Our Guide to Christmas in Essex

1st November 2018

As we head into November and the nights get darker, the Christmas season starts to edge ever closer. The festivities seem to start earlier each year, with Selfridges unveiling Christmas displays in their stores as early as mid-October this year. There are also plenty of events and festive things to do leading up to the Christmas period. Although you might now about some of the biggest events, like Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park, there are plenty of events to head to in Essex still. We have put together our guide to Christmas in Essex and all the things you should think about visiting over the festive season.

German Markets

There isn’t anything quite as festive as a traditional German Christmas Market to meander through and pick up gifts or confectionery. Many people flock to German Markets every year for traditional gifts or something a little more personal. It can be the perfect place to find stocking fillers and smaller gifts for people of all ages and tastes. We have selected a few of the great German Markets in Essex you should visit;

  • Meadow Croft German Market: located at Meadow Croft garden centre in Wickford, this authentic German market is open from the 8th November 7 days a week with some late nights. Head over for authentic German beer, food and presents.
  • Christmas Market at Braxted Park: this year will be the first edition of this extravagant Christmas market. Head over there on December 1st & 2nd for drinks, food, entertainment and plenty of gifts, too.


Having become a staple of the British Christmas over the years, the Panto is great fun for children and adults alike. There are always plenty of different shows each year with different productions to choose from. Consider seeing a couple this year and choose from our guide of a few of the best;

  • Jack and the Beanstalk: Colchester: starting on the 24th November, this promises to be a great panto at the Mercury Theatre. It stars some panto favourites with a cast of Antony Stuart-Hicks, Dale Superville and Carli Norris.
  • Snow White – Basildon: from the 28th November you can head down to the Towngate Theatre to see panto favourite Simon Fielding in a production of Snow White, following last year's massively popular panto.
  • Cinderella – Chelmsford: head to the Civic Theatre from the 30th November for this enchanting production of Cinderella. One of the most popular pantomimes is on throughout the Christmas period.
  • Aladdin – Harlow: you can head down to the Harlow Playhouse to take in this dazzling production of Aladdin. Featuring lavish costumes and draw dropping effects, this one won't disappoint!

Something Different

If you are looking for something else to do this Christmas then there are plenty of other events that you can get stuck into. It can be difficult to find something fun to do for the whole family as young children can often find Christmas Markets boring. Look at some of the other events taking place over Christmas in Essex;

  • Enchanted Christmas Celebration- Colchester: If you’re looking for something different then head down to Colchester for this enchanted celebration. You can celebrate with a magical afternoon tea and festive song with the Frost Queen and her sister, Snowflake Princess.
  • 8th Southend Rudolph Run: something fun for the adults to get involved in this year is the 8th Southend Rudolph Run. The hugely popular event sees people dress up for a 5-mile run along the promenade and raise money for charity while you do it.