10 things not to miss in Brighton this Christmas
The festive season is well and truly upon us. Christmas music has started to creep its way into shops’ playlists, and the John Lewis advert is out. Soon we’ll all be in full-blown Christmas mode, spinning around in a daze of mulled-wine and frantic last minute-shopping, unable to move for wrapping paper and baubles.
As always, there is so much going on in the lead up to Christmas in Brighton this year. So you don’t miss out on anything, we’ve put together this list of 10 festive highlights.
1. Brighton Etsy Made Local Christmas Market 2019
When? Saturday Nov 30th, 10.00 – 17.00
Where? The Clarendon Centre, New England Street
Brighton Etsy Sellers Team’s annual Christmas market is back for the 6th consecutive year, with over 75 local designers, makers and artists selling their work. This carefully curated market will feature high-quality, unique gifts to get you all ready for Christmas.
Whoever you’re looking to buy for and whatever you’re looking to find, you’re sure to discover it at this market. From homeware and jewellery to skincare and art, the fair will be bursting with stylish, handmade items. The aim of the event is to encourage everyone to support local and independent sellers this Christmas, promoting the value of handmade and connecting the customer with the maker.
The venue is wheelchair accessible, and under 14s must be accompanied by an adult. Get on down to the Clarendon Centre to find your loved ones a truly unique gift!
2. Ice Skating @ The Royal Pavilion
When? November 2nd – January 19th, 10.00 – 22.15
Where? Royal Pavilion Gardens
£££? Adults £10, Students, Juniors and Royal Pavilion Members £7, Family £30, Under 5s Free during off-peak sessions
What better way to get in the festive mood than falling flat on your face on cold, hard ice?
Despite the inevitable falling over, the Royal Pavilion ice rink really can’t be beaten for atmosphere. With its beautifully lit rink and the Pavilion for a backdrop, a skate on the green energy produced ice here is sure to fill you with that warm Christmas feeling. Don’t forget your gloves!
Before taking to the ice, visitors can enjoy a meal in the cosy rink-side restaurant, or a mulled wine in the bar to settle any pre-skate nerves.
Sessions can be booked via the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink website.
3. Brighton’s Christmas Street Food and Makers Market
When? Saturday December 14th, 10.30 – 16.30
Where? Brighthelm Centre, North Road
Taking over the Brighthelm Centre’s auditorium and gardens, Paper Daisy Events bring you the largest Christmas craft and street food market in Brighton this year.
Inside will be packed with 40 of the very best local artists, designers and makers selling a wonderful mix of artisan gifts, fashion, homeware and jewellery. From stocking fillers to larger gifts, there will be something for everyone!
Outside in the sheltered gardens, the vegan-friendly street food market will offer hot dishes and flavours from across the globe. 10% of all hot drinks sales will be going to Chestnut Tree House.
This market promises to be a great opportunity to find some special gifts while eating some amazing food!
4. ‘Burning the Clocks’
When? Friday December 21st, 18.30 – 20.00
Where? The parade begins on New Road, before making its way through North Street, Ship Street, East Street, and onto the seafront for the finale.
£££? The event itself is free, but residents wishing to take part in the parade need to purchase lantern kits for £30 per pack.
Celebrating the winter solstice, Same Sky’s ‘Burning the Clocks’ has been a Brighton tradition for over two decades. The free celebration sees local residents parading homemade paper and willow lanterns through the city, before passing them onto a huge bonfire on the beach. The coming year is then ushered in with a dazzling fire show during which a massive fire sculpture is ignited, live music plays, and fireworks light up the sky.
‘Burning the Clocks’ is about welcoming the return of the sun and bringing some cheer to the long, dark winter nights. The event was created as an antidote to the excesses of Christmas commercialism, and as a way to celebrate the festive season in a way that cuts across all faiths and embraces the entire community.
Lantern kits can be purchased from local shops HISBE, The Wood Store, The Book Nook and The Royal Pavilion Shop.
5. North Laine Late-Night Christmas Shopping
When? Thursday December 5th, 17.30 – 20.30
Where? North Laine
Giving you the chance to get a big chunk of your Christmas shopping done in one go, North Laine’s annual late-night shopping event will feature some of Brighton’s most popular boutique shops, who will be offering fizz, discounts and freebies.
North Laine always looks magical on winter evenings, and late-night shopping here promises to be a far more pleasant shopping experience than Churchill Square on Christmas Eve.
6. ‘The Big Christmas Singalong’
When? Wednesday December 4th, 19.30
Where? Brighton Dome
£££? Adults £12, Concessions £8
Brighton Dome will be filled with Christmas cheer for the fourth year running as The Choir with No Name, an organisation that runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people, returns for the musical highlight of the festive season! Expect all the Christmas classics as well as a chance to sing along!
This event is perfect for anyone looking for the chance to sing some Christmas songs in a relaxed, fun setting.
7. Brighton’s Zero Waste Christmas Market
When? Sunday December 15th
Where? The Old Market, Upper Market Street
Get all your last-minute shopping done in one trip at Brighton’s first zero waste Christmas market. Featuring 30 unique, independent brands all committed to the environment, here you’ll find a great selection of fair trade gifts, with no plastic packaging in sight!
Each £5 ticket is an entry into a prize draw to win an Abel & Cole box or a Lush hamper. Shoppers will also be able to sip on a mulled wine from The Old Market bar while they browse. Profits from the event will be donated to the environmental charity City to Sea to help them continue their fight to prevent plastic entering our oceans.
Waste at Christmas is huge problem, with an estimated 227,000 miles of wrapping paper thrown away in Britain every year. With this in mind, why not have a more eco-friendly Christmas this year, starting with a trip to this zero waste market.
8. Brighton’s biggest family pantomime, ‘Peter Pan’
When? 19th – 29th December
Where? Hilton Brighton Metropole
£££? £19.99 – £29.70
Ah yes. That classic Christmas ritual. Subjecting yourself every year to the same bad jokes and questionable acting. At least the kids love it.
With amazing flying effects, spectacular costumes and a sprinkling of fairy dust, join Peter and the Lost Boys as they set sail in this timeless pirate panto.
Tickets can be booked here.
9. Christmas Wreath Making Workshop
When? Saturday December 7th, 15.00-17.00
Where? The Brighton Flower Company, Western Road
Join The Brighton Flower Company’s expert florists as they help you create a beautiful handmade wreath to hang on your front door.
Using lush seasonal foliage and gorgeous festive decorations, you will be able to design and create a bespoke masterpiece in a fun and festive atmosphere, and even enjoy a mince pie or two while you’re doing it!
Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.
10. ‘A Christmas Carol Brighton: The Immersive Dining Experience’
When? December 3rd – 29th
Where? The Windmill, Upper North Street
If you fancy treating yourself to a Christmas experience you won’t forget, head to The Windmill and immerse yourself in the world of Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, as part of an immersive dining experience.
Guests will be fully involved in the rendition of the story, partaking in parlour games and festive songs intended to warm the heart of bah-humbugging miser Ebeneezer Scrooge.
The ticket price includes a Christmas feast created by MasterChef winner Natalie Coleman.
Featured image: ‘Bond Street Christmas lights’ via Geograph.