I’ve rounded up some spectacularly seasonal Christmas events in Derbyshire. From South Derbyshire to the very north of Derbyshire, via the Peak District and Derby city centre, here’s my carefully curated guide to the best festive things to do in Derbyshire in 2022. Most events are family friendly but there’s also plenty for couples and groups of friends (maybe ideas for work Christmas parties?). I’ve also tried to include lots of free and low-cost Christmas activities.
All details provided in good faith. Please double check details directly with organisers before making a special journey – particularly in adverse weather conditions. It would be amazing if you could mention Lovely Local Indie when booking events.
I’ll keep this updated as I see more events so bookmark this page and keep coming back. If you find it useful, please share the post with friends/family/work colleagues. And if you’re the organiser of an event that you’d like to promote please get in touch.
Wishing you the most magical festive season!
PS – now that we’re in that funny Twixmas stage – you might want to read about how to Beat the Chrimbo Limbo Boredom
Christmas Events in Derbyshire
Christmas at Chatsworth
5th November 2022 to 8th January 2023
If Chatsworth is the jewel of the Peak District, its Christmas events are the crème de la crème of the festive calendar. The House is spectacularly dressed for the season, as is the garden, and their Christmas market is one of the best in the whole of the Midlands. Read more about Christmas at Chatsworth here.
Fireside Fairy Tales at Chatsworth
Monday 5th, Wednesday 7th and Wednesday 14th December 2022, 4 –5pm and 5.30–6.30pm
Gather around the Christmas campfire to hear an expert storyteller read festive fairy tales while enjoying a warming mug of hot chocolate. Round off your visit by toasting marshmallows over the fire. £7.50 per child, £2.50 per accompanying adult. Booking required.
Derby Christmas Light Switch On
12th November 2022
Wrap up warm for a parade and enjoy a variety of entertainment on the stage leading up to the big switch-on at 6pm. Join in with the festivities from 3.30pm in Derby city centre for a variety of entertainment, leading up to the big switch-on at 6pm. Make a day of it – check out my guide of things to do in Derby.
Fabulous Places Christmas Market, near Belper
Tuesday 15th November to Thursday 17th November 2022, 4pm to 9pm
Held in the beautiful Shottle Hall near Belper. Expect a beautifully curated selection of the most gorgeous independents. Fabulous Places events are always special. with exceptional quality independent shopping, fabulously festive food and drink and plenty of seasonal surprises (that will no doubt be highly Instagram-able!). Tickets launching soon – stay tuned to their Instagram and website for updates.
Haddon Hall Mercatum Christmas Artisan Market, near Bakewell
Three long weekends: Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th November 2022, Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th November 2022 and Thursday 1st December to Sunday 4th December 2022, 9.30am to 5pm (last entry 4pm)
The stunning backdrop of Haddon Hall, dressed beautifully for Christmas and with a high quality selection of artisans. Adults £7.50, Under 16s free, free parking. No dogs. Tickets can be booked online but this is not essential and entry can be paid on arrival.
Christmas Market at Thornbridge, near Bakewell
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November 2022, 10am to 4pm
Free to enter Christmas market in Thornbridge’s beautiful Carriage House with twenty stalls of local artisan makers. Products on sale include gin, bean-to-bar chocolate, candles, art, jewellery and much more. The Gardens will also be free to enter on these dates. Quackers Cafe will be serving warming festive sweet and savoury treats, mulled wine and liqueur coffees all weekend – or book a festive afternoon tea for a real treat. Meet Father Christmas on Saturday 19th only (see below for details).
Christmas House Tours at Thornbridge Hall, near Bakewell
18th November to 23 December 2022
A festive tour inside the beautiful Thornbridge Hall. Start with mulled wine and a mince pie in The House Bar. This seasonal and interactive tour takes in the splendour of The Hall and its stunning decorations. £15 per person for a one-hour tour including a mince pie and mulled wine. Garden entry is not included (although the gardens are open free of charge on 18th to 20th of November for the Christmas market – see above). Booking essential via their website.
Meet Father Christmas at Thornbridge, near Bakewell
Saturday 19th November 2022, 10am to 1pm
Free entry to Santa’s Grotto to meet Father Christmas in the Orangery. First-come, first-serve basis. Free event but donations to the Thornbridge 4 Everyone charity are welcomed.
Bakewell Christmas Market
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022, 9am – 5pm
A quintessentially English market with over one hundred stalls in Bakewell Market Place and the surrounding streets. Expect seasonal music, Santa’s grotto, a range of entertainment including children’s fair rides. Free entry.
