Christmas in Bolton

Christmas in Bolton

With the dark nights creeping in, Bolton Council are bringing some sparkle to the town with a packed programme to raise everybody’s Christmas spirit.

Put Big Light On

Headlining this year’s offer is a mesmerising festival of light, Put Big Light On, taking place across Bolton town centre from 30 November to 21 December.

Bolton will be transformed for six magical winter evenings where visitors can experience the mysterious Northern Lights over Victoria Square, see the moon up close at Bolton Library and Museum and immerse themselves into a world of colourful and interactive artwork across other key locations.

The awe-inspiring installations will be created by artists from around the world including Borealis by Dan Acher, Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram and Evanescent by Atelier Sisu. 

Find out more

Santa's Grotto

The ever-popular Santa’s Grotto returns to Crompton Place Shopping Centre this year, where younger residents will not only get to meet the big man himself but enjoy lots of magical, festive activities in the Elf Workshop.

Book tickets now

Jingle Bell Bus

Take a break from shopping and jump on-board the Jingle Bell Bus for a festive trip around the town centre.

Open on 17th, 23rd and 24th December, you can board the bus on Victoria Square for only £1 per person.

Cinderella Pantomime

If watching a show is on your Christmas list, then bring the kids to watch Cinderella, a traditional, family pantomime where dreams really do come true.

From 1 – 30 December, watch this magical show at the historic Albert Halls Theatre.  Featuring a relaxed performance specially adapted to be accessible to a wide range of audiences such as those with autism, a learning disability or anyone with a sensory predisposition.

Book tickets

Lightbulb Princess

Join the Lightbulb Princess show at Bolton Library Theatre where you will be swept up in a fun-filled, musical show where you will help the princess and her friends solve an unexpected problem and illuminate the world again.

Book tickets

Weighed down with bags of shopping? Then jump on board the Jungle Bell Bus and take a ride around the town centre during weekends in December, all whilst taking in the sparkling lights and Christmas atmosphere – you might even spot some of the fantastic street entertainment or hear the joyful sounds of a brass band or choir.

The Father Christmas Experience

The much-loved Father Christmas Experience at Smithills Hall is making a welcome return, including sessions for children with additional needs and teen and adult believers.

Book standard session

Book session for children with additional needs

Book session for teenage/adult-believers with additional needs

The Mayor's Christmas Fair

Pick up some unique gifts at the annual Mayor’s Christmas Fair on the 2 December where you will find an array of stalls run by local charities or community groups and all proceeds go to the Mayor’s charities.

Bolton Market

Bolton Market has everything you need for the perfect family Christmas and will be getting in the festive spirit with some special free family activities (Santa's Grotto £1.50).

Saturday 2 December

11am - 3pm - Santa's Grotto

11am – 3pm – Face painter

12pm – 2pm – Grumpy workshop – Gingerbread decorating

12.30pm – 2.30pm – Magic Mark circus skills workshop

Saturday 9 December

11am - 3pm - Santa's Grotto

11am – 3pm – Face painter

12.30pm – 2.30pm – Magic Mark magic show

Saturday 16 December

11am - 3pm - Santa's Grotto

11am – 3pm – Face painter

11am – 12.40pm - MCCC Bolton Church Choir

12pm – 2pm – Grumpy workshop – Cupcake decorating

1pm – 3pm – Magic Mark circus skills workshop

Keep an eye on @BoltonMarkets socials for more updates.

Bolton Library and Museum

Bolton Library and Museum will also once again be hosting plenty of free Christmas themed children’s craft activities every weekend in December.

Follow socials @ChristmasinBolton to keep up to date with announcements.

Festival Bar

From 30 Nov – 2 Dec and 7-9 Dec, round off your day with some live Christmas music featuring singers, musicians and choirs and a bite to eat in the wonderful Albert Bar in the Albert Halls complex – our Festival Bar for this year.

Date: 1st December 2023 - 31st December 2023 Recurs daily.

Location: Bolton Town Centre Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1 SA

Cost: Free