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Cliveden in snow, photo courtesy National Trust/John Waxman

Cliveden in snow, photo courtesy National Trust/John Waxman

Christmas 2017

With a fantastic programme of seasonal events, here are our top things to do in Windsor and the Royal Borough this Christmas. 

These are just some of the highlights! 

Download the full Windsor & Eton programme or Maidenhead programme here and see separate events listed below.

Go outdoor ice skating

Now in its 8th year at Alexandra Gardens, and due to popular demand the Ice rink is extending its opening times, this year from 18 November 2017 until 7 January 2018.

Windsor On Ice offers a great value day out for all the family, regardless of the weather. We are the only temporary ice rink that has a covered main rink with an outside ice skating track so our skaters can still enjoy the fantastic views. It is an excellent venue for Christmas Parties and family gatherings, as there are also many more exciting attractions for all ages to enjoy.

We aim to bring fun on the ice for young and old alike, where all levels of skaters are welcome, experienced and inexperienced. This year our viewing area, festive food court and some attractions are also under cover, so non skaters can relax and stay warm while watching their family have fun on the ice rink, whilst enjoying freshly ground coffee or sampling our festive food and drink from our indoor Ice Bar and Grill.

Open daily 10am – 9pm. Closed 25 Dec.

www.windsoronice.com

Christmas Light Switch-ons

Windsor – 18 November from 3.30pm – With the world’s most famous castle as the backdrop, a tantalising festive programme of live music, Christmas stalls will encircle Windsor Castle.

The afternoon will start with our annual Children’s lantern procession, culminating in the switching on of the Christmas lights with the cast from Theatre Royal Windsor’s Panto - Sleeping Beauty.

Projections will once again light up the Castle's Garter Tower.

Eton –­ 16 November – a carol service at Eton College Chapel followed by a parade to Jubilee Square where the lights will be switched on. The event will also feature live music, Santa's grotto and live reindeer.

Maidenhead – 25 November - The High Street, Queen Street and St Ives Road will be closed to traffic and turned into a Christmas funfair and market with craft and food stalls, children’s rides and fun for all the family. Santa and his helpers will be in the Nicholsons Shopping Centre from 11am to 3pm in the main square.

Maidenhead’s annual switch on event will begin with entertainment in the amphitheatre from 2pm and then from 4pm on the main stage at the Town Hall with stars of panto counting us down to the lights going on.

Just before 6pm the countdown will begin for the lights switch-on which is followed by a spectacular fireworks display from the roof of the Town Hall.

Meet the reindeer

Windsor - Father Christmas and real reindeer will be parading through Windsor on Saturday 2 December from 2pm. The clip-clop of hooves and Father Christmas’s arrival on a sleigh is the first of many Christmas events in Windsor. Every year the parade sees thousands line the streets getting into the Christmas spirit to greet Father Christmas, his reindeer-drawn sleigh, the Elves and our costumed characters.

Maidenhead - Come and see Santa and his reindeer arriveon Saturday 9th December in the High Street via Queen Street at 11.30am and visit the reindeer and their handlers on the High Street until 2.30pm. Maidenhead Bridge Rotary will be running (toy) Reindeer Racing in the shopping centre between 10am and 4pm raising money for local charities.

Discover two Living Advent Calendars in Windsor and Maidenhead

Based on an original idea from Stockholm, the Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar sees 24 local businesses to provide live entertainment every evening from 1 to 24 December 2017.

At 6:15pm promptly every evening there will be a special 15-minute Christmas-themed live performance at various venues.

Now in its fifth season, this family favourite has become a must for locals in the town centre.  Every performance is different and may include audience participation!  But what can be guaranteed is lots of festive nibbles, drinks and the spirit of Christmas. Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar Facebook Page.

Maidenhead town centre will come alive every afternoon from 1st – 24th December with live Christmas themed performances as part of the Maidenhead Living Advent Calendar.

Each performance will start promptly at 5pm* at a different venue around the town.

The FREE performance lasts approximately 15 minutes. It could be a song, carols, poetry reading, excerpt from a theatre show, workshop… or something different altogether. You won’t know until you get there!

Every afternoon will be a Christmas themed surprise.

*Family Friendly Finale on 24 December at 3pm.

Sing Carols on Castle Hill

Enjoy an evening of carols in front of Windsor Castle (Queen Victoria Statue) beginning at 6pm on Friday 15 December with the Band of the Household Cavalry.

