Cardiff Christmas 2018 | 35 Festive Events to Enjoy in the City this Year

35 Festive Events to Enjoy in Cardiff this Christmas

Cardiff Christmas

The most wonderful time of the year is nearly here! Get into the Christmas spirit with our essential list of all Cardiff’s most festive events to enjoy this jolly-holly season. Here are 35 yuletide events you won’t want to miss for a magical Cardiff Christmas 2018…

1. Little Red Riding Hood at the Sherman Theatre

Date: 9 November – 29 December

Location: Sherman Theatre

Relive a childhood classic with this adaptation of the Grimm’s fairytale classic at the Sherman Theatre. With both welsh-language and English versions playing throughout November and December, enjoy a production full of charm, songs and plenty of fun for all the family. Tickets £9.

2. Get into the festive mood at Cardiff’s Christmas markets

Date: 15 November – 23 December

Location: St. John’s Street and Working Street

Find some unique yuletide gifts this year with a trip to Cardiff’s incredible Christmas markets. Browse festively-decorated wooden stalls for talented craftsmanship, delicious food and delectable drinks. From Welsh slate to homemade liqueurs, you’ll find gifts galore to make everyone’s Cardiff Christmas 2018 one to remember.

3. Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

cardiff christmas 2018
Credit: Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland | Facebook

Date: 15 November – 6 January

Location: City Hall Lawns, Civic Centre

Head to City Hall for a wintry wonderland experience to get you into the Yuletide mood. With a family-friendly ice rink, an action-packed funfair and, new for 2018, the ‘Sur La Piste’ bar serving beverages and food from a traditional ski-lodge setting, the Wonderland is sure to be as popular as ever.  Tickets from £7 for concessions and £8.50 for adults.

4. Step into Christmas with a Cardiff city centre celebration

Date: 15 November

Location: Queen Street, the Hayes, St. Mary Street

The city’s official celebration of the start of the Christmas season is set to see a magical transformation in town, with festive characters, music, lights and street entertainment welcoming the Yuletide season into Wales.

5. Winter Gift Shop Christmas Market at the Norwegian Church

Date: 16 November – 23 December

Location: Norwegian Church Arts Centre

Head down to the bay to browse unique, hand-crafted products made by artists, crafters and photographers from around Wales in the iconic Norwegian church. Free entry.

6. Alice in Wonderland at the Sherman Theatre

Date: 28 November – 29 December

Location: Sherman Theatre

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and meet all your favourite characters this Christmas time in this seasonal production of Lewis Carroll’s much-loved classic tale. Meet the White Rabbit or join the Mad Hatter for tea and enjoy spectacular costumes, an incredible cast and much, much more in a curious adventure for all the family. Tickets from £16.

7. Visit Santa at Cardiff Castle

cardiff christmas 2018
Credit: Cardiff Castle / Castell Caerdydd | Facebook

Date: 24 November – 22 December

Location: Cardiff Castle

Santa’s heading for an extended stay at Cardiff Castle and you’re invited. Book your tickets today to visit Mr Claus in his Grotto, take away a traditional Christmas gift and enjoy exciting kids activities including a craft area, candy cane trail and take-home activity booklet. Plus, during special sessions, Santa will be bilingual: Nadolig Llawen! Tickets £12.95.

8. Enjoy traditional carols from the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Choir

Date: 27 November

Location: St David’s Hall

Join in St David’s Hall celebration of the beginning of the Christmas season with a lunchtime concert of traditional carols and concert favourites performed by the Cathedral Choir and the concert orchestra from St John’s College.An unmissable Cardiff Christmas 2018 performance. Tickets from £6.

9. Make your own Christmas wreath at Cardiff Castle

Date: 2 December

Location: Cardiff Castle

Learn the skills behind making an authentic Christmas wreath and decorate it in the traditional style at this craft-making session at the Castle. Tickets £25.

10. Have an unforgettable work Christmas party at The Exchange Hotel

cardiff christmas 2018

Date: Throughout December

Location: The Exchange Hotel Cardiff

Celebrate the festive season in style with a unique Christmas party at The Exchange Hotel for your Cardiff Christmas 2018. Whether you’re sitting down with friends, family or work colleagues, our legendary evenings dos are the perfect excuse to get everyone together for a festive fiesta. With live music, and a delicious three course menu, plus a glass of fizz upon arrival, there’s no better place to step into the most wonderful time of the year. £45 per person.

