Festive lights and street theatre, including walking Brussels sprouts, roller skating Christmas presents and a sofa-driving Santa, are set to fill Hull with Christmas cheer this year.
The city has already marked the beginning of the festive season, thanks to the return of Hull’s annual Christmas lights switch-on on 18 November, after being cancelled in 2020.
Back with a bang, the annual event saw Queen Victoria Square come alive with entertainment, full lighting displays and a stunning 50ft Norway Spruce.
Now Christmas lighting schemes fill the city centre’s shopping streets and historic Hull Old Town as well as line Hull Marina, while Queen Victoria Square itself hosts a special daily seven-week music and lighting scheme.
And shoppers heading to the city on the first three Saturdays of December can expect even more seasonal sparkle and festive fun.
Christmas-themed street theatre is planned for each Saturday (4, 11, 18), with a host of cracking characters, including fairy stilt walkers, walking Brussels sprouts, roller skating illuminated Christmas presents, a sofa-driving Santa and a mobile piano playing nun.
Performers will take to the streets between 11am – 3pm, as part of Hull’s 2021 seasonal celebrations, which also includes Christmas trees popping up across the city.
Alongside the Queen Victoria Spruce, additional trees will also adorn Hepworth’s Arcade, Trinity Market, Streetlife Museum and Ferens Art Gallery.
Among other festive treats in the city for 2021, the vibrant Fruit Market around Hull Marina will become home to The Santa Claus Experience (27 November – 24 December 2021), an interactive experience where children can help the elves save Christmas on a family festive journey (https://santaclausexperience.co.uk).
This year, the free-to-enter Lord Mayor’s Christmas Tree Festival returns to the spectacular Hull Minster, with a display of trees decorated and sponsored by local businesses (30 November – 12 December).
Visitors can also expect an ‘ice’ surprise on 18 December, when an ice sculpture trail around the city centre will offer the chance to watch three ice sculptures being carved, each from a single block of ice – including an ice post-box, in which you can post letters to Santa.
Visit the Museums Quarter between 4 and 20 December to take part in a Christmas themed trail, involving hidden polar bears, while Hull’s Gingerbread House will set up home in Paragon Square for the perfect family seasonal selfie (18 November – 4th January).
With a thriving independent scene Hull has plenty of retail therapy too, from Humber Street, at the heart of the Fruit Market, a hub of creativity and colour, to Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade, where shoppers can find some of Hull’s oldest independents alongside some of its newest. For something a little different, Trinity Square will host a Victorian Kitsch-mas Market with 30 stalls to browse (4, 11 and 18 December).
And Hull’s vibrant arts and culture programme will deliver festive treats too, from Hull New Theatre’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (11 December – 2 January), to Hull Truck Theatre’s Railway Children (26 November – 2 January). There’s even a rock’n’roll Christmas panto, Rapunz’ull, with live music, a child-free audience and anarchy guaranteed (16, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23 December).
For more details of festive events, as well as all tourism information about visiting, and staying in, Hull, see www.visithull.org