Get ready for Christmas with Festive Derby

Published: 20 December 2021

Lights in shape of snowflakes projected onto side of building

There's lots of festive fun to be had in Derby

Festive Derby is in full swing, and there’s lots of Christmas fun to be had by all throughout the city in the lead up to the big day.

All events and activities are going ahead following the latest government guidelines around COVID. Anyone attending our festive shows is required to wear a face covering unless exempt, and we strongly recommend you take a lateral flow test before setting out. To view our latest event precautions in the case of any changes in guidance, visit the Derby LIVE health and safety page which is frequently updated.

If you’re looking for some festive entertainment for all the family, our Derby Loves You venue is hosting two fantastic options to choose from. The Hungry Troll’s Christmas Dinner is a heart-warming story told with the usual Babbling Vagabonds magic, perfect for children. The show also features puppets, storytelling shadows and song, mixed together to create a cosy Christmas show. You can catch the show at Derby Market Place until Thursday 30 December. Tickets are £14.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a festive show with a difference, Panto: Impossible (age guidance 12+) is on until Wednesday 22 December at Derby Market Place. This Spy thriller meets stocking filler is a unique festive production from The Lost Boys, who bring their mad-cap energy to a show that combines overblown spy films with pantos. Panto:Impossible is a Christmas cocktail containing a dash of audience participation, a slug of stage fights, a serving of song and dance, all vigorously stirred not shaken with slapstick, plus a whole host of new characters including stiff CIA agents, a vengeful Elf, a despotic president, and two loser actors, not to mention a special appearance by the man himself, Father Christmas. Tickets are £15.

The Festive Market runs until Friday 24 Dec in Derby Market Place. This outdoor market is a great opportunity to support independent businesses and do some last minute Christmas shopping; all while being able to socially distance. Wooden chalets decorated with lights make up the stalls for the market, which is free to enter. Stalls may vary day to day, but look out handmade jewellery, home décor, greetings cards, Christmas decorations, personalised gifts and trinkets. For the adults we have an impressive selection of gin, along with a tempting array of cakes. Trading hours can be found on the Derby LIVE website.

While you’re out and about in Derby in the evening, don’t forget to look up and enjoy the Christmas lights in the city centre and Market Place, including our Christmas tree. Look out for the festive projections on the side of Derbion and QUAD, and in the Market Place.

As you wander through the streets, see if you can also spot the stencilled gingerbread people on the pavements as you follow our Gingerbread Trail. Similarly, local Derby businesses were given the opportunity to apply for a grant to assist with their festive displays this year. A selection of winners were then aided by local artist Amy Vallance, who designed and installed their festive window display! So, look out for our cheeky gingerbread characters’ favourite festive shop window displays, where they’ve left a sticker for you to find. For more information, see

Look out for these fantastic street entertainers with their diverting and sometimes cheeky routines on the Market Place and Corn Market at 12noon, 1.30pm and 3pm each day.

Wednesday 22 December: Circo Rum Ba Ba Christmas Shows - Snowball Sprites

Thursday 23 December: Fairly Famous Family - Kitsch Christmas

Friday 24 December: Musical Ruth goes Jingle Jangle

There is much more to see and do from our city partners including the Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Derby Arena and Christmas films being shown at QUAD. Other festive fun includes Derby Theatre shows such as Treasure Island and The Snow Dragon. Derby Museums have also been hosting a variety of workshops including ‘Lets Make Christmas’ which runs from 20 December until 24 December. For full information about everything that Festive Derby has to offer this Christmas, see

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