For more information, or to book, visit our Christmas website or call 02920 107050.

11. Go wild at Bingo Lingo’s Christmas Show

Date: 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 December

Location: Depot in Cardiff

Get mad and bad with out-of-this-world bingo at Depot, as Bingo Lingo transforms their normal chaos into a Christmas special. Expect circus performers, festive tunes and a host of incredible food traders to keep you dancing through the night as you try to fill your house for insane presents and exciting prizes. Fancy dress is strongly encouraged. Tickets from £16.50.

12. Watch Love Actually with a Live Orchestra

Date: 3 December

Location: St David’s Hall

Enjoy everyone’s favourite festive film at St David’s Hall with a live orchestral accompaniment performing alongside this magical movie. Laugh, sing and cry along to the classic yuletide while enjoying moving music from Craig Armstrong’s evocative score. The perfect Cardiff Christmas 2018 family evening out. Tickets from £41.50.

13. Christmas nights at St. Fagans

Cardiff Christmas 2018
Credit: St Fagans National Museum of History

Date: 6-8 December

Location: St. Fagans National Museum of History

Get into the festive mood as a family with a traditional Welsh Christmas as St. Fagans. From performances of unique Welsh traditions, including Mari Lwyd and the Hunting of the Wren, to carols in the chapel, craft workshops, traditional Welsh Plygain singing and even a chance to met Father Christmas himself, there’s no better way to kick off the festive season than celebrating the best of Welsh yuletide as a family. Tickets £15 (Children £8).

14. Follow Hansel and Gedeon into the woods at the Wales Millennium Centre

Date: 6 – 8 December

Location: Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

Step into the forbidden woods of fairy-tale land at the Wales Millennium Centre as theatre group Odyssey brings to life the Story of Hansel and Gedeon’s adventure into the forest. With a vibrant cast of disabled and non-disabled performers and pupils from Woodlands High School, it’s set to be an incredible reimagined adaptation of one of the world’s most enduring fairytales. Tickets £9.

15. Beauty and the Beast at New Theatre

Date: 8 December – 13 January

Location: New Theatre

Get your calls of ‘it’s behind you” primed and your Boos ready – Cardiff’s panto season is about to swing into action.

Start your festive viewings with Beauty and the Beast and enjoy one of our best-loved panto stories live on stage as time runs out for Bella to see past the monstrous exterior of her Beastly companion. With performances from Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas and Ben Richards, its set to be a Cardiff CHristmas 2018 must-watch pantomime. Tickets from £18.

16. Laugh out loud with New Yorker Tori Scott’s take on Christmas cheer

Date: 8 December

Location: Ffresh Cabaret Bar, Wales Millenium Centre

New Yorker Tori Scott has flown her hilarious and heartwarming Christmas show ‘Vodka is the reason for the season’ all the way across the pond for a Cardiff performance of laugh-out-loud comedy, featuring songs by Dolly Parton, Madonna, Michael Jackson and much, much more. Tickets £15.

17. Make every Sunday special with our Festive Sunday Lunches

Cardiff Christmas 2018

Date: Sundays in December

Location: The Exchange Hotel Cardiff

Stop off at R.P.Culley & Co. any Sunday throughout December to kick-start the festive season with a Christmas Sunday Lunch. Indulge in a three-course meal for just £25 per person (or two-course for £20)  and taste delicious dishes such as ham hock, pistachio and scallion terrine fig and onion Tarte Tatin and British Turkey or Roast Beef with all the Christmas trimmings.

For more information, or to book, visit our Christmas website or call 02920 107050.

18. Earn your Christmas Dinner with the Santa and Elf Dash

Date: 9 December

Location: Cardiff Bay

Do your bit for charity this Christmas by signing up for the Cardiff Santa and Elf dash around the bay. Run 5K in your best yuletide costumes to raise money for Welsh Hearts and help save lives across the country. Entry £10.

19. The Sixteen at Christmas

Date: 9 December

Location: St David’s Hall

Catch one of the most talented choral groups working today when The Sixteen return to the city for a Cardiff Christmas 2018 concert of beautiful voices and nostalgic musical classics. Conducted by Harry Christophers, enjoy contemporary and Renaissance compositions of Christmas favourites including It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Coventry Carol and The Saviour’s Work. Tickets from £19.00.

