# Top topics

culture outdoors green spaces
What's On

Discover what’s on in the lead up to Christmas

Christmas 2017 (4)

With just five weeks until Christmas, there are lots of activities and events to get involved in across the city.

From the annual Christmas lights switch on to children’s holiday camps, there is something for all ages to enjoy in the lead up to Christmas!

Christmas 2022 (6)

Christmas lights switch on

The city’s much-loved Christmas lights switch on is back on Sunday 20 November. With live music, fireworks and prize giveaways, there are plenty of reasons to attend this year.

The event starts at 12pm, ending with a dazzling firework display after the official lights switch on at 5pm. During the day there will be live entertainment from local artists, an announcement of the winners of the Community Awards and more, all hosted by Chelmsford For You podcast presenters Will Richards and Sara Tupper.

There will also be plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy around the city centre, including the Christmas Market at the top of the High Street from 10am-5pm. You can expect a selection of stalls, mulled wine and fairground rides, plus live DJs from 12pm.

The Christmas lights switch on is run every year by Chelmsford For You and is supported by Chelmsford City Council.

Chelmsford indoor market extended hours

From Thursday 1 December to Saturday 24 December 2022, Chelmsford’s indoor market will be open every day. Open 8.30am-4pm on weekdays, and 8.30am-5pm at weekends.

With many family-run businesses selling various antiques, action figures, vintage clothing and more, you are sure to find a unique gift for under £10. Look out for a wide range of adult and children’s books, handbags and clothing. You’ll also find lots of pretty Christmas decorations, gift bags, cards and wrapping paper, all at affordable prices. Specific items under £10 include a beautiful handmade vase for just £5, a vintage children’s t-shirt for £6 and a 2 for £5 deal on various action figures from popular TV shows and films. It is a wonderful opportunity to grab some bargains for loved ones of all ages this Christmas.

Chelmsford’s indoor market has a brilliant range of delicious food on offer, so why not make lunch part of your Christmas shopping trip? You can try cuisines from around the world, from authentic homemade Thai dishes by Lek’s Thai Food, to sampling Middle Eastern delicacies like delicious falafel and hummus at Damascus. 

Chelmsford’s High Street Market takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Opening hours range from 8am to 5pm.  You can find great tasting coffee, bakes and tempting lunch stalls. Falafel Sun offers freshly made-to-order vegan and vegetarian food to keep you going whilst you do your Christmas shopping. For a warming coffee, Coffee Stop is a must. You will be spoilt for choice with over 50 different flavours to choose from.

Retail market

Chelmsford Cathedral Christmas events

If an evening of carols gets you in the Christmas spirit, a visit to Chelmsford Cathedral in the run up to Christmas will be at the top of your wish list. From hymns by candlelight to carol concerts, the beautiful voices of the cathedral choirs aren’t to be missed.

To start off the Christmas services this year, Chelmsford Cathedral have an ‘Advent Procession’ on Sunday 27 November, from 6-7pm. Expect hymns and readings by candlelight to get you ready for this very special time of year.

On Tuesday 13 December, there will be a BLESMA carol service from 7:30-8.30pm, where the cathedral will be filled with the beautiful sounds of soprano singers group Classic Reflections. There will also be Christmas carols and readings to lift everyone’s spirits. After the service, audiences will get the chance to mingle as well as enjoy the mince pies and mulled wine that will be available.

There’ll be other charity events throughout December, including a ‘MENCAP Sing-along Christmas Cinema’, and many carol services for all to enjoy. Visit the Chelmsford Cathedral website for the full calendar of Christmas services and events.

Get In! Holiday camps are back

From 21-23 December, there are many camps and activity days available across three of our leisure centres for children of all ages.

Activities on offer include ice skating, parkour, athletics, swimming, football, dodgeball and more. For more information on the options available and to book a space, visit the Chelmsford City Sports website.

City Sports Christmas 2022

Christmas market pop-up at Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum’s Hive Café will be hosting a pop-up Christmas market on Saturday 3 December, from 5:30pm-9pm.

An array of stalls will be selling books, knitted toys and handmade fudge, as well as plenty of other sweet treats, mulled wine and unique locally made gifts. There will also be festive live entertainment by local singer Trina Read. The museum shop will be open for the evening too.

Entry is completely free, but you will need to book a ticket via Eventbrite, which can be found on the event Facebook page.

Chelmsford Museum Exterior
facebook twitter mail linkedin
Lia Salacuri
Lia Salacuri

Lia writes about what’s on in Chelmsford.