A public gathering around the Christmas tree on Castle Hill dates back to 1949 when King George VI first had a tree installed as a gift to the town.
https://www.windsor.gov.uk/whats-on/carols-on-the-hill-p281271

Go to the Pantomime

A live Christmas show or pantomime is a great opportunity to get the family together – oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!

Choices include Sleeping Beauty (Theatre Royal Windsor, 29 Nov to 7 Jan), Aladdin (Magnet Leisure Centre, Maidenhead 9-31 Dec), and Christmas show Miki (Norden Farm, 21 Nov to 30 Dec).

Christmas at LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

Experience the Ultimate LEGO® Christmas at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. Wonder at the twinkling lights, snow dusted pine trees, exciting seasonal festivities and see the Park as you have never seen it before… all with a sprinkling of LEGO magic.

Journey to the heart of the LEGOLAND Windsor and discover a Christmas land with over 30 rides, shows and attractions.

Our elves will be looking for little helpers to help build LEGO gifts to take home and write letters to Father Christmas. Even Ollie the Dragon and LEGO Santa will be taking part to spread festive cheer!

The highlight of your day will be meeting Father Christmas in his magical grotto, where every child will receive a LEGO® gift… just follow his trusted elves.

Selected dates in December: 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th and 16th – 24th December 2017. Visit www.legoland.co.uk

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping Fair Weekend at Ascot Racecourse

The Jumps season continues at The Prince’s Countryside Fund Racing Weekend with two varied race cards over fences and hurdles.

As the festive season gets underway, start your gift shopping at the Christmas Shopping Fair in the Grandstand in between races.

Ascot Racecourse on Fri 24th and Sat 25th Nov, Under 18s FREE. www.ascot.co.uk

Christmas tree sales

There’s nothing more festive than taking the whole family out for the afternoon to choose the perfect Christmas tree. And where better to find one that’s ideal for you than within Windsor Great Park?

From 1 to 23 December each year we will have Christmas trees available to buy from either The Savill Building, or the rustic setting of the Windsor forest depot. This can be found on the A332 just outside Windsor, and turn into the Forest Gate opposite.

Both Norway Spruce and Nordman Fir trees are available, ranging in height from 3ft to 25ft! So there’s bound to be something that’s perfect for everyone.

Maidenhead – free weekend parking from 26 November until the Christmas weekend plus Boxing Day too. 

We want to make Christmas shopping in Maidenhead as easy as possible this year by offering this incentive so you can make the most of the town centre and all the festive events.

Don’t forget that Sunday and Bank Holiday parking in Maidenhead is free all year round and the majority of shops are open 11am to 5pm.

In the run-up to Christmas many shops will be opening late and if you’re short of time Click and Collect is a great way of getting all your Christmas shopping done.

www.enjoymaidenhead.com

Windsor – Windsor will be open for late night shopping until 7:30pm on Thursday 7 and Thursday 14 December. 

www.windsor.gov.uk/shopping

Parking

Windsor

Free Sunday parking between 1-25 December, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day at the following council car parks in Windsor: Alma Road, Alexandra Gardens, Romney Lock, Victoria Street, Eton Court, Meadow Lane and King Edward VII (Datchet Road).  Free parking will be also be available in these council-operated car parks after 4pm on the Christmas light switch on events in Windsor and Eton and then every Thursday between 7 and 21 December and Christmas Eve.

Coach park: £2 flat rate charge for cars in the coach park between 10am and 4pm from 14-24 December.

Maidenhead

Free weekend parking from 25 November until the Christmas weekend plus Boxing Day. 

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/directory/25/car_parks_and_park_and_ride

Walk off the excess

Windsor Great Park

Windsor Great Park plays a pivotal role in Christmas celebrations in the Royal Borough – from supplying the Royal Christmas Trees to providing the perfect place to walk or jog off Christmas calories.

Enjoy free entry to The Savill Garden throughout the month of December. Discover the winter beauty and beautiful scents in the Garden at this time of year.

https://www.windsor.gov.uk/whats-on/winter-magic-at-the-savill-garden-p1512541

Cliveden

Whether you’re looking for a seasonal stroll, a little creative Christmas exporation, festive indulgence or a countryside view to rival any around, you can find it in Cliveden’s gardens and woodlands this winter.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

Go racing at Ascot Racecourse

In addition to the Christmas Shopping Weekend in November, there is the Christmas Racing Weekend Fri 22 and Sat 23.