20. Celebrate the season with a festive meal for all your friends

Date: Throughout December

Location: The Exchange Hotel

Get your friends together for a pre-Christmas celebration of good tidings and joy at The Exchange Hotel. Our Festive Dining menu offers the chance to indulge in your favourite Christmas foods as you make the most of the joyous season with friends and family. For just £35 per person, tuck into a three course meal of delectable delights such as breaded Perl Wen, braised Welsh lamb Shank and traditional Christmas pudding, served with dark rum sauce and ginger bread ice cream.

For more information, or to book, visit our Christmas website or call 02920 107050.

21. The Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service Christmas Showcase

cardiff christmas 2018
Credit: St David’s Hall | Facebook

Date: 11 December

Location: St David’s Hall

Celebrate Christmas with schools across Cardiff and the Vale, and pupils from the CCVG Music Service in this festive celebration of youth talent. With orchestras, bands, singers and choirs from across the area, enjoy spirit lifting performances to kick start the festive season. Tickets from £9.50.

22. Swing into Yuletide with The Rat Pack

Date: 13 December

Location: St David’s Hall

If you like all your Christmas’ white and just want to Let it Snow, then head down to St David’s Hall for an evening of classic festive fun and Christmas classics from The Definite Rat Pack. Performing hits including White Christmas, Baby it’s Cold Outside, and Let it Snow as well as all-time favourites New York, New York and I’ve Got You Under My Skin, it’s sure to be a sensational evening in the Cardiff Christmas 2018 calendar. Tickets from £30.00.

23. Enjoy a Christmas Carol Concert in Stunning Surroundings

Date: 13 December

Location: National Museum Cardiff

Celebrate Christmas with a traditional carol concert performed by the Museum Choir in the stunning surroundings of the Main Hall. Entry is free, and refreshments will be available to buy, including mulled wine and mince pies.

24. Be awe-struck by the supersized Christmas spectacular of Elf

Date: 14-16 December

Location: Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

If Elf is your favourite Christmas film, then you’ll love this magical musical based on the Hollywood blockbuster which is heading to Cardiff in December.

Enjoy a supersized storytelling of Buddy the Elf’s journeys into the human world, with pop legend David Essex playing his father, Martine McCutcheon taking on the role of Buddy’s girlfriend and comedy actor Tam Ryan stepping into the larger-than-life shoes of everyone’s favourite Christmas elf.  Tickets from £37.50.

25. Treat yourself to a Festive Afternoon Tea

Cardiff Christmas 2018

Date: Throughout the Festive Season

Location: The Exchange Hotel

For just £25 per person, indulge in a festive afternoon tea inside a historic setting this Christmas time. Enjoy seasonal sandwiches of smoked turkey, smoked salmon and Caerphilly cheese and pickle, along with festive mini cakes and desserts, mince pies and scones plus your choice of mulled wine, cider or prosecco at the magical R.P. Culley & Co inside The Exchange Hotel. It’s sure to add a magical touch to your Cardiff Christmas 2018.

£20 per person, or £25 for included mulled wine, cider or prosecco. For more information, or to book, visit our Christmas website or call 02920 107050.

26. Christmas Weekend at the National Museum Cardiff

Date: 15-16 December

Location: National Museum Cardiff

Head to the historic National Museum Cardiff for a star-themed Christmas set to be out of this world. This free event includes craft workshops, family-friendly activities and music all sprinkled with some festive star-dust as the Tim Peake Soyuz space capsule crash-lands into the museum for a star-studded Yuletide celebration.

Plus, catch Father Christmas in his grotto from 11am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 3:30pm both days for a chat and some very special Christmas treats.

27. Stay Another Day with East 17’s Tramshed Gig

Date: 16 December

Location: Tramshed in Cardiff

If Stay Another Day is still your number one festive hit, head to Tramshed for a live performance from one of the UK’s most popular 90s boy bands to relive the Christmas hit and their 18 other top 20 singles including House of Love, Around the World and Gold. Tickets £12.35.

28. Get Festive with BBC Wales: Carols for Christmas

Date: 16 December

Location: St David’s Hall

The BBC’s annual festive concert returns to St David’s once again for an afternoon of Yuletide cheer. Enjoy a selection of popular carols, readings by BBC Wales presenters and performances by a large choir of primary school pupils. Tickets £5.

