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All Things Christmas

Published: Tuesday, 01 December 2020

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You've probably spent weeks counting down the days until it becomes socially acceptable to do all the Christmas and winter activities we all love so much.

Putting up Christmas decorations, shopping for unique and unusual gifts, and generally getting in the Christmas spirit in every way imaginable, especially after such a challenging year. So why not make the most of your holiday season with our list of the best Christmas events Coventry has to offer?

Coventry has gone all out this year to bring magic to the city by investing in a brand-new set of Christmas lights. These magnificent lights will stretch out across the city centre, bringing joy to adults and children alike. Every hour a rainbow-coloured animation is set to illuminate Broadgate and Herford Street to honour key workers who have helped the country during the pandemic. To complete the Christmas decorations, the Coventry City of Culture Trust and Coventry BID has placed mini-Christmas trees clusters across the city centre. Decorated with baubles and rainbow coloured lights, the trees give thanks to individuals who supported Coventry during the pandemic.

Winter Experiences

Film-lovers can get ready for Christmas and enjoy the cinema experience from their car thanks to NightFlix drive-in cinema. NightFlix cinema has taken up residency at Kenilworth's NAEC Stoneleigh until January. Christmas films include Home Alone, Love Actually, Arthur Christmas, Elf, The Polar Express, The Holiday, It's A Wonderful Life and much more!  On arrival to NAEC Stoneleigh, which is based at Stoneleigh Park, cars will be parked in socially distanced bays to ensure the safety of visitors. The cinema experience wouldn’t be complete without the perfect snacks. Nightflix offers a arrange of delicious food including their signature burgers, halloumi Fries and dessert waffles for you to sink your teeth into while you enjoy the movie.

For many, the annual trip to the ice rink is a chance to show off their skills on a pair of skates. For others, being able to stand up straight and glide along the ice is a victory. This year, Coventry's iconic landmark Cathedral is being transformed into a magical new ice rink, 'Coventry Glides'. The ice rink, in the shape of a lazy river, will be surrounded by festive lights and Christmas trees to give you that wonderfully magical Christmas feeling. It is the perfect opportunity to come together with your friends and family to experience some winter fun!

Christmas carols are now a staple of the secular family celebration as much as the Church’s celebration of the feast. A great appetite remains for singing and listening to these carols, letting us feel connected to the nostalgic ideal of Christmas. Coventry Cathedral is once again opening its doors to residents and inviting them to join Carols by Candlelight. Throughout December Coventry Cathedral will be filled with Christmas spirits allowing visitor can enjoy the view of the picturesque Church while they listen to traditional carols. Entry is free and can be booked online, as well as a small number of paper tickets will be available from the Welcome Desk at the West Screen. 

The Parking Lot Social is back this Christmas, combining all your favourite festive entertainment to enjoy from the comfort & warmth of your socially-distant car! Featuring pantomime, classic Christmas movies, ‘The Big Christmas Night Out’ and even a 60ft tall rainbow coloured Christmas tree, The Parking Lot Social Winter Festival has to be seen to be believed. The magic of Christmas lives on at The Parking Lot Social Winter Festival. Gather your loved ones for an enchanted evening of entertainment beneath the glow of our 60ft tall rainbow-coloured Christmas tree. Pantomimes, huge Christmas parties, festive movie screenings, comedy, food trucks & more. Spread across 5 days there’s something for everyone, and it can all be enjoyed whilst snuggled up in the warmth & comfort of your car.

Independent shopping 

FarGo Village is an artistically re-purposed industrial space in Coventry City Centre, designed exclusively for creative, independent businesses and like-minded visitors. Located on Far Gosford Street, this recently regenerated area has a rich cultural heritage. what makes FarGo Village the place to shop this Christmas is that they are fiercely independent with an eclectic mix of over 40 independent businesses, including a craft brewery, artisan food, vegan shop, printing, a museum dedicated to Sgt Bilko and a Crossfit Box! It's the perfect place to grab some festive food on the go or shop for last-minute Christmas gifts. 

One of the few surviving traditional ‘high street’ areas in Coventry, the Burges and Hales. With help from Historic Coventry, these medieval streets have been transformed into the belle of Coventry's ball, allowing the independent business to shine. Take a wander past Coventry city centre and you will find a range of vibrant independent retailers. From fashion to barbs and eaters, these streets are full of life and culture that reflects the city itself. 

Pantomimes

Pantomimes are embedded in British culture. They are considered a 'must' with many British families for tradition and laughs. From colourful characters, flashy costumes, some moderately famous names – all under the banner of a well-known folk tale or classic children's story, what's not to love? Pantomimes may look a little different this year, but Coventry has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the show will go on.

Get into the festive spirit with the Ricoh Arena and N.A.E.C. Stoneleigh, as they host the U.K.'s first-ever drive-in Christmas Pantomime! In partnership with the Birmingham Stage Company and Horrible Histories, Car Park Panto will be visiting venues throughout the Christmas period to spread joy across the land. Experience Victorian villains to Medieval monks, Puritan parties and Tudor treats, in this hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas, all from the comfort of your car. 

Celebrate Christmas with Jack and the Beanstalk online. Written by and starring Coventry's favourite Dame, Iain Lauchlan, alongside the wonderful Craig Hollingsworth, this seasonal screening is full of festive fun and magical mayhem. You only need to book once to be able to view this online panto as many times as you like throughout December. This is a truly unmissable Christmas treat for all the family!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa's hut is as warm and as inviting as the big man himself.  His office is probably the most exciting place in the world for children. This year, you may not be able to see Santa in the usual way, but that doesn't mean the experience will be any less magical. 

Santa's Christmas Rescue is coming to the Belgrade! This interactive show that you and your little ones will be invited to join in with, full of songs, laughter and festive fun. The show will be around 35 minutes long. Santa's Christmas Rescue will be performed on the Belgrade Theatre's Main Stage so that everyone can socially distance and enjoy the show safely. Christmas themed face masks are particularly encouraged, as are Christmas jumpers for the adults and dressing up for the children! After the show, the children will also have an opportunity to speak to Santa or Ellie the Elf via a TV link and receive a gift. So, have your 'elf' a merry little Christmas, and join the Belgrade in this unmissable show. 

Festive Feast

From tasty roast turkey to moreish mince pies, vegan and vegetarian dishes, eye-catching desserts and endlessly tempting tins of chocolates, food is a big part of Christmas tradition. This year, Coventry has gone above and beyond to serve you seasonal food that brings the whole family together.

Feast your eyes on the finest artisan food the region has to offer! Join FarGo Village for their Festive Feast weekend on the 19 and 20 December. Eat, drink, shop and be merry, all whilst soaking up the atmosphere and spirit of the season and supporting local business. The Festive Feast is the perfect opportunity to make sure your cupboards are fully stocked and ready for the big day.

More and more Brits decide to order takeaways during the festive period, and it's easy to see why. You don't have to stress over cooking for hours on end and feel exhausted by the end of it. You can sit back, relax and spend some time with the family. Coventry has a vast selection of restaurants and takeaways that are more than happy to cater for those who fancy something a little different this Christmas. Discover to-die-for festive menus, experience cuisine from around the world or stick to your classic favourites, all while supporting your local.

No matter what you are doing to celebrate this festive season, we hope you have a wonderful time. This blog only contains a small selection of what Coventry has to offer this winter, for a full list of events, please visit our website.  We advise visitors to check with each venue or event organiser ahead of their arrival for updates on potential restrictions or changes to guidelines.

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