Mama Meet and Market Festive Family Market, Derby
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022
Shopping at gorgeous small businesses in a truly family friendly environment at The Chocolate Factory in Derby city centre. Yummy street food from Bustler market. Make a day of it – check out my guide of things to do in Derby.
Derbyshire Makers Christmas Artisan Fair, Darley Dale near Matlock
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022
Approximately thirty stalls selling beautiful handmade gifts from some of Derbyshire’s most talented makers in a beautiful location. All of the makers are from Derbyshire – a brilliant way to support the local economy.
The Whitworth is set in acres beautiful parkland making, there’s lots of free parking and a coffee shop. Free entry. Disabled access.
Chesterfield Christmas Lights Switch On and Market
Sunday 20th November 2022
The annual Christmas light switch on in Chesterfield’s historic town centre, plus a festive market. Chesterfield residents can park for free with their parking pass. Make a day of it – read my guide to the best restaurants in Chesterfield.
Pudding Run at Shipley Country Park, Heanor
Sunday 20th November 2022
Take part and receive a Christmas pudding! Organised by Heanor Running Club. Registration required.
Nightly from Wednesday 23rd November 2022 until Friday 24th December 2022
A spectacular, illuminated trail, full of wonder and intrigue, to delight and enthrall your senses through the stunning grounds of Hardwick Hall. Expect stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music. Tickets must be pre-booked online in advance.
Belper Christmas Light Switch On
Thursday 24th November, 5.45pm
Christmas Lights will be switched on in the Memorial Gardens , with charity stalls and entertainment on King Street.
Ashbourne Christmas Lights
Saturday 26th November, 3pm – 5.30pm
See Ashbourne come to life with sparkling Christmas Illuminations at 5:30 pm on in the Market Place. Festive music and entertainment including Snow Queen stilt walkers, various LED light performers, and an Ice Man contact juggler will entertain. Free entry, no booking required. Ashbourne Market Place.
Santa Experience at Denby Pottery Village
From 26th November
[AD] A magical visit to meet Santa in his cosy cabin, children also receive a personalised elf observation report and can hand-pick their own special gift from Santa’s Workshop. Read more here. Save 10% off selected off-peak Santa Experience bookings using my exclusive discount code “Santamolly” Book here.
Father Christmas Experience at Bluebell Dairy Farm
Every weekend from 26th November to Christmas Eve
A magical and interactive Father Christmas experience. Explore the beauty of The Wishing Woods and discover toy making skills in the Toy Workshop. Unleash your imagination on the Peculiar Penguin Sleigh Journey and of course join Father Christmas for a night time sleigh ride! Booking essential, early bird discount until the end of September. Adult tickets from £14.50, child tickets from £24.95, toddlers from £15.50, under 1s free.
An Audience With Father Christmas At Bolsover Castle
Weekends from 26th November to 18th December 2022
Festive fun with the man himself at Bolsover Castle. Meet Father Christmas as he tells festive tales amidst yuletide decorations. An additional charge applies on top of normal admission prices to see Father Christmas, the price includes a small present. Booking required – make sure to select ‘An audience with Father Christmas’ add-on for the time you wish to attend.
Midlands Markets Festive Edition, near Belper
Sunday 27th November 2022, 10am to 4pm
A beautiful selection of stalls of local businesses and makers. in the picturesque Shottle Hall, near Belper. Expect plenty of mulled wine and hot food! £2 entry, under 12s free. More information here.
Christmas Events in Derbyshire – December 2022
The Snowman Tour, Derby
Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd December 2022
An award winning, magical production accompanied by a live orchestra. Alongside The Snowman, enjoy The Flight Before Christmas – the sensational new Shaun the Sheep film staged with live orchestra for the first time. Voted as one of the “Top Family things to do at Christmas…” by The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph, and suitable for the whole family to enjoy together (3+). Book or enter my giveaway to WIN tickets here.
1st to 17th December 2022, 5pm to 9pm
An evening to remember as the arboretum is lit up with a kaleidoscope of colour. Relaxed sessions available. Book tickets.
Matlock Victorian Christmas Market
Friday 2nd December to Sunday 4th December 2022
One of the largest festive events in Derbyshire, set in Hall Leys Park in Matlock. There will be more than 200 stalls and traders offering hand-crafted, artisan goods, local produce and seasonal refreshments. This year, as well as outside stalls, there will be two marquees and a range of entertainment.
The family-friendly event includes festive entertainment including fairground rides and other child-friendly attractions. On Saturday and Sunday, there’s a Santa’s Grotto. The weekend culminates in a spectacular fireworks display. Well-behaved dogs welcome on leads.
