Thursday 15 November
4.30pm – 7.30pm
The Official Start to Christmas in Cardiff!
See the city centre undergo a spectacular transformation with a cornucopia of Christmassy characters, music, lights and entertainment.
Join the merriment and watch some truly magical festive performances in various locations across the city centre.
Please note the Christmas lights will be on prior to the start of Step into Christmas and twinkle to light as it gets dark. There is no ‘light switch-on’ moment – the fun goes on for hours!
• See Ben and Holly from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
• Festive street theatre
• Craft Folk Christmas Markets on The Hayes
• Santa’s Grotto on Queen Street
• Late night shopping and in-store offers
• Opening of Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland with Admiral Ice Rink
|3D Brass||A heart thumping, party pumping fun time from the new brass kids on the block|
|Arco||A free-standing, air-filled arch changes colour with its own light show while perfectly framing the amazing aerial performer.|
|Ben and Holly||These popular Children's TV Characters turn Cardiff into their "Little Kingdom" for the night with plenty of meet and greet opportunities.|
|Brace Your Elves||With a classic 1950's Christmas feel, these elves perform acrobatics and balancing acts on and around a large bobbin.?|
|Bruce Airhead||Can a man fit inside of a balloon? Find out in this incredible and very funny show.|
|Cardiff Melingriffith Brass Band||Christmas songs Carols from popular traditional brass band|
|Christmas Crackers||Outsize crackers, complete with dodgy jokes! They'll entertain the whole family. Children will love the idea of crackers coming to life, men will marvel at their golden bells and women will just want to 'pull' them!|
|Christmas Toys||Two Christmas toys, a stilted tin soldier and a ragdoll, come to life to roam the streets of cardiff|
|Crumpet and The Penguins||Meet Crumpet or Crumpetta the Elf and the penguin family. With a passion for fish, these inquisitive larger than life birds follow wherever the bucket of trout goes.|
|Darren de Lusion||A suave but totally inept magician and his cameraman are filming the ‘Darren de Lusion Christmas Special’ live in Cardiff. Darren performs his ‘astonishing’ seasonal illusions and escapology to astounded shoppers.|
|Elvish Pressies||Christmas really starts to rock when these pointy eared teddy elves roll into town Cruising in their battery powered battery powered Hot Rods with 1950's festive tunes blasting from the car radio.|
|Explorers||Join our ice-encrusted heroes on their tragic-comic quest for the South Pole. |
Witness real men with beards marching together towards their inevitable end. Heroic failure at its finest!
|Ghost Caribou||Giant illuminated creatures, part caribou, part spirit, roam a mystical world after dark, accompanied by a wild herdsperson.|
|Glitter Belles||Disco inspired, illuminated stilted costume characters, the shiniest act around.|
|Joy Riding Reindeer||Meet Basher and Crasher, the cud chewin’, fun lovin’, hoovy groovy reindeer. Whilst Santa wasn’t looking the rebel reindeer pinched his sleigh and are now cruising the streets blasting out the Christmas tunes.|
|Juggling Inferno||Spectacular fire juggling show from internationally respected company.|
|Lightwalkers||Towering LED lit Christmassy bells provide a marvellous festive spectacle|
|Meanderthals||Two fantasy walkabout characters carry their enormous loads humming to themselves. When they slow to a halt they are spurred on by the little disgruntled passengers stowed away in their luggage.|
|Musical Ruth||A crazy nun singing carols astride a moving piano? par for the course at Step Into Christmas|
|Nothing Like a Dame||These jolly panto characters too early for Christmas! Oh no they're not!|
|Snow Lion and Red Queen||A beautiful Snow Lion and a Red Queen parade regally|
|Swank Christmas Party||Carol and Belle invite you round to see their beautiful hostess trolley that plays all your favourite seasonal party tunes. A full-sized Christmas tree sits on top, bedecked with presents and festooned with fairy lights|
|Tap Dancing Reindeer||These shy beasts have somehow ended up entertaining the public with their tap dancing skills for carrots. Feed with care.|
|The Bouncing Elves||Their springy legs allow them leap high above the crowd and see who deserves a visit from santa|
|The Glitter Miners||Ever wondered where all the Christmas glitter comes from? Meet the Glitter Miners!|
|The Snow Globe||A beautiful, ethereal globe containing an icy Snow Queen glides gracefully by.|
|There is nothing like a Dame||"Oh no it isn’t – oh yes it is!" All the fun of a panto as the Ugly Sisters get their comeuppance from Buttons.|
|Winter Wonderland Birds||Huge, illuminated and beautiful Christmas birds|
|Wonderbrass||Cardiff's brilliant brass party band are still going strong after 25 years!|
Travel with Cardiff Bus:
Family tickets will be reduced from 3pm on 15 Nov!
Only £5.30 in the Cardiff & Penarth zone.
Only £7.50 in the Cardiff & Barry zone.
Terms & conditions apply – see cardiffbus.com/family-travel for more details.
What is the event?
It is a city centre based street festival to celebrate the official start to Christmas in Cardiff. It includes festive walkabout entertainment, Ben and Holly from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, and the opening of the Christmas markets and Winter Wonderland on City Hall Lawn.
How much does it cost?
FREE Event (some activities may incur a charge)
Where is it?
City Centre locations including: The Hayes, Queen Street, St Mary Street, Outside Yr Hen Lyfrgell / The Old Library.
Is there a light ‘switch on’ moment?
No, this is much more than just a switch on, it is a city centre wide street festival full of entertainment, music and shopping. The lights will be on prior to the event and twinkle to life as it gets dark.
What can I see & Where?
For a full timetable, please see above.
Many of the acts are walkabout characters so locations and timings are approximate.
Why is there no Santa and Reindeer parade?
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said:
“Step into Christmas has evolved into one of Cardiff’s favourite family events, officially marking the start of Christmas in the Welsh Capital. This free event has grown in popularity over the years and attracts thousands of visitors, meaning organisers no longer have the space to accommodate a parade safely. In order to ensure that as many children and families can experience the magical atmosphere across the city centre, the excellent offering of street theatre and festive entertainment has instead been increased.”
What are of the Highlights?
Ben and Holly from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom at intervals outside Cardiff Story on the Hayes at: 4.30 – 4.50; 5.10 – 5.40; 6.00 – 6.30; 6.50 – 7.30
Snow Lion and Red Queen
A beautiful Snow Lion and a Red Queen parade regally
A free-standing, air-filled arch changes colour with its own light show while perfectly framing the amazing aerial performer
A beautiful, ethereal globe containing an icy Snow Queen glides gracefully by
Can a man fit inside of a balloon? Find out in this incredible and very funny show!
Giant illuminated creatures, part caribou, part spirit, roam a mystical world after dark, accompanied by a wild herdsperson
Other highlights include:
• Santa’s Grotto – Queen Street £6.50 per child
• Late night shopping and in-store offers – see individual store website for details of offers and opening times http://www.visitcardiff.com/shopping/
• Opening of Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland with Admiral Ice Rink, City Hall Lawn
How do I buy skating tickets?
Call 02920 099087
How to get there?
City Centre Parking includes:
Is there an info point?
There will be many event staff / stewards around the city centre and staff will be on hand in the Tourist Information Centre in the Old Library.
There will also be two members of staff handing out information flyers, which include the programme.
Where can I find more information?
Follow us on Twitter @cardiff_events @visitcardiff @cardiffcouncil
Where do I send Press & Media enquires?