No weekend plans? Look no further! We’ve rounded-up some of the best things to do in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire for the first weekend of December. Keep reading to find out more including where to see Santa, enjoy a Christmas Market, catch a Panto and more.

And while you’re out and about, don’t forget - if you are out having a great time in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire, you can use #LoveNotts to share the love, or tag us using @visitnotts on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. We’re also on TikTok under @visitnottinghamshire!

There are many more things to do and explore on our full What’s On calendar such as interesting exhibitions, tours and fun outdoor activities. Have a browse today and find the perfect activity or experience to enjoy this weekend.


Christmas at Clumber Park

1. Christmas at Clumber Park

Various events until Sunday 14th January 2024 | Clumber Park | 10am - 4pm | Park admission from £2.50, event prices vary

Christmas is in full swing at Clumber Park. Explore the trade stalls at the Christmas Market this weekend and have fun on traditional fair ground rides and side stalls! The market will be situated throughout the Lincoln Stables, the Turning Yard, the Laundry Yard and Parsonage Lawn.

While you’re there, you can also visit Santa in his Grotto for only £10 per child (adults go free). Once greeted by their friendly Christmas guides, you will spend time in Father Christmas' living room with a festive colouring activity. One by one, each family will be called through to meet Father Christmas in his festive Grotto, where he'll check his list and present each child with a special gift.

The Elves Workshop will let you get creative with Christmas crafts in the Elves Workshop. Free to enjoy, head to the Lincoln Stables to make your very own colourful creations and decorations to cherish.

The Clock Tower Parlour will also be transformed into the Elves Eatery, where visitors can enjoy a range of festive hot & cold, grab & go snacks, speciality hot chocolates and mulled wine.


Craft Fair Contemporary

2. Craft Fair Contemporary

Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd December | Nottingham Contemporary | Various times | FREE

Nottingham Contemporary is delighted to return this year with the popular event, Craft Fair Contemporary.

Featuring over 40 designers and makers; from independent, local sellers to creators from around the UK. With a wide selection of items for sale at the festive event, you can shop locally this Christmas.

There will be a fabulous variety of contemporary craft and design including ceramics, textiles, jewellery, Christmas decorations, homeware, candles, prints, cards and lots more.

The event is held over 3 days, launching with a preview event on Friday 1 December from 5pm-8pm with a party continuing in Blend at Contemporary until 9pm.


Christmas at The Tropical Butterfly House!

3. Christmas at The Tropical Butterfly House!

Every weekend in December | The Tropical Butterfly House | Various times | Park admission from £15.99

There are a whole host of fantastic festive things to do at The Tropical Butterfly House this December. Meet Mr & Mrs Claus, follow a Woodland Festive Friends Trail, enjoy a festive tractor ride, write a letter to Santa, add a wish to the Christmas Wishing Tree and join in a carol with the singing reindeer or capture a festive moment in a flurry of snow at the giant Polar Bear! So don’t forget your Christmas jumpers!

Every child can see Santa as part of general admission to the park and receive a Christmas treat. An age-related wrapped gift can also be purchased in advance or on the day for £8.

Once you’ve explored the park, enjoy the roaring fire at Lottie’s Coffee Lounge with a choice of festive favourites to end the day with a treat.


Steaming Days at Papplewick Pumping Station

4. Steaming Days at Papplewick Pumping Station

Saturday 2nd - Sunday 3rd December | Papplewick Pumping Station | 10am – 6pm | Tickets from £11 (Under 12s go free)

Join the Papplewick Pumping Station Christmas Market with evening lamp light steaming this weekend.

Immerse yourself in Papplewick’s sights and sounds as you explore the market stalls and discover unique gifts, crafts, and treats from local artisans. Check out the entertainment from top vocalist Jayne Darling on the Saturday and Bestwood Male Voice Choir on the Sunday and be sure to visit their very special Santa's Grotto!

As you explore the event, don't miss the opportunity to experience the pumping station's mesmerizing steam-powered machinery. Witness the mighty James Watt beam engines in action and learn about the fascinating history of this Victorian gem. Also, take a tour of the awe inspiring unground reservoir which has to be seen to be believed (small additional fee of £4pp applies).

As an extra festive treat, the pumping station will steam into the early evening. This is a rare opportunity to see the pumping station and its grounds lit for night time.


Sleeping Beauty

5. Sleeping Beauty

Saturday 2nd - Sunday 17th December | Nottingham Arts Theatre | Tickets from £16

How dangerous can a spinning wheel be? Well for Princess Aurora… just one prick of her finger on a spindle could have deadly consequences, all because a wicked fairy sought revenge on her family and their kingdom!

Luckily, for the Princess she has protection from friendly fairies, fabulous friends, and one rather fair-faced fella.

Written by the award-winning duo Amanda Hall and Matt Wesson, this traditional panto tale guarantees festive fun for all the family! If you snooze you lose so get your tickets now as they are already selling fast!

To find more Pantos in Notts, click here.


This blog was written by Katherine Taylor, Marketing Executive at Visit Nottinghamshire.

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Christmas at Clumber Park 2023
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