Christmas Market at Denby Pottery Village
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th and Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December 2022
Free entry and free parking. Over 40 different independent stallholders each weekend selling a wide range of handcrafted and personalised items as well as a selection of delicious artisan food (including Project D doughnuts) and drink and a fabulously festive atmosphere. Denby’s beautiful Christmas Shop will be open with seasonal home accessories and festive decorations. Also an opportunity to hand-pick a real Christmas tree and wreath. More information and opening times for each day here. Combine with a personalised meet and greet with Santa, by booking here.
Festive Afternoon Tea at Peak Edge
Every Saturday in December, 2pm to 3.30pm
Fabulously festive afternoon tea with sumptuous treats served overlooking the surrounding countryside (look out for the Highland cows!). As far as possible, ingredients are sourced locally, much from the owner’s farm less than a mile away, Walton Lodge. Enjoy dainty sandwiches (including turkey and cranberry!), freshly baked scones with Derbyshire clotted cream and an assortment of cakes including Bakewell slice, with speciality tea or coffee from Northen Tea Merchants. £30pp. Book online here.
Sailing Santa at Chesterfield Canal
Every Saturday and Sunday through December 2022, 10am-3pm
Join the Chesterfield Canal Trust and their special guest for a trip on the Chesterfield Canal. Trips from Tapton Lock and Hollingwood Hub. £9 each. Every child gets a gift and there’s seasonal refreshments for adults. Booking essential, book from Tapton Lock or Hollingwood Hub.
Family Festivities at Markeaton Park, Derby
Saturday 3th and Sunday 4th December 2022, 11am – 3pm
Free entry, some activities have charges. Festive food, music, Christmas crafts, free Elf Trail and much more. Post a downloadable letter to Father Christmas at the Markeaton North Pole post box and festive mini golf.
Belper Winter Food Festival
Sunday 4th December 2022
One of Britain’s best high streets regularly runs uber popular food festivals. Expect sensational seasonal food and drink. Look out for a free crafting activity from Boom Magazine Belper.
Festive Derby Ice Rink
Monday 5th to Saturday 31st December 2022
Located on Derby’s historic Market Place, take a spin (or if that’s a tad ambitious, totter) around a real ice rink, covered for protection from the elements. There’s a viewing platform and windows so that spectators can join in the fun by relaxing amongst the twinkling lights and listening to the festive playlist, indulging in a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Hourly sessions, with prices including skate hire. Skate aids will be free to borrow and are available on a first come first served basis. Also check out the themed sessions with hits from the 80s, 90s and 00s and family superhero and fancy dress sessions, as well as a Christmas and New Year’s Eve party. Tickets from £7, booking recommended. Make a day of it – check out my guide of things to do in Derby.
Buxton Christmas Market
Saturday 10th December 2022
England’s highest market, in the beautiful spa town of Buxton. Atmospheric Christmas shopping and plenty of seasonal food and drink!
Derby Santa Run
Sunday 11th December 2022
Family friendly festive event – even the dog is welcome! Hop, skip, dance or run the route “yule” be sure to have lots of fantastic festive fun. Free Santa suit included in ticket price. Finishers medal and goody bag once you’ve crossed the finish line. Fundraising event organised by Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People and Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity. Adult (14+) £12.50 Under 14s £5.Register on the Rainbows website
The Snowman Tour, Buxton
Tuesday 13th December 2022
An award winning, magical production accompanied by a live orchestra. Alongside The Snowman, enjoy The Flight Before Christmas – the sensational new Shaun the Sheep film staged with live orchestra for the first time. Voted as one of the “Top Family things to do at Christmas…” by The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph, and suitable for the whole family to enjoy together (3+). Book tickets or enter my giveaway to WIN tickets.
Winter Trail at Elvaston Castle, near Derby
Saturday 17th December 2022 to Monday 2nd January 2023 (except Christmas Day)
Pop into the Elvaston Castle Information Centre & Shop to pick up a winter trail sheet and enjoy a festive walk around the grounds. Trail is less than a mile, so perfect for little legs. £2 per trail sheet. Free entry to Elvaston Castle grounds – read more about what to expect here.
Elf Trail at Shipley Country Park, Heanor
Sunday 18th December to Sunday 8th January 2022 (except Christmas Day), 10.30am-2pm.
Family friendly Christmas themed trail. Find the clue cards to help you complete the Elf’s activity sheet and receive a certificate! 1-2 miles. Cost: £1.50 per child. No booking required. Turn up any time. Self-led activity.
More 2023 Derbyshire events here – or check out more festive content below.
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