Festive things to do
Make Christmas in Chesterfield magical with festive things to do
Oh, what fun! For a simply wonderful Christmastime in Chesterfield, grab your family and friends and tick off all 10 festive things to do.
Whilst we can’t guarantee snow, Santa Claus is certainly coming to town! You can meet him on a canal boat, in the Roundhouse, or in his sparkly grotto.
Rock around the Christmas tree at popular music and theatre shows and laugh along at the panto. Or have yourself a merry little Christmas indulging in the tastiest festive food and drink.
10 festive things to do this Christmas in Chesterfield
1. See the illuminations sparkle and shine
Make the Christmas period a magical one with the enchanting illuminations in Chesterfield, Staveley and Dronfield town centres. The perfect way to raise your spirits while Christmas shopping. Afterwards, warm up by treating family and friends to festive food in a cosy pub. Or, if you prefer to save money for gifts, take a flask of hot chocolate to outdoor events.
In Chesterfield town centre the lights will twinkle from 4.45pm on Sunday, November 19th, with entertainment and market stalls from 12pm onwards.
Dronfield Hall Barn lights up on November 24th, alongside an Artisan Market for the full weekend.
You can also explore the immersive light trail in the garden at Chatsworth from November 4th – January 7th.
2. Indulge in tasty food and drink
If you fancy eating somewhere different, check out our 50 food and drink places to try in Chesterfield. The list features popular pizza and pasta spots and cafes for family fun, as well as real ale and cocktail bars for catch-ups with friends and loved ones.
For a tasting experience, book a tour of Brampton Brewery. As well as learning about the history of the business, guests also enjoy two pints within the admission price.
Remember to book early if hoping to dine out on Christmas or Boxing Day. If you’re staying at home, you can save money, support independent businesses and do your bit for the environment by buying your Christmas food and drink locally. Treat yourself to local cakes. Pick up fresh fruit and veg from Chesterfield Market. Order your turkey from the local butchers. Dress the table with local decorations. And don’t forget the cheese board!
3. Laugh out loud at the panto
Big TV personality, Anne Hegerty from The Chase joins this year’s flight of fun. Aladdin comes to the Winding Wheel Theatre from December 1st. The show features sparkling costumes, all the best-loved shenanigans, and plenty of laughter.
4. Meet Father Christmas
Make the build-up to Christmas extra special for the little ones with a visit to Santa and his elf helpers. Share your wish list, take a festive photo, and bring home magical memories.
Visit Vicar Lane Shopping Centre for Santa’s Grotto and Santa’s Workshop! Enjoy Breakfast with Santa and more Christmas fun at Matlock Farm Park. Or for an adventure, why not take a trip with Santa along the Chesterfield Canal?
Check out our full list for more places you can meet him this year.
5. Enjoy the music
Get into the mood with family entertainment on the big stage at the Christmas Lights Switch on. After that, what could be better than a local brass band, a festive tipple in hand? Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band plays at several venues including the Parish Church of Mary & All Saints (the Crooked Spire). Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir play in the stunning grounds of Bolsover Castle. Or soak up a bit of history at Revolution House while singing carols with Holymoorside Band.
Book the babysitter and party with friends at the Christmas 80s Disco Party at Real Time Live. Or boycott tradition completely with Link N Park or Guns and Roses. Plenty of tribute nights to choose from at the Winding Wheel Theatre over Christmas including Abbamania, The Drifters and Ed Sheeran Experience.
6. Buy local gifts (and a few treats for yourself along the way!)
Chesterfield boasts many unique shops. To spark inspiration, we’ve put together a list of just 50 of the many fantastic independent retailers in Chesterfield.
To save you time each November, we create a local gift guide with something for everyone, including gifts for under £10.
For games, collectables and 3D printed gifts, head to Geeks Headquarters.
Inside the Market Hall, Ginspired offers gift packs featuring local tipples. Pick up a cheese board from Cheese Factor for winter get-togethers. Look out for festive additions of the Artisan Market for more unique gifts. As well as treating yourself to something tasty. Or pick up Christmas Eve treats from Grandad’s Sweets at Chesterfield Market.
Look out for family events at Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, where you’ll find independents like Shop Indie, as well as leading high street names including Waterstones, Superdrug, Claire’s Accessories, New Look and The Works. And little ones will love the eco-friendly toys from The Little Ark.
7. Marvel at over 100 Christmas trees and then choose your own
One of our favourite ways to get into the Christmas spirit is a visit to the Festival of Christmas Trees. Taking place at the Parish Church of St Mary & All Saints (the Crooked Spire), the event runs over three weekends each Christmas season.
Do you love the tradition of picking the perfect Christmas tree, bringing a fresh, pine smell to your home and gathering around the family to decorate it?
Staveley Hall Garden Centre begins selling Christmas trees from mid-November. The centre opens from 08:30am – 4.30pm and customers can choose home delivery after choosing their favourite tree.
Dunston Hall Garden Centre helps you choose the right tree for you, and while you’re there, enjoy a bite to eat in the café and let the kids burn off some energy in the playground.
Pick up your fresh Christmas tree and holly wreath at Marsh Green Farm Shop.
Visit Barlow Village Hall for trees from Jake Eville, usually available every weekend 10am – 4pm from the end of November until mid-December. While you’re there, be sure to stop at Tickled Trout for festive treats.
Looking for a sustainable way to say goodbye to your tree at the end of the season? Ashgate Hospice and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice both recycle Christmas trees in exchange for a donation to help fund care.
8. Make your own Christmas cards and decorations
Show family and friends how much you care by designing your own cards and decorations. Give them a professional edge by learning how to cut with a scalpel with StraightCurves. Or try lino printing with a local artist at West Studios.
9. See our historic places dressed for Christmas
Our local history spots wow visitors throughout the year. But they can be particularly worth a visit during the festive months when given a Christmas makeover.
And delight the little (and big!) ones with historic railway locomotives alongside Christmas crafts and fun at Barrow Hill Roundhouse.
10. Make memories with friends and family
Spending time with loved ones is what the festive season is all about. Warm up together at the Santa Fun Run taking place on Christmas Eve at Queen’s Park. Choose between 1.5k and 5k options and get the whole family involved!
Love beating the family in a gaming battle after Christmas dinner? Then make sure you book some family gaming time to look forward to ahead of the big day as well. Challenge family and friends to an escape game at Chesterfield Escape Rooms in the town centre. Play against friends at Geeks Headquarters with events taking place every week. Or try your hand at axe throwing on Whittington Moor.
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas planning? Unwind with friends by gazing at the stars at Chesterfield Observatory every Friday from 8pm. Or book for a group to take the whole gang along.
Spread the word
We love sharing our ideas of festive things to do in Chesterfield. What’s even better though? Seeing photos and videos of you enjoying Christmas in Chesterfield. Please remember to tag in Destination Chesterfield or use #LoveChesterfield to help spread the word about Christmas in Chesterfield!