The bumper guide to Christmas events in Norfolk

A Christmas tree is surrounded by brightly stalls lighting up the dark cobble stones.

Christmas markets are the best places to feel festive this year - Credit: Lāsma Artmane, Unsplash

We round up all the amazing things to do in the county through December, all with a festive theme.

We're almost ready to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to the New Year. But, before that, there is still a whole month to fill with events, get-togethers, and other activities to celebrate the coming of winter and the festive period. In Norfolk, there are so many amazing treats out there to enjoy. 

We've found all the amazing events, activities, and ideas to make your holiday season one to remember. From foodie gifts to Santa trains, there's something for everyone.

Christmas Markets 

First up is one of the best ways to get lost in the festive mood each winter. These are the perfect places to pick up the right gift for a loved one, find some tasty treats for the dinner table, and drink copious amounts of warm beverages like hot chocolate and mulled wine. 

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Santa's Grotto

For children, there is nothing more magical than meeting the jolly man himself. He and his elves are taking time out of their busy schedule to visit several places around the county.

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A cupcake topped with whipped cream is surrounded by Christmas decorations

A festive afternoon tea is the perfect way to enjoy the season - Credit: Artur Shamsutdinov, Unsplash

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Festive Afternoon Teas

The holiday season is a great excuse to meet up with friends and family for a tasty afternoon tea filled with sweet and savoury treats. Many hotels and restaurants shake it up at Christmas with a dedicated afternoon tea menu just for the season.

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Local Advent Calendars

Count down in style with a beautiful and locally made advent calendar this festive season. Norfolk is home to some incredible independent businesses who would love to make your Christmas special with their unique calendars. 

Click here to find the perfect one for you

Garden Centres

Freshen up your collection of decorations or look for inspiration at a garden centre this December. If you’re in need of a bit of refreshment, you can also take the weight off in the coffee shop and have a mince pie and a cup of tea... or a spot of lunch. 

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Food and Drink Gift Ideas

Struggling to find the perfect gift for the foodie in your life? Or, perhaps, you fancy a little treat to yourself to enjoy this holiday season. Then check out our round up of delicious local producers who have the key to food heaven ready for you.

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The cast of Dick Whittington and his Cat at Norwich Theatre Royal

All the magic of traditional pantomime is back this Christmas - Credit: Norwich Theatre Royal

Panto Mayhem

Pantos are a sure way to get in the festive spirit, with laughter, bright colours, and catchy music guaranteed. We've found the best performances happening this December, that are sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Find dates and locations here

All Aboard the Express

The most spectacular train-ride in Norfolk is back this winter with the return of the colourful Norfolk Lights Express, running from Sheringham to Holt and back.

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In addition, from the end of November, the Poppy Line railway is running Santa Specials, with steam engines pulling trains to meet the big man in his beautifully-decorated Christmas grotto. 

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Festive Shows

From a Christmas classic performed in a tea room to Europe's biggest festive show, Norfolk is blessed with a huge number of shows and celebrations across the county. Expect music, big dance numbers, and more this December.

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Grey seal pup, Norfolk

We've gathered the best places in Norfolk to see the seals - Credit: Diana Parkhouse, Unsplash

Spot a Seal

Every year, colonies of seals arrive at Norfolk's shores for pupping season. Whilst keeping your distance, it is still possible to marvel at the number and cuteness of the new arrivals.

Find everything you need to know here

Gift of Experience

Gifting an experience is a wonderful way of showing someone how much you care and really shows some effort if you match it perfectly. Whether for an aspiring chef, zookeeper, or a friend who just needs a pamper break, we've got you covered.

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Oh Christmas Tree

One of the best Christmas traditions is driving to pick up the fragrant fir tree ready to adorn with festive decorations. We've found the best places in Norfolk to purchase your own freshly cut Christmas tree or alternative.

Click here to find where you can get yours

Bookbugs and Dragon Tales, Timberhill, Norwich 

Bookbugs and Dragon Tales, Timberhill, Norwich - Credit: Bookbugs and Dragon Tales

Best Books to Buy

We spoke with the experts this season to find out their recommendations for the best books to buy this Christmas. You'll find a range of genres and styles at each of these independent book shops this festive period. 

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Christmas Day Dinner

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but there is also a lot of pressure to make it perfect. Getting that turkey moist, the Yorkshire puddings risen, and all the vegetable cooked at the same time can be a huge strain whilst you're also trying to spend time with family. There are many places across the county who are here to help this December 25th.

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Christmas Lights

Fill your Christmas 2021 with festive sparkle from magical winter wonderlands to town-centre lights celebrations across Norfolk. These locations are transformed every year and are not to be missed. 

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Norwich Christmas Lights 2017. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.

Norwich Tunnel of Light - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography