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The best Christmas Events in Norfolk 2023!

Enjoy a Christmas spectacular on the Norfolk Coast

Christmas is just around the corner here on the Norfolk Coast, as we pull away from summer into the Autumn season and towards the end of 2023! And as you'll be putting up your Christmas trees and decorations so, too, will many towns and attractions around this wonderful county! Whether you're looking for the chance to meet Father Christmas, be wowed by a yuletide performance, get some shopping in at a Christmas market, or simply enjoy one of many festive attractions and entertainments, Norfolk has plenty of things to do at Christmas.

All this activity isn't just for locals, either! Thanks to holiday homes that stay open during the festive period, anyone can come enjoy the Christmas season in the East of England. Whether you and your family want to stay cosy in a cottage or save some money by camping, you'll find a great base to explore the area and enjoy the festivities from.

So, lets take a look at the magical Christmas events happening in Norfolk this year!

Set table with Christmas crackers on the plates

Now's the perfect time to book a winter break away and enjoy Norfolk's Christmas Activities!

Thursford Christmas Spectacular

8th November - 23rd December 2023

Returning after their biggest year to date in 2022, the Thursford Spectacular is a magical variety performance, showcasing the talent of over 120 professional singers, dancers, and musicians. Running since 1977, this performance has exploded in popularity to become one of the most hotly anticipated shows in Norfolk, as the 2022 run of Thursford's Christmas Spectacular has attracted record crowds. In fact, it's recognised as the largest Christmas show of its kind in the country and one of the biggest Christmas productions in Europe, so book your place quickly if you want to go! 

A 3-hour non-stop extavaganza, this Christmas variety show will warm your heart and wow your senses with songs, dances, comedy, and more! This is the type of show that features famous, popular songs as well as traditional carols, promising an "eclectic mix of both seasonal and year-round favourites". Mix that with elaborate sets, expertly choreographed performances, staggering effects, and smatterings of humour along the way, and you have a unique, all-singing all-dancing show that you won't soon forget, no matter your age!

Tickets start at £43 for weekday evenings and are selling out fast, with some dates already sold out and others with only a few seats left, so if you want a good selection of dates to visit, book now!

Thursford Spectacular feather dancers
Thursford Christmas Spectacular variety act
Can can at the Thursford Spectacular
All singing all dancing at one of the biggest Christmas productions in Europe

    Santa's Magical Journey and Enchanted Journey of Light

    19th November - 24th December 2023

    And that's not all, as ticket holders of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular get a discount for Santa's Magical Journey and the Enchanted Journey of Light! Bring your kids to come see Father Christmas in a fantasy journey that takes you through the North Pole, past penguins and polar bears and right to Santa himself! You will also venture through the Lantern Light Extravaganza, filled with beautiful light-up sculptures of creatures, spanning from a fantastical underwater theme to creatures you can find in the North Pole!

    Guests that don't want to visit Santa have to book for the Enchanted Journey of Light, and those that do have to book Santa's Magical Journey, making this attraction suitable for all ages!

    bears waving in the North Pole on the way to Santa's grotto

    Trek through the wilds of the North Pole for a visit to Father Christmas!

    Luminate Sandringham

    11th November - 24th December 2023

    Meanwhile, some other lights are going on over at the royal estate of Sandringham, lighting up the parkland in spectacular fashion. Come and enjoy the spectacular Christmas light trail through woodland, with a Christmas Tree Maze built with lights and over 200 Norway Spruce Christmas trees that covers almost 200 square metres!

    On top of that, Luminate are also working with a "renowned lighting artist" on a laser light display, titled "Sky frost", and are transforming a mile-long stretch of Royal Parkland into a "striking light feature", so look out for those when you come along for a visit!

    Once you've finished your stroll through lights and illuminations, you can warm up and cook marshmallows by fire pits on-site, or enjoy a selection of festive food and drinks from Sandringham Courtyard.

    multicoloured LED arches in Sandringham forest

    Luminate Sandringham offers a beautiful and unique light show

    Christmas Craft, Food, and Gift Fair

    17th-19th November 2023

    a collage of tree ornaments, an elf on a bubble machine, a singing Santa Claus, and baubles

    Come meet Father Christmas and his elves at Sandringham!

    Sandringham is also hosting a Christmas fair, offering craft, fine food, and clothing stalls, as well as a variety of live entertainments, including a great range of musical acts! Have a browse of the craft stalls, that offer everything from jewellery and candles to recycled decorations and amber glassware. Then, pop over to the fine food hall for sweets, cheese, spirits, and more!

    Families can enjoy heartwarming festive entertainment, including Chris Nicholas, one of the world's best professional Santa Clauses, whose wonderful voice and warming personality make him an exceptional performer, in a way that only Santa himself could be! There's also a tribute to "Frozen", the 2013 film that captured a generation of kids. West End talents will perform songs from the films, and also "offer songs from alternate Disney films, Classical pieces, Musical Theatre, and Christmas music". What's more, there will also be traditional puppet shows (be ready to shout!), walkabout entertainment, and things for kids to take part in!

    Norwich Winter Wonderland

    17th November 2023 - 3rd January 2024

    Norwich's annual Winter Wonderland returns to provide thrills, drinks, and a real ice rink all at the Norfolk Showground! Guests can enjoy market stalls, drinks from licensed bars, all kinds of rides, and an under cover ice rink to really help you feel the festive season.

    The ice rink is huge and made using real ice, really adding to the Christmas atmosphere as you glide under a giant transparent cover, dotted with fairy lights, allowing you to skate in any weather! You can bring your own skates so long as they're suitable (speed skates aren't allowed), however skates are included in the ticket price. Wheelchairs are also allowed onto the ice. So, wrap up warm, and get skating!

    the winter wonderland ice rink fading into amusements

    This Winter Wonderland promises ice skating, festive Christmas Markets, and thrill rides!

    The wonderland also features a number of fairground attractions for both kids and adults. Take the kids onto gentle rides like Santa's Sleigh Ride and the Race-o-rama, take a spin on classic rides like Dodgems or the Waltzer, or take the plunge on high-intensity thrill rides like No Limit, Airmaxx, and Sky Swing.

    And there's even more, with Santa's wonderland and grotto, Christmas Market stalls, and plenty of festive food and drink stalls!

    Christmas Lights Express on the North Norfolk Railway

    November 10th 2023 - January 1st 2024

    The North Norfolk Coast Poppy Line will light up this Christmas with a breathtaking light show at one of the most amazing Christmas events in Norfolk. With the steam train adorned in Christmas lights, switched on after dark, travel from the Georgian town of Holt to the seaside resort of Sheringham and watch the sides of the track light up in a kaleidoscope of Christmas colour.

    Along the way, you'll also see 10 glowing dioramas by the trackside, scattered amongst the woods which is paired with on-board narration and music to create a dramatic story for your journey. The Norfolk Lights Express is a truly unique yuletide activity and one of the best things to do in Norfolk at Christmas!

    the norfolk lights express seen from above, illuminating adjacent forests

    Watch the trees by the trackside light up in gorgeous Christmas colours

    Santa Special

    November 25th - December 23rd 2023

    Closer to Christmas, kids can be taken on a special train journey from Sheringham to Holt and back again, stopping on the return journey to make their way through an enchanted Christmas Tree Kingdom and visit Father Christmas for a special, wrapped present!

    On the journey, you will get into the Christmas spirit with complimentary onboard refreshments brought to you! Adults get mince pies and mulled cider, while kids get gingerbread and hot chocolate. Get in the mood for the Christmas season with a whole adventure and get a gift from Father Christmas and hot chocolate!

    santa's slay next to a lit-up reindeer and father christmas

    Santa sure does get about... then again, he is magic!

    Cromer Pier Christmas Show

    25th November to 30th December 2023

    Cromer's End of Pier Christmas Show is a fanstastic event for Norfolk in December as West End production values and special effects spread some Christmas sparkle. Utilising both an 8-meter video wall to create staggering visual effects alongside traditional stage sets and bespoke, expertly crafted costumes, the Cromer Pier Christmas Show promises laughs, specialty acts, singing, and dancing in their "special trademark way". The event is fit for all ages, so book tickets and bring the kids along to this Winter Spectacular!

    Christmas Markets - Norfolk Festive Gifts

    Of course, Christmas in Norfolk wouldn't be complete without a bit of Christmas shopping! Luckily, there are plenty of Christmas markets in Norfolk, some of which have already been mentioned in this article. So, pay a visit to one of these markets to get some Christmas gifts for your loved ones... or yourself!

    Burnham Maket Christmas Market

    18th November 2023

    trees white with snow in Burnham Market

    Celebrate the gift of Christmas in a rural town market

    Held on the Green of this quaint countryside town, you'll find plenty of art, craft, and food stalls packed with Christmas gifts for you to make this festive season that little bit more special. There will also be street food stalls to sate your appetite from midday onwards, and the day will also include Burnham Market's Christmas light switch on!

    The Norfolk Artisan Fair at Christmas

    Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November 2023

    Over at Fakenham Racecourse, a variety of Artisan stalls are offering quality food, drinks, and gifts to spread some Christmas cheer in early November. Enjoy festive treats like mince pies and mulled wine as you explore a variety of stalls showcasing and selling finely-crafted artisan goods. The event promises "over 100 local food, drink and craft stands", some of which can be found in the artisan food, drink, & crafts directory.

    Pensthorpe Christmas Market

    Sunday 26th November 2023

    berries growing on a winter tree with a christmas market in the background

    Pensthorpe Nature Reserve makes for a gorgeous backdrop to a Christmas market

    Outside of towns and built up areas, Pensthorpe provides a unique Christmas Market in a relaxing rural environment. With live music and unique Norfolk gifts made by "the region's best food and drink suppliers, artists and craft makers", you can enjoy the Christmas atomsphere surrounded by trees, flowers, and a wonderful festive buzz!

    Come enjoy all these Christmas events in Norfolk!

    As you can see from just these few examples, there really is something for everyone to enjoy on the Norfolk coast. Whether you're a couple looking for a romantic time at Christmas Markets and unique attractions, a big Christmas fan always looking for Christmas events near Norfolk, or a family looking for places to see Father Christmas, a Norfolk Christmas is perfect for everyone! And the only thing that could make it better is having a warm, cosy room on the coast to return to. So, once you've decided which Norfolk Christmas events to attend, get yourself booked into a Norfolk Accommodation for a short winter break away, and get into the Christmas spirit in style!

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