City Life is the City of Cardiff's premier lifestyle magazine.

Christmas In Cardiff 2021!

Wales' capital city can certainly hold its own when it comes to festive activities.
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After a challenging year, many Cardiff residents and visitors will be looking forward to Christmas 2021 and some much-needed festive cheer. The city has now, officially, entered the festive period as the Christmas lights start to sparkle, the beautiful decorated wooden stalls of the Christmas market open, and Santa takes up residence in his grotto.

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If you still need convincing that Christmas has arrived, here are our top 10 reasons to visit Cardiff this festive season:

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland
Tuesday 16 November 2021 – Sunday 2 January 2022
Vary, please check website

Cardiff’s famous and much-loved Winter Wonderland will be back for 2021, bigger and better than ever! Now set over two stunning sites at City Hall and Cardiff Castle with additions including the Ice Bar and an outdoor roof terrace. Get your skates on, tickets are on sale now! Get your tickets here:

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Cardiff Christmas Market
Thursday 11 November 2021 – Thursday 23 December 2021
Mon – Sat: 10:00 – 18:00, Sun: 10:00 – 17:00

 As seen in The Times’ best UK Christmas markets

When you visit Cardiff, you can be assured that you will be purchasing original work from a hand-picked selection of talented makers. Combined with a variety of seasonal food and drink, there will be a vibrant festive atmosphere. Find out what stalls will be available at our 28th Christmas Market here:

Christmas at Bute Park
Thursday 25 November 2021 – Friday 31 December 2021 (excluding Christmas Day)
Times vary, please check website for latest details

Christmas at Bute Park will take visitors on a breath-taking tour of festive delight around one of the capital city’s most beloved landmarks and through the biggest Christmas lights trail Wales has ever seen. A truly magical experience for both children and adults! For more information on Christmas at Bute Park and to book tickets, visit

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Cardiff Christmas Lights 2021
Switched on
Friday 12 November
The lights will come on at dusk

Although there’s no lighting ceremony this year, Christmas in Cardiff officially began on Friday 12 November. Alongside the beautiful displays in the city centre, there are brand new coloured lighting on the walls of Cardiff Castle.

Visit Santa Claus in Cardiff
Opening times vary, please check Visit Cardiff website for latest details

At this hectic time of the year, Santa always finds time in his schedule to visit Cardiff in the build up to Christmas. Sometimes he even appears in several places at once, it’s magic and we don’t understand it either but probably best not to question it. Where will you be heading? Read Visit Cardiff’s guide and pick your favourite grotto:

Christmas shopping
Varies, please check shop opening hours online

Cardiff boasts a range of Christmas shopping options from traditional arcades to St David’s, Wales’ leading shopping destination. With so much great choice from the big brand centres to the boutique Edwardian arcades, you’re sure to get your Christmas shopping all wrapped up in Cardiff this year. Looking for inspiration? Visit Cardiff’s shopping guide can be found here:

Christmas ballets at St David’s Hall
Varies, check St David’s Hall website for dates for specific shows

St David’s Hall got the festive season all wrapped up at the National Concert Hall of Wales with FOUR enchanting productions from the prestigious Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia in partnership with Raymond Gubbay Ltd. Choose from The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Romeo & Juliet. Why not treat a loved one – and yourself – as a special Christmas present? Find out more and book your tickets here:

Christmas Panto at the New Theatre
Saturday 4 December 2021 – Sunday 2 January 2022
Vary, please check the New Theatre website for details:

Is it even Christmas without the panto? Oh no it isn’t! Join Paul Chuckle, Gareth Gates, Gareth Thomas and Mike Doyle at the New Theatre this festive season for the magical pantomime, Aladdin. Expect guaranteed laugh out loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes, plenty of boos and hisses…and a flying carpet, what more could you want to fill you and your family with plenty of festive spirit?

With generous discounts for groups, concessions and special rates for schools available for selected performances, it’s never too early to secure the best seats. Find out more and book here:

Christmas at the Castle
Cardiff Castle is open to visitors 7 days a week all year roundapart from the 25 and 26 December and 1 January
Varies, check Cardiff Castle website

There’s so much more to see at Cardiff Castle, especially at Christmas time. Upgrade your ticket and join a guided tour of the beautifully decorated Victorian apartments or uncover a forgotten chapter of Welsh history with the Black Tower Tales.

At the Castle’s gift shop, you will find a selection of beautiful gifts and keepsakes, handcrafted wares and local produce, ideal stocking fillers for your loved ones. At Christmas time there is also a delightful range of traditional decorations. Remember you can claim 10% off with a Castle Key!

St John’s Gardens Light Maze and Projection Show
TBC, more information coming to Visit Cardiff website soon

Light Maze – An immersive and interactive maze that brings a unique light experience to St Johns Gardens. Visit when the park is open, but the lights can still be enjoyed 24 hours a day, even when the park is locked.

Projection Show – Visit St Johns Gardens and from 4pm onwards and enjoy a family Christmas projection show with lights and sound on the side of the Old Library building.

If you’re looking for even more reasons to visit Cardiff this Christmas, discover more on the Visit Cardiff website


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