A two-day festive finale Friday is the perfect day to celebrate with colleagues, family and friends. With dramatic Jumps both days, the action continues on Saturday with a family  raceday including fairground rides, pony rides, face painting, carol singing, storytelling from Mrs Christmas and a visit from Father Christmas.

www.ascot.co.uk

See Father Christmas at LaplandUK

Make your children’s wishes come true this Christmas at LaplandUK – Ascot.

Enjoy a 3.5 hour magical immersive journey where small folk make toys, decorate gingerbread and gather for storytelling with Mother Christmas, go ice skating, meet the resident huskies and reindeer, write letters at the Elves post office and visit Pixie Mixie’s sweet shop before a very special personalised meeting with Father Christmas in his snowy woodland home - the highlight of this magical daytrip that families are sure to treasure forever. Open on selected days from 18 November to 24 December.

www.laplanduk.co.uk

Enjoy the seasonal displays at Windsor Castle

This winter the Christmas display at Windsor Castle will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the restoration of the Castle following the devastating fire of November 1992. The State Apartments will be decked with glittering gold decorations inspired by the intricate gilding work that was undertaken to restore the Castle's interiors to their former glory.

A striking 20ft Nordmann Fir tree forms the centrepiece of the festive display at the Castle. Standing at the end of the magnificent St George's Hall, the beautifully adorned tree is decked with lights, tinsel and colourful decorations.

Festive weekend, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December

On 9 - 10 December the Castle will be filled with activities for adults and children. From carol singing, decoration-making, Christmas shopping, to a pop-up pantomime there is so much to do throughout each day throughout the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel. More details available on the Festive Weekend page. Activities included in standard admission price.

Exclusive Evening Tours

On selected dates in December Exclusive Evening Tours take place at Windsor Castle. Led by an expert guide, the tours offer a special behind-the-ropes experience of the Castle and include a glass of champagne. Advance booking required. 

School choirs carol singing

Throughout December you will be able to enjoy Christmas carols sung by school choirs around the great Christmas tree in the State Apartments.

For children

Every Saturday in December, join us for fun festive activities for children as we make Christmas come to life with art and craft workshops. Activities included in standard admission price.

Windsor Castle is open daily 09.45 – 16.15 (last admission 3pm) except 25/26 December.

https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/event/windsor-castle-christmas#/

Number of items:

Number of items: 15

  1. Add LaplandUK to your Itinerary

    LaplandUK

    Type

    Theme Park

    Ascot

    LaplandUK is most famous for its spell-binding Christmas experience, which transports families from Ascot’s Crown Estate forest to the snowy, mythical home of Father Christmas.

    A favourite of royal and A-list celebrity guests, this personalised, award-winning day-out is an immersive theatre...

  2. Add Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar to your Itinerary

    Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar

    Type

    Performance

    Windsor

    Based on an original idea from Stockholm, The Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar is a collaborative project run with Windsor and Eton Town Partnership and 24 local businesses to provide live entertainment every evening from 1 to 24 December 2017. Like a children’s advent calendar, a different...

    Dates

    From:
    1 Dec 2017 To 24 Dec 2017
  3. Add Winter Magic at The Savill Garden to your Itinerary

    Winter Magic at The Savill Garden

    Type

    Christmas

    Egham

    Discover the Winter Magic at The Savill Garden this December. Be enchanted by our family Gingerbread Trail through The Savill Garden, take a delightful ride on the stunning Edwardian Carousel or become a magical woodland creature with Fascinating Faces, before enjoying hearty winter dishes and...

    Dates

    From:
    1 Dec 2017 To 1 Jan 2018
  4. Add Traditional Christmas Trees for Sale from Windsor Great Park to your Itinerary

    Traditional Christmas Trees for Sale from Windsor Great Park

    Type

    Specialist

    Windsor

    There’s nothing more festive than taking time out to choose the perfect Christmas tree, and where better to find one that’s ideal for you than from the heart of the Royal Forest in Windsor Great Park.

    Our trees go on sale from 25 November to 23 December at our Windsor Forest Depot.

    Choose...

  5. Add Sunningdale Christmas Celebration to your Itinerary

    Sunningdale Christmas Celebration

    Type

    Free Event

    Ascot

    The Sunningdale Christmas Celebration will take place on Friday, 24 November 2017 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at the junction of Chobham Road and the A30.

    Shops & businesses will be open late and you can enjoy a wide range of seasonal activities, refreshments and entertainment.

    Santa's getting...

    Dates

    From:
    24 Nov 2017 To 24 Nov 2017
  6. Add Norden Farm's Lantern Parade & Workshops to your Itinerary

    Norden Farm's Lantern Parade & Workshops

    Type

    Community

    Maidenhead

    Your chance to light up Maidenhead with lantern making workshops How you can get illuminate Maidenhead with the Lantern Parade!

