Christmas 2020 is not going to be quite like other years but there are still lots of ways to find some festive magic and stay safe too. We have some fabulous outdoor, low contact and virtual events to keep you occupied, read on to plan your Christmas fun!

Remember to stay safe with our handy guide on the local Tier restrictions in the city


Online: 21 November – 31 December or in person: 5 – 13 December: 
Artist Open Houses Winter Festival

Brightonians always welcome the start of the winter Artist Open Houses, not least because we can get all our Christmas gifts locally, get something one of a kind, support a local artist and even get to nosy around their house. This year is naturally a bit different seeing the festival go online from 21st November – 31st December, giving you a unique chance to snap up an array of inspirational art as well as unique, handmade Christmas gifts, that you would usually travel for.  

21 November – 23 December: Santa at Drusillas

Experience the winter magic first-hand at Drusillas Park this year! Drusilla’s have hung up their stockings by the chimney with care, in the knowledge that Saint Nick soon will be there! Take your little monkeys to visit Santa Claus in his cosy Christmas Cottage, sample some festive food and drink and marvel at the giant Christmas tree.

26 November – 30 December – (Selected evenings): Glow Wild

Now in its seventh year, Glow Wild’s enchanting lantern trail is full of surprises and new installations. As darkness falls, the gardens are brought to life with glowing lanterns, mesmerising projections, immersive soundscapes, and glistening torches of fire. Marvel at the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree decorated with 1,800 lights and join us in a celebration of the hidden heroes of the plant and fungal world, from a grain of pollen or fungus spore to a seed on the wind. It is sure to be an unmissable evening of winter wonder.

28 November – 22 December: Sussex Trees

What can be more magical at Christmas than taking a trip with the family outdoors and choosing your own tree? Nestled in the heart of the Sussex countryside, the tree plot at Goddenwick farm is the perfect festive day out, with reindeers, donkeys and elves you can choose your tree and all the decorations to go with it. Need to stay at home? No problem they deliver across the UK. 

2 – 21 December: Burning the Clocks 

A massive event in the festive Brighton calendar has been brought to you safely this year with a Burning the Clocks lantern trail. Brighton charity Same Sky have launched its first trail across the city, on the route of the famous parade. Using a mobile, participants solve clues to find the lanterns which are on display and have been commissioned by 12 regular Burning the Clocks artists to reflect solstice, samba dancing and fireworks.

3 – 24 December: Virtual Santa at the Llama Park

This year The Llama Park’s one and only “REAL” Santa will be available at very special meetings online using Zoom. The “personalised visits” will last 10 minutes and are available for a maximum of three children per visit. All children attending a meeting will be sent a Christmas gift after the visit, but this only applies to UK addresses. £25.00 for one child, plus a gift for the child.

3 – 31 December: The Christmas Pundemic 

A socially distanced Christmas festival with music and Cabaret in the heart of Brighton. Customers will be able to eat, drink and be merry while enjoying live music and Cabaret, complete with drag and burlesque performances - there will also be a Merry Musical Bingo hosted by Alfie Ordinary (pictured above). Jubilee Square will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland complete with a massive Dream Dome, ski lifts and gondolas to provide a fun festival throughout the month of December.

4 - 24 December: Santa Flights at British Airways i360 

Book for a magical family experience this Christmas and escape to 450ft above Brighton with Santa at British Airways i360. Does Santa know which chimney is yours? As you fly with Santa, point out your rooftop to the man himself on board our beautifully decorated viewing pod before capturing the magic and posing for a photo with Father Christmas seated in his giant armchair, with the backdrop of Brighton and the coastline below.

5 December & 12 December: Wiston Estate Fireside Christmas Sparkling Wine Tastings

Join Wiston Estate for their Fireside Christmas Sparkling Wine Tastings in their Wine Barn overlooking the vines. With a fire roaring in the hearth and surrounded by twinkling candles, owner Kirsty Goring will lead you through a tutored tasting of 4 of Wiston Estate's award-winning English Sparkling Wines and recommend ideal food pairing suggestions.

5 – 24 December: Phileas Fogg World of Adventure Pantomimes

Step into a winter wonderland with two magical  experiences from Phileas Fogg, Elf and a Christmas Carol, with only your exclusive group of 5 people to accompany you, meet a host of pantomime characters on your way to meeting Santa Claus, as this is exclusive for each household the content can be adapted to be funnier or lighter depending on the age of the group.

6 December: Christmas Jumper Mixed 3-a-side Tournament

Ho Ho Ho - Come get into the festive spirit at Yellowave and wear your best Christmas Jumper in this wonderfully Christmassy mixed 3-a-side tournament. No doubt the mince pies and mulled wine will be on the go in the cafe in between matches. Entry is £13.50pp. Kicks off at 11am. To book your team call 01273 672222 or book online.

8 – 24 December: Brighton Open Air Theatre 

If you’re after a socially distanced slice of festive fun, look no further than the two pantomimes being held at the gem that is Brighton Open Air Theatre, which is being turned into a festive paradise, with fairy lights, Christmas trees, cosy fire pits and mulled wine at the bar. Pack a blanket and get outdoors to enjoy either The Snow Queen or Hansel & Gretel (or both!)

12 December: A Christmas Carol

Christmas arrives early with two live performances of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, narrated by the celebrated actor Harriet Walter (RSC, The Crown, Killing Eve) and accompanied by festive music from BPO Brass Quintet and their Music Director, Joanna MacGregor this heart-warming tale of redemption is sure to make you feel that warm festive glow.

Throughout December: Christmas Lights

Brighton city centre has been decorated with beautiful twinkling lights so whether you’re ticking off your Christmas list or just need a good walk, head into town with the family and take a walk through the centre of the city, The Lanes and the North Laine area, soaking up the festive displays whilst strolling around, perhaps treating yourself to a hot chocolate along the way?

Caroline

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