jones MBE will perform at a retirement village in Caddington. The ‘Walking in the Air’ singer is set to perform at Millfield Green’s free festive event, which starts at 2pm. For more information, click here.

Stockwood Artisan Fair:

A monthly Artisan Food, Arts and Crafts Fair will be bringing out the festive spirit with a Christmas-themed December event at Stockwood Discovery Centre. The fair will run from 10am - 4pm on December 10 and it will be free to enter.

Christmas at Whipsnade Zoo:

Whipsnade Zoo has a selection of events for the little ones to enjoy - all featuring the most important man of the season, Santa.

Kids can enjoy breakfast storytime with Father Christmas. Families will enjoy a morning meal, and listen to how Santa and his elves make Christmas special for the zoo animals, before meeting him and getting an early present.

Breakfast storytime will run on weekends from 25 November, then between 20 and 24 December.

For those wanting to meet Santa can go along to Whipsnade on weekends from December 2, then between December 16 and 24. He will be stopping by at the Lookout Lodge to meet the little ones and give some gifts.

Tickets for these events can be bought here. Zoo entry is not included in the price of the tickets.

Festive family trail at Dunstable Downs:

Wrap up warm and get ready for a jolly December adventure at Dunstable Downs.

The National Trust will be running Family Trail: Mystery Mail with the Elves from December 15 to December 23, between 10.30am and 3.00pm. No pre-booking required, and the cost is £3 per child. Trail sheets can be picked up at the Visitor Centre.

On December 15 and 22 December from 5 - 7pm, the National Trust will also be hosting a Festive Evenings at Dunstable Downs. The evening will feature music, wreath-making, late night shopping and a night time version of the family trail. Tickets cost £6 per person.

Another National Trust event is perfect for dog owners. Take your dogs for a Festive Walk on Dunstable Downs and win a special prize for the most festively dressed pooch. The walk is taking place on December 19 from 10.30 to 1pm.

Christmas at Hat Gardens:

The first Christmas event in the new town centre pocket park is an afternoon of free festive activities and entertainment for the entire family.

‘Christmas at Hat Gardens’ will be taking place on December 9 from 12pm to 4pm. Christmas performances will include a live DJ, singers, a choir, music, and face painting.

Toddington Library:

Learn how to create magical Christmas picture book stories and draft your own during this two hour short course for adults at Toddington Library. Tickets cost £15 - including a hardback copy of 'The Christmas Crumb' by Lou Treleaven and Alex Willmore - and can be booked via Eventbrite or by calling 0300 300 8069

Email [email protected] if you have a Christmas event you'd like to add to this list.

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