There’s something magical about being in the city during December. The smell of chestnuts fills the air, choirs sing and twinkling lights make Christmas shopping among the crowds almost enjoyable. If there’s one city that knows how to celebrate in style its St Albans, here’s everything you need to know…
St Albans Christmas Market
St Albans has been home to a market for 1,000 years, so it comes as no surprise that the city has welcomed its traditional market chalets for another year. Back, bigger and better than before is the European-inspired Christmas Market, taking place from 30 November to 22 December.
For the first time the market is being held within the Meraki Christmas Festival at Verulamium Park. The merge of the events will create a winter wonderland of entertainment for both adults and children. You’ll be able to shop handmade goods from the wooden chalets, enjoy fairground rides and experience a virtual reality Santa’s Grotto. This year’s highlights include the ‘igloo smoke and ice bar’ where you can chill out and get merry with a festive cocktail and the ‘snug movie house’ which will be showing a great line up of films throughout December – make sure you stop by for a festive family favourite!
A Christmas trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without a twirl around the ice. Visitors can do their best Torvill & Dean impression at the synthetic skating rink. All levels are welcome, but wrap up warm!
Family friendly events in St Albans
St Albans has a long history of gaming and sport that dates back thousands of years, and this December the heritage is being honoured with the ‘Game Plan’ exhibition at St Albans Museum + Gallery from 1 December to 3 March. Originally displayed at the V&A: Museum of Childhood, this exhibition celebrates the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games, with some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games on show.
There’s a chance to get involved from 15 December to 6 January as giant games will be available to play in the Assembly Room at St Albans Museum + Gallery – best of all it’s free to play.
The Advent Trail
There’s festive fun to be had at every turn in St Albans as every day at 1pm from 1-24 December a business will be unveiling their advent window. Check the Enjoy St Albans social feeds daily for posts of every reveal, and every like or share has the chance to win a prize from that business. After the final reveal at St Albans Abbey, you can vote for your favourite display at enjoystalbans.com and be in a chance of winning a £100 St Albans Gift Card – who needs chocolate, eh? The fun begins at The Albans Arena!
Christmas carols in St Albans
There’s plenty of opportunities for a Christmas sing-a-long throughout December, but one not to miss is ‘Carols on the Hour’ at the Cathedral on 15 December. Between 11am-4.30pm there will be carol services to help the whole family get into the Christmas spirit. Each carol service lasts just 30 minutes – enough time to sing some uplifting carols with the Cathedral Choirs and local visiting choirs, and to get a real taste of Christmas in the beautiful, atmospheric surrounds of the Cathedral. It’s free to attend.
This is just the tip of the ice berg for Christmas in St Albans. There’s a packed programme of festive fun including crafts, wreath workshops, cookery classes, wine tasting, live music, entertainers, pantomime, visits from Santa and much more. Don’t miss the live reindeer at the Christopher Place Shopping Centre on 22 December from 11am-3pm – a great free event to get little ones excited about the big day!
See the full list of events at www.enjoystalbans.com/Images/Christmas_brochure_2018_web_tcm45-65204.pdf