Why Leeds if you love the festive period

Are you a huge lover of winter and the festive period? Perhaps you've had your Christmas tree up since Halloween, or you're one of the few that love it when Christmas songs start playing in shops and restaurants in October? If you love this period, then Leeds is the perfect city for you! We've got winter experiences galore and a very well-known Christmas market!

Molly and Katie explore Leeds' Christmas market

Leeds Christmas market

What better way to get yourself in the Christmas spirit than to visit the German Christmas markets based in Millennium Square? The Christkindelmarkt is full of traditional wooden stalls selling a mixture of German and English food, drinks, jewellery and more. Tuck into a yummy frankfurter, paired with a glass of warming Gluhwein for an authentic German market experience. The market has something for all ages, so whether you are visiting with friends or family, it is a great day out. Best of all, it’s free entry!

Ice skating in Leeds

Looking for a fun and entertaining winter activity to do with friends? Ice skating could fit the bill. Leeds has lots of ice-related activities from ice rinks to rides and sport. Whether you’re a natural on the ice or prefer to stand on the sidelines, there is something for you.

Ice Cube

This is a temporary outdoor ice rink, constructed in Millennium Square every year. Join the conga shuffle around the edge or glide around like a pro. Whatever your skating ability, the Ice Cube is great fun. It’s also much more than just an ice rink, with ice-themed rides to enjoy too.

Planet Ice

Prefer to stay off the ice? Leeds recently established its own ice-skating team and their home turf is at Planet Ice, Elland Road, a large indoor ice-skating rink. You can watch a hockey match here or enjoy watching friends skate around during free skate sessions.

Festive theatre in Leeds

Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House

Famous for its impressive interior design and decorative Victorian era features. The Grand Theatre always puts on classic shows around Christmas, like Cinderella or The Nutcraker - they're normally perfect for a winter evening.

Leeds Playhouse

One of the more modern theatres in Leeds, having been a production house for almost 30 years. It has recently undergone a development and the new building is something to shout about. If you’re in the mood for some festive fun, they've been known to put on the classical musical The Wizard of Oz and other family friendly shows. 


There is so much to do when it comes to family fun this winter. A traditional pantomime is a great way to sing and dance your way into Christmas and there is one showing at the Carriageworks this winter.

Why not check out our Leeds theatre guide?

If you love going to the theatre, or perhaps even love getting involved on the stage, we've put together a guide to theatre in Leeds that might be of interest! Check it out below. 

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