The Christmas Lights Are On


There’s No Big Celebrity Switch On this year. Instead Liverpool is set to stage its biggest and best Christmas…….with a brand new format creating a series of magical moments in the city centre.

Liverpool has dramatically improved in 2008 and with the completion and opening of the vibrant, exciting Liverpool One…. it is hoped that tens of thousands of new shoppers will choose Liverpool as the destination in which to do their Christmas shopping.

To reflect the new layout of the city centre, Liverpool City Council and partners have curated the city’s biggest Christmas season with a series of seasonal events in the retail areas every Thursday evening from November 6 through to the December 18.

The key festive entertainment areas will be: Clayton Square, Church Street, Lord Street, Bold Street, Williamson Square and Whitechapel (outside the Met Quarter).

Liverpool’s new Christmas programme will involve more than 50 different acts from choirs, brass bands and street theatre to real reindeers, a food market and two grottos – plus an outdoor ice rink.


imageLiverpool’s 2008 Christmas Magic Moments Programme:

November 6 – 5.30pm
Liverpool’s Christmas lighting scheme – including Liverpool One for the first time – will twinkle in the night time sky from November 6. This moment will herald the start of a season of Christmas events and activities for everyone to come and enjoy in the build up to Christmas.

November 13  (The streets will be animated every Thursday evening (5pm-8pm) from now until Christmas):
Choirs, brass bands and street theatre performers will perform throughout Church St, Lord St, Whitechapel, Clayton Square and Williamson Square. Your favourite Christmas songs will be funked up by The Red Hot Santas; acrobatic elves present a vibrant festive performance and ice-cool stilt walkabouts from The Jacks of Frost, Snowman, plus Reindeers Rudolph and Vixen.

November 20
Festive musicians and the sights of sparkling festive entertainers, including Titan the Robot, will bring you colossal Yule tide numbers; watch out for the roller skating Christmas characters and carol-singing elves will convince you ‘tis the Season to be Jolly.


The Christmas Tree in Church Street has arrived !….and there will be fun for all the family on this evening. Adults and children can mingle with real reindeer at the Met Quarter. Carol singers will also be performing traditional festive tunes, whilst a selection of street performers will also be on Church Street, Lord Street and Williamson Square to entertain the crowds. The evening’s festivities will be sprinkled with a drift of snow, keeping things suitably festive.

December 4
The festive frolics continue in the retail area including Bold Street with entertainment on virtually every street corner – real reindeers, seasonal music and drifting snow to add to the true spirit of Christmas.  Bring the family to meet the real Father Christmas. There will be lots of events in stores and opportunities to purchase that special gift.

December 11
The Liverpool Christmas Market has arrived in Williamson Square (from Dec 5) selling festive food, mulled wine and crafted gifts from across Europe from a choice of over forty fabulous stalls. Street entertainment includes roller Skating Snowman, Scrooge, Snow Queen, the Bad Santas and Elves of puddings…

December 18
Reindeers on stilts, Jack Frosts, Brass Bands, Victorian entertainment on Bold Street, market in Williamson Square and many stores will stay open until late for Liverpool’s final Christmas Magical Moment. 

Other Liverpool Christmas Events include:-

  • St George’s Hall:

A 12m by 12m skating rink will be outside the hall on the plateau and will be open daily (not Christmas Day) from Friday, December 19 until Saturday, January 4.

The new Santa grotto in the Heritage Centre from Wednesday, December 3 until Monday, December 22. (Not available on Thursdays as he is in Lapland putting the finishing touches to his gifts.)

  • Celebrate 08 With Santa at Lewis’s.

Santa arrives on Saturday, November 8 at 12 noon – with proceeds donated to The Lord Mayors Charity Appeal. GROTTO OPENING HOURS VARY FROM MAIN STORE PLEASE CHECK WITH STORE FOR DETAILS.

Breakfast with Santa – Sunday-Sunday, December 7 – 14 tickets go on sale from the Customer Services Department  2nd Floor from Saturday 8th November. Always a popular event so book early to avoid disappointment.

  • Met Quarter

Christmas choirs, wine tasting. Post your letters to Santa and special giveaways for those who visit the reindeers.  Late night shopping every Thursday also every night from 4 December.

  • Spirit of Christmas – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – December 18 – 21
  • Vampires Rock Christmas – Echo Arena – December 27
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes – Unity Theatre – December 2 – January 17 2009
  • Cinderella – Empire Theatre – December 11 – January 4 2009
  • Night Collar – Royal Court Theatre – December 11 – January 17 2009
  • Mother Goose – Everyman Theatre – December 8 – January 31 2009

Merseytravel are staging a special Christmas deal – a £1 return fair across the Merseyrail network every Thursday from November 13 and all day Sunday from December 7 until Christmas. For more information go to