29. Watch the Russian State Ballet perform Snow Maiden

cardiff christmas 2018
Credit: Visit Cardiff

Date: 19 December – 20 December

Location: St David’s Hall

One of three stunning ballets set to be performed at St David’s Hall, hurry up and book your tickets for the Snow Maiden as there will be only three exclusive performances of the tragic folktale for Cardiff Christmas 2018.

Telling the story of the exquisite Snow Maiden who lives under the protection of Father Frost, this sad tale sees the beautiful maiden dance into the human world, captivated by the colourful village and people who live, only to find a tragic end when temptation gets the better of her.

Formed in 1981, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia is one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has an international reputation for outstanding quality.

30. The Nutcracker by the Russian State Ballet

Date: 21 December – 24 December

Location: St David’s Hall

The second ballet to be performed by the Russian State Ballet at St David’s Hall sees the most famous of Christmas performances come to life with Tchaikovsky’s famous score. Be swept away by a fairy-tale world of toy dolls, Mouse-kings and the Nutcracker Prince in this festive story of the night before Christmas. Tickets from £17.50.

31. Swan Lake by the Russian State Ballet

Date: 27 December – 29 December

Location St David’s Hall

Catch the most romantic ballet of all time at St David’s Hall with the third stunning ballet brought to Cardiff by the Russian State Ballet. With a haunting score, unmissable technical prowess and an emotional storyline, Swan Lake is a must-see performance this Christmas. Tickets from £17.50.

32. Take the stress out of Christmas Day Dinner at The Exchange Hotel

Cardiff Christmas 2018

Date: 25 December

Location: The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff

Take the stress away from the most wonderful time of the year and host your Cardiff Christmas 2018 dinner at The Exchange Hotel. Forget peeling spuds and washing dishes – let us take care of all the details while you enjoy every precious moment with those you love the most this Christmas time.

Choose your perfect five-course Christmas dinner from a delectable menu that includes starters of pheasant and foie gras terrine, celeriac and truffle soup and Welsh gin cured salmon before settling into the star of the show, picking from turkey breast with all the trimmings, pan-fried fillet of beef, butternut squash, black truffle and lentil nut roast and much, much more. £99 per person.

For more information, or to book, visit our Christmas website or call 02920 107050.

33. Cinderella by the Russian State Ballet

Date: 30 December – 31 December

Location: St David’s Hall

In their final ballet brought to St David’s Hall stage, the Russian State Ballet will be retelling the world-famous rags to riches fairy tale of Cinderella, to the lively score by Prokofiev. This magical modern classic is the perfect post-Christmas performance for all the family. Tickets from £17.50.

34. Meet Santa at Principality Stadium

Date: TBC

Location: Principality Stadium

Like any airborne transportation, Santa’s sleigh always parks up in a sky-high landing spot away from any obstacles, so it makes sense that he’d land on the famous retractable roof of the Principality Stadium.

More surprising is that you and your children can visit his pop-up grotto at the home of Welsh rugby to meet St Nick himself and receive a unique gift that’s sure to put a smile on the face of every young rugby fan. With a tour through the corridors and dressing rooms steeped in sporting history as well, you’re guaranteed to make any budding young player’s Cardiff Christmas  2018 with this exclusive experience. Tickets from £12.

35. Stay at The Exchange Hotel for a magical Cardiff Christmas 2018

Whether you’re looking for a festive weekend break in the city, or a magical night away from it all, The Exchange Hotel has a host of magnificent suites ready to make your Cardiff Christmas 2018 the best yet with a luxurious stay in the city centre.

Cardiff Christmas 2018
One of our stunning suites at The Exchange Hotel

With ultra-comfortable beds, whirlpool baths and an incredible onsite restaurant and bar, there isn’t a better hotel to spend your Christmas.

Our group accommodation rooms are perfect for large families wanting to spend some quality time together this Christmas. With decadent furnishings and sumptuous décor, they have the perfect festive atmosphere for an unforgettable Cardiff Christmas stay this yuletide season.

We can’t wait to welcome you to The Exchange Hotel this Cardiff Christmas 2018. For more information, or to book, visit our reservations page or call our friendly team on 02920 107050. Nadolig Llawen!