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Unwrapping Christmas in Cardiff…100 days early

Thursday 14 September 2023


Santa might put us on his naughty list, but with only 100 days to go until the big day, we simply can’t resist unwrapping some of the magical gifts that will be on offer at Christmas in Cardiff this year.


An Ice Rink in a Castle

Cardiff’s historic castle makes the perfect location for a romantic sunset skate, or a day of family fun that even the weather can’t spoil. Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland Ice Rink and Ice Walk returns from 16 November 2023 until 2 January 2024, complete with its very own colony of penguin skate-aids for smaller guests. Tickets coming soon.


A Winter Wonderland

You can never have too much of a good thing at Christmas, so keep the festive fun going with a visit to Winter Wonderland’s second site. Cardiff City Hall Lawn will host a selection of rides and funfair games, the Sur La Piste apres-ski bar, plus a full line-up of free, family entertainment. It’s an ideal way to spend a Christmas evening. Free entry: 16 November 2023 to 2 January 2024


An Ice Bar

The sub-zero temperatures in the Ice Bar at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland on City Hall Lawn make it the coolest place to chill out this Christmas. It really is made entirely out of ice, so make sure you wrap up warm to enjoy this drink with your friends! Keep your eyes peeled for details coming soon on how to book the coldest ticket in town.


A larger-than-life light trail

The mesmerising Christmas at Bute Park light trail celebrates its’ third year with a host of new immersive and Instagrammable experiences, plus a new route that’s 50% longer than it was. Tickets for the award-winning trail, which runs from 24 November 2023 until 1 January 2024, are on sale now.


The perfect handcrafted gift

Whether you’re looking for bespoke jewellery, original artwork, beautiful, fused glass work, hand-thrown ceramics, hand-made quilts and textiles, or seasonal food and drink, Cardiff Christmas Market is the perfect place to find the perfect handcrafted gift. A classic piece of Christmas in Cardiff, the traditional chalets, talented makers, and the Market’s uniquely festive atmosphere return to the city centre from 9 November 2023 to 23 December 2023.


A Spiegeltent

Spiegeltents have a long history of travelling from place to place, bringing music and entertainment with them and, after its successful Cardiff debut last year, the 500 seat European Spiegeltent returns in a new location for 2023. Built from wood, cut mirrors, canvas, leaded glass, and adorned with velvet brocade, visitors to the magical and intimate hand-hewn pavilion in Sophia Gardens can enjoy show stopping burlesque cabaret ‘Castellana’, the feelgood ‘Santa’s Wish,’ the melodic ‘Welsh of the West End,’ an amazing Abba themed Christmas Party night, and a one-off comedy night called the Christmas Cracker, from 1 December 2023 to 24 December 2023. Tickets on sale now.


A stroll through history

The Victorian’s knew how to do Christmas properly and Cardiff’s Victorian Arcades are steeped in that tradition. Elegantly dressed for Christmas, there’s a simple magic to wandering through the maze of arcades, stopping for a coffee, or a bite to eat, at one of the many independent cafes and restaurants you’ll discover in between browsing the boutique shops.


Designer brands, lots of high-street favourites…and more

From designer brands to high-street favourites, you’re bound to find that perfect gift (or maybe a treat for yourself) at St David’s Dewi Sant. With over 160 shops, cafes and restaurants to explore, Wales’ leading retail destination is the ideal place for a day out – whether you’re looking to entertain the family with Treetop Golf and Cineworld, treat yourself to lunch or dinner with friends, or find the perfect outfit for a Christmas party.


A cosy cabin

Need a break from buying gifts for your friends and family? Snuggle up in a cosy Festive Quarter cabin this Christmas. An atmospheric Bavarian-themed haven, the Festive Quarter on Working Street is the perfect place to refuel with a beer and a bratwurst to refuel before the next round of Christmas shopping. Opens in November.


Christmas Lights

Everybody knows Christmas isn’t really Christmas without some lights. This year Cardiff’s beautiful Christmas lights will slowly twinkle into life as darkness falls on 16 November, and Christmas in Cardiff begins.


A Christmas Grotto

Naughty or nice, a trip to Santa’s Christmas Grotto will be on many children’s wish lists this Christmas. To help make their wishes come true, Santa and his elves will be setting up ho-ho-homes from home at Cardiff Castle, as well on Queen Street and at the Principality Stadium. Ticketed events, various dates November and December 2023.


A Christmas Banquet

A festive feast in Cardiff Castle’s vaulted, fifteenth century Undercroft is perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit. Complete with traditional Welsh entertainment, mead tasting on arrival and a a Master of Ceremonies to guide you through the evening, you will soon be joining in all the ‘hwyl’ of the night! Pre-booking required, dates from November through December.


Time with friends and family

Friends and family are at the heart of all that’s best about Christmas, so there’s no better way to celebrate than with a delicious meal out! Cardiff is a haven for foodies – and Visit Cardiff’s Eat and Drink pages are full of places for festive feasting. Go traditional with all the trimmings at the Pontcanna Inn, or try champions of local Welsh produce, Daffodil’s range of quality dishes, maybe paired with a wine from their comprehensive list – it is Christmas, after all.


A sleepover

There’s too much on offer for just one day in Cardiff this Christmas, so why not make a night of it and enjoy a sleepover in one the capital’s hotels? Whether you choose a modern, stylish stay in the bustling city centre, the relaxed luxury of a spa hotel, or a night in the historic Cardiff Bay, you’re sure to wake up ready for more festive fun!


Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said: “Christmas in Cardiff is always something special and with 100 days to go, this year’s programme of festive events is ready to start enticing people into the city and create many more magical memories.”

With 100 days to go, we’re still making our Christmas in Cardiff list and checking it twice, so for more information and all the latest details as the countdown to the festive season continues, visit:


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