    Norden Farm Centre for the Art’s annual Lantern Parade returns on Saturday 9 December. Here’s how you can get involved!

    The parade is made up of willow lanterns...

    Dates

    From:
    9 Dec 2017 To 9 Dec 2017
  7. Add Maidenhead Christmas Lights Switch On to your Itinerary

    Maidenhead Christmas Lights Switch On

    Type

    Show / Display

    Maidenhead

    Throughout the day in Maidenhead there will be a Christmas Market with a fabulous selection of stalls and street food as well as children's funfair rides.

    At 4.30pm entertainment begins on the stage at the Town Hall followed by the official countdown and lights switch on at 6pm.

    After the...

    Dates

    From:
    25 Nov 2017 To 25 Nov 2017
  8. Add Racing at Ascot 2017: November Meeting featuring a Christmas Shopping Village to your Itinerary

    Racing at Ascot 2017: November Meeting featuring a Christmas Shopping Village

    Type

    Sporting Event

    Ascot

    The Jumps season continues at the November Racing Weekend, which opens on Friday with a varied six-race card over fences and hurdles.

    With the festive season well on its way, enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping at the Country Living Christmas Shopping Fair in the Grandstand in between races...

    Dates

    From:
    24 Nov 2017 To 25 Nov 2017
  9. Add Windsor Christmas Lights Switch on and Lantern Procession to your Itinerary

    Windsor Christmas Lights Switch on and Lantern Procession

    Type

    Show / Display

    Windsor

    With the majestic Windsor Castle as the backdrop, a live programme of entertainment throughout the afternoon, children’s lantern procession, carol singing and food stalls all culminating in the switching on of the Christmas lights with the cast from Theatre Royal Windsor’s Panto - Sleeping Beauty...

    Dates

  10. Add Carols on the Hill to your Itinerary

    Carols on the Hill

    Type

    Concert

    Windsor

    Churches Together in Windsor welcomes you to Carols on the Hill 6pm Friday 15th December 2017 on Castle Hill.

    Dates

    From:
    15 Dec 2017 To 15 Dec 2017
  11. Add Santa Dash to your Itinerary

    Santa Dash

    Type

    Community

    Windsor

    Take part in the Windsor Santa Dash!

    Start/Finish Bachelors Acre, run the Long Walk and through Windsor town centre!

    5K - run it, jog it, walk it, dance it...it's just for fun!

    Register online at www.alexanderdevine.org

    Dates

    From:
    26 Nov 2017 To 26 Nov 2017
  12. Add LEGO® Christmas at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort to your Itinerary

    LEGO® Christmas at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

    Type

    Christmas

    Windsor

    Experience the Ultimate LEGO® Christmas at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort.

    Wonder at the twinkling lights, snow dusted pine trees, exciting seasonal festivities and see the Park as you have never seen it before… all with a sprinkling of LEGO magic.

    Journey to the heart of the LEGOLAND...

    Dates

    From:
    2 Dec 2017 To 3 Dec 2017
    From:
    9 Dec 2017 To 10 Dec 2017
    From:
    16 Dec 2017 To 24 Dec 2017
  13. Add Windsor on Ice to your Itinerary

    Windsor on Ice

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Windsor

    Ice Skating At Alexandra Gardens Windsor.

    Windsor on Ice is a great value day out for all the family.

    The main ice skating rink is fully covered and there’s a smaller open air rink too – skating on both rinks is included in the price of a ticket.

    Windsor on Ice is open Saturday 18...

    Dates

    From:
    18 Nov 2017 To 7 Jan 2018
  14. Add Reindeer Parade to your Itinerary

    Reindeer Parade

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Windsor's most popular Christmas event returns. Come and see the LIVE Reindeer and Father Christmas on a sleigh parading through the town centre with a marching band and costumed characters..

    Route:
    Parade leaves the castle from Advance Gate at 2pm and turns into St Albans Street, then into Park...

    Dates

    From:
    2 Dec 2017 To 2 Dec 2017
  15. Add Eton Christmas Lights Switch on to your Itinerary

    Eton Christmas Lights Switch on

    Type

    Show / Display

    Eton

    Eton's festive season commences on Thursday 16 November 2017 with the Christmas light switch on evening.

    Community Carol service at Eton College Chapel (6pm), followed by a parade through Eton High Street to the Jubilee Square where the lights for Eton will be switched on (7pm).

    There...